Tuesday, February 28, 2012

February Highlights

Lots of skiing,

Lots of raclette, we got our own raclette grill,

Lots of crazy Swiss Culture at its best - "Fasnacht"

Lots of rollerblading to and from school and around Bern,

Lots of shopping,
Kelly's new outfit.
Lots of enjoying the city at night now that the weather is good,

And now that Spring is here, or at least it feels like it, a lot more of seeing Switzerland.

Monday, February 27, 2012

One of the payoffs

In the past eight months I have often felt sorry for my kids and their lack of social interaction since we've moved.  In Salt Lake, Josh would play with friends almost every day after school.  Kelly would always spend the weekend with friends and they both had a huge group of kids their age just around the corner.  They were busy playing water polo, swimming, tennis, baseball, dance, piano lessons, voice lessons, ....

Since we have moved to Switzerland it is just the four of us.  No lessons and very little time with others outside the family. I have felt that we wouldn't survive. The fighting seemed worse than before - of course it was, we were never apart, we all share one bathroom, and live on top of each other.  But the other day made me realize something.   We will survive and by the end of the two years we all may be much better off.

Kelly and Josh came home for lunch, as they do every day, and after they ate they both disappeared.  I assumed that they were in their rooms but after too much silence I went to find them and this is what I saw.

Kelly was helping Josh with his homework.  Miracles do happen and sometimes it takes desperate measures to remind our kids that siblings can be our best friends.  

Saturday, February 11, 2012

February in the Canaries

The kids had the first week of February off from school so we headed to the warmest place we could get to easily. We left Thursday night and took a train to Basel. We stayed overnight in Basel because our flight left terribly early the next morning. We stayed in a Formula One hotel, which my nieces had talked about with Kelly and scared her for life about staying in one. It was a little scary. Bathroom down the hall, two twin mattresses on the floor with little room for your suitcases. Poor Kelly, my little princess, was not amused.

 We woke up and had to walk to the airport at 5:00 AM in -10 degree C because even though the taxi driver the night before had said we could get a taxi early, we couldn't. This time, none of us were amused, except Keith who thinks we are all a bunch of pansies. We dragged our suitcases in the snow behind us and at times had to walk in the street because there were either no sidewalks, or there was too much snow to tell where they were. The flight was almost five hours, and took us to Tenerife which is one of the Canary Islands. We rented a car and were in our condo by noon. 

The weather was beautiful, the pool nice, the beach quiet, and as long as you didn't mind being surrounded by 70 year olds from Great Britain,(which we didn't), it was a great place to be. The only time we did mind being surrounded by 70 year olds was at the beach where even they sunbathe like the rest of the Europeans.  That we minded. 
 (remind me to never go topless after thirty, twenty, never go topless)

Every day was pretty much the same. Breakfast in the room. Actually, the first few days we ate breakfast out. But what they call "English Breakfast"  which includes "blood pudding" was not our favorite. So after the first two days, Keith cooked us pancakes. Then out to the pool for a few hours, an ice cream bar, lunch by the pool, a lot of reading, another ice cream bar, off to the beach for the afternoon, back to the pool until the sun set, and then out to our favorite Chinese Buffet for only 6.50 Euros per person. Sure beats the prices in Switzerland. The only real variation from that was a few days Keith and Josh explored the island while Kelly and I shopped. And a few days we were so full from hamburgers and ice cream at the pool that we skipped dinner altogether. 

It was a wonderful week but there was a part of me that couldn't completely enjoy it as I thought about what was going on at home. Two people I loved dearly had just been murdered http://www.glennalawrenceshapiro.com/  and another friend from high school has a son that fell while skiing and she is in the hospital waiting to find out if he will ever walk again.  www.wjgb.blogspot.com

Life is Fragile.