Photo: After visiting the church in Pforzheim, we headed to Austria for a 3 day family vacation.  It was gorgeous, but went by way too quickly.

Photo: Luckily for us, the roads were very clear despite all the heavy snow in Europe this winter.

Photo: Absolutely gorgeous.  After a decade of not being close to nature, we are really enjoying being around nature now.

Photo: We traveled to a little town in the Austrian Alps that is on a beautiful lake.  The town completely clears out during the winter, the tourists go elsewhere, and you are left with a very quiet, very small little town where you can relax.  We saw few people and we enjoyed playing games inside and just relaxing without phone, email, and all that stuff.

Photo: Austria is a pretty conservative country.  While people associate Western Europe with liberalism and an "anything goes" mentality--that's not necessarily true.  Austria is politically quite conservative.  The governments in Austria often flirt with far right racism.  Mountain cultures are often closed, conservative cultures--and that's the case with both Austria and Switzerland in many ways.

Photo:  As we were driving around Austria, we saw lots of crucifixes all over the place.  (Above) is the beautiful town graveyard overlooking the lake and next to the small Catholic church.

Photo: Just think of how beautiful these pictures would be if I knew how to operate my camera.