Saturday, June 30, 2012

Lake Gevena, Lausanne, & Paddle Boats

Kelly had her first school dance on Thursday night and even though there was a lot more watching of soccer than dancing, she had a great time.
Kelly and two of her best friends.  Vaithi and Tashi 

My nieces and nephew have had three beautiful days of sunshine.  They saw the Matterhorn, took a boat across Lake Thun, toured Luzern, rode the train up Mount Riggi, and have had a great time.  Unfortunately, it is supposed to rain the next ten days. Saturday, Keith was sick, but the rest of us took the train to Lausanne.  We grabbed some groceries for lunch and then rented two paddleboats on Lake Geneva.  We all had the best time and it was hilarious to watch my sister's adult children play Pirate Ship.  From there they all went to Chateau de Chillon and Kelly, Josh and I headed home.  

Thursday, June 28, 2012

The Garfield's are Here!

This weekend Josh had some baseball games in Thun.  The baseball diamonds are not quite like the ones in the states.  Note the makeshift backstop.

My kids have been so excited to have their cousins come and they finally arrived Monday night.  They got here just in time to have dinner and then walk over to Josh's school for his year-end program.  I can't even begin to describe how peculiar the program was.  I know there is a language barrier but many of the skits did not have talking and they stll made no sense.  Josh was very funny in his parts and the class sang a few songs which were fun. But the entire hour plus I am thinking about when my young children would make up silly nonsense skits and make me sit through them for what seemed like hours.  Lets just say, those skits were better than these.  My sweet sister and her husband (who happens to be Keith's cousin) and their four kids were great sports and said they loved it.  My brother-in-law, Mark, even went back the second night with Keith for a repeat performance.  Now that is devotion.  After the play we all took a walk along the river.

Tuesday, Carson's family all took a long run in the morning right before it started to rain.  As soon as Josh got home from school at noon, we all headed into the city.  We saw the bears, the Munster Cathedral, our favorite toilet that is again very peculiar, and then played on our favorite elevator.  The elevator has no doors and continually moves as you try to step on and off without getting smashed.  We stopped and had pastries and chocolate milk and had a lovely afternoon inspite of the rain.  On our way home we stopped at the Bundesplatz and everyone ran in the fountains.  They were quite the spectacle as Mark and five kids, fully clothed, ran around getting wet.  In the evening we had a delicious raclette dinner and then took a walk to a fun park with a zip line.
Meg, Mark, Gail, Carson, Jake, Emily

Wednesday, Carson and her family met some friends in Interlaken for lunch.  As soon as the kids got home at noon we took the train and met them in Lauterbrunnen.  The weather was perfect and the waterfalls were extra beautiful from the recent rain.  We took the train up to Wengen and while we were there I ran into a friend from Salt Lake that I had taught with at William Penn.  How amazing is that?   It was so fun to see Nicki McDowell and catch up.  We then hiked down the mountain to Lauterbrunnen, walked around Grindlewald, and then headed home.

Today my nieces and nephew are in Zermatt.  Carson and Mark are headed back to the states via Nice, Josh went to the pool after school with some friends, and Kelly has a dance tonight at her school that begins at 9:30pm and ends at midnight.  And it's a school night.  What?

Monday, June 18, 2012


 This week went by so fast, I can't believe it is Monday again.  Wednesday was book club where our friend from Turkey led the discussion about  a book written by a Turkish author, "Forty Rules of Love" .  She brought delicious Turkish food and the afternoon was pretty special.  Friday, I had four friends over for lunch.  Monique, Kelly, Uma, and Becky  It was fun to get together and share ideas of places we had been and great things to see in Switzerland.  We all agree, Switzerland is going to be a tough place to leave.  Friday, Josh went with his school class to some Roman ruins near Basel.  He left early in the morning and didn't get home until about 6:00 pm.

 This weekend Keith planned the trip and we took a train early Saturday to Appenzell.  Appenzell is in the northeastern part of Switzerland and it is an area we have not been to and - big surprise -  it was spectacular.  We walked around town for awhile and then went to rent some bikes.  Long story short, we ended up with two electric bikes, which are my new favorite mode of transportation.  Josh was too small so Keith and Kelly rode for an hour while Josh and I goofed off and then Keith and I rode for another hour while Kelly and Josh got lunch.  Josh was a good sport about it and the sweet lady at the train station didn't even charge us for the bikes.  Next we took an open train through the Rhine Valley.  We then ran across town to another train that we were suppose to get to by bus but the buses weren't running because of a bike race.  We barely made that train and headed to Germany hot, tired, and excited to jump into the hotel swimming pool which we did the minute we got there.  We stayed that night on a beautiful island called Lindau.  
The town of Appenzell had these great painted buildings and the most amazing hydrangeas everywhere.

