latvia was baltic state 2/3 that we visited on our road trip! i was particularly interested in latvia because my sister-in-law served her mission there. after leaving lithuania, we stopped at rundale palace en route to the capital city of riga. we had just a morning and afternoon to explore the old town before we headed off again, estonia bound. our time in latvia was memorable because we loved all the colour and charm and beauty, and also because we got caught in several downpours of rain – ha!
^^ arriving at rundale, a gorgeous baroque palace built in the 1700s. ^^
in the gardens behind the palace there were dozens of leafy tunnels that the boys loved running through. these pictures of them running together for a hug and holding hands just kill me!!
in riga, we stayed at a marriott, using some points we had, and we hit the jackpot when the top floor lounge was totally empty. it was the perfect place to eat some take-out dinner and let the kids run around before bedtime. and the views of the city were great!
the next morning we set out exploring riga…
^^ i love the freedom monument in riga. it was built to honour soldiers killed during the latvian war of independence in 1920, and i think it’s such a beautiful symbol of the freedom of latvia. ^^
we climbed to the top of a church tower (my favourite thing to do in a new city!).
^^ family selfie attempts… ^^
^^ can you see what the sign above ian’s head says? he sure is. ^^
i should have snapped some pictures of us eating lunch under an umbrella at a sidewalk cafe while it poured with rain all around us. it was crazy! and then as we were strolling around after that we all of a sudden heard a huge clap of thunder and it immediately started pouring again! we ran for cover but still got pretty soaked. we will always remember being wet in riga!
^^ the “three brothers,” the oldest inhabited buildings in riga. ^^
we found two different playgrounds in riga, one of which had some trampolines that you could pay a couple euros to jump on for ten minutes, and that made moses’s day for sure! after our last bit of playing and exploring it was time to get back in the car and head to tallinn (gabriel was pretty over it after a few hours … we resorted to doing silly things with his hair to keep him entertained…!).
on to estonia!
I am with Ian as I would love to go to just about every country in the world; however, I know it isn’t always easy when children are in tow. While I don’t always get to go to the museum when I am with my children, I do love that traveling with children gives you a different perspective into a city because of going to parks and so forth. Almost makes me feel like a local sometimes.
Love the pics of Est/Lat/Lith.
I immediately went to your World Travel link on your old blog to see if I there was more detail linked from your map. And it reminded me how much I LOVE that pictograph/map, that is linked to your blog posts about each country. Can I ask you how you did that? It is SUCH a fun way to organize a travel journal. As always, you are an inspiration for good. Keep it coming.
i am working on updating that! i made it using piktochart!
I’m so glad you got a good taste of Latvia! That Marriott makes me chuckle because when I was serving my mission there and my companion and I got a little homesick for America, we would go there for lunch on our preparation day! Only a couple times but it just felt a little more like home 🙂
ha, that’s so funny!
Are there many Soviet-type relics in the Baltics? Or have they all been torn down? It looks very clean, as well!
That Gabe Babe looks just like your dad!