Travel Suisse: Zurich

Zurich10

I can’t believe we have lived in Switzerland for over two years, and I’ve only just visited Zurich. It seems like such an obvious place to visit. I know many people think of Zurich and Switzerland to be essentially the same thing. And it’s so close – well, everything in Switzerland is, it’s not a very big country.

But there are factors involved in not visiting this city yet. The first and foremost being cost. If Switzerland is crazy expensive, then Zurich is hella-crazy expensive, so we’ve always avoided it a bit for that. Also, there is the language barrier. Not that it matters in such a tourist-friendly city (I wouldn’t be surprised if more Swiss in Zurich spoke English than in Geneva), but our grasp of French often keeps us turning towards our large French neighbour to the west. Continue reading

Travel Italia: Torino

Viareggio

Our Italian adventure continued with another hair-raising drive. This time, it had nothing to do with the weather, and everything to do with the crazy Italian roads and the crazier Italian drivers. We decided to drive the coastal road, as opposed to driving back up the way we came through the mountains of Emilia-Romagna. I find it very difficult to avoid the Mediterranean Sea when it’s nearby.

Not that we had much time to enjoy it. We were too busy white-knuckling the steering wheel/door handle as we zoomed along too fast roads, in and out of tunnels over and over again as tiny cars whipped by us. Yikes, it was not the easy-going, relaxed tour of the coast we were expecting.

It was a pleasure to get off of the highways to find some lunch in Via Reggio, a coastal resort town. It was quite empty at this time of year, but still beautiful. And still enough restaurants open we didn’t have a problem finding some pizza. The town is just south of Cinque Terra, a popular tourist destination along the coast (I’m actually not sure what the coast is called along there – we ended up calling it the Italian Riviera. It reminded me of the Cote d’Azur on the the French side.) The sea looked cold, and the air was a little bit chilly, but still. It was the end of January and we were surrounded by palm trees and sunshine, so no one was complaining. Continue reading

Let Sleeping Babies Lie: getting a baby over jet lag

Why take the bus when you can walk on a day as glorious as this?

Once we solved our immediate problems in our temporary housing situation, our number one challenge on arriving in Geneva was trying to get a one year old over an eight-hour jet lag. It has been rough. X has been up all hours of the night. There were times, when he was fully awake and playing at three am that I was not sure how I was going to get through it. To be honest, I’m not sure how much of X’s lack of sleeping had to do with jet lag (although it certainly isn’t helping!) and how much was him just pushing back at us for putting him through so much. The past few months have been so tumultuous, I don’t really blame him. His sleeping hasn’t been great since the last time Z went to the Middle East, four months ago, and has been getting progressively worse to the point that he’ll only sleep in bed with us.

But having a baby in bed with you kind of sucks, especially when he likes to sleep horizontally between you to and routinely dig his bony little feet into you while he sleeps, and gets up about once an hour to scream or potentially slap you in the face. So our predominant question is how do you get a fussy baby over jet lag?
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So this is happening


Move3

Listen, my heart strings have definitely been pulled selling our house we took so long to fix up for ourselves. If you followed our adventures in renovations, you’ll know we put a lot into this house – time, effort, money – and it hurts a bit to let it go. But it’s for the best … who wants to deal with yet another property when you’re on the other side of the world?

I think the part that stings the most is our deck – our beautiful deck, that we shelled out a lot of extra money to build in composite so that it will last forever – the deck I did not get to use one time. Not one single time, guys. It could almost make you cry.

Easing the sting is the copious amounts of snow and ice everywhere. Could you tell this photo was taken in April. Yuck. Time to get out of here!
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Traveling with Baby

We’ve finally arrived at home, after our first attempt to get to our house was aborted. It’s been a week and a half on the road with a rowdy, tyrannical toddler and I’d be lying if I said I was still having fun. Sleeping in my own bed is going to be so awesome tonight … to bad it will only last two nights!

Now I wasn’t sure what to expect at first, traveling by plane with X. There was trepidation, and definitely a little dread, but I didn’t know what was going to go down with him. Our little trip over to Toronto was meant to be a dress rehearsal before the main event, moving to another continent. I was both happy and terrified by what happened on the trip.
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