The open train was really cool!

A picture of our hotel on the lake.
 Sunday, we had  breakfast at our hotel which everyone agreed was the best breakfast since we've been here.  Our table was overlooking Lake Constance (Bodensee) which probably helped make the food taste even better.  Our next stop was Mainau Island where the island is covered with amazing gardens.  The boat ride over was beautiful, but the gardens were kind of a disappointment.  I had read about them and seen pictures (see pictures bellow) but we were too late for the tulips and the grounds were just okay.

This is what I was expecting.  Not even close.

This morning Kelly left to spend a week with her school class in the country.  This is something they don't often do in Utah.
Off to the Migro to meet a friend.  Then to the train station to meet their class.

Monday, June 11, 2012

There's a reason it's so green.

I understand it needs to rain a lot in Switzerland in order to keep things so green, I just don't want it to rain when I have friends visiting.  Friday, it rained most of the day.  Natalie and her boys went to Gruyere and the chocolate factory and then used the free bikes available downtown and rode around the city for hours.  Natalie almost got hit by a car, they got lost, and Connor's chain fell off, but besides that, they had a great time. We had a late dinner together to celebrate Tyler's birthday and topped it off with brownie birthday cake.

Saturday, Josh and Keith went to Basel for Josh's baseball game.  Kelly and I took the Fordhams on a tour of the Berner Oberland.  We began in Grindlewald and then took the cable car up to First where the clouds covered the amazing views we had seen two weeks before.  The zip lines weren't running due to fog and that was a great disappointment.  By the time we got to Lauterbrunnen things started to clear up.  The Fordham's went to Trummelbach Falls while Kelly and I walked around Lauterbrunnen.  We met up with them and then went to Gimmelwald, Murren, and Wengen.  Natalie treated us to a delicious dinner at Rick Steve's number one pick in Lauterbrunnen and then we all headed home, full, exhausted and relieved it hadn't rained all day.
Grindlewald, Laterbrunnen and Baguettes

Sunday, it rained most of the day.  We all went to church which was kind of crazy.  The trams weren't running their usual routes and it took us a long time to figure out how to get there.  If it weren't for the Elders and the group of ward members that were on the bus with us we might have never made it.  We walked in late and all the head sets were gone due to a large amount of visitors.  We found out later they were all here on vacation from Provo.  After the not so great experience at church, the Fordham's spent the rest of the day in Montreaux and Chateau de Chillon.  We met them at the train station in the evening to go to the Temple and ride the funicular up to the Gurten.  Josh brought a soccer ball which is always a smart thing when the Fordham's are around and we had a soccer game at the top of the Gurten.

Today is Monday and it is still raining.  The Fordham's are in Zermatt and I am just praying they will get to see the Matterhorn. Tonight we will have our new tradition of having a raclette dinner with our visitors before they leave tomorrow.  It's been too rainy and too short of a visit, but it's been nice to have Natalie and her boys here.

Friday, June 8, 2012

The Fordhams are Here!!!!

Thursday I woke up way too early and Josh and I (Josh took the day off) took the train to Zurich to meet Natalie and her boys.  They had left in the morning Salt Lake time so by the time we saw them it was midnight their time.  The poor guys.  We spent the day in Lucern and had a great time.  We took the boat across Lake Lucern, the cogwheel train up to Mt. Rigi and as always in Switzerland, enjoyed the views.  We grabbed some sandwiches before we hopped on the boat back to Lucern where we walked around town and of course saw the Lion Monument.  We had a nice dinner together and Kelly and Josh were extra excited when the Fordhams gave them a ton of their favorite treats from the states.

Saturday, June 2, 2012


Friday night Keith and Kelly had a mexican dinner with the youth and Josh and I headed to the fountains downtown with Lori and Nathan.

Saturday, Kelly went with her friends to the local pool.  She had a great day and I am happy she is making new friends but we were all sad that she ditched us for the day.

Keith, Josh and I met our friends the Bells in Frutigen and took a beautiful walk to Blausee.  We walked for about two and a half hours before we reached the beautiful and yet very small lake Blausee.  The Bell kids are amazing.  There are five of them, nine and under, and they are great little hikers.  I whined more than they did.
We played around the lake, roasted sausages and marshmallows, and enjoyed the company and the views.