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, juin 23, 2008

Honking for joy!

Okay, its 12:30 at night and the city is bursting with excitement and NOISE. In tonight's EuroCup match, Spain just beat the World Cup champions, Italy for the first time since 1920. It is a custom in Europe to drive around and honk you horn and wave your flag when your country wins a football match.

Geneva is very international and there has been lots of horn honking over the past couple of weeks. You always know when a match is over by all the racket. But tonight is a bit more than usual. Who knows how long it will last, there is a law that you can only honk for one hour after the game is over, but we have heard it all through the night before. We also live on one of the busiest streets in town, so we hear it more than most folks. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining at all… I actually like the honking, it’s so festive and really makes the city come alive!

The Spain/Italy match was the last of the four quarterfinal matches and they all have been exciting games and most have been upsets:

Germany (3) - Portugal (2)
Turkey (3) - Croatia (1)
Russia (3) - Netherlands (1)
Spain (4) - Italy (2)

On Wednesday the semifinals begin:
June 25th, Germany - Turkey
June 26th, Russia - Spain
June 29th, The FINAL

As you may have expected, my allegiance had changed once again. With Switzerland out and my pool basically shot now that the Netherlands are out too, I am now supporting Germany! So on Wednesday I hope to see lots of German flag waving and lots of horns honking for Deutschland!

dimanche, juin 22, 2008

Rollin', Rollin', Rollin'...

Wow! This evening Madeleine really surprised us when she rolled over from her front to her back for the first time! We were doing a little "tummy time" when she rolled over all on her own - first to the right and then later to the left. Did I mention she did this all on her own? Now I know that this will never go on her CV or college applications, but we are so impressed! We knew we had a strong little girl, but wow! Maddie, your parents are so proud! :)

samedi, juin 21, 2008

A Perfect Evening

One of my favorite annual events in Geneva is the Fête de la Musique, which takes over the streets and squares of the city for three days every summer. Music is everywhere, with more than 50 stages in the park, in intimate squares, in the Old Town, and everywhere.

We headed out to Parc Bastion on Friday evening to meet our friend Mrs. Stophe (who is also moving back to the states about the same time we are) for dinner and some music. The weather was perfect; I just love warm evenings in the summer. We were having such a good time that we didn't even realize that it was after ten! Set up along the entire length of the park were big drums that were lit on fire when it got dark, it was so cool. There was also a huge torch burning at the entrance of the park. They would never allow all this open flame in a public place in the US, which made it even cooler.

We returned the next day and it was even more packed! We wandered through the Old Town to check out the music up there and then ended up back at the park. We met up with a big group of G's co-workers and I snuck off to hang out with some of my other friends, including Mrs. Stophe. We also ran into people we knew from around town. It seemed like everyone was there - but that is Geneva for you.

All in all it was a great weekend, as usual. I'm thrilled we were here to enjoy the festivities, and with good friends and the beautiful weather who could ask for anything better? :)

jeudi, juin 19, 2008

Here comes the sun...

Hallelujah! Can I hear that one more time? Hallelujah!! A miracle has happened today... the sun has come out in dreary, rainy, overcast Geneva. After three months of bed rest and almost a week of hospitalization after Maddie was born I was ready to get out and enjoy a warm, sunny spring. But the weather had different plans.

Almost all of May and June have been downright bleak from a weather perspective, although it hasn't stopped Madeleine and I from getting out every day to enjoy the city for the last two months we are living here. We have been quite busy in fact. After all the grandmas had left we have been to numerous lunches and coffees with friends, lots of lakeside walks, a few doctor’s visits (three for me including the dentist and one for Maddie), and busy running lots of errands. We also went by my Toastmasters club to say goodbye, attended Mr. and Mrs. Kofi’s daughter’s 2nd birthday party, and attended a picnic/party that ended up in my friend Tigger’s living room thanks to the weather. We even went out to watch the start of the big sailboat race held each year on Lake Geneva, although that morning there wasn't even a hint of wind. But we had a nice time eating breakfast right on the water and watching the baby swans and ducks paddle by.

