Friday, February 26, 2010

Friday... and a Swiss recap

Each morning I wake up... to the sound of a toddler calling my name from downstairs. She is soon joined by the cries of her brother in the next room. Johnny and I stretch and reluctantly begin our morning, realizing that we need another hour in our cozy warm bed.
We come downstairs and release the beasts, often crying until their bellies are full and their cups are filled to the brim with whole milk.
Our oldest son is a morning saint, always anxious to start the day. The only thing we have to tell him is to be quiet with the doors and stay in bed until 7am. He is always up a bit before. If we would let him he would seize the day around 5. Soon he is off on the bus and Johnny is off to work. It is me, the littles, and a day ahead.
I turn the radio to NPR and let it run in the background until I hurriedly change the station when the classical music takes over. Writhing in disgust, with an utter unappreciation for high culture, I have to get on with my day.
Today I choose to fuel my energy with a glass of Mt. Dew. Classy, I know... but it works. You wanna see some fast crochet? Feed me Mt. Dew. Seriously.

I just found out last night that I have slacked too long to submit my application for spring pottery. I am experiencing a bit of confusion how to feel about this, but still dismayed that next week will be the last week of pottery until at least mid-may. On the upside, a crap ton of crochet is gonna get done around here.
Also, obviously, yesterday I have returned to the interweb after a
3 week stint without. Oh man, I missed the interweb. It is surreal that it is back. I love the interweb. For a mom with tots, it lets me interact with society, stay connected to friends, stay up on current events, check the freakin' weather. Oh man. For the last 3 weeks the weather was a surprise everyday, because it takes a lot of patience and timeliness to catch the weather on the local news, of which I have neither.
On another note... a Swiss adventure summary is long overdue.
Our Swiss adventure

It begins with bringing the kiddos to my parents, hugs goodbye and our oldest son waving in the window as we drove away... totally heart wrenching.Onto the plane, we're off. Did you know Delta has free beer and wine on cross-atlantic flights? unbelievable.We land in Amsterdam to catch our connection, which we almost missed, and sit panting on the connecting flight after sprinting to the gate while they call our names on the intercom. Johnny almost puked. We had to stop mid-run several times to catch our breathe.After a long day of travel, we land in France and are off to catch a taxi to Basel, Switzerland. We are thrown into a land of foreign language. Jumping from English, to French, to German , to Basel German (yes, totally different than German German) it took some adjustment and a good nap. We were very glad our taxi driver knew the name of our hotel. That was the extent of our communication. After studying our Rick Steve's language guide, we got pretty good real quick with basic communication skills. It is very handy that the common denominator between languages in Europe is English. So, basic English can get you pretty much everywhere. That said, I did make an effort to learn some German and French, which served me well. I was honored to be mistaken as a local by the end of the week. Huge honor.Basel has a great tram system. I mastered the heck out of that tram system. It took me everywhere and I got off wherever something caught my eye. John was there on business, so he worked during the day and I explored my new home for the week. I found an adorable yarn shop. So charming, and relatively cheap. Switzerland is very expensive. Restaurants start around 20-40 dollars a plate.I found some familiar sights. Burger King and Starbucks were across the street from our hotel, and I saw a few McDonalds along the way. GameStop, Mac Stores. Lots of voice over episodes of The Simpsons, Everybody Loves Raymond, etc. The movies, all voice-over American flicks. The theater, American movies that have come and gone in the states, peppered with some French flicks. I love French movies. I recommend "Un Petite Nicholas", we watched it on the plane on the way home. Air France was an experience in itself. Was good enough with basic French to be mistaken as a French speaker, and resulted in my confused blank stare. It made me giggle a bit.In Switzerland, each day, I started with an early breakfast with the boys (Johnny and his traveling co-workers). They were off to work and I was back upstairs for a nap. There is nothing open at 8am, why not? Around 10 I would get up for a bath and just soaked in silence. (Talk about foreign. ) Get out, get dressed, and I was off for my daily adventure.Grab a snack at the local deli. I fell in love with the spinach quiche. So yummy!!! So good that when I got home I came up with a similar spinach pizza recipe, with feta....mmmm. (It sounds particularly good right now due to a strict, self-imposed, Lenten diet I am thinking about reformatting, although I know I should not.)I saw the Rhine River, old towns, stone churches, crossed in to Germany, crossed into France. Talked to locals. Joked with travelers. By the end of the week, some began to recognize me for my purple panda cap. I made a fun discovery. Purple panda caps make people smile. It translates.
Each evening I would meet Johnny and the boys back at the hotel for a cocktail and go out for dinner. So much fun.Johnny has had a Swiss birthday now, and we had a Swiss 9th wedding anniversary. They will prove hard to top for years to come. It truly was an adventure, and left us thirsty for more and made us realize that things we thought were a bit out of reach are totally possible, with a Mastercard.... that said, it's good to be home!!!My Dad
(It took me a couple days to confidently speak English again. It was a bit of a relief when my parents greeted us with a "Hi" and the cashier at the grocery dealt in Dollars. I can do this!)


  1. 3 weeks without the interweb!!!! I would GO INSANE!!! I'm glad you survived! :)

  2. Nice! BTW, black and tan panda hats make people happy, too. I also get recognized when I wear it. You just can't wear that hat if you're in a bad mood!...........c.