Time flies! As we are packing up the house and ourselves to make the trip abroad to Zurich again (we leave April 26th) knowing we won't be home until August, I am flooded with so many emotions in reflecting upon our journey last year. I have said it before, but gosh, it sure is amazing what a difference a year makes.
Last year at this time, Grace (now 3.5) barely spoke and Emery (now almost 2.5) didn't speak or even stand! That made boarding trains extremely difficult as Grace would run off in one direction and I had to sit Emery on the ground while folding up the double stroller to hop on a train (all in German, which I do not know!) carrying the two girls and a stroller up the train stairs and explore on a rail system I had never been on before even pre-kids. This year, so much less anxiety!
We know to pack for the seasons -- where Spring can feel like winter (it snowed last year when we arrived!) and summer is hot, hot, hot! I know my way around the city, and what the best options are for the stroller. I can read signs and trust my girls (mostly) to follow my lead. We also know where and how to purchase anything we forget or cannot fit in our bags and that PlayDoh can be ordered alongside my grocery delivery from CoopatHome. We've learned that traveling with small, soft bags beats big, hard cases as we need to eventually store the bags and what gear we can skip bringing but also the essentials (purchased extra lovies for both girls incase of emergency!)
This year they will also be in school 2-3 days a week, the first "schooling" for Emerson and of course, Grace's first bi-lingual school (German and English!) The school is right next to the Lindt Chocolate factory so Grace has been referring to it as her "Chocolate School"! Wednesdays are for Forest School which includes rain or shine hiking, exploration and camp fires.
There is still lots of "new" to uncover, obviously starting with both of my kiddos in school and me balancing my course work (with my "live" Vanderbilt class sessions occuring from 2-5am Zurich time!) Last year we were in a town called Oerlikon near Grant's office which was lovely and super family-friendly but this year we wanted to be closer to the water so we will be living in a small village named Kilchberg with views of the Lake and the Alps. Grant has visited the apartment a few times and we look forward to moving-in as well as sharing with friends and family coming to visit. I have never really spent time in this village so I am looking forward to learning about the Silver Coast and exploring all of the offerings. We will also rent a car this time as our flat comes with a parking spot. I believe this will be my first time driving abroad but I look forward to exploring all of the fun hikes and attractions off the train lines.
This past weekend we hosted a double surprise party for Grandbarb who is celebrating her 60th by flying in her brother and his wife for a surprise on Friday then followed it up with a celebration with all of her friends and family and book club on Saturday. It was magical seeing her expression and celebrating as a family! With that behind us, I have two finals for my doctorate courses left to tackle over the next week before we hop on our flights for a quick stop on the East Coast and then "Hello, Switzerland!"