Bonjour de la Suisse

Hello from Switzerland! ~~ The adventures of a California girl who got married to a great guy, G, and traded in her old life for the chance to live in a foreign land and live the expat life for a couple years. We live in Geneva, Switzerland with our globe-trotting cat, Scout.

Ma photo
Nom :
Lieu : California, United States

"The whole object of travel is not to set foot on foreign land; it is at last to set foot on one's own country as a foreign land." ~ G.K. Chesterton

lundi, juillet 31, 2006

Congratulations Darren & Christina!

I first met D when I was a starving student at Davis. Chica, myself, and three others were getting certified in SCUBA out on the coast and we needed a place to crash. D was nice enough to pony up his couch & the floor to us. (It certainly beat our accommodations the following evening when we snuck into a campsite, where we froze all night before having to peel on our very wet & very cold wetsuits for our final day of frigid, murky diving.)

I meet C a few years ago under much better circumstances, at a warm & friendly bar when she & D started dating. I liked her so much and knew that they were perfect together. When I heard they were engaged I was thrilled! As a recent bride myself, C & I bonded over wedding planning and an exchange of tips & tricks for putting together a great wedding.

And the wedding was great! It was beautiful, elegant, and touching. G & I had a wonderful time. And even though the weather cooperated a little too much, the wedding & reception couldn't have been more perfect! I even hauled my potted place card all the way back to Geneva with me.

After the reception a group of us headed over to Burlingame Station for a few drinks & a little pool. We had a good time, but it was a somewhat early night for us, since in the morning both G & I were heading back to Europe. G to Geneva and me to Paris with the maid-of-honor, J, for two weeks of travels through France & Italy! Oh yeah, and I still had to pack! :)

(And by the way, if you are wondering, these pictures were taken with the post-fell-in-the-water-off-the-house-boat camera. The pictures came out, but they still sort of hazy. It was the only camera we had... better than no pics at all!)

Congratulations D & C!
I wish you all the love and happiness in the world! :)

The kiss

The cake

J & me before our big trip! :)

The fellas

Hanging out at the after party!

dimanche, juillet 30, 2006

So much to celebrate, so little time!

Driving back from the house boat, I realized that my time in the US was running short. I had one more week and about a month's worth of things to do. There were people to see, errands to run, and packing to do. On top of that I had a raging ear infection and a dentist appointment to go to, so I wasn't too thrilled with the week ahead.

I didn't get a lot of sleep or get all my errands done, but I did manage to stay calm (even in the dentist's chair), keep everything in perspective, got my priorities in line and simply saw as many people as I could possibly see in the short time I had. I had such a good time hanging out and catching up.

My biggest joy was meeting my newest niece, Rona. (I'm not sure if my cousin-in-law's kids are called cousins once removed or second cousins twice removed, or what... so all three are simply my nieces!) She is so cute and I'm so happy that I got to meet her in her first couple weeks of life! I've been friends with Rona's parents since we were kids, so to see this precious little addition to the world was really special for me.

Happy Birthday Rona! Welcome to the family! :)

samedi, juillet 29, 2006

Lots of Action and other fun Stuff

International airfare $$$ ...
Gas for the boat $4.59/gal. ...
New bikini $50 ...
A week on the lake with friends... Priceless. :)

So a friend here in Geneva, who is originally from California asked me before I left, "Let me get this straight... You are living in Europe and are vacationing in REDDING?!?"

Yup, that's right!!!

This is my 9th year on our annual house boat trip and I'm thrilled that I was able to make it. To me, this is the perfect vacation; hanging out with friends, relaxing, spending endless hours wake boarding, and trying new things (like the Wake Float & Wake Surf -- I'm a big fan!)

There's just something about turning down Estrellita Road and driving down that final mile to the lake, past the little store and then seeing the marina through the trees, opening out onto the big blue lake beyond!

This year, Mrs. Mingle and I drove up together on Sunday (thanks for sharing the long ride up!) We were quick to catch up with the rest of the crew. After all of 5 minutes we were in the water, Corona & noodles in hand, basking in the sun!

So the week was a blast as always. Some of my favorite memories of the week are of the back flips, guitar playing under the stars, fabulous glasses, and of course all that boarding! Mrs. Mingle & Chica have both documented the festivities brilliantly in their respected blogs. (I tried not to read them before I wrote this, but it was too hard to resist!!) Not to recreate the wheel, but here is a brief summary and a few pics from me:

In keeping with tradition, there are always a lot of games being played on the boat. Hearts, Scrabble, Backgammon, Dominoes, and board games of every kind. This year I was introduced to a new game that I really love called SayGo. If you like Scrabble, you will like this too! Fun stuff. Oh, and nice job by my husband, G, who is the reigning, undefeated house boat hearts champion... until next year when I'm sure he will be dethroned... by me. ;)

I would also like to mention what great sports the girls were! Not only did we all achieve (or at least attempt) a back flip, but in our sudden and unforeseen loss in "Girls vs. Boys Pictionary", we all jumped into the lake in the middle of the night. In addition, no man wanted to challenge us in the great, "Who can swim the furthest underwater?" contest. Congrats Mrs. Mingle!

