Hike Bannalp

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Bannalp is one of these small quaint mountain top areas that offers the perfect combo of just about everything you can ask for when you hike in Switzerland.

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And when I say everything, I really mean super sick views! The photos above are what it looks like on a sunny day. The lake water is an amazing shade of glacier green.

This is a hidden gem, for me at least, because I have been living 15 minutes away for a total of over 5 years of my life (do I get a little break because they weren’t all consecutive?). You drive through one of my favorite enchanted swiss valleys on the way there, a short 7 minutes from the main highway connecting North and South. It is the route to Engleberg, a quintessentially-Swiss mountain village tucked into the alps. Oberrickenbach is even smaller and more authentic because its still a secret to tourist. Just before you start to make the climb in altitued and swerve around all those nausea inducing switchbacks, you take a left in Wolfenschiessen (translated as wolf shooting) and make the climb into the little tiny (farmer town) of Oberrickenbach. By the way on your way out, do not pass the Gasthaus Post Restaurant (Dorfstrasse 4 6387 Oberrickenbach) with out stopping for fondue. It really is the best place to share a pot of flavored cheese with a friend, or many!

PROPER DIRECTiONS anreise_klein

There are 3 gondolas up to the top of the cliff that forms a wall at the end of the valley, theres really no way to miss them because the road just ends. Take your pick of trails and decide which is a most strategic landing spot and then off you go. Warning: The gondolas up to Bannalp are private, translation: they do not offer a halbtax discount. I think its kind of expensive, but if you have a few hours to spend hiking take a one way and hike down- it saves a little money and is good for you!

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A few weeks ago we picked one such route and promised a friend with kids who was going with us that this was a “gentle decent” and that her double knee replacement should be no worries. That was before we accidentally left the map at the bottom of the gondola station and decided we could figure it out. I had been there for a short hike before and there aren’t a whole lot of choices so I felt pretty confident.

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We did the circle around the lake for a warm up and took some beautiful photos of the moody clouds that were so inconsiderately blocking our views, when Sparticus serendipitously ran across  a discarded map along the trail, and confidently proceeded to guide the way.

I wonder if you can tell where this story is headed yet? (Yes I blame him). We found our self headed down hill, as in a pretty steep downward mountain trail that was wet and extremely EXTREMELY muddy.

I have never seen a swiss trail in such bad shape. There were workers on it trying to make repairs while we struggled to stay upright and dry. There were a few times when I had to tell my self to “pick up those feet soldier” because I was going to sink in the mud if not, and more than once I felt like I was stepping out of my shoes that were cemented into the mud- squish squash squish squash.

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The boys loved it and scampered ahead of us, occasionally slipping in the mud to see how dirty they could get. It didn’t take long (about 2 minutes in) for me to start voicing my concerns about the direction and our guide. He was not appreciative about this line of questioning and threw the map back in my direction landing in the wet mud. But determined- I fished it out and of course- I WAS RIGHT. We were not on the path we had planned and instead on a treacherous steep path that weaved around the shady side of the mountain range.

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Too far gone, we pressed on, and on, and on. We were mostly happy little hikers because the weather was cool, and we had no rain and lots of friends to keep us entertained. AND THE VIEWS!!!

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At least hiking through the shady muddy wet forest did provide for some moss love.

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I have to make a few confessions, I have not been working out at the gym (or elsewhere ) in months. Work and home life are consuming. I was incredibly sore after that hike. I can not say that it’s only from being out of shape. I think that the trail was in such bad shape, my muscles must have had to compensate more than normal to just keep from sliding down the mountain. My friend who did the hike with us also complained about the pain for days after, thats my story and I am sticking to it!

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No pain no gain. I will be back after snow season to check out the “right trail”.

