23 June 2012

Switzerland: Village Architecture

Is it not the Switzerland of your dreams? I find it so heartening that while you may find train tracks and electric warning signs slice through ... the charm and history of centuries old remain.

20 June 2012

Switzerland: Springtime in the Alps

We are at home once more! After a week of groggy recovery, we are now back into the swing of home-life and happily reliving our trip through shared family memories. One of the truly great gifts of travel, I do believe. And so, the recollections continue to keep the trip alive ...

The day after we had our Swiss Family Adventure and right before Jane sat on a huge pile of stinging nettles (!!), we had a morning gallivant on the hillside of the Swiss village, Reckingen-Gluringen.

 The village you see in the distance is the village we stayed in. Tiny and lovely. The main road would shut down when the sheep or the cattle came through and we would hang out of our cottage windows and watch as though it were the most marvelous sight ever.

 After a glorious, but very busy tour of Italy, making grass whistles and doing a whole lot of nothing in the Swiss Alps was heaven.

Although apparently not yet having enough auto-adventure, right after our wildflower frolic Pops did take us on the most harrowing car-ride ever up the side of the mountain we were soon to encounter. Have you ever seen The Long-Long Trailer with Lucille Ball and Dezi Arnaz? There is a perilous scene where they skitter along a teeny mountain-edge road with sheer rock on one side and sheer cliff on the other. Take away the trailer, add three terrified children and swap Mt. Whitney for the Swiss Alps ... and it's basically the same scene. It took collective tears to convince Pops that this was not fun and me getting out of the car giving braking hand-signals to allow us to turn around without pitching off the cliff of doom.

I'm sweating just thinking about it.

But at the point we took these photos we were blissfully unaware of what was to come. And those are the moments in life to relish ... whether home or abroad.

04 June 2012

European Adventures: Conclusions and Contentment

Our last full day in our Provençal farm home. Plans for photos in the poppy fields and dinner in Uzes. Tomorrow we pack-up, head into Arles for a look-around and settle in at the airport hotel 'til we rouse for an early morning flight on Wednesday. Mixed feelings about coming home! 

The trip has been more than we expected in many ways. Happy and thankful to have shared all with my little family. It's the memories that, I believe, will be the biggest treasure of all.

Merci. Merci.

02 June 2012

Provence: To Revel and Muse

We've been in Provence for 2 days now. It's is so unbelievably beautiful here. Everything about everything is my most favorite ever. I went out shopping in Uzes yesterday and on my way home, driving through the countryside ... can I confess? I got all misted up. Not a full-on messy cry, but definite foggy-eyes. So, so happy to be here.

The children are swimming everyday (yesterday, four individual times) and eating bread and pastries to their heart's content. Last night we went to a "FĂȘte du Pois Chiche" ... a "Festival of the Chickpea." (More on that later ... live music and masks ... like Zorro!) We even made friend with another couple who is staying in the same farm house as us and we are going to swap evening of kid watch. Pops and I get to go out to dinner alone tonight!

Interesting how the initial part of our trip, as grand as it was, required such exertion. Here ... now ... it feels effortless. Perhaps we appreciate it more? Perhaps I've learned to manage expectations better? Perhaps it is Provence? Perhaps it is just God's grace? For all the reasons, we are thankful and reveling in it.

As a side note, three of my dear friends are currently going through deep challenges with health, children, jobs. It is strange, to be here, and know of their days. And yet, helpless in myself to lend aid, I can pray. Prayer is the great unifier over great divides. In this big, wide world ... God is bigger yet.