Thursday, August 28, 2008


I'm not looking for a political debate from anybody, but I just had to say that for the first time in my life I was applauding into my television for something other than an athletic event. Whether you vote for him or not, you have to agree that was an amazing speech and that we should try to achieve all that he said tonight. I thought it was incredible and so inspiring.

Friday, August 15, 2008

A Bit About NY and Switzerland

Part one of our trip...

New York was lots of fun, but too short of a visit for me. I got into NYC with my mom for a yummy Italian dinner and to see Gypsy, which was incredible. There's no way I can give Patty LuPone's performance justice through writing about it, so I will just say that you have to go and see it if you are able. What a voice. What a stage presence.

The next day we had a family barbecue and it looked like it was going to rain all day, but fortunately it only rained for an hour and then we were able to be outside. J enjoyed seeing his family, especially his cousin R. R is a big Yankees fan and was trying to watch the game. J was so taken by R after watching him swim and dive in the pool that he didn't want to leave R's side. So this is what it was like for R watching the game:
J: R, are you watching the Yankees? I will watch the Yankees too.
J: R, did you see the man hit the ball? Did you see it R?
J: R, the man hit the ball again. The man SCORED! He scored R!
J: He hit the ball again. He scored again, R. He scored again! Again, R!
(notice that R is not saying anything? Typical nine year old couldn't get a word in edgewise)
J and R pose for a pic. J was much more enthusastic.

Our flight to Swtizerland was the next day on our anniversary. We kept joking that B was being so romantic taking me to Europe for our anniversary. Well, if your husband ever books you a romantic holiday with it beginning on Swiss Airlines, you may want to rethink those plans. It wasn't horrible, but let's just say it was one of the most uncomfortable flights I have ever been on in my life. It started when our seats weren't together in spite of the fact that I called to do just that the night before and was told that it was taken care of. When we asked the ticketing agent to fix the problem, we were told he couldn't because we had already checked in. So we had to spend another half hour or so in another line waiting to talk to the higher up guy who apparently has the power to hit the change button on his computer. A lady next to the higher up guy ended up helping us. Her advice? Ask the person next to me to switch with my husband so we could sit together. I reminded her of two things, 1)we are in New York and people don't just give things up for the heck of it and 2) people aren't always nice just because you ask them to be. This made the lady have to actually do her job and fix our problem for us, which she reluctantly did. It's not like we were asking for free upgrades, so I have no idea why this was so difficult. Well I felt terrible for B once he was sitting next to me because it turned out his seat was broken and he couldn't adjust his headrest for 7 hours.

How was the service once on board you ask? Well, I was asked if I wanted ice in my gin and tonic? (Nah, I prefer to drink it warm...I can't understand the protectiveness Europeans have with ice as most will only give you one cube and turn their nose up at you if you ask for more.) Our dinner options were minced chicken and rice or a vegetarian option. I asked for the vegetarian option, which was no more than pasta on pasta, but it annoyed the flight attendant that she had to go and get it for me. Did we get to sleep on the plane? That may have been possible had the 500 pound man in front of us not insist on getting up every five minutes to readjust himself and plop down into his seat, practically sending the tray table into our guts. And just as I was falling asleep, they decided it was time to serve breakfast, about three hours after I had just eaten "dinner". If I hadn't been nailed in the elbow by the cart, I may have slept, but I gave up after that point.

I'm sure there is someone out there laughing at this experience because they have been through much worse. Believe me, I know it wasn't horrible, but being uncomfortable for a long period of time is no fun and that's how this felt.

We didn't let our jet lag get us down. Our quick trip to Geneva to visit B's cousin M was delightful. As far as cities go, Geneva is not one of those super romantic European cities, but it's definitely nice enough. The lake area is extremely pleasant, and it was made even better by the fact that Fete Geneve was taking place during our time there. There were carnival rides, vendors and live music along the lake, so it was lots of fun to walk around. We also visited an excavation site underneath a church that dated back to the 5th century. It's not every day you get to walk around rock that old, so that was pretty cool.

A View of Lake Geneva
We also took a day trip into France (sounds far, but it was only about a half hour away) to the towns of Yvoire and Evian. Yvoire is a simple, medieval city situated on the water complete with it's requisite castle, beautiful gardens, and charming streets. I found the most darling children's toy shop there and wished I was able to bring J home everything it contained. Evian is also right on the water and is famous because of that little company that produces bottled water there. There is a small tourist museum about the water that comes from there (we skipped it and just took a brochure). Of course we also bought a bottle to drink while we were there because after all, when in Evian...

The best part was spending time with M and J and eating some wonderful food. Expensive food (eveything in Switzerland is expensive) but delicious! A lunchtime salad nearly gave me a heart attack when I realized it was $27! The scary thing was after a few days we were used to it. Not sure if our bank account will be in a few weeks! One of the best salads I had was made with arugula, smoked salmon, cucumbers, tomatoes, mangoes, and a light balsamic vinaigrette. The sweetness of the mangoes matched so well with the saltiness of the salmon; I already bought everything I need to recreate this at home (at a much smaller price, too!). I also think I ate my body weight in yummy bread, but that has ended since our return because you just can't get it in Texas.

Yvoire streets

The castle at Yvoire

We thought this kid could have been J.

I'll cover Poland later. Unfortunately we have a sick kid today. 102.5 fever appeared out of nowhere and the spots are back in his throat. Here's hoping we kick it fast and don't pass it on to anyone else in the house.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

For the Joneser

She knows who she is, and this is just to tide her over. :) We've returned from our European wedding vacay and my body is completely confused as to what time it is. That's what happens when you cross the pond and don't sleep a wink, sleep for 12 hours after staying up for 36, lay completely awake the next night, sleep for two hours on a plane and then stay up until 2 am that night, go to a wedding and dance until 5 am, cross the pond again, sleep 8 hours, return to original destination at 2 am this morning after hours of delays. Of course our child slept in so that we could adjust a bit. Until 6:50.

So much to write about, but I am too tired to do it today. It took all of my effort to go grocery shopping and as much as I would like to nap right now, I'm afraid it will only screw up my sleep rhythms even more. I've got 5 nights to get back on track before the next trip begins. I know, I've got big problems, right?

Hopefully I'll get my pics downloaded sometime soon and I'll be able to share the adventure a bit more with you. For now I'll leave you all in suspense and tell you that I eventually found out what that wedding invitation said. Stay tuned...