Austria’s Monkey Mountain – Affenberg

Last week we had fun learning about monkeys while we rowed Caps for Sale.  We’ve read this book at least a  hundred times over the course of the last few years, but still had so much fun with it.  We were lucky enough to live within a short drive of Austria’s Monkey Mountain.

LRG_DSC03446

The park is a protected area where approximately 160 Japanese macaque monkeys are able to run freely.  They are so entertaining and I could’ve spent all day watching them (as long as they don’t get too close).

From the parking lot, we had to cross a large pond.  We heard frogs and saw a few jumping amongst the lily pads.  Poor Benjamin kneeled into some type of stinging plant and his leg hurt for a while.  Luckily we found a water pump and the cold water relieved a bit of the pain.

LRG_DSC03495

I’m not sure what kind of stinging metal this was, but his leg was pretty inflamed for a bit.LRG_DSC03494

LRG_DSC03444LRG_DSC03442

It was a beautiful overcast day — perfect for watching mischievous mimicking monkeys gallivanting around their environment.  The monkeys are free to run around and get so close that you could touch them. Of course they ask you not to… and who want to anyway? Monkeys are mean!

LRG_DSC03481LRG_DSC03482LRG_DSC03483LRG_DSC03486LRG_DSC03455LRG_DSC03449LRG_DSC03448

I’m glad he wasn’t begging at my leg.  This was an employee, but I did spy a few monkeys doing this to visitors at different times.

LRG_DSC03467

Isn’t this mama and baby the cutest???  The way she doted on him was so sweet.

lrg_dsc03463-2.jpeg

It was a joy to watch them frolicking around the forest.

LRG_DSC03456LRG_DSC03457

We watched them dive for treats in the pond.

LRG_DSC03473

And do balancing acts on their “tight ropes”.

LRG_DSC03477

This monkey climbed the tree to use the bathroom.  So glad we weren’t standing right under, though this proved to be the kids favorite moment of the entire experience!  Ha! I suppose they do not take my “potty humor” lectures to heart.

LRG_DSC03451

Of course we couldn’t get out of there without a couple of pet monkeys.

LRG_DSC03491

Such a pretty spring day.

lrg_dsc03492.jpeg

Next to monkey mountain was a castle and bird refuge.  We started the hike and were greeted with glorious views of the Austrian countryside.

LRG_DSC03496LRG_DSC03497LRG_DSC03501LRG_DSC03499LRG_DSC03500

Now for the bummer… right when they got there the employees rattled off an announcement in german. We realized after the fact that they were announcing the last bird show of the day.  We missed the bird show, but enjoyed these guys flying around overhead nonetheless.

LRG_DSC03503LRG_DSC03504LRG_DSC03505LRG_DSC03506

We made up for missing the bird show by finding a horsey to ride — made Clara’s day!  Yeehaw!

LRG_DSC03511LRG_DSC03507LRG_DSC03508

I guess this is the sign of a good day.  Both kids were passed out within a few minutes of heading for home.  So precious… I love these babies.

LRG_DSC03518LRG_DSC03515

Next up… I’m finally getting around to our last week of school.

 

Before Five in Row: Caps for Sale

“Caps! Caps for sale! Fifty cents a cap!”  We had fun with this 1940’s classic by Esphyr Slodbodkina this week. “A Tale of a Peddler, Some Monkeys and Their Monkey Business”.  I remember loving this story when I was little and it’s always fun to revisit a childhood favorite.

We’ve probably read this story a hundred times already and the kids already knew it quite well.  We began the week with some acting.   We practiced walking “slowly, slowly, so as not to upset his caps”.  We also talked about how having good posture helps us with balance.  Something I clearly need to work on for myself because when I demonstrated the meaning of  good posture, both kids burst out laughing! Haha!

LRG_DSC03381LRG_DSC03398

We fell asleep under a “tree” with our caps on…

LRG_DSC03387LRG_DSC03388

When we awoke… little monkeys had swiped our caps! LRG_DSC03401

We took turns being peddlers.  Isn’t this the cutest little peddler you’ve ever seen?!LRG_DSC03393LRG_DSC03391

They both preferred to be monkeys, so I spent most of the time peddling my wares.

LRG_DSC03399
“You monkeys, you, … you give me back my caps!”

For Bible we learned Proverbs 29:11.  Umm… yeah… I had A LOT of conviction, confessing, and owning up to do with this one.  In fact, it was just a week later that I had one of the finest moments of my life when I shattered my phone in an angry rage — in front of my kids!   And they are not letting me forget it and are real quick to tell everyone about their “foolish mom”.  This is proof that I do not have it all together, nor do I care to pretend that I do.  But… this is why I love Jesus! Only He can take an outburst like that… and somehow work it for good.

A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man holds it in check.

Proverbs 29:11

We made salt dough peddlers and stacked caps on his head.  Clara helped knead the dough and it was great for those little hands!

LRG_DSC03403LRG_DSC03405

The peddlers… I thought they were so cute.

LRG_DSC03407LRG_DSC03409LRG_DSC03410

LRG_DSC03408
A monkey peddler! 

We read about coins and sorted them into like piles .

LRG_DSC03421LRG_DSC03419

We observed many ways in which we could make fifty cents.  This was way over their head, but exposure nonetheless. Benjamin was a bit more interested.

LRG_DSC03424LRG_DSC03425

Teatime was fun this week!  We sang variations of Five Little Monkeys, played Monkey see, Monkey do, ate chocolate covered bananas, and slurped root beer — a favorite for all of us.

On a side note, we read No Monkeys, No Chocolate,  and learned that monkeys have been the only way in which the cocoa bean was spread because they were the only thing in the rainforest able to crack the shell containing the seed. God is good!  His design never ceases to amaze me!
LRG_DSC03426LRG_DSC03430LRG_DSC03432LRG_DSC03436

This was a great week and I’ll be back to wrap it up… at “Monkey Mountain” in Austria!  This was the whole reason I chose to officially “row” this book.  Because… how often do you have access to real live mimicking monkeys running freely around their environment???  Stay tuned!