In addition to the vast amounts of alcohol, we had some great food (including Swiss Alplermagrone) on the boat this year too, even fresh made brownies. The only problem was, we didn't have any oil to cook it with. So a couple of us putted over to the neighbor’s boat to ask for oil. A very nice man, proudly wearing a Speedo, shared his vegetable oil with us in exchange for taking him & his son wake boarding on our boat. Oh, it's always fun to meet the locals!

We did have a few other bumps in the road here and there. It rained on us two nights, Mr. Mingle ran into a bear on his hike (although after he returned safely we all though it was pretty cool), my camera ended up in the lake, and we almost ran out of Diet Pepsi (just kidding Chica!). But the highlights were all worth it, like the 6+ hour lightning show and the hoards of butterflies that hung out with us all week.

And my absolute favorite thing of the week? Boarding. I rode my trusty wake board pretty well, but I was tempted with other fun stuff like the Wake Surf (a smaller version of a surf board that you can ride behind a boat... no rope!) and the Wake Float which is a wake board that is perfectly flat on the bottom. Both were a little scary at first, but I soon fell in love. I'm thrilled to say I pulled off my first 360 degree turn (after a few failed attempts and some pretty nasty falls), although the trick of the week was T with his 720 degree turn on the last day! Sweet. I can't wait to try it again!! :)

As always, nothing can compare (not even wake boarding) with the great memories and good times spent with my house boat crew. You guys are the reason I count down the weeks every year and why I love this trip so much! Thanks for another great year! :)

The undefeated hearts champion.

Cards anyone?

W & K at the marina.



The blogging beauties!

Surfer girl

Ready to ski?

Let's go!

Home sweet home.

Another beautiful day in paradise.

dimanche, juillet 09, 2006

USA update

Well, my time in the US is quickly coming to an end. In 4 hours I will be picking up J and we will be off to Paris to start a two week adventure through France & Italy.

Over all my time back in Cali has been wonderful! I saw lots of people (including the newest addition to the family, little Rona) and ran about a million errands! I got a lot done, including picking up or wedding album!! :)

I have so much to catch up on and so little time! House boat, my 4th of July week, and D & C's wedding that we attended earlier today. I stayed out a little too late at the after party and now I'm paying the price... no sleep! I'll be updating on all the events of the past couple of weeks (and J & my travels) as soon as I'm back in Geneva (in two weeks).

In other news, my fingers are crossed for France to win the World Cup final later today (sorry all you Italy fans). I will sadly be on a plane for the entirety of the game, but I'm hoping the pilots will be kind enough to give us updates.

Go France!!!

samedi, juillet 01, 2006

Congratulations Mike & Georgia!

After one day home in California I was off to Vegas to help celebrate my dear friend's wedding! It was my first Vegas wedding and I wasn't sure what to expect. Would Elvis show up? Would Celine Dion drop by and belt out a tune? Thankfully none of that occurred. The wedding was a gorgeous, elegant, high-class affair held at the Bellagio. We had a wonderful time, the ceremony was beautiful, and the reception was so much fun! We danced the night away after eating some of the best wedding food I have ever had!

I arrived about noon on Saturday and had some time to kill so I decided to head over to the Fashion Show Mall on the strip to buy a French dictionary. I asked the valet guy if it was walkable and he said, "Oh yea, it's only about a mile." A mile? No problem. I set out on my journey. Well, it would have been fine if it weren't 112 degrees outside! About half way there I realized that I was in danger of developing heat stroke! I carried on, ducking in and out of casinos on the way. I also consumed three bottles of water (at $4 a pop!), but I'm glad to say I now have the dictionary!

By the time I got back to the hotel my roommate had arrived and I went up to meet her. Because I was "single" (G couldn't make it so I was going it alone), I roomed with a friend of the bride who also wanted to cut down on the high cost of our Vegas accommodations. She was fantastic! We hug out and watched the world cup (Argentina: México, sadly México was defeated). After, we got ready for the big event and on the way to the Bellagio went shopping for a necklace & handbag for me, since I completely forgot to bring any accessories.

At the wedding my roommate from the dorms at UC Davis was there with her husband (who was also a college roommate of mine). I hadn't seen them in almost 10 years and it was so nice to catch up! I met a lot of great people too. After the reception quite a few of us headed over to the Baccarat Bar in the Bellagio. We saw the star of Cirque du Soleil, but when I went over to talk to him, he was gone! We partied well into the night and by the time I made it back to the hotel I only had two hours before I was supposed to head back to the airport. You gotta love the 18 hour Vegas trip!

So, there I was at five in the morning, dragging my feet to gate C11 to wait for my flight. I sit down and the guy across from me calls out my name! I couldn't believe it. It was a guy I lived with in the dorms at Davis! He was in Vegas for a bachelor party and was heading home to the Bay Area as well. What are the odds?!? It was great to catch up with him too!

After landing in Oakland we said our goodbyes. I was off to pick up Mingle for our five hour drive up to the lake to begin our week of house boating! The next journey was about to begin!

Meanwhile the happy couple was off to Italy to begin their two week honeymoon. I was so happy I was able to share in their celebration in Vegas!

Congratulations again and I wish you guys many, many years of happiness! :)

Starting a new life together!

My roommate at the wedding!

My college roommates & their new little girl (baby makes four!)

The happy couple