Friday, April 25, 2008

A busy week for La Poste

Summer cares!
Originally uploaded by hellomizk
Hurrah for care packages! Our friends and family have certainly kept le facteur (mailman) busy with deliveries the past couple weeks! Today we got a care package from our friend Summer, contents pictured to the right. Needless to say, that's a gorgeous sight in a Reeses-free country. Other contents of the package included Invader Zim flip-flops, a ton of random Family Guy fun stuff, random silly treats, Kraft mac and cheese, a new book (yeah!) and a ton of other nifty happy little gifts. Thanks so much Summer - what a great surprise!

Yesterday we got a box from Virginia-based Camp Curtis. I'm embarrassed to admit it, but we don't have a picture of that box because we tore into it too quickly! For our birthdays and anniversary, Mr K's parents sent Twinkies and Reeses mini-cups (I love Reeses - did I mention that?) as well as cool kitchen gadgets and a ton of art supplies and a beautiful tablecloth that reminds me of Santa Fe, NM which is where we got married. Another great treat - we got some new sheets, which is really great when you check out the prices here - eek!

Earlier this month we got treats from my family including easter candies and homemade chocolate peanut butter eggs from my grandmother and various Mexican-inspired culinary treats as well a pile of stuff we were not able to bring back with us from the US in January - we over-shopped!

All this means I'm busy packing up thank-you boxes to send out early next week. Thanks so much, everybody!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Sing me a song, Mrs Opera-Neighbor!

Tonight was another unusual and interesting night. Our neighbors who we've been passing notes with for the past 3 months (Mr and Mrs Neighbor to you) invited us over for drinks and snacks and then to go to a concert sung by our opera-singing neighbor (Mrs Opera-Neighbor) who we've heard but not met.

We had a nice wine from Valais and various snacks, including small savory pastries, dried meat, crunchy bread sticks and, of course, chocolates and cookies. We sat and chatted for about an hour before walking a short distance to an interesting old building where the concert was held.

The concert lasted about two hours and was just wonderful. Almost as impressive as the music was the fact that the three little girls in front of us - probably aged 7 to 8 or so - managed to sit in well-behaved silence the whole time! Before and after the concert, Mr and Mrs Neighbor told us about both of their families and also some interesting facts about some of the other people who live in our building. Mr and Mrs Neighbor come from very musical families with many violinists and pianists and singers.

Some fun facts we learned about things we have in common:
  • Mr Neighbor's grandfather was Paul Haas - a musician in Fribourg.
  • Mr and Mrs Neighbor's wedding anniversary is "the 21st or 22nd of May - we forget!" Ours is the 23rd of May.
  • Mr Neighbor's birthday is the 15th May - mine is the 14th May and Mr K's is the 18th May! (Mrs Neighbor's is in late February.)

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Busy as a bee in springtime...

Originally uploaded by hellomizk
I know I've been doing poorly with the blogging, but when my dad pointed it out I promised I would try and do better... and that was almost a week ago. I do have an excuse though... at least for the past 5 or so days - I have a guest! One of my buddies from Virginia came to visit so we've been keeping very busy and walking walking walking everyday.

A couple days ago we took the train to Montreux where we walked along Lake Geneva and then went to see the Chateau de Chillon. We walked a little over 6 miles that day and were both sore and tired by the time we got home. I tried jiu jitsu that night but was just too tired and out of sorts - I ended up sitting about half of the class out. Ah well - at least I tried... or something.

Yesterday we went to Zürich for the day and walked through what is easily the biggest art museum I have ever seen - the Kunsthaus. We saw Picassos, Kandinskys, Renoirs, Monets, Van Goghs, etc etc etc. Very impressive - we will definitely be taking Mama C! We managed to clock yet another 6 miles of walking before finally getting home.

Today we went to the thermal baths in Charmey and then for a delicious cheese fondue. I'm near collapse right now - whether from exhaustion or relaxation, I'm not sure.

More later!

P.S. I would be inclined to blog more if I got more comments mom and dad - hint hint. ;)


Originally uploaded by Arsmor
Sorry mom and dad - I promise to try and update this later tonight! Eeeeek!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

CERN-day CERN-day CERN-day!

Ha ha ha - get it?


CERN-day... like Sunday - like the announcer on every ad for a monster truck rally or demolition derby ever?


On Friday Mr K mentioned that CERN was having their once-every-four-years-or-so Open House over the weekend. Early Sunday morning we woke up and stumbled out the door to meet our ride. Olivier was kind enough to offer to drive, so Dani, Stéph, Mr K and I all piled into his car and we set out. CERN is located near Geneva and the border with France and has several entrance points. After stopping for a little breakfast, we arrived to find ourselves parking nearly one zillion kilometers away and catching a special bus to get to the entrance. It was packed and we found out we would have to wait in line for around four hours to get tickets to COME BACK LATER to go underground - eek!

We huddled up for a conference and it was decided we should head into France to try our luck at a different entrance. A few members of our party who shall go unnamed (ok pretty much all of us) mentioned we might have neglected to bring passports along but our driver said it was no big deal - we would just go through an unmanned border crossing - and that is exactly what we did. The lines were much shorter when we got the CERN - we only stood in line a little over an hour to get our tickets. We had almost 4 hours until it was our turn for the tour, so we did what any self-respecting tourists would do - we high-tailed it out of France to get lunch... in McDonalds. All kidding aside, there was a reason for this - by the time we got our tickets it was about 5 minutes past 2 in the afternoon and the officially-lunch-time-of-Switzerland is noon until two. After that, nearly everything but McDonalds and Kebap places close, so we actually didn't have much choice in the matter.

After lunch we went to a nearby botanical garden to wander around and enjoy the sunny (but cold) afternoon. Mr K took some really nice pictures I invite you to check out.

We finally got back to CERN and in line again for our tour. Other than being completely in French, the tour was really neat, though I have to admit I was much more excited about getting to wear a plastic helmet than trying to follow what the guide was saying. that's why I'm going to be able to tell you nothing about CERN other than that thingie is HUGE and also they had fun souvenirs.

I'm hoping Mr K will post a more coherent blog on CERN later on - hint hint. Feel free to bombard him with comments so he feels like he has to!