We slept in (until 8) and I ran across the parking lot to buy some pastries and cappuccinos-to-go. We were cleaned up, packed and on the road before 10. We drove under dark, cloudy skies north across the flat plain toward the Eastern stretches of the Alps. Beautiful, snow-capped mountains on both sides, we made our way through the last stretch of Italian highway before passing into Austria just before noon. We stopped at Burger King (again) in Graz and continued on toward Vienna before heading east for the last hour. We arrived in the little town of Sopron (population of around 50,000) around 16:30 and checked in to the Hotel Szieszta.
We saw lots of non-Europeans hanging out in the lobby, (we've since found out there are several Australian and Canadians) many with laptops open and found our way to the registration area where we were immediately asked to pay for the kids’ various tests. Behind the registration desk a large section of used books and home-school materials for sale (many free!) was being set up.
We unpacked the car and explored the hotel a bit, figuring out where the little indoor pool was, discovering the free wifi in the lobby and getting our nametags. The structure is a large, 10-story hotel set on a hill overlooking town. It is nice, clean, and yet every bit of what you would expect of an eastern European, 3-star hotel built in the 60’s. Our room is small-ish – two little rooms connected with an open archway. Our bed faces a big window and balcony with Jenova’s crib next to us. The boys share a foldout couch and Haven has a mini-foldout at the foot of theirs. There is a little bathroom with a half-tub/shower combo. Just right for our family.
We took a little swim and then ate some peanut-butter sandwiches in our room (thanks Roterts for the bread!). Jacob had used some of his itunes dollars to rent the family a movie (the new Willie Wonka) which the kids and I watched while Heather read through the schedule and description of the workshops. Early to bed, big day tomorrow.