Germany was wonderful too. Meeting up with my sister for a bit was the best part of the whole trip and I loved seeing their family. I wish we could have spent more time together. We also saw lots of castles in Germany. The oldest didn't like the over-the-top ones like Linderhof and Neuschwanstein, but he did like Landstuhl, Lichtenstein, and several others. And breakfast at the place we stayed in Mannheim was so very delicious. Also, my boys now love spätzle.
Austria was everyone's favorite though. We stayed in Ehrwald and went hiking, rode up the Zugspitz, did alpine slides, and went on the Highline which was very much worth doing. It was just so lovely to be in the mountains and have it be cool and pleasant and green. I want to meet up there with all of my sisters and my mother. Also, we bought local Tyrol groceries and especially loved the muesli in yogurt.
I unfortunately didn't get any time to shop, even though I knew exactly what I wanted. I suppose I'll have to order some German Christmas ornaments online which won't be the same at all. I wish we'd had more time but, like I said, we weren't really in control of the timing or where we were flying to.
It just was so very easy to travel in Europe. Also, the flights to and from there were amazingly good. I slept for most of the ten-hour flight to Paris and so did the youngest (which is why I was able to). And then we were upgraded on the flight to Riyadh. I had no idea how much better premium economy is. It was almost fun. But I forgot that I had the kitchen knives in the bag I was traveling around Europe with and didn't move them to the checked luggage so they were confiscated at the airport. So sad.