Time for another round of Where Did They Go This Time?! (As I have no sponsors, prizes are completely dependent on my ability to produce them and I am behind on my handicraft list, so... the thrill of solving the puzzle is all you get this round!)
Saturday, we drove a bit and toured an old gypsum mine. It was active in the 1800's, flooded and was abandoned, then opened as a tourist attraction, then was turned into an aircraft factory by the Nazis, bombed, and eventually reopened as a tourist attraction again. It was also a filming location for The Three Musketeers. I've been in natural caverns before, but not a mine and it was creepy. Mr. RockyPants was nervous. And, most oddly, upset about "the people taking the rocks". I kid you not. I explained about how people dug out the rocks and used them to help plants grow (gypsum was/is? a fertilizer? never knew that) and he said, "But then they won't be alive anymore!" And I said, What, the rocks? and explained that rocks are not alive. Ever. And he said, "Yeah, OK, but that's very rude!" Which I thought was quite empathetic of him.
The next day, we headed out to a stunning castle on a cliff for a "Fairytale Festival", where mostly we ate. Yum. My first actual Kaisershmarrn, with apple sauce, and it was delicious. Mr. RockyPants demanded a good bit of it for himself, and was quite picky about exactly which butter-browned and sugar-dusted hunks of eggy dough were for him. Turns out, he gets this at school on a regular basis (also with applesauce). The castle is apparently quite famous, has been in the same family since 1681, and sports "Europe's largest surviving tournament grounds" (although they were hardly used in their time, it sounds like they see a lot of costumed action today). Mr. RockyPants had to be dragged away in the end, desperately stuffing gravel into his pockets, as he is often wont to do, which I always tell him he should not do and, when pressed for a reason, I tell him that it is rude to take people's rocks away... and just as those very words were coming out of my mouth, I realized where his curious line the day before had come from.
Finally, a sunset trip to a garden! We'd tried to visit in the spring, but it was bitter cold and we spontaneously went to a boat show instead. Remember Mr. IwantaYachtOrAtLeastAPropellerPants? Yesterday, the weather was perfect. Insanely gorgeous and a tiny bit chill. Ahhh.
All of this adventuring made for a lot of time in the car. Time which led to some children napping sometimes, one child antagonizing the other much of the time, and me knitting most of the time (except when forced to use one hand to hold the offender's kicking foot for a Time Out). Mr. RockyPants's sweater is well on its way to done (sleeve portion shown here) and I may barely have enough yarn. Probably not enough for the late-requested pockets, but given that I had to pick a cup's-worth of gravel bits out of the dryer last night (I was so sure I'd checked his pockets!), that might be a good thing.
And I'm making slow progress on a hat whim. More on that later. Right now, quick! Where did we go? I'm looking for the name of the mine or the lake inside it, the name of the castle, and the name of the town with the famous garden. Have fun fishing in the great information sea!