Parenting on Sabbatical and the Power of Gummy Bears

 [Note: We’ve been home several months now, but had written a few draft blogs before we left. This is one of them.]

“Honey, let me wipe them off. They are all over your face.”

boogers back Holly

The sadness of a mountain top without your boogers.


I wipe her face.

“MOM!!!!! Put them back! I didn’t want you to take them!! PUT MY BOOGERS BACK!!”

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In Search of The Abominable Snowman in Zermatt, Switzerland

If you grew up in southern California, you probably associate the word “Matterhorn” with Disneyland, not Switzerland.  That giant, man-made mountain with fake snow plunked right down in the middle of the park and visible from every freeway that runs through inland Orange County.  And, if you went on that ride back in the day, you encountered the Abominable Snowman.  His red eyes peered at you through the darkness, he roared as your bobsled zoomed past and when you were ten years old you snuck your slingshot onto the ride and pegged him with a nickel.  Not that last one?  So, I’m the only juvenile delinquent here? Continue reading

A Weekend in Lugano, Switzerland

Apparently, if you are drowning in lake Lugano, a helicopter will appear and a fuzzy black lab wearing a life vest will jump out of it and save you.  Lugano sits in the southernmost toe of Switzerland, near the Italian border.  Italian is the official language of the region and lakes are the official landscape.  For this reason, Jana (and fuzzy black labs) wanted “to go to there”.  They are both obsessed with water—lakes, pools, rivers, bathtubs, puddles of melted gelato, etc.

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Italian-speaking Swiss rescue labs demonstrating their awesomeness. Jana went next out of the helicopter [not pictured, but only because it didn’t happen].

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A Weekend in Paris (with kids)

Paris is just a three-hour train ride or a one-hour flight from Basel, yet still I could almost see us somehow not finding the time during our year-long career break to visit it.  But, with my niece and her friend spending a few weeks with us on a European vacation, we pounced on the opportunity to invite ourselves along with them to the city of lights. After all, what 22 year-old would want to visit Paris without their (cool) aunt, (f)uncle and two young cousins in tow? Continue reading

Only Have A Couple Days in Switzerland? Go Here.

We are a few months into our year-long career break in Switzerland and one word keeps coming up:  Mürren.  “My niece is coming to visit for the weekend, where should we take her?”  “Where do you want to spend your birthday weekend?”  “Is there a place you have visited so far that captures the essence of Switzerland best?”  “Where would you like to play tennis with Roger Federer?”  The answer to all of these questions, for me, is Mürren and the Lauterbrunnen valley.

Murren panorama view

Hard to beat the views from Mürren

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