Sunday, April 29, 2012

Back to Reality

It took me forever to get settled after our trip.  I was tired all week and it took me a whole week to just get all the wash done.  Wednesday, my friend Lori and I went to my Bishop's house in the morning to help his wife Doro clean their apartment.  They are moving to New York for a few years and I am so sad that they are leaving.  They are both incredible people and have been so wonderful.  From the day we moved in we all felt that they were concerned for our well being and willing to do anything to help. 

Thursday, I took Josh to the neurologists to have some brain scans.  It will be very interesting to find out if there is anything to be learned from their approach to his stuttering problem.  The nurses at the doctor's office did not speak any English which is kind of unusual for Switzerland.  Anyway, I am always amazed to watch Josh speak in German.  I know he knows this other language, but I don't have many opportunities to hear him speak.   He helped me fill out the forms and translated for me when I had questions.  Incredible.

Friday afternoon Kelly and I took the train out to the country where I dropped her off at her friend Lara's house.  Saturday, Keith, Josh and I took a train to Zurich and then a beautiful hour and a half boat ride across Lake Zurich.  We spent a few hours in the town of Rapperswil which was a cute little town.  Saturday night Lara spent the night at our house and it makes me so happy that Kelly has a good friend to hang out with.

Even the train station was cool.

Sunday, after church it was a beautiful day and we headed up to the Gurten.  The Gurten is the highest hill in Bern and is just a 20 minute tram and a funicular ride from our flat.  
 The skies were clear and the views were great.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Off the Boat - Finally

Saturday, it took us a few hours to get off the boat in Venice and by then we all just wanted to head home.  Unfortunately, there were no flights out Saturday afternoon so we had to fly out Sunday.  We dropped our bags off at our hotel and ended up having a really fun day in spite of our lack of enthusiasm.  We took a water taxi to the island of Murano and watched them blow glass.  That was fascinating.  We had lunch in Murano and then took a boat back to Venice and walked around for a few hours.  It was crowded and all I kept thinking was how miserable it would be if it was hot and humid in addition to the crowds.  Lucky for us the weather was great.  That evening we took a gondola ride and that was really fun.  We ate at a great Italian Restaurant and then went back to our room.   Our room was quite warm when we got in so I opened our windows.  Big, big mistake.  By 2:00am we were all awake with mosquitoes all over our room and bites all over us.  We spent the next four hours trying to kill the mosquitoes and itching.  It was an awful night and by the next day we were all spent.  We spent a few more hours Sunday wandering the streets, then took the boat to the airport, then a plane to Basel, then a train to Bern, then a tram to our flat, then walked home dragging our suitcases, up the stairs, and were in bed by 10:30.  
I need a vacation!

One last gelato to end the trip.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Dubrovnik, Croatia

Bernard Shaw wrote, "Those who look for a paradise or want the Garden of Eden on Earth must come to Dubrovnik."  I can see what he meant.  

Thursday was a day at sea and we were all a little bored.  The pools were crowded and you can only eat so many hours a day.  But Friday was what I thought was the coolest place we saw on the cruise.  Dubrovnik is an amazing medieval city that is surrounded by a city wall.  It was  bombed in 1991 and yet there are only pictures of the damage.  The damage to the old town has been completely rebuilt.  The town was so clean and so beautiful.  We walked around for a while and then took an hour long boat ride around the area.  The seas were really rough and I got quite sea sick but poor Josh was really freaked out by the large waves.  Let's just say it was a very long hour.  Then, right after the boat ride, Josh and Keith were taking pictures and this huge wave came up and got Josh soaked.  Everyone around including Kelly and I laughed as we watched the wave pound him. 

Coming into Croatia

The entrance to the city wall

The wave that got him.
Josh has his hood on walking away drenched.

Goodbye Croatia

Wednesday, April 18, 2012


I was not very excited to spend another day in Turkey, but this day ended up being one of the best.  We docked in Istanbul and that morning as the shipped pulled into the city it looked extraordinary.  We bought a “hop on hop off” bus ticket and spent the first few hours just seeing the sites. We took the bridge into Asia.  Istanbul is the only city in the world built on two continents.   On our second time around the city we hopped off at the old town.  We saw the Blue Mosque and Topkapi Palace.  Unfortunately, the Palace was closed just minutes before because of a sudden wind storm.  Later we saw on the news that the wind had pretty much destroyed the set of the new James Bond movie they were filming just down the street from where we were.  We had a great Turkish lunch, shopped at the Bazaar, and then headed back to the ship

On the bus with the Pratisto's

The bridge that took us to Asia.
Having lunch outside as the wind storm began.

Our bus for the day.