The coast from Dubrovnik to Split is extraordinary with some similarities to our beloved Big Sur near our home in California. We were so pleased to see that this gorgeous, pristine beauty had been preserved in its natural state and not given into high rise glut like so many other places. One can only hope it stays this way.
We were startled by its rugged beauty, lush greenery and how unpopulated it was, with only small pretty villages from time to time until one got close to Split. Not many cars were on the road, so it was a drive that we really enjoyed, with one spectacular vista after another. Sadly, I do not have many pictures because there were not many places to stop along the way. You will just have to come and experience this magnificent sight yourself.
We found a small but beautiful campsite right on the sea, about half way between Dubrovnik and Split to spend the night. It was the perfect spot for a small birthday celebration and Mozart was beside herself with joy when she got a little lightning and thunder before she went to bed on her birthday eve. That is not something we have much of in California, thus she has not experienced it hardly at all, so she felt it was a special treat just for her and a good omen.
It is funny what will excite a kid, Mozart’s nature is full of enthusiasm, so she manages to find most things exciting. We did not get much rain, but the wind was the strongest we have experienced and rocked our camper all night and howled a little thru the door, which she also loved.
We had already planned to celebrate her 7th birthday in Salzburg, Austria which is the birthplace of Mozart and home of the “Sound of Music”, which are both very significant to our little Mozart and she has been counting down the days with anticipation. Meanwhile, we have not gone as fast as expected and have run into a few glitches which slowed us down, thus we will have to do our Salzburg seventh birthday celebration when we get there.
So Mozart will be the second Soultraveler who will luck out with two birthday celebrations this summer. We could not ignore the actual day and it landed us in this pristine spot in Dalmatia, which truly is a perfect place for a small family birthday celebration.
I found a package of pink balloons and a candle that was in the shape of a seven at a hypermarket in Dubrovnik and tucked them away for where ever we landed on her actual birthday. Grandma had sent a package of six of Mozart’s favorite dvd’s from her ever growing list, along with a card, to us in Spain last March. It was one of our last packages to arrive and we packed it up and have carried it along with us this whole trip. Mozart has longingly looked at it from time to time, occasionally begging for a peek or to “open just one”.
We decided to wait on her gifts from us until Salzburg, but allow her to open Grandma’s gift. She could hardly wait. We also brought a tee shirt with us last year that said “birthday girl” which she loves, so we got that out to put on in the morning and placed it lovingly with the package from Grandma on the table, to greet us when she awoke.
Mozart’s idea of a perfect simple birthday, was to watch dvd’s all day and we indulged her to a certain extent as this was a good spot for that. I got up a little early, as I always do, and blew up the balloons. There is nothing quite like bright pink balloons to say little girl birthday. I managed to squeeze the seven candle into a snack cake that she likes, and lit it.
We covered her in pink balloons and handed her the lit cake as we sang happy birthday to her to start her special day, as she woke up full of grins and energy. She had already put the tee shirt on (over a long sleeved one since it was a little chilly with a strange weather pattern that had blown in) and was itching to open that package that she had been looking at for months.
She was electrified to discover which dvd’s were there and thrilled to find a five dollar bill inside her card! Mommy also made her a few things that she wanted like I sewed up a shirt she loves, colored in a page in her Renaissance coloring book that she adores and wrote her a poem card. Dad cooked her up “just potatoes” for breakfast at her request.
We savored our breakfast and got right to our first dvd which was a first for us and pleased her to no end. It was “Aqua Marine” which was a movie that she really wanted to see in the movie theater before we left, but I felt she was too young at five for such things, but it was fine now at seven. We went onto a movie marathon watching “Ella Enchanted” and “Shaggy Dog” between meals, plus running, exploring and kite flying on the beautiful beach.
She requested noodles for lunch and plain macaroni for dinner which she got, although mom snuck in some nutritious things like chicken and fruits and veggies on the sly as snacks. They sold ice cream at the campsite, so she picked an ice cream cone for desert after dinner. We stuck the seven candle in the top of the ice cream cone, lit it and sang “Happy Birthday” one more time, for good measure.
It really was a wonderful, simple birthday geared to our new seven year old and her simple wants, in a very pretty setting. She was queen for a day! It has not been this cold here at this time of year in thirty five years, but was the perfect weather for hanging out watching dvd’s and flying a kite. It was warm enough to still dip our feet in the water and put our hands in to find shells or good skipping rocks and very sunny. She was even happy to see her fall clothes and jeans as they have been tucked away for months, so felt like long lost old friends.
Mozart met a couple of cute girls from Poland who were twelve and seven, and the eldest spoke English quite well that she had learned in school. Mozart wanted to give them two of her balloons and when they found out it was her birthday, they each gave her a special shell that they had found.
We ended the night with one final dvd,“National Velvet”, that both Mozart and DaVinci fell asleep to before making it to the end. The only down side of the day was when our kite landed in a tree and got stuck, but even that worked out well the next day. It was like a little “United Nations” as people from many countries got involved with trying to help us get the kite down and soon we were successful. It almost felt like we were in a “Red Balloon” film.
We had no internet at this isolated location, so we also missed the e-card greetings from family and Mozart’s Godmother, but they were fun to get when we found an internet cafe a few days later, that extended her birthday celebration. We will have a big celebration when we get to Salzburg as planned, but this was a sweet celebration in its own right.