I’ve also gone out on my own for the first time since Madeleine was born. I went with Mrs. Kofi and Company to see the Sex and the City movie last week. It was great; not because it was an award winning film, but because it was like visiting old friends I hadn’t seen in a while. Then a few days later I went out for an hour to help celebrate my friend’s birthday at the Kapinski Bar that overlooks the lake. It was a gorgeous night and the view was incredible. But although it was great to get out by myself for a little while I was so happy to see my little girl again when I returned. I really missed her!

Now that the beautiful weather is here (and the forecast is for more of the same) I hope to be out more than usual, especially since we are moving back to California in less than two weeks! I still can't believe we are going. But having gorgeous weather for the last two weeks we're here is one of the best going away gifts we could get! :)

jeudi, juin 12, 2008

What happened?!?

It was a sad day after Switzerland was eliminated from the EuroCup following a 2-1 loss to Turkey. The Swiss have lost both of their Group A matches, so I suppose they deserve to be out. As co-hosts to the games, I was really hoping they would make it at least to the quarter finals, but I guess it just wasn't meant to be. So now I'm at a loss as to who to pull for. In the football pool I'm in I have the Netherlands taking it all... so I guess now I'm cheering for the Orangemen! Go Holland!!

mercredi, juin 11, 2008

It's a small world after all

Nearly three years ago, when we first moved to Switzerland I started my little blog to keep our friends and family back home up to date with our going-ons here in Europe. A fellow blogger, Sabine, a gal who had lived in Switzerland and had relocated to California (my opposite) found my blog and we would exchange comments from time to time.

Well, just to show you how small Switzerland is, it turns out that Sabine and I have a mutual friend here in Geneva, Jessica! When Sabine came out to visit this month we met up (with fellow blogger and my friend, Marcy) for coffee. What a small world!! We had a great time getting to know each other in person and I look forward to someday meeting up with her in California. The world really is a very small place. :)

samedi, juin 07, 2008

Welcome Europe!

Europe has descended upon our little city for the 2008 UEFA European Football Championships. Commonly referred to as Euro 2008, the championships will take place in 8 cities, throughout Switzerland and Austria from June 7th to June 29th. As one of the host cities, Geneva has pulled out all the stops to welcome fans who have come here from all over Europe to watch the games.

We don't actually have tickets to the games, but we are excited to be part of the action at the "Fan Zone" in Planpalais. The Fan Zone is where there is a huge screen set up so folks can watch the games as well as dozens of stands to get food and drinks. We went down to the Fan Zone on the opening night when Switzerland took on the Czech Republic. There were thousands of people there and I was a bit nervous to take Maddie in, but she slept through it all, even with screaming fans and air horns going off all around her. Now there is a true football fan in the making! :)

Unfortunately Switzerland lost their first match, but the tournament is still young. I'm really looking forward to the next few weeks of festivities that surround the games. Hopp Suisse!!

"The Fan Zone" at Planpalais in Geneva

We made it through security without a hitch!

Enjoying the game at "The Fan Zone"

dimanche, juin 01, 2008

It's that time of year again...

While G's mom was out to visit she got to experience one of the great annual events of Europe - the Eurovision Song Contest. Since 1956 the contest has been a European institution and this year 43 countries participated. The band ABBA was discovered after winning the contest for Sweden in 1974.

Basically, how the contest works is each participating country submits one song, which is performed live in a television program and the countries then proceed to cast votes for the other countries' songs: nations are not allowed to vote for their own song. It is sort of like a huge, multi-cultural "American Idol". On the night of the final there are Eurovision parties that are hosted by different bars all around town, but this year we watched the competition on television at home.

This years Eurovision Contest was hosted by Serbia. My vote went to Switzerland (of course), but in the end Russia was declared the winner. Though mocked by many for it’s over the top glitz, the contest is loved by its many followers and it is consistently one of the most watched television programs of the year. It's true, most of the performances were pretty cheesy (there was even a pirate song performed by a group from Latvia), but the Eurovision Contest is always a lot of fun!