Thursday, July 30, 2009

Home for 12 whole days!

We have returned - again - to our own beds.

Bon Jour! Merci! Parlez vou Englais? Trois Croissant. Un Poulet. Ecole. Telecabine.

I know a few more French words but my fear of misspelling (which is now evident to anyone who knows how to spell in French) outweighs my desire to show off any more of my linguistic skill.

All I know is that it's hard to switch from a language in which ALL letters of the word are pronounced - German, to a language with many silent letters and pronunciation puzzles - French.

I still haven't finished posting our US travels. And now I have approximately 800 pic's to sort from a week in Chamonix (Mont Blanc). I have a photo taking illness and I blame it all on the age of the digital camera. I'm waiting for my computer to throw a fit and refuse to load/store anything. Which is why I've invested in an external hard drive so I can get them all transfered and stored elsewhere. But first I have to delete & sort.

After laundry, pool cleaning and yardwork.

I've not had a computer on these travels and thus it has been a relatively technical free summer.

Which is not such a bad thing.

I'm off to vacuum the pool. Will hope to post later today :).

Thursday, July 16, 2009

California Dreamin'

I must say that our flights out to CA went VERY smoothly which was a huge bonus for me. As I do NOT like it when the flights get bumpy anymore. The only travel mishap on the way was the train - which never left the station. They finally announced (15 min. after the train should have left) that "due to mechanical difficulties" we all needed to get off the train and run to Gleis 9 in order to make a different connection. We were there a little later than planned but that's why we always give ourselves a little extra "room."

Our first day in CA was spent with my Gma and Dr. F. This is what she planned for us for brunch. It was sooooo good - I ended up eating 2 pieces of the quiche and subsequently did not need an actual lunch. We had a very nice time visiting with them - the girls quickly got out the farm set they like to play with while we talked. Dr. F shared some stories - he has some wonderful ones - and gave me copies of some that he has typed out over the years.

I enjoy spending alone time with them as we can visit better in a smaller group - they are very involved in their church in West Sac and busy with travel as well as their two families (Gma has 4 'kids' and Dr. F has 6 which makes for many spouses and offspring).

After we had recovered a bit from the 9 hr time difference, at my dad's new house!, we headed out to Orangevale to spend time with long time friends who let us invade their home every year. One thing we noticed as we came into CA this year (like every summer) is how brown everything is. Nothing green unless it is in range of a sprinkler.

Had some fun on Folsom Lake. Unlike last year, there was enough water in it to do some boating. Yes, this is the 3rd year of drought in CA but unlike the previous years, they are holding back water now at the dams & reserviors so we got to do a little boating. Rachel and B are having a great time.Just had to post a pic of our sweet S up on the rock wall. She's doing awesome! And here's my girlie helping with the laundry in her Sicilian grandpa's backyard. I should post all my pic's of laundry from Italy trips - it's in the blood.Here we are - myself, sister Kris and precious little Jayden. I don't look happy or anything to be holding that baby do I? Just wait 'til the HI connection lands next Dec. and there will be no stopping the camera - Yes, we all plan to be together next Dec.. Yippee!This picture is just fuzzy enough that I felt I didn't need to ask all of my family's permission to use the photo. This is the "Bianco" side - minus the HI connection. We are all 'sitting' to watch a 'show' that Kendra & Rachel had set up for us. In Dad's new house. Which has one living room chair, some barstools and a kitchen table/4 chairs. He's done with the re-painting and will move on to the furniture. :)Cousin's in the pool. Always helpful on those 100 degree days.Then we trekked on down to Fresno. Yes, we live in Switzerland and vacation in places like Sacto., Fresno, Iowa and Minnesota - makes sense? If you haven't picked up on the joy yet - it was there in mass quantities.

Another day on another boat. This time, Millerton Lake which we practically had to ourselves. It was great. Rachel and Tabletop mountain behind: There I am - I don't post much of myself but you never know when IT might not happen again:
My pride was spanked at Folsom (Sacto trip) when I couldn't get up on S's ski (competition style - a little too much for this 40 something gal). I was redeemed in Fresno with a 'Fat Boy' ski and I was up and away. Too Much Fun! Thank you F & R!!!!!
Will have to post Iowa/Minn. at a later time. Since I posted last, I have pulled another couple days worth of weeds, picked more green beans and enjoyed the arrival of my mom and her husband John. Needless to say, my fingers aren't hitting these computer keys much.
'Til next posting.......

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

I have to confess to my love affair

Yes, it's true. I've been involved in a love affair for 3 years now. Yes, Bart knows and is of the mind that, if it keeps me happy, so be it.

My Nespresso machine and I were reunited Monday morning - and I rejoiced. I started my 1st full day back with my normal breakfast of 2 cappucino's. Sometimes I eat actual food but it depends on how much I have going on and if I remember.

I bought my little machine as a gift to myself for making the trek across the Atlantic and moving to a foreign place. I lugged that little machine from downtown Zurich to Wadenswil on the train and bus before our container shipment even arrived. I even made expresso for the moving men who drank it out of our china because 1. I didn't have expresso cups at the time and 2. We didn't know where the coffee mug box was yet.

I never liked coffee I made at home. I liked the idea of the machine with the coffee capsules that made a perfect little expresso shot every time. And it does! Plus George drinks it. Mr. Clooney to those who aren't on a first name basis with him. Which I should be as I've been drinking the coffee he peddle's over here for the last three years.

I can also return back to the US of A now that I know Nespresso machines are available. I'm just hoping Williams Sonoma stays in business or I'll be begging one of you to buy me a US Nespresso machine to hold onto until I can get it! I really don't want to put the one I have on a transformer. They're very unsightly blocks of metal and I'm just thinking I don't want them anymore.

So there you have it - the highlight of my return to Switzerland. And my own bed of course!

We made it home safe and sound Sunday. Our luggage made it safe and sound Monday. (Chicago O'Hare - need I say more)

I have done a mountain of laundry, mowed the lawn, pulled about 1/4 of the weeds that need to be pulled, been bitten by a red ant - OUCH!, have a blackberry thorn in my wrist that is really bugging me while I type and I will extract it as soon as I'm done here, was awake until 4:30am last night and then slept 'til 10 and plan on taking a Simply Sleep in about 10 minutes so we have no repeat of last nights insomnia.

And our internet/phone connections are periodically interupted as the service provider updates their system for this week and next. Usually when I am in the mood to be on the computer.

So - I hope to have pictures to share and more interesting stories soon. Feel free to stop by for a cappucino!

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Almost home.....

We have spent almost 3 fun and enjoyable weeks here in the US. The day after tomorrow, we will board our flight back to Zurich!

I look forward to catching up with everyone I've not been in contact with for a couple weeks, share stories, observations and pictures.

Just a couple more days.....