Wednesday, March 10, 2010

It's oh so quiet - again

My parents are now safely back in Pennsylvania and I have to admit our apartment is way too quiet. Taco and Waffle keep looking for their grandma to play with the laser pointer with them and I keep looking for the bags of pastries dad would bring home from his morning walks - we were spoiled!

We started off their two week visit with a sunny trip to Mt Moléson for some sledding. Before sledding, we took the cable car all the way to the top to enjoy a breathtaking view. The weather was perfect and clear - mountains in every direction. We grabbed a couple drinks and enjoyed the sunshine while watching the skiers and snowshoers. As we headed back down to start sledding, I must admit I had my concerns. When my first hill of the day proved to be more ice than snow, I didn't get any less concerned. After a couple more hills, though, everybody got the hang of it and we all survived despite a couple tumbles, a lot of snow in the face, a lost-then-found glove for C and the incident where I ran over somebody's hand (ouch!).

After a full day of sledding, everyone was starving so we met up with Dani and Steph and headed to Café du Midi for some fondue. We opted for the full three course meal - a plate of local cured meats with bread and butter (Dad proclaimed this greens-less dish 'The best salad ever') followed by fondue with bread and potatoes and ending with meringues and double cream.

We all spent the next day chewing ibuprofen and comparing bruises. On Tuesday, we went to the University to meet up with Dani for lunch and get a tour of his department. Dad was impressed with the University's lecture rooms and took several pictures. We went to the Villars café afterward and enjoyed some nice chocolate and coffees - the dark chocolate with a saffron center was my favorite by far.

On Wednesday, mom and dad and I headed to Zurich for a walking tour in the morning followed by lunch followed by meetings with a colleague for dad and lots of shopping for mom and I. We spent an hour in a huge toy store,where we bought nothing, and followed it up with another hour in an English-language bookstore, where we bought several things. We returned to the station to have some drinks and wait for dad to finish up after which we all headed to dinner.

We had another day of relaxing on Thursday - Chinese carryout and LOST on dvd.

On Friday, mom and dad went to Gruyères to see the cheese museum and walk around the town and castle. Friday night, our friends Oli and Célia brought their two kids and joined us for dinner - chicken tortilla soup, which seemed to be a hit as I had only the smallest dish of soup left over!

On Saturday, mom and dad left early to spend a weekend on the Glacier Express, sipping wine and looking at many many miles of Swiss countryside. They spent a total of ten hours on trains on Friday, but mom said it was the prettiest scenery she's ever seen in her life and now we look forward to taking a ride on it one day. Mom and dad spent an extra day exploring and came back on Monday. We all had raclette for dinner and passed out from cheese-overconsumption.

On Tuesday, Oli took dad to see the fire station here in Fribourg - he came back with a ton of pictures and cool publications.

On Wednesday, mom and dad headed to Thun for more castles and exploration. Thun is one of my favorite places to visit here and I was glad they had a chance to go see it and good weather to enjoy the views. Wednesday night, Joël took dad shooting while mom and C and I stayed home and relaxed.

Thursday night everybody but C, who wasn't feeling well, went to Steph's parents for a delicious Vietnamese dinner - no forks allowed! We gorged ourselves on grilled duck, mushroom omelet, soup, shrimp and a plum dessert. We had a great time, eating and laughing and talking until late and despite the required use of chopsticks, we all left with pleasantly full bellies.

On Friday, we did last minute laundry, shopping and packing. Mom and dad had never had donër kebab so we grabbed some for lunch - it was a hit. Once all the cleaning and packing was done, we stayed up late finishing the last season of LOST and early the next morning, mom and dad were on their way to Munich.

Whew - too much fun for one post!

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