Coco’s Birthday Interview 2015

Coco turned 6 (in July). You may remember that every year I do a birthday interview with the children. I got the idea from my friend Shari when we lived in PA. The idea is to ask them the same questions and see how their responses change over time. I think its fun just to look at how their growing up! I am a bit tired of hearing what kind of cereal they like- especially when we don’t eat much cereal, or what their favorite tv show is when we don’t watch tv, so I am thinking about changing things up. Especially as they get older, I think it would be more interesting to ask philosophical thought provoking questions, or maybe something about current affairs. Even though she still holds onto the position of youngest child with every bit of energy she can muster (notice the baby talk answers in the video),  I am so excited that my youngest is getting older. Sure I miss the snuggles at nap time from my sweet 2 year old, but I love sending them off to school and finally having some silence in the house. I love to watch them learn new things and become more independent. I look back at the videos from years prior and while the answers haven’t changed dramatically the kids have grown up a lot. Enjoy the next 15 minutes, and if you have any interview question suggestions- please share!

Swiss Facilities Grounds Keeping Department

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One of my brothers who occasionally reads this blog tells me how he loves to see little insights into daily life in a small village in central Switzerland. Because we have been here two years now and it’s beginning to feel more like home, I sometimes forget how different it is to living in the United States. Today as I was walking back from a doctors appointment (difference #1), I stopped to admire the landscaping crew working effortlessly at the company located just 500 steps down the hill from my house. I often stop to greet them and practice my best swiss sounding German accent ( difference #2). I sometimes wonder if they can even hear me above all of the noise they’re making working away at the groundskeeping. 

Personally, I enjoy the sound of the tinkling bells, wouldn’t you prefer a lawn mower that sounds like a wind-chime (difference #3)? And did you notice the little temporary fencing that they used to contain the crew? It’s portable and extremely flimsy but I think that the sheep aren’t trying to escape, the fence was secured by the boss to make sure the people don’t interrupt them while they’re working.

The best part is once they’re finished working at the end of the summer they’ll probably be eaten for dinner. My friends in landscaping back home can appreciate this difference (difference #4). 

good stuff

 

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After yesterdays long exhausting post, I thought we’d keep it simple today. Here’s some inspiring link love:
1. It’s Pomegranate season, do you need a reminder on how best to extract those juicy seeds?

2. Go South Carolina! Charleston wins awards again.

3. How to make your vacation glow last? I like number the last suggestion best.

4. Are you Christmas shopping yet? This is a cute personalized idea.

5. Speaking of gift giving, Axel is turning 9 next month- he would love this and I would love to chaperone him on a weekend to Jolly ole England.

6. Did you see this in the headlines? I get so inspired by makers!

Friday roundup

grand canalGuess how we are spending the weekend?!
Last night we left Switzerland south bound for Venice, as in Italia!

moxiblog in veniceI was so excited to get photographic proof of my whole family together at once,
I don’t even care that you can’t tell we are in Venice.

Last night, on the drive down we read a children’s version of Romeo and Juliet and stopped in Verona for a few hours to explore, see the Juliet statue and balcony, take a photo just before the iphone (our camera) promptly died and eat pizza & gelato. What fun! Verona is under-rated in my opinion. We walked on a long street paved with marble, and lined with fashionable shops and gelaterias. I wish we had more time to spend, but we had a deadline- off to Venice.

Today we spent the morning with our tour guild (HIGHLY RECOMMEND), and rode in a gondola. In the afternoon, after big bowls of pasta and calamari, we wandered through the market and weaved our way through the tiny streets to finally get back to our hotel. Here are a few sneak peaks and my inspiring links for the week, you will be able to tell whats been on my mind!

Tomorrow we are meeting up with our cruise ship and off to some ports South and East. I’ll update you next week on all the fun and tips for you to enjoy the same holiday too.

