Singing in the new year

Harmonizing with John Denver on New Year's Eve in St. Viet.
(Ok, so it's almost February and we're just putting pen to paper for the first blog of the new year ... so much for those resolutions.)

2012 came and went with a bang. We spent the last few weeks of the old, and first week of the new, in St. Viet, Austria, with about a dozen of our best Bavarian Ski Club buds.

After five straight days of skiing (plus lessons), we knew all the secret powder spots on the mountain and where to go for the best lunchtime grub (the bacon, fried egg and potatoes on top of a huge donut was such a hit that we made a special trip across the mountain on New Year's Day to start the year out right).

Hallstatt, Austria
On the way home, we spent a few days in Hallstatt, Austria, which though absolutely picturesque and idyllic, left a little to be desired (the salt mine, which is what the town is most famous for, was closed, and impressive ice caves? closed in the winter, too; I guess even icicles  need a vacation.)

Apparently, the town was so popular with some tourists that a company in China built an exact replica in Huizhou -- it was big news on the BBC.

We finished the last weekend of vacation with a soothing trip to a beer spa in the Czech Republic -- more on that in a separate report.

Looking back on 2012, we found that we covered a lot of ground. And although it was tough to pick a favorite experience or trip, a few definitely stood out. Below are the top five buddymollys moments from 2012:

1. Family reunion in Gatlinburg, Tenn.
2. Skifahren Xtravaganza II in St. Anton, Austria
3. Scotland / Dublin
4. Greek Stimulus Trip
5. Funf Fluss Radweg - a 50-mile bike ride along five rivers in Bavaria.

Others major outings included: Malta; Sella Rhonda, Italy; London; Venice, Italy; Istanbul; Berlin; Dresden; Croatia & Slovenia along with Bosnia and Herzegovina; and Hochgurlg-Obergurgl, Austria.

So far, 2013 is shaping up to be just as busy as last year. We're looking forward to heading back to Hawaii, hosting family and friends, and continuing to explore our backyard here in Bavaria. And if the first few weeks of 2013 are any indication, we'll be spending a lot of this year in ski gear.

Happy New Year!