Thursday, September 27, 2012

Last day with Grandma and Grandpa

What a fantastic two weeks. Sterling and Juanita were real troopers, and so were we all. We saw a lot of Switzerland in a short time. Thursday night, we stayed closer to home and took a closer look at our own little town. They flew home Friday morning, and only lost one bag, temporarily.  ( It was mistakenly picked up by another passenger because it had the same color ribbon to uniquely identify it ) They also smuggled 4 lbs of Raclette through in a carry-on bag.  Very brave! I think that's for Warren. 
Above the front doors of the Berner Münster, there is a carving of the last judgement, with wise virgins on her right-hand side, and foolish to her left. I just noticed, in this picture, we're on her left. Uh-oh. 

Monday, September 24, 2012

Glacier Express

Monday morning we headed to Zermatt on the train.  It was rainy but we grabbed some lunch and enjoyed the two hour train ride to a town right outside of Zermatt.  To save a few francs, we had reserved a hotel room in Täsch - just twenty minutes walk from the station where everyone parks their car before taking a shuttle train into Zermatt. The Matterhorn was cloud-covered, so we checked into our hotel room first. After a power nap, took the shuttle into Zermatt for awhile. We tried to eat dinner at 5:00, but learned that nobody serves dinner until 7. So we bought groceries for Tuesday's Glacier Express train ride and went back to Täsch to have dinner at the hotel restaurant.  Easier to walk with all the groceries while it was still light and not so cold. But the hotel restaurant was closed for the night. So we walked back into Täsch town center for pizza. We made that "short" walk five times that day.  On Tuesday, we enjoyed the eight-hour Glacier Express panoramic train ride through the top of the Alps for seven hours. 

Grandpa at GramPi's

Josh doing Swiss "Basteln" projects he learned in school. 
Everyone was astonished by the sight of the Matterhorn

Scenes from the Glacier Express
Upper Rhône, upper Rhine, Valais-Uri-Grisons. 

Beautiful Saint Moritz -
"Familienfreundliche Ferien in der Chesa Spuondas"

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Sunday with Special Friends

I've said this before and I will say it again.  I love the people in my ward.  I am so sad that I can't carry on conversations with many of them.  I wish I could use a translator so I could sit and talk to some of these sweet older ladies and learn about their life.
The other people I love more than I can say are my kids teachers.  They are so wonderful and they let the kids know how much they are loved.  The top left picture is one of the best - Nathan.

We invited a dear friend Caro over for lunch who is moving to England in a few days.  Caro is the girl that has been teaching our German classes since we've moved here.  She is just one of those rare people that you love from the minute you meet her and you know you will always be friends.  We will miss her!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Cow Parade

Every fall, farmers in villages all over the alps bring their cows down from the high meadows in a traditional parade, with lots of food, musical performances, and cows in fancy dress. We almost didn't go, because Saturday morning it was raining, and it would be more than two hours travel each way.  But we finally plucked up enough determination and found our way out to the village of Kerns, in the center of Switzerland.  Once we arrived, it didn't take five minutes before we were splattered with cow-poop and nearly crushed by promenading cows. It was total-immersion tourism.  
Alpabzug, Kerns.  Bringing the cows down from their high alps for the winter. 

This one had an attitute problem. 
Musicians all over the place

There was an announcer introducing each group on the loudspeakers, and lots of cheering. 

Someone said the big bell is to slow down the front cow so she doesn't run a away with the rest.

Rainy Day in Kerns, but the show goes on in all weather. 

The stick is for whacking cows when they get out of line

After the parade we took the long way home, through the Sarneraa valley and the Brünig Pass to Meiringen where we stopped for lunch, then past the Brienzersee, Thunersee and home to Bern. 
Lungerersee (good fishing, I think) near the Brünig Pass

Somewhere in the Sarneraa Valley

Friday, September 21, 2012

Oeschinensee - Another Perfect Day

Thursday was a beautiful day and the four of us had a great time.  Kelly had school in the afternoon, but Josh did not.   We packed some sandwiches and fruit and ate lunch on the train. The ride was extra spectaular.  When we got to Kandersteg it was a short fifteen minute walk to the cable car.  We took it up to the top and then walked about thirty minutes to the lake. The lake was incredible.  We stopped and had an ice cream cone as we looked over the lake.

