Monday, April 7, 2014

Sunday hike.

Today was gorgeous. 

I repeat.

Today. was. gorgeous. 

In fact, this whole weekend has been gorgeous. 

70 degrees. 


The absence of luggage bags.  

It really couldn't get much better. 

Until we decided to go for a hike. Then it got infinitely better. 

Being our first weekend back in SwitzerFrance after our 3 week trip to the United States, we were chomping at the bit to stretch our legs out on the Jura. It's been far too long. Now that it's spring and we've got the temperatures to match, it looks like we'll be spending many a weekend afternoon exploring the trails behind our house and beyond. I still pinch myself at how lucky we are to live here, even after over 4 years. 

What is even more unbelievable to me is that we get to share all this gorgeous nature with our little girl. We're still trying to feel out how much we can do and how high we can go, what with toting a 6 month old adventurer and whatnot, but we're just happy to be out there in nature at all. As we get more comfortable hiking with her in the sling, we'll eventually make our way to the top. Hopefully soon. 

In the meantime, I think it's safe to say that Oswin was totally digging her foray into spring hiking. I can't wait to see her climb the Reculet cross someday...

I have a feeling that time will come sooner than we think. 

How about you? How was your weekend? Have you ever gone hiking with an infant? Any tips, tricks or gear picks? 

A la prochaine friends...


Monday, March 31, 2014

A break.

It's just something about January. I always find it difficult to blog in January. Maybe that is because for us here at the House of Hadron, it's THE planning month. And when two somewhat OCD-anal-retentive-science-minded people designate a month as THE planning month, it's not to be taken lightly. There are official meetings over coffee, Excel documents and coding involved. And a few pie charts. And once almost a powerpoint. What can I say, logistics is our game. 

And now somehow, we're getting ready to turn the calendars to April. The Phillies open today. Oswin will be 6 months old in a week. Soon Doc and I will be celebrating our 32nd and 34th birthdays. And let's not forget about the upcoming Paques celebration and planting season in our little village. Trips to the market, trips to cities and countries near and far, we're ready for spring and summer adventures, wherever our legs and wheels can take us. 

But not right now, not today. I don't want to even so much as see our luggage bags or even a purse that could qualify as a luggage bag for at least two weeks. We got back from our annual trip to the United States yesterday, Oswin's first trip to the Motherland in fact, and we are all far too jet lagged to think about traveling. Right now I'm putting our washing machine to task, as three weeks of traveling with an infant has created an urge to do laundry like I've never felt before in my life. If I could say one thing about traveling with an infant via plane, it's thank the Heavens for plastic bags. 

That being said, we learned a lot from this most recent trip abroad. First and foremost, once a baby is involved trips home are no longer vacays. Maybe it's just because this was Oswin's inaugural trip, or maybe it was the 8 flights we took in 21 days, but this trip was chock full of stress. There were so many people we saw/wanted to see, but only got to about half of them. Le sigh. So it is with these kinds of trips I guess...

That being said, Oswin was a total rock star on this trip. It took about 5 days for her to adjust, but after that she was great. The flights didn't seem to bother her one bit. She didn't cry once. There were definitely days where she was pushed beyond her limits, between SO many people holding her, and having not much of a schedule. We're so proud of our little jet setter. 

So, we're home. It's gorgeous out in SwitzerFrance today, sunny and in the 60s, but today Oswin and I will be recuperating. Stressful or not, our trips to PA, NJ, and Nebraska were totally worth it. They always are; just the same, today will be filled with lots of snuggles, lots of coffee, and maybe some Netflix. Definitely pyjamas. Tomorrow we'll go play in the sun. 

Traveling soon with an infant? As I slowly unpack I'm making a list of everything we used, what was most helpful, and what could be left behind in the future. I'll post on here once the "Surviving 3 Weeks of International Travel with an Almost 6 Month Old" list is completed. What worked for us might not work for you, but it's always good to share ideas. After all, sharing is caring. 

A la prochaine friends...


Thursday, January 16, 2014

Oswin Takes: The Annecy Christmas Market

Just before Christmas we decided to round out our European Christmas Market tour with one last french market in Annecy...

Now we love love LOVE Annecy - it's one of our favorite cities in France...

...and since it's so close to us, we try to go every chance we get. 

...but I have to say, we were a bit disappointed with the Christmas Market. 

Maybe it was because we had just gone to two great Christmas markets in Freiburg and Basel, as well as the festive and colorful Mulhouse Christmas Market, but we really had expected more in Annecy. 

It was really small...

...and didn't have, as far as we could see, even one ornament stand. 

There were a lot of food stands, and strangely enough, a lot of Canadian goods advertised, but really it felt like a lot of the shops had just set up a stand outside of their stores and were selling the same items from inside. It didn't feel much like a Christmas market, more like a weekly outdoor market. We did however have a great cup of apple cider made with Jura honey, so that was a win right there. 

Despite being a bit disappointed by the Christmas Market, we had a gorgeous day to walk around one of our favorite cities, pick up some yummy goodies, and even buy a new sweater for mama. As per usual, a great day in Annecy!

A biento Annecy! Can't wait to see you again soon!

A la prochaine friends...


Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Oswin Takes: The Basel Christmas Market

We left Freiburg feeling pretty content. Two thirds of a great adventure was already in the books, little miss had been a total rock star the whole time, and we were coming home with some great Christmas market swag....not to mention a small stockpile of German beer. However, the question remained as we got in the car to leave Freiburg: do we test our luck and continue on to Basel, or head straight for home?

{Oswin's first time on a Swiss tram}

We weren't sure whether to make a stop in Basel because Oswin had already been SO good the whole time, and we didn't want to test our luck. We had already had two (and a half) very long days, and we were just waiting for the time bomb of infant fatigue to go off and begin to wail. 

In the end, we decided we'd kick ourselves if we drove right past a potentially sweet Christmas market... off to Basel we went. 

We did however have low expectations for what we would find in Basel, if only because Switzerland is so damn expensive. We thought maybe we could get one ornament, and maybe a gluhwein each. No sense in taking out a loan for a Christmas ornament or a pretzel, right? Our plan was really to just go to do a quick tour of Basel, and see how Switzerland does Christmas markets. 

In the end, we were very pleasantly surprised. There were actually some affordable ornaments (as well as some crazy priced ones), and we brought home not one, but THREE! We were able to each have a drink as well! It was a Swiss Christmas Market miracle! Our warm boozy beverage was not gluhwein, but something as equally delectable and with about 13 consonants in the name, which is why it is escaping me now. The market went up through the curved streets of Basel's Old Town, creating a very Christmas-like feel for our little tour. It was cute, it was cozy, it was cold - all requirements for a great Christmas market in my book. I'd even go so far as saying that Basel is now my second favorite Christmas market that I've been to, with Freiburg still being my favorite. Way to go Basel! 

We spent about two hours browsing little stands and taking in the festive lights of the city. Oswin was still a rock star. In fact, we made it all the way home without any major freak outs, save for a minor one as we were getting into the car to leave. The next day was another story however. I think we're finding out that our kid is a great traveler, but definitely, like her mama, gets a bit of an overtired-travel-hangover once she gets home. It's ok baby girl, I don't mind spending the day after trips in pyjamas with you, snuggling, and watching episodes of "Le Chat de Frankenstein." 

In fact I look forward to it. 

A la prochaine friends...