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Goodbye Fall, Hello Winter!

December 4, 2011

This year Switzerland has had an abnormally beautiful Fall. This is partly why you haven’t heard much from me. I’ve been trying to soak in every last ray of sunshine, every last color left on the trees, and every last bit of tradition which comes with this season.

Before I welcome in the winter, I’d like to post a few fun pictures from this last fall I didn’t post.

The Sunday before Halloween, Andy and I went with a couple of work friends to carve pumpkins. (Heather is trying to imitate her jack-o-lantern)

Then we lit them for our 2 trick-0-treaters. That’s actually a new record for us!

Although we knew they were coming.

*****

Thanksgiving this year was awesome, since we got to celebrate twice! Once at a friend’s house and the other Andy and I hosted.

The morning started out like every morning should start out, with homemade cinnabon cinnamon rolls.

It continued with appetizers…

Artichoke dip and a bunch of other nibbles.

Then I got busy cooking and forgot entirely to take pictures of the rest of the food and guests! I must have been hungry…

This was the menu though.

I did get a shot of our youngest guest.

I couldn’t get enough of him!

He is such a sweetheart!

We stuffed ourselves with delicious food, played a game of Settlers, then stuffed ourselves some more, and then rolled ourselves to bed.

What a great holiday!

I have so much to be thankful for this year: an amazing husband, a warm apartment, a job, great friends…the list could go on and on. 

Since Thanksgiving, I’ve made turkey curry, pasta with turkey, and soup with the turkey leftovers and I still have more!

*****

This last Monday we woke up at 5:00am to go to the annual onion market in Bern.

I know it’s crazy, but I absolutely love it!

There were plenty of onions as usual…

decorated in every possible way.

Normally we would buy a bag of confetti and throw it at innocent strangers, but this year we felt a bit tired and decided to take in all the excitement from the safety of the starbucks windows.

It would be very tempting to repeat this tradition next year as well,

especially since we truly saw it all,

but don’t worry next year we’ll get back in on the action!

We’re not that old yet!

Thanks Fall for being so good to us! I can’t wait to see what winter has to bring!

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A Stroll Through Wine Country

November 12, 2011

We have had the most beautiful fall weather this year.

The colors, the crisp air, and all the fun traditions which come with this season have made me literally giddy. I love this season! How did I live without it for most of my life?

A couple of weekends ago Andy and I decided to go for a walk in the vineyards above Lausanne. I love this place!

The colors were amazing in the Fall!

It’s really incredible how hundreds of vineyards are situated on this steep hillside above the lake of Geneva.

It takes my breath away!

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Happy Halloween!

October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

Can you guess what Bella was?

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A New Shade of Paint

October 17, 2011

Last night after church, we walked into the city center to watch, what appeared to be a bunch of teenagers getting into trouble…

Switzerland’s beautiful parliment building was covered in paint!

The Swiss were going crazy!

Ok, not really…

It ended up being a light show which was being projected off the Bundeshaus.

It was incredible!

The special effects were amazing!

I wasn’t able to capture the movement in the pictures, but part of the show showed each section of this building being put together.

Then it shook!

It was a fun way to end a nice weekend!

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Annecy, France

October 11, 2011

Two weekends ago, Andy and I took a 2 hour trip with our car to Annecy, France. We wanted to celebrate the last weekend before I started working 100% at my job. (The main reason why it took me so long to post these pictures).

We had an amazing weekend. The weather was like the middle of summer, the village simply charming, and the scenery stunning.

 What more could one ask for?

 The first thing we did when we arrived in the city was find a nice restaurant.

We were starving!

I was hungry for some fish. We decided on the two meals of the day. I ordered the fish and Andy ordered something he wasn’t sure of in French. He was feeling adventurous.

Until it showed up in front of him…

Lets just say he wasn’t feeling so adventurous anymore.

He wasn’t quite sure how to eat them. We didn’t see any locals around us eating them (I wonder why?)

So he decided to cut off each individual head. He couldn’t stand the look of his food watching him.

He said they tasted pretty good.

I just took his word for it.

After our interesting lunch, we took a boat tour around the lake.

The views were incredible!

We saw several castles. This one is privately owned!

