And just like that, Little Turtle is in Vienna! The Girl couldn’t visit Austria and skip the Spanish Riding School, so her mother got tickets. The Spanish Riding School is the oldest continuing equitation and classical dressage institution in the world — a 450 year history! (The Girl is apparently very snobby about dressage, and deeply disapproves of rollkur and similar methods to create a “pretty-looking” horse that looks flashy but actually lacks soundness and isn’t capable of proper collection and carriage, but Little Turtle is taking the laptop away now.)


Have you ever had a dinner so delicious and filling you couldn’t possibly eat another bite, and then the waiter brings around the dessert menu? That happened to The Girl at La Chaumiere en l’Ile in Paris. This rich chocolate lava cake would have been too much if not for the delicious passion fruit and raspberry sauce lightening things up! Little Turtle had to step in and help finish it off, though.


One of The Girl’s favorite things to do in Paris: see Monet’s Nymphéas series in person at Musée de l’Orangerie! The building was specially designed for these paintings, and as you go along, you can watch Monet start to lose his eyesight as everything gets a little bit darker and muddier. The paintings were absolutely breathtaking and had greater presence and weight than the Mona Lisa did, in The Girl’s opinion.


The Girl learned how to order croissants and grande crème in French after hearing her parents say it so much, and was very proud of herself. (“Deux croissants et deux grande crème, s’il vous plaît!”) Little Turtle is just hoping nobody mistakes him for a pastry!


Little Turtle is going to see if The Girl will design and install some gorgeous mosaic along the baseboards in the new flat (right at Turtle-height). Then he’ll ask for some stained glass in a sunny window, so he can keep seeing this beautiful effect over and over again.


(The Girl’s note: stained glass windows are actually pretty easy to make! But they’re not very insulating. Sorry, LT, but we won’t be replacing the windows with fancy stained ones.)