Monday, December 24, 2007

merry christmas and frohe Festtage

We wish you a merry, merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!! We'll be thinking of you...

I'll leave you with a few photos from St. Nick's day (Dec. 6th) when a certain magical someone visited our home and gave the little one the full run down of all good and not-so-good deeds done throughout the year (he knows if you've been bad or good so be good, for goodness sake). Then he sang "Rudolph" for Santa and shared his Christmas present wish list: 1 mammoth, 1 baby mammoth, 1 yellow T-Rex, and one bald eagle. (No, the dino phase is NOT over) :-) St. Nick then left him with the customary "Chlaussack" or santa bag filled with clementines, peanuts and chocolates.

We'll see how he does this year.

Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Blast from the Past

2nd birthday party

Sunday, November 11, 2007

I'm an aunt! (again...)

and there you have it

Already snow...and it's only the beginning of November. I think mother nature has to make up for the warm winter last year. Let the hibernation begin!


Happy Birthday, my darling.

Monday, October 22, 2007

fall days

We're still taking our frequent walks through the forest near our home. It's really starting to get cold, so now we have to bundle up...but it's so beautiful at this time of year. It's my favorite!

The little one got a pair of binoculars and a bird whistle for summoning larks, so we've been doing a fair amount of birdwatching lately.

Not sure we found actual larks, but plenty of other local birds. With the leaves falling off the trees they become much easier to spot. These things were an early birthday gift from his Götti, and we love them so much.

And for a rather Waldorf-inspired task, we collected a large bag of leaves and he put them into piles by species. To keep it all very simple and magical, we don't yet get into the names of the various trees etc., just colors, shapes, textures and perhaps even a few used to fashion a "leaf man" or two with beady little acorn eyes.

Monday, September 24, 2007

No. 6: The capital (Swiss Top Ten)

Berne is the Swiss capital, and it's just so nice. Just small enough to be quaint, just big enough to not be totally boring, just international enough not to make one go insane, German-speaking with a hint of French...and a great place to live! The old town is a UNESCO world heritage site and is one of the best examples of medieval architecture in the world. We sort of miss living there, although we really aren't far away (what's 20 minutes by US standards??). It's currently my very favorite Swiss city....

no, I have not chopped off my hair! I had to pull it back because it was so unruly. :-)

Zytglogge and one of many famous fountains in the old town.

hazy view from up...

view of part of the old town and the Aare river from a bridge.

Gerechtigkeitsgasse...the oldest street in the oldest part of the old town. Nice for strolling and window shopping.


Well, I haven't posted in a least partially due to our holiday in Berlin. It took me a while to get back into my usual rhythm. We had a good (if not exhausting) time, saw loads, did the urban thing...cafes, restaurants, vibe. We had a nice balance of exciting big city adventures and calming nature walks, since we chose a vacation apartment near a lake and a forest.

Wannsee...the lake we stayed near.


points of interest...

the apartment we rented...

the coolest kid in the world happens to also love hangin' in cafes...

We had a great time. Switzerland feels awfully small and provincial at times. Mostly I love that about it, but once in a while I like a bit of city action! And it's only an hour away by plane...

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Thursday, August 16, 2007


We bought this retro-style trike from a fellow expat in Basel for so cheap!! Which is great, because we just aren't ready yet for a bigboybike, but Swiss trikes are little tiny things designed for toddlers. And then a beautiful red American (everything really is bigger in the US!) trike appeared out of nowhere. Perfect! And I have a photo of me as a wee one riding the very same one! I'm feeling so...nostalgic. :-)

Thursday, August 09, 2007

St. Petersinsel

It all began Ligerz...tiny winemaking village on the Lake of Bienne, about 10 minutes from our home. We decided to take a boat to the lovely St. Peters Island and we thought getting on in Ligerz would be nice, so we could also explore the village a bit more.

Here is the view of Ligerz from the boat, with it's famous little church and it's sloping vineyards.

It seems we weren't the only family to think the island would make a nice Sunday was packed! * Luckily, we managed to find a cozy spot on a sandy little beach where we could watch the boats come and go and relax in the shade. A certain little blond-haired someone was very into the sand indeed.

We relaxed, we hiked through the forest, we had mineral water at the former monastery on the island (where Rousseau apparently did some of his best thinking and writing) and then we took the boat back again. Really, really nice.

*Here is where I spare you the "Switzerland-has-one-of-the-highest-population-densities-in-the-universe-whoa-is-me"
rant. :-) You're welcome.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Day trip-Giessbach Falls

On Saturday we took a day trip to the Berner Oberland (one hour from us), to meet up with Matthias' crazy (in a good way) Aunt Nelly. We drove to the beautiful village of Iseltwald and then took a boat across part of the lake of Brienz to the Giessbach falls. Afterwards, we walked all the way back to where our car was parked...along a lakeside trail. We walked for about 3 to 4 straight hours...not bad at all for a 4 year old! This region is so insanely beautiful, it's easy to see why the tourists love it.

Tomorrow is the Swiss National Day (their 4th of July)...and everything is closed and everyone has the day off. We're going to Lauerz early in the morning to meet Matthias' family and go to a farmer's brunch (it's tradition to go to a farm and partake of various foods made with their products). Then a bit of playing at the lake and then a barbecue and fireworks. Should be great!

Sunday, July 22, 2007

No. 5: Proximity (Swiss Top Ten)

Switzerland is in the middle of it's close to everything. Yesterday, we took a day trip to Freiburg, Germany (photos above) and it took us about an hour an a half by car. Some other day trip or long weekend possibilities:

Paris 3 hrs (by train)
Milan 3 hrs (train)
Munich 4 hours (by car)
Lyon 3 hrs (car)
Marseille 5.5 hours (train)
Berlin 1 hr 15 min (plane)
Barcelona 1.5 hrs (plane)
Amsterdam 1.5 hrs (plane)
Prague 1 hr 20 min (plane)
Genoa 4 hours (car)

You see? And with the increased popularity of cheap airlines like Easyjet...flying has actually become cheaper than going by train much of the time. Lucky me! So many potential little time! If you fail to see the wonder in all of this, please consider that some of you might be lucky to hit Bakersfield in the amount of time it would take me to leave my home in Switzerland and be sipping a cafe au lait on a terrace overlooking Marseille's sunny harbor or order a Hefeweizenbier at Oktoberfest in Munich! Do I do these things as often as I But I can. If I want. And I will...eventually. :-)

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Random Sunday outing photos

No. 4: Multilingualism (Swiss Top 10)

I guess the language thing pretty much goes without saying, but is one on my very favorite things about life here. Switzerland has 3 official languages (4 national languages when including the tiny romance language Romansch), the canton and even the town we live in has 2 official languages (German/French) and each and every sign indicates this. In one morning, I may sit down in a cafe and be greeted with a "Bonjour Madame" and proceed to order my coffee in French, then go next door to check out a couple of library books in Swiss German (Bernese dialect to be precise) and then to grab a magazine at the kiosk and speak High German (as in Germany German) with the foreigner who like me, has made Switzerland their home and has given up any short-term hope of mastering the Swiss dialect. Also, regardless of what someone greets you in, you can choose to respond in either one as dictated by necessity or whim and chances are, that person will speak either language flawlessly. So at present, both my German and my French are improving daily....but at a certain cost to my English. It seems there just isn't enough room in my Kopf/tête/head for all that vocabulary....something's gotta give.