Imagine a well-preserved medieval village on the borders of France, Germany and Switzerland that transforms each December into a Christmas wonderland with such fanfare you’d think Clark Griswold did the decorating. This is Colmar, and to jump-start our Christmas spirit we spent the first weekend of December here, and it turns out we weren’t the only ones wanting mulled wine and macaroons. Continue reading
A wave of horror washed over me as I glanced across the aisle of the airplane I had just sat down in and noticed my aisle mate had crazy eyes. OK, the person was a four year-old girl sitting, unattended, with her shady older sister, but she had crazy eyes, nonetheless. The crazy eyes were accompanied by a howl and kicking legs as she and her sister rejoiced over their bags of airplane-shaped gummies the flight attendant had just handed them. With this level of crazy before the cabin door was shut, I was sure she would either barf all those colorful gummies up mid-flight or charge the cockpit in a sugar-fueled hysteria. A second wave of horror hit me as I remembered I was responsible for both of them, was outnumbered, and this was probably going to be a LONG flight.
Lake Neuchatel is the Jan Brady of Swiss lakes. Despite being the largest lake that sits entirely in Switzerland and sporting medieval towns and Swiss-French vineyards on its shores, tourists clamor for her more popular sister
Marcia Lucerne. Sure, Lake Lucerne is attractive with her covered bridge and tall, gondola-accessible peaks and is one of maybe two Swiss lakes most non-Europeans/Americans can name (Lucerne! Lucerne! Lucerne!). But, with a bit of attention and effort, Lake Neuchatel and her namesake village will show you sparkling personality and charm, without Lucerne’s crowd-drama. Taking advantage of unseasonably warm and sunny October weather, we corralled the kids onto the train for the 90-minute ride to Neuchatel from Basel. Continue reading
Friday we picked up our 4.5 year old, H, at kindergarten. She smiled as she came out the door and then ran right past us down the sidewalk.
“Hey, wait up H!”
“You’re too fast for Mom.” (Why does mom continue to talk about herself in the third person? I don’t know why I do this.)
She gets to the end of the sidewalk and continues into the intersection.
“STOP!” Continue reading
“Do you think it’s warmer inside? It’s a bit cool out here.”
“Er, Ma’am” the tour guide tried again.
“Maybe a hat for C since she’s been sick?” my mom continued unaware she was holding up the line until she removed her backpack from her back and placed it instead on her front.
“Mom, you need to do what he’s doing.” I pointed to another person with a backpack.
“Why on Earth would it make any difference?” she wondered aloud. Continue reading
It is beginning to dawn on me that each family member’s sabbatical goals may be orthogonal to one another’s. When you write them in a list, they do at first look parallel on their own little bulleted lines, but when you go to implement them, you find yourself walking in different directions and, most certainly, at different speeds. Continue reading
Part of the goal of blogging about our adventures during a year-long sabbatical/career-break in Basel, Switzerland is capturing and preserving precious family experiences for us to look back on years later. But, near-constant traveling can get old for young kids who see no point in visiting another city, cathedral, castle, or posing for yet another photo. We thought we would start a collection of pictures showing those moments when the idea of getting to spend a year in Switzerland traveling around Europe was lost on our four year-old–so we can use them to
embarrass laugh with her when she is older.