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  •  Loving this toggled-fisherman-style-sweater for Sparticus and cold evenings at sea.
  • 10 tips for traveling to Europe with kids from Oh Happy Day, maybe I will be making a list of my own soon.
  • Only about 400 gondoliers in Venice at any given time, if you have ambitions of becoming one you must pass an exam and wait for someone to retire! This is the first woman to ever- in 916 years- to become a gondolier!
  • Lastly, check out the video for What To Eat In Venice

Things to love and hate about Switzerland

woltersworld link.moxiblog.com

This guys YouTube videos are dead on. He seems to really understand the destinations.

As I live in Lucerne area and do not have to be a tourist here, I know where to take my kids and what to do with them. I actually think there is a lot of kid friendly activities, most of them involve getting out into nature.  I find the suburbs in general to be more Kid Friendly everywhere in the world verses the hustle and bustle of Urban Areas, that said some of the negative aspects of Switzerland (cost and lack of kid friendli-ness) can be avoided, offset, or compensated for if you have a friend to tour you around!

When will you come visit? September is my favorite time of year here!

Open Air Kino- LAST CHANCE

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Ok, so how did I miss this little treasure the last time we lived here (9 years ago)?! How have I almost missed it this summer?! Good news, there is one more weekend to catch the fun at Luzern’s Open Air Kino.

A lovely group of new friends and I attended The Great Gatsby on Saturday night. I was so impressed with the setup. It is a summertime temporary venue (because no one watches movies in the freezing cold rain and snow).

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There are dining areas for the catering- and a wide variety of cuisine on the menu- Asian to Texmex believe it or not. Food prices were pretty normal and while I did not eat the food looked really delicious and fresh. Drink prices were a little high- Apfel schorle was 6chf.

Come early for good seats, every one else does too and and surprisingly no one minds you leaving stuff to save-your-seat. We used blankets which came in really handy on Saturday night as our summertime weather seems to be coming to an end. I saw other people marking seats with names written on paper and taped to the seat. They had a lot of cute SWAG too. Free packets of tissues before the show (although Gatsby story does not make me cry, just hungry for justice and a happy ending) and after the show, free boxes of tiramisu and lollipops! It is like no movie theater experience I grew up with and with the back drop of lake luzern, and palm-trees strung with little white lights, It felt like a special occasion (perfect for a Date-Night, or in our case- Girls Night!).

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Our movie ran 142 minutes (plus intermission~(an abrupt stopping of the movie at about mid-way)) and didn’t start until 9:30, so after walking to the car, and dropping off friends, I did not get home until 1:00 am, I felt like a real (tired) party animal, especially the next morning! But, I wouldn’t have missed it for anything!

Next Sunday is the last show and it is in ENGLISH!!!

NIGHT TRAIN TO LISBON shows at 9:30

Get your ticket here.

Get tickets ahead so you wont have to stand in the LONG LINE!

Open Air Kino:

Alpenquai
6005 Lucerne
Switzerland

 

wedding stationary gone digital

V+J . Save the Date from Nathan Pickett on Vimeo.

As a print designer I love paper and graphic design. I love the feel, the smell, I could almost eat it. It’s part of why I loved working at sideshow press  letterpress company back in Charleston SC. That said, don’t you just love video invites and save the date’s? They are awesome! I have seen beautiful recordings of engagements and weddings, but check out this adorable couple and their save-the-date. (Yes that’s my beautiful niece pixie).

Italian Inspiration // 2013 from Nathan Pickett on Vimeo.

I couldn’t help showing this Italian wedding video, così romantico.

This particular artist, Nathan Pickett, does a great job with these videos, but not only does he do poignant engagement videos and digital invites but also does really sweet mothers day cards! This will make you love him even more.

Happy Mother’s Day Sweetheart from Nathan Pickett on Vimeo.

a slice of invite from Jodi Miller on Vimeo.

Here is just one more cute example from an artist named Jodi Miller.

Is a digital invite worth considering? In this digital era and with the digital generation and mobile lifestyles it seems like an email invitation or announcement would be a good way of reaching your friends and family. I know my address changed 6 times in the last 18 months!  What do you think?