Saturday, February 27, 2010

A little giveaway...

We were in Heidelberg this past week. Brian was up there for work so we took the opportunity to join him and explore. It was wonderful; the highlight was a little chocolate shop we found. Heaven.

So that got me thinking...

Some of my favorite blogs do giveaways. Why haven't I?

I'm going to start. And I'm going to start with chocolate.

This giveaway will be for Lindt's Fleur de Sel Dark Chocolate and maybe a little treat thrown in.

Sorry, no Heidelberg chocolate. That is long gone.

You have until noon EST on Wednesday March 3 to leave a comment on this post. I will randomly pick the winner and announce that evening.

Good luck!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

11 months.

So, in one month I'll have a one year old. How did that happen?

Anyway, Betti was eleven months old yesterday. She's walking and moving all over the place. She's growing way too fast for my liking; she weighs 10 kilos already! I am quickly running out of clothes for her. And Grammie, no, that does not mean you should go out shopping and send her clothes.

Other than the extremely mobile 11 month old, we have had one crazy week!

We managed to get out of the house on Monday but have been housebound ever since due to a nasty virus Betti picked up at some point. She's been a mess.

A cute mess.

And of course she gets this whopper of a cold when Brian is out of town for work. Isn't that always the case?!

Marion's been handling being stuck home a variety of ways.

Dancing, Drawing

on the wall.

And learning to write her name!

Thank goodness Brian came home last night.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Catch up: Malta: Take Two

Yes, I am still catching up on vacation posts from summer 2009. But don't you worry, there is an end in sight.

Where we left off: Brian was in Malta for work (he spent the majority of the summer there). However, we were able to visit Glasi Hergiswil during one of his weekends home.

After two months of missing our husband and father, we decided to go down to Malta for a week. We searched for an apartment, asked a friend of ours to join us to keep us company while Brian worked, and off we went!

We arrived in the evening so took that night to get settled in. The next day we hopped on a boat to the blue lagoon on Comino, one of the islands that makes up the country of Malta.

Of course, Marion found a friend on the boat. This girl makes friends everywhere she goes.

Once we arrived we got on a speedboat to check out the coves in the blue lagoon.

This one had a 'window' according to Marion.

After our quick boat ride, we got to swim a bit.

Thank goodness. It was HOT.

The rest of the trip we tried to find pools we could get in to because it was so hot. Luckily, a resort was right down the street from our rental.

Betti chilling on the lounger. Look how tiny she was!

Marion in the pool.

My lovely friend Emma and her son- she was a huge help!

The girls passed out after an active day at the pool.

Although we only saw Brian in the mornings and evenings because he had to work, we still had a great time!

And being late to post this has some advantages. It's nice to see the sun, even if it is in pictures!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Olympic spirit?

Olympic spirit not entirely available to international residents at NBC.

No downhill skiing point of view video for me. Boo.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

For realsies.

I was wasting what little free time I have on facebook the other day when I saw this:

The ads you see when you have a European IP address are odd, no?

My next thought was that this had to be a scam. This couldn't possibly be for real, could it?

Oh, it's for real. And they are advertising on facebook.

Thanks to Google, I found the webpage for this project.

So the US holds a lottery for green card applicants while Switzerland cuts their permits in half.


Friday, February 12, 2010

The End of Switzerland

Chantal, over at One Big Yodel, posted about a Newsweek article today and I would like to share it with you.

Here you go: The End of Switzerland.

Now, the end of the article says the author lived and worked in Switzerland. I'm not sure where though. I find that Swiss cities are still some of the cleanest I've ever been to, the trains are 99% on time, and the highway construction is way more efficient than in the US.

But the rest? Well, I can't say I disagree with it all.

Feel free to give your take here or head on over to Chantal's blog to join the discussion.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Chateau d'Oex, part deux

Saturday brought nice weather so we busted out of our apartment after Betti's morning nap to explore the town a little bit more. We did some window shopping, checked out our restaurant options, and decided on pizza. While we were sitting there, a band stopped outside to play.

Photo Sharing - Video Sharing - Photo Printing

They really got into it. The chef in our restaurant then rewarded them with some bottles of wine and they got even more into it. Marion loved it.

Lunch was good except for the annoying preschooler sitting at the table. So we gave her our camera. Here is a lunch experience through the eyes of Marion.

After lunch we walked around the town a little bit more. Chateau d'Oex is a small town but it was so nice outside we stretched our walk as long as we could.

Notice the British flag in the last picture. This town was full of Brits. During our walk we stumbled upon a balloon museum.
Our afternoon included more pool time.
Seriously. Going on vacation with kids? Get a pool. It's a lifesaver. Unless you have a child like Betti, who doesn't get excited about things like pools.

Sadly, the next day brought some of the best weather of the week and it was time for us to go. At least we were able to see some beautiful views on the way out.

The good weather didn't last for long though. We found ourselves in a massive snow storm on the way home. Did you know that snow plows in Switzerland travel together so that they can get the entire road at once? Makes sense to me, no plowing snow into the other lane. However, it completely sucks if you get stuck behind the plows. Luckily we did not. But we saw a ton of people on the other side of the road that did.

After a long drive in the snow we managed to make it home safely so that Marion and Brian could make me a yummy birthday cake.

A perfect end to a perfect family celebration!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Chateau d'Oex

Last year I was told about the International Balloon Festival in Chateau d'Oex, a small town in the French section of Switzerland. The festival takes place at the end of every January. We missed it last year but I thought it would be a perfect getaway for our family for my birthday this year so I booked it straight away.

Brian had some work come up at the last minute so I took the kids and drove down to set up shop with them by myself.

We arrived a little early, which didn't make the property manager too happy. But I had a screaming hungry baby so I really didn't give a crap.

We settled in and went to bed so that we could wake up and enjoy the pool in the building where we stayed.

Marion doesn't care where we go as long as there is a pool around. It's amazing how a little water can make a vacation. Note to self: always book a hotel or rent an apartment that has a pool!

After some pool time, Brian arrived and we went out for a walk to see the festival, some balloons, and take a helicopter ride.

After the helicopter, we went into the event hangar to catch the end of the children's day facilities. Marion had a snack and enjoyed the free bouncer

Brian and I marveled at the proximity of the absinthe booth to the play area.

After some bouncing we headed into town to get some groceries then back to the apartment.

The next day we decided to go up the mountain for some sledding. The weather wasn't so great (snow!) so Brian went down the mountain with Marion while Betti and I hung out in the restaurant at the top. Then it was back home for rest while Brian did some solo skiing in the afternoon.

Friday brought some more crappy weather (more snow!). Betti and I took the opportunity to relax at the apartment while Brian took Marion for her first ski lesson. She couldn't contain her excitement and prepared for her lesson super early.

Night glow was scheduled for Friday night and I had been looking forward to it for awhile. The website didn't say it was canceled so, despite our thoughts that it may not happen because of the weather, we decided to take the kids out for a night snow walk.

It was canceled.

So back we went, praying for better weather on Saturday.

To be continued, since this is getting kind of long. This is kind of a boring post (sorry!) but that is what happens on 'relaxing' vacations, or vacations with kids that have relaxing moments!