A Weekend Around Lausanne (with kids)

What do you get when you combine lush lakeside vineyards, scraggly mountain peaks, French-speaking Swiss and crystal blue waters?  NBC’s new dramedy Grape Expectations, debuting this fall?  No–even better–you get Lausanne and the Swiss wine country towns near it on Lake Geneva! Continue reading

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A Weekend in Venice (with kids, cats and cousins)

It seems Venice, Italy is on everybody’s list of places they’d like to see. We’d never been, but had heard stories recently about how over-crowded and expensive it had become.  We had also wondered what there was to do there when you have two young kids with you.  But, an opportunity to meet up with my cousin and her family as they were touring through town was the extra nudge we needed to book a last-minute weekend trip.  The flight down from Basel was only about an hour long, and we were able to find cheap fares on EasyJet and a nice AirBnB within walking distance of all the major sites. Continue reading

Practically Swiss

It has been a month since we landed in Switzerland to begin a one year career break / sabbatical.  While I hope we might dig a bit deeper into Swiss culture later on, I thought it would be interesting to share some of the practical aspects of daily life in Basel that are different from the U.S.  So, I polled the girls and here is what we came up with so far, in no particular order. I figure if we can master the practical aspects of Swiss life, we are practically Swiss–ja? Genau. Continue reading

Cheese and the Apostles

“Mommy, talk about cheese.” H (3) asks as we pass a quaint church with cows on the train up to the mountains.

“Well, let’s see…where to start?” I then launch into a twenty-minute ramble about rain, and grass, and cows, and milk, and pectin, and salt, and cheese robots, and aging, and then shipping it to Costco. She listens patiently, prompting me to continue on after each section with a cute “Say the next part, Mommy.”

When I finally say that is all I know about cheese, she asks “But what about the part where they kill him?” Continue reading

Your Cure For Cheese and Chocolate Deficiency Syndrome: Gruyeres, Switzerland (with kids)

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Gruyeres’ main drag on a Sunday afternoon

As noted in our first-ever blog post, one of the reasons we wanted to take a career-break/sabbatical in Switzerland was that we had recently been diagnosed with a cheese and chocolate deficiency (if only).  We have been looking forward to returning to Gruyeres since the last time we were there back in 2010.   Continue reading