One if by train, two if by plane


We’ve been traveling all around Eastern Europe for the last week, on a little vacation-within-a-vacation.  We took a handful of overnight trains and a few day trains to see Vienna, Salzburg, Prague, and Budapest.


If I could move to Prague or Salzburg tomorrow, I’d do it.  I cannot believe how gorgeous those cities are, and Austria has my vote of approval, which I’m sure they were waiting for with bated breath.


After a week sleeping on trains, I felt totally sideways by the time we got back to Warsaw, but I’ll tell you what, trains are the way to travel.  Especially sleeper trains.  Man, that’s the life.

sound of music

We visited the gardens where part of The Sound of Music was filmed, and they were more gorgeous than I expected.  Can I move to Austria already?  Pretty please?


Another thing we’ve discovered is that parks in Europe make parks in America look like small little playthings for toddlers.  We found a park in Prague with an honest-to-goodness zip-line and a park in Salzburg with hammock swings, a huge climbing wall, and a slide to die for.

My kids were in heaven.


We’re getting ready to take another side trip to Krakow, which is supposed to be stunning.  It wasn’t touched during WWII and all the castles and palaces and gorgeous old buildings are all intact, so we’re excited to go visit.

Also, if someone could send a message to my body that even though I’m eating every pastry I can get my hands on in every country we visit, I’m walking miles every day.  Shouldn’t I be getting skinnier by the minute?

I’m not.

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Hello there! I'm Allison Czarnecki, founder + editor of Petit Elefant, a blog all about style on a budget for every part of your life: style / home / travel / family. I do a lot of how-to beauty + style tutorials, travel posts, easy recipes, home remodel projects, and cool DIY crafts you totally want to try. I'm super happily married (to a hot Polish immigrant) and am the mother of two kids, a daughter and son, all of whom are featured here on the regular. We live in the country but we're a little bit rock + roll. Welcome!


  1. kelleyn :

    While you might not be skinner by the minute your will probably not gain anything either. A couple of summers ago, we lived in Switzerland for 4 months. I thought I would have come home a zillion pounds heavier, but not one single pound heavier. Even though I devoured my good share of pastry I think it was because I walked so much and the food doesn’t have all the preservatives and chemicals in it like here in the states. Can’t wait to see more of your photos!

  2. Katrina :

    That slide is amazing. Keep posting for those of us that wish we were there! I am so happy that someone that genuinely appreciates it as much as I would is posting, so that I can pretend for now. While in California, my MIL made a vow to watch my kids for 10 days within the next couple years so that I can go. Babysitter, check! Now save save save :D

  3. Lisa :

    I too loved Prague when we visited a few years ago. I felt like I could live there. It had such a comfortable feeling. And it was gorgeous.

    Also enjoyed Salzburg when we visited.

    It is a dream of mine to visit Poland some day. My mom’s side of the family is Polish and there are arguments between family members of whether the great grandparents came from Krakow or Warsaw. I hope to visit both!

    Thanks for your posts. I am enjoying them so much!

  4. Karrie :

    1. I LOVE your hair… I keep forgetting to comment that. It looks so European :)
    2. I just think it is so cool to see you and your family enjoying this kind of trip. What a great family you have, and I can only imagine the memories you are building right now.
    3. Enjoy enjoy enjoy!

  5. Lindsey Redfern, :

    Okay, that photo of you in the doorway is beautiful.

    Those playgrounds looks incredible! Europe is so hip! :)

    I am always wanted to ride on the sleeper train!

    That’s all.

  6. Rachael :

    STOP IT! You are making it impossible for me to sit here in front of my computer in the U.S. And I’m never going to look at our playgrounds the same.

  7. Donna :

    My kids are dying for that slide!

  8. elz :

    I’ve never been to Poland, but Austria was one of my favorite areas of Europe. So gorgeous and clean. Second only to the Cinque Terre. City wise- Rome, Paris by landslides. Jealous of all the fun you’re having.

  9. Jennifer (Savor) :

    Totally Jeals and dang it, I know what you mean about lbs. not coming off – not meat for a month and nothing but cravings. Continue the fun!

  10. OHmommy :

    So so so so so awesome.

  11. My Traveling Troop :

    Love the Sound of Music gardens! So pretty! And I just know my kiddo would hit the playgrounds in Europe and never want to leave! Such cool play structures!

    Did your kiddos enjoy taking the train? I’m dreaming of a big trip to Europe with my family. Don’t have a date set yet. But when we do, I’m wondering if train rides are the way to go — especially with a toddler. :)

  12. GolfBerserk :

    I am surprised with the the slider in playpark. Its size is enormous when compare with the person who stand near in the picture.

  13. Sarah :

    I would like to have a trip in eastern europe too. Maybe add Republic of Turkey in visit list also.

  14. Jane Maynard :

    SO fun…so glad you guys had such a great time.

    And now I think I need to go sing and dance around the house…”The hills are alive!”

  15. Erin :

    Did you go to Krakow already? We lived there for a year and my favorite place nearby is the salt mine, Wieliczka. Your kids would LOVE it. I hope you got to see it. We will be moving to Warsaw in the fall for 5 months. I want to know where all those awesome parks are!!