Friday, May 30, 2014

Friday Finds: Dreaming of Toulon

Friday Finds: Dreaming of Toulon

As we're fast approaching June, it has me dreaming of summer beach escapes to the Cote d'Azur. Last year we spent a few days of June with visiting family in Toulon, France, in a very Scooby-Doo-esque villa. It was an amazing little gite, full of antiques and creepy old paintings that we were positive had eyes that blinked. The beaches were lined with fig trees (which you know I LOVED), and their aroma welcomed you as you entered the beach area. We ate moules frites on the beach, Dan drank espresso and pastis from our rented chaisse lounges and umbrellas for the day, we braved dips in the cold meditarranean, and searched for sea glass with my niece and nephew. I happily sunned my baby bump, drank sparkling water, and hoped that Oswin wouldn't hold it against me later in life for taking multiple dips in the cold water (I can't resist the Mediterranean, no matter what the temperature). I can't wait to go back and take Oswin, now that she can dip her toesies in the water, so I thought I'd share a little Maman et moi wishlist with all of you! (Sidenote: I just ordered those little green shorts for Oswin, as well as this pair here, and I can't wait to get them on her! The sling is by super favorite company for rig slings, Sakura Bloom.) See the links below for more information on the above items! 

A la prochaine friends...


Summer shirt

Eugenia Kim woven sun hat

$265 -


Birkenstock Gizeh 43663, Tongs mixte adulte - Noir verni, 40 (étroit)...
$59 -

Disclaimer: This is NOT a sponsored post, I just really dig all of the above things and want them for my own! 

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Cave Ouvertes 2014

Saturday was a good day. 

Cave Ouvertes is a big weekend here in SwitzerFrance, and I'm more than a little bit embarrassed to admit that this was the first time we've gone. Every year we are always either back in the United States for our annual spring visit, or sitting on the Y bus heading home from the airport and realizing that our jet lagged selves would probably have one glass of wine and fall asleep in the vineyards, only to be found by a vintner two days later. But this year was different. We were here. We weren't jet lagged. And did I mention that it was a beautiful day? 

We arrived a little late, as it seems that it takes us longer to get out the door these days, but we were still able to spend a few hours walking around the Swiss vineyards, tasting wine, and catching up with old friends that we hadn't seen in quite some time. Oswin, who loves being outside at all times, was in her supreme happy place. So many things to look at! So many people to listen to! Drinks to try to grab! Being so close to Papa all afternoon in the sling! It was her little blue heaven. 

I was surprised initially at how different Cave Ouvertes was then say, Salon des Vins. But then I reminded myself that I was in Switzerland and not France. At all of the salon des vins I've been to in France, you're more often than not poured 1/3 to a 1/2 glass of wine, as a "taste." Some people spit it out or pour it out into the top hat bucket, but most do least most that I have seen do not. At Cave Ouvertes, you're poured a tiny amount, more appropriately named a "taste." 

After you've tasted the vintner's wares, you then either move on to another cave (which in this case means small winery...a "cave" also means wine cellar), or buy a bottle and enjoy it with friends at the tables they have set up. Of course, you could always set up shop in the vineyard with your bottle too...

{"But I didn't order a bottle of breast milk! I ordered Gamaret!"} 

We had so much fun walking through Bourdigny, finding new paths and new little cafes to's amazing how you can live almost right next to a town and never experience it for years. Cave Ouvertes opened up new walking trails for us, new scenery, and new potential picnic places for this summer, and we're pretty excited about it. 

A few hours tasting, picture taking, and socializing, and it was soon time to head home. But with a happy baby girl and three bottles of wine in tow (A Gamay from Satigny, a Chasselas, which we've been told is the original wine that was grown in the region, and a Sauvignon Gris), we headed home for a quiet Saturday night. 

Because anymore, those are my absolute favorite. 

A la prochaine friends...


Friday, May 23, 2014

CERN Tour: The CMS Cavern and Detector

CERN, home of the Large Hadron Collider. Many only know of it because of Tom Hanks and "Angels and Demons," but it's oh so much more than that. They've been in the news a lot these last couple of years, from hitting record breaking energy levels during collisions of protons, black hole research, and the discovery of the Higgs Boson on July 4, 2012 (Higgsdependence Day, as we like to call it). It's also where Dan works as a high energy particle physicist, which is pretty awesome. 

{The View}

{Assembly Hall, where they literally assembled the detector}

{The control room}

{The elevator that takes you underground to the CMS Cavern}

{Papa teaching Oswin all about the control room} 

Oh, and I almost forgot. You know that thing that our lives pretty much revolve around, that thing called the internet? Well, it was created at CERN. So, yeah. Thank you CERN, because without you I would have no blog, pinterest or instagram, and that would make me very very very sad. 

CERN has been a big part of our lives since moving abroad 4 1/2 years ago, and not just because Dan works there on the CMS Experiment. We've met a lot of friends through the expat community, have often used it as a meeting place or take off point for adventures, I took french classes there for a bit, and during Oswin's birth I stared out the window at CERN, because I had a clear view of The Globe out of the delivery room window. To say we're a bit entrenched is an understatement. 

Well, today I leveled up my CERN cred with an amazing and unique opportunity - a tour of the CMS cavern and detector! What does that mean exactly? It means taking a silver elevator underground 100 meters to find this massive and actually very beautiful piece of finely tuned scientific equipment...that happens to also cost tens of billions of dollars/CHF/euros. 

The CMS detector is 6 stories (or 15 meters) high, and is pretty much one of the coolest things I've ever seen. The power that can be generated by this machine is unbelievable, and it can help physicists tell us so much about our universe and how it began.

Thinking of scheduling a tour of CERN and the caverns? My suggestion is to act fast, because there is typically a wait list of about 6 months to get on a tour. In addition to that, they're not currently taking data, which means that the caverns are open for those on the tour. This will change when the collider turns back on, which I've been told should be October, when the caverns will no longer be open to tour groups. So get in there and get your science on! 

Oh and if you're in our SwitzerFrench area, CERN Open Days are coming up! Check it out!

A la prochaine friends...