Another week in the books of our Swiss Adventure and I can honestly say we are starting to feel at home. While Mother Nature brought a mix of sunny days along with quite a few rainy ones this past week, the girls and I explored down by the lake - mastering the trams, feeding duckies, and even a nice long train ride to Rapperswil where we explored the kinder Zoo - seeing Camels, Flamingos, Penguins, Cheetahs, Giraffes, Zebras and more! While intimidating at first, the Swiss public transportation systems are ridiculously reliable and user-friendly with the awesome app that literally has a, "Take me home" button you push and just follow directions :)
Grant and I had an opportunity to steal away for a memorable date-night on Thursday, despite the onset of a tonsillitis for me. Right downstairs in our building, through a back-entrance door, we snuck into an intimate dinner at Hombi's Salon - a place of magic filled with creative passion by world-class tenor Christoph Hombis. When I met with him earlier that day, he requested we arrive anytime between 6 and 7 for cocktails but insisted we absolutely must be seated by 7pm. Grant was running late but we snuck in just in time to enjoy a lovely glass of white wine and some appetizers before the tenor/chef got to work preparing an immaculate dinner of pasta and meats and the freshest, most thinly cut prosciutto I have ever had - I will dream of it for years to come. After the main course, a lovely trio played classical music for us, with Hombi joining in - captivating the intimate audience before we enjoyed our dessert and stumbled back upstairs - having been served a few too many bottles of wine :) Truly an evening I will remember for the rest of our lives.
When we first decided to make the trip to Switzerland with our two little girls, everyone immediately asked us where we would be travelling. I felt a lot of pressure - initially mapping out day and weekend trips for the girls and I while Grant worked, with longer getaways planned for the family. But reality is, we have two little girls, ages 1 and 2 - and what they want to do is play at the playgrounds, run around outside, and take in all that is new right here - which has led me to let go of that expectation and truly enjoy this opportunity as a chance for our family to live in Switzerland, not just use it as a landing board. Going to the market, exploring the rail system, feeding ducks along the lake and visiting local attractions that still let us get our naps in are what toddler day dreams are made of - and we are revelling in it! They wouldn't remember seeing historic landmarks, and while maybe a picture would help, I hope to bring them back to Europe when they can appreciate those things, but for now, focus on what they do revel in - picnics in the parks with mom and dad. Everything is new for each of us - no matter how well travel Grant and I had been in our single lives, exploring with our littles is new through the lens as a parent - and it is incredible!
Finally adjusted to the time change, everyone is doing well! I am a bit down for the count with an incurable sore throat I can't get over - the remedies provided at the Apothekary here were of little help - with Grant heading back to the States Thursday, I may request some American cure-alls as my Mother's Day present. ;)
Last week we also attended a local playdate for English speaking moms at the GZ Oerlikon which was a lovely way to learn of some fun places to explore. Grant stole me away for a few hours Saturday while the girls napped and we went to the famous Dolder Hotel - enjoying the modern art and a glass of wine while the rain came down. Amelie also treated our family to a traditional Swiss raclette on Wednesday which still has me full. Our days are simple, filled with small adventures we can savor stress-free.
We have had great luck in meeting wonderful new friends - both through church and in our building - and I look forward to getting to know each family more as this week unfolds. I never would have imagined a more family-friendly city - and our community specifically is just filled with new friends all who have little ones of the age of Emery and Grace. With Grant traveling for Mother's Day, I am hoping to plan some fun local adventures with the girls this week to celebrate how happy they have made me as a mother and how lucky we are to write this chapter of our family's adventure here in Switzerland .... strong likelihood it will involve chocolate, if not chocolate and cheese :)
Also would be remiss if I didn't give a glowing shout-out to the birthday girl, my beautiful Mom aka Grandbarb/Barbie! We love you, miss you, and can't wait to see you in just a few weeks! Enjoy your special day!