We later walked around the city,

marveling at all the brightly colored buildings and

 

flowers, as we headed back to our hotel

 (the view from our room)

We took a little nap before heading out for dinner (we’re getting old).

The city is just as beautiful at night.

Everything is lit up.

The next day we walked through the Sunday market

bought some massive artichokes and some olives to snack on later.

We rented a paddle boat for a couple of hours and explored the cleanest lake in Europe.

The water is crystal clear.

It felt like we were vacationing on a tropical island.

The water wasn’t maybe as warm…

but that didn’t stop us!

We enjoyed as much of the sun as we could, knowing that we may not see its face for a while.

Thank you job for financing our traveling addiction!

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Boo turns 2!

September 27, 2011

 Two years ago today, a sweet little puppy was born.

We are so thankful to have her as a part of our lives.

I can’t imagine our lives without her! 

 She really didn’t want to wear her birthday hat this year.

 For her birthday, we got her a wooden toy, where we can hide treats under sliding doors and she has to find them.

She loves it!

This dog will do anything for food.

How else do you think I got that hat on her?

Happy Birthday Bella!

We love you!

 

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Aletschgletscher (it’s a long one)

September 19, 2011

Andy had a few more days of vacation, and I don’t work on Mondays, so we thought we’d use our three-day weekend to do a small trip within Switzerland. We knew the weather would be nice on Saturday and Monday, but Sunday wasn’t looking very good. But we didn’t want that one day to spoil our whole trip, so we decided to go anyway.

We settled on a beautiful hotel in a quaint mountaintop village called Fiescheralp. It was high enough in the mountains that we had to take a gondola to get to it.

The first day, Saturday, was beautiful as expected! We hiked up from our hotel to the top of the Eggishorn.

From there we had the most incredible view of the Aletsch Glacier.

 This is the largest glacier in Europe. It is 14 miles long and about 3,300 feet deep! The size of this thing literally takes your breath away. It truly is amazing.

The second day, Sunday, was as wet as the weatherman predicted.

 We were happy to have brought a couple of games to keep us entertained. 

The rain did not bother us. We were happy to be away from home and cozy in our warm hotel drinking lots of hot chocolate.

The last day we were hoping to do the hike we were most excited about.

 Unfortunately, Monday was EVEN worse than Sunday! We could barely see a few feet in front of us. The fog was so thick.

The weatherman predicted this fog in the morning, but thought it would burn off by the afternoon, so we decided to get a head start on the hike and by the time we got to the top we would have the most magnificent view.

The waiting turned into hours and two full games of Keltis.

The fact that no other customers had come to the restaurant the entire time  should have been a sign to us.

The weather only got worse.

Can you see the tunnel in the fog?

This was our way home.

We were happy we found it.

****

The entire next week we daydreamed about the hike and kept checking the weather forecast.

Saturday: sun!

We decided to go back. We couldn’t get it out of our minds. This time we brought a friend.

The trail is a UNESCO trail. I’m not entirely sure what that means, other than it is protected. Which made me thankful because if you can see clearly from this picture, this mountain is basically a pile of boulders with steep drops on both sides. The thought of it being protected was comforting, knowing that someone must be making sure this trail is “safe.” 

The trail had scenic views of the glacier the entire way

(can you see the hikers in the distance?)

it went up…

down…

and around.

Can you find the trail?

It was quite intense. Thank goodness for these trail markers.

We loved every second of it.

As well as our friend Seth.

Bella was amazing!

I couldn’t believe we got her to do this! She truly is a crazy dog!

After a good 3 hours of hiking along this ridge, we made our descent

on to a regular trail

which led closer to the glacier.

The glacier looked as though it was made up of a series of mountain ranges. It’s incredible to think that they are 3,300 ft high!

We eventually got to get right next to the glacier.

It is massive!  

Can you see Andy in the picture about to touch the glacier?

We got right up to the glacier.

The ice was so blue!

 It’s like a whole other world down here.

Everything inside of us wanted to go inside and explore, but with the sounds of falling ice in the distance, we knew we needed to head back.

After about 8 hours of hiking we started our descent back to the village of Fiescheralp with the light of the full moon.

After an amazing day of hiking, I was so in awe of our God that He would create such a beautiful place for us to live in.