Sunday, April 15, 2012

2012 A New Year

 2012 Events so far...

Brooklyn had a piano recital with her teacher Michel Muller.
As you can see he is quite tall and Brooklyn feels about half his size.
But she played very well for her recital: a Bach piece, Mendelssohn and Chopin.

 We had our friend Julie Heyland visit us from Calgary.  It was so fun to go to the mountains, Interlaken and Chamonix.  We rode cog wheel trains and went up to the top of the Jungfrau mountain.  We also sped down in Chamonix on a luge sled.

Another favorite visit was to the Cailler chocolate factory.  Reina is holding up toasted almonds from a gigantic sac that we were allowed to sample.  The best part was the sampling room at the end of the tour where you could eat your fill of chocolates- honestly I was a little sick of chocolate by the end.

  Here is Kelsey at the hospital.  She had to stay overnight for her tonsillectomy.  She was very brave and we are so happy that she can breathe much better now and no longer has sleep apnea.
We found some really cool caves in the mountains to visit.  It felt just like we were in a British Columbia rain forest outside the caves, and inside the kids LOVED seeing all the rock formations and walking by the underground river.  The billboard below shows a little bit about what we saw inside the caves.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Before Christmas...

We always try not to schedule too much for December and it always ends up feeling as crazy as ever.
This year was no exception and we were happy to have Colin with us for all of it.

We started by taking the kids to an evening Christmas concert at VictoriaHall in Geneva. This was a great experiment to see if Kelsey (only 3) and Alek would be able to sit through an hour of hearing an orchestra play songs from the Nutcracker- by Tchykovsky. Thanks to the rococo over the top glittering hall and the fact that we could see the harp and timpani from the first balcony, the kids were very entertained and we had a great evening. Even Alek said it was the best night ever.

Next was a trip to the Christmas markets-
The first one we visited was close to home at the castle of Chillon where we saw a medieval fair. We saw foot powered pottery wheels and wood lathes. We ate lentil soup in the 1000 year old dinning hall, helped make rope and coins and watched sword fighting techniques. It was a cold day but we still had fun.

Next we planned a quick weekend trip up to Germany to see our friends in Freiburg - a 3 hour car journey.
The city was so fun and it felt like we were stepping into fairytale book. The houses looked like gingerbread creations and the center of town has a wonderful old clock tower with a tunnel for the tram (city bus) underneath. The whole town is decorated with red stars hanging from the buildings and the markets were full of people.

Almost everyone walks or rides bikes and it was fun to see people cart their Christmas trees home over their shoulders or sitting on the baby carriage - with baby inside.

One of our highlights there was celebrating Brooklyn's 12th birthday! I had baked the cake beforehand and brought it up in the car with us. But I forgot candles and luckily our friends helped us find that oh so important accessory to the cake.
We all had a fabulous time and the kids loved going to Ute and Dirk's house.


With all the events before Christmas we tried to keep Christmas day nice and quiet. And because it was on Sunday we had a low key day playing with presents and eating a farm hen for dinner.