The problem with waiting six months to post about your summer vacation is that many of the details are lost to memory. Thankfully I started a post in August, just after the first snow. I hope I haven’t left out any highlights…
AUG. 2014- “Snow on Sunday helped me come to terms with the sad fact that summer time in Switzerland is over. I mean it’s mid August after all. Back home people are complaining about the temperatures passing up 100F. I wish they’d trade places. I also realized that if I dont try and catch up on my summer I might not have lovely memories to go back and enjoy during the dark cold October winter. So I am back to work and cant wait to do some braging about the kids, the beach, and tell you about how spending nearly a month with my parents has me wanting to move next door- I couldnt be more suprised either.”
In the evenings or rainy days we stocked up on craft supplies and the kids spent their time doing old fashioned activities like learning to sew, making up puppet shows with their cousin, and mowing the lawn with a lawn mower. You might be thinking that lawn mowing isn’t so old fashioned but here in Switzerland there is very little space for personal landscaping. Most of that is likely done professionally and the few private lawns are often taken care of by robotic lawn mowers. They are fascinating to watch! Because we live in the land with extremely high labor cost, robotics are very popular. My children have no chance to learn to mow lawns for pocket money, unless they are at Grandpas.
Of Course we spent most of our time at the beach.
We made new friends, and played all day…
even when it rained.
We hung out at the beach with old friends,
and with cousins who met who came all the way from Arizona to see us at Grandpa’s house .
We had fun watching the air-show and fireworks at the Destin harbor on Rhonda’s new boat- Unforgettable!
And most importantly we visiting with family that wont be around forever.
I usually get to brag about the weather here in Charleston but I think February has cured me of that. It seems like we have had enough rain to last all year. For the first time in forever we arrived at Saturday morning with a (long overdue) afternoon absent a massive to-do list. It felt great to announce to the kids that we were headed downtown to the South Carolina Aquarium (expensive- look for coupons- they are out there!) and out to lunch. The kids were like “who are you and what have you done with our parents”? We had a great time and an hour or so into our aquarium visit someone pulled the fire-alarm and the whole place had to be evacuated out into the rain storm. My husband and I found it serendipitous as we were feeling a little peckish and were ready for Toco Boy (more on that later).
Never fear, tickets are good all day so after eating too much and dreaming of a siesta in the sunshine of the Baja Peninsula, we marched back through the rain and spent the rest of the afternoon in the aquarium.
- For the aquarium visit~ I think you should plan 2-4 hours with a fire alarm/lunch break in the middle.
- The special presentation schedule probably changes but we were able to catch the 3:00 diver show (diver goes into giant tank and narrates exhibit) and the 4:00 Animal show (they had a live tiny owl for the kids to see and discussed natural habitats and conservation). These were the perfect breaks for mom and dad and my children loved them and learned a lot. So in the front next to admission there is a digital display with the daily schedule~ it’s worth checking out.
- Toco Boy is my favorite Mexican joint in Charleston – so far. I loved the Guacamole, Taco Al Pastor (Thinly shaved spit-fire pork, roasted pineapple salsa & pickled red onion), and the Mexican street corn.
- Charleston (the peninsula) is over-run with fried chicken and southern/soul food fusion restaurants, but good ethnic food is terribly under-represented (don’t send hate mail).
- The South Carolina Aquarium and lunch are a perfect way to kill a rainy Saturday!
I haven’t posted anything about our current transition to Switzerland since first announcing it at Christmas. I have been so busy doing it and trying to line up the details that I don’t want to bore you with my stress. As you can imagine, our house is currently in a state of disarray that is made livable only because of the excitement that motivates us to ignore the suitcases, boxes, and massive clutter surrounding us. Over the past few months I have put my hands on EVERY item of “stuff” that fills our current 3000 square feet, and my husband sorted out the garage and potting shed. We have sold, moved, packed, stored, given away, and trashed everything. My boss at Sideshow Press, sympathetically shared that “the last 10% (maybe %20) is the hardest.” I am almost to the finish line! We have found a lovely renter who moves in next week and off to the hotel we go, until the Swiss Visa’s (the long sorted ordeal that deserves a post of its own~if only I knew the whats and whys of this difficult process?) FINALLY arrive. I will be glad to have everything sorted out, packed up and waiting. I am deliberately exercising the power of positive thinking to convince our family that the final weeks here in SC (and the Hampton Inn) will be fun, free continental breakfast every morning before school might just get the kids moving quicker. I am also imagining it will be like living as a tourist in my own town:) After all Charleston is the number one city in the world to visit according to conde nast.
In case your curious- here are some of the preparations in progress.
Oh…and I’m in need of all the helpful packing, cleaning (I need to get this place spotless), and sanity-saving tips you are able to share! I promise to share all that I am learning right here, so keep checking back. We’ll get through this together!