In the village of Kandersteg

Kander River

The Hikers

Ice Cream at Öschinensee

Kandersteg from the Tram

Thursday, September 20, 2012

A Perfect Day

Wednesday Juanita, Sterling, and I went to the Temple in Zolikofen.  It was raining and a great day to just relax and do things inside.  Juanita and I made caramels in the afternoon.  In the evening the rain stopped and we took a long walk and saw a bunch of the beautiful embassies that are close by.
Thursday was a perfect day.  At least that's what they said and I tend to agree.  I packed some fruit, muesli, and yogurt and we took the train to Lauterbrunnen and ate our breakfast on the way.  We went to Trummelbach Falls, had a great lunch outside at the restaurant at the falls and then took the gondola up to Gimmelwald.  We walked around Gimmelwald for about an hour, took the cable car to Murren, and then the train and  cable car back down to Lauterbrunnen.  Everything went perfectly and my eighty-three year old father-in-law is amazing.  So is my mother-in-law, but she's only fifty.
(at least you would think she is)
The view while eating lunch.

Look at these cute tiny little white haired gnomes.


Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Lucern and Mount Rigi

Monday Juanita and I went on a beautiful walk by the river in the morning and then we  went with my friend Lori to the grocery store.   In the afternoon Juanita and Sterling took another walk while Lori, Kelly, Josh and I all got our haircut.  I have a girl that comes to  your house to do hair which makes it very convenient.

Tuesday morning Juanita took Sterling on a long walk down by the river while I stayed home and started to work on plans for our trip to England.  We were waiting for Josh to get home at noon so he could spend the day with us but his teacher sent him home early because he was sick.  Now a good parent would cancel their plans for the day to take care of their sick son, but Josh said he was fine to be home alone so we headed out as soon as Juanita and Sterling got back from their walk.  We spent the day in Lucern.  We took the boat across the lake then a cable car and then a train up to the top of Rigi.  It was a nice day but the clouds obscured our views a bit.
Mt. Rigi

 On the boat across Lake Lucern.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Grandma and Granpa are Here!

Saturday morning Keith went to Zurich and met his parents at the airport.  Kelly had a church activity all day and I stayed home because Josh had been a little sick.  We spent the afternoon touring Bern and then finished off the evening with Grandpa and Josh playing chess on one of those life size chess boards while the rest of us enjoyed the view of the Aare and the Alps.
Sunday we went to church and then took a boat ride across Lake Thun.
On the way home everyone seemed to be suffering from jet lag, even those that hadn't just flown in from America.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The Richard's are Here!

Tuesday afternoon I took the train to Basel and then a bus to the airport.  I got there early but was surprised when I saw that their plane had already landed fifteen minutes ahead of schedule.  Luckily I was right there when Mike and Becky got off the plane and it was so great to see them.  We took the bus, then the train to Bern. They checked into their hotel that was right by the train station and then we grabbed a quick bite to eat.  Wednesday it was kind of rainy and they spent the day in Montreaux and Chateux de Chillon.  They came over for dinner that night and we had our traditional raclette.  How many times a year can a person eat a meal of potatoes, cheese, and bacon?  Maybe I should ask, how many times a year should a person eat a meal of potatoes, cheese, and bacon?  

Thursday was a fun day even though the weather was a little cloudy.  We wanted to ride the scooters in Grindelwald but figured they weren't running because of the rain.  Mike, Becky, and I headed to Lauterbrunnen and then Trummelbach Falls.  We had lunch in Interlaken and then spent the rest of the afternoon seeing some of Bern.  I was quite disappointed that we missed a lot of my favorite places because of the weather.  Luckily they went back up to the same area on Friday and had some great weather.  Friday night we met for a late dinner in Bern and then said good-bye.  So sad to say good-bye for another year to two of the greatest people I know.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Waterskiing without a Boat

Saturday was our Ward's annual waterskiing trip.  Our sweet Bishop picked my family up and drove them out to a beautiful lake where our ward rents out the water skiing facility. It is so cool.  You stand on the dock and  grab on to the cable that drags you around and around in a circle.  Keith went five times without falling.  Kelly knee boarded and Josh and Keith skied. I had not slept the night before so I stayed home and missed all the fun.  Sleeping problems are the worst!
Keith, what a stud!

Annabella and Kelly
Alyna, Annabella, Kelly, and Lara
Josh and Jethro

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Prague - Day Three

We slept in Tuesday morning.  Keith and I are both kind of burned out.  We seem to get burned out much faster these days than in the beginning.  I have this urgent feeling that we need to get it all in before our two years is up, but maybe we should do less and enjoy more.

Anyway, Keith went to the Kepler Museum without me and then we bought a day pass and just took the trams from one end of the city to the other.  We walked around the old town that evening and had a great dinner at a local restaurant.  

We woke up early the next morning to take the ten hour train ride home.  We were so happy to get home to the kids who had loved their babysitter and didn't seem to mind that we had been gone almost a week.