I’m back! To Finland and to blogging. With the last several months of travel, family and friends, updating the blog got pushed to the back burner. But with our return to Finland, we’re starting to get back into the swing of things.
I have several travel posts which have gotten backed up, starting with Geneva. Three weeks after we got back from Ireland we left to meet our good friends, Kendall and Will, on the tail end of their Europe trip. It was just a brief stay in Geneva, but so so worth it. You can go anywhere with these people and have the time of your life, they seriously make everything fun. But this city, wow, gorgeous. Everything was postcard worthy. Well, everything besides the red-light district, where we stayed. Let me explain. When we were looking for a place to stay, months before, we looked everywhere. Geneva is not exactly the cheapest place in the world, so we scoured the internet to find a place in our budget. Kendall finally found one, sent it to all of us to approve, we checked it out, looked good, so we booked it. So then it’s about a month away, Scott and I are sitting around in Ireland and I’m suddenly curious about where exactly we are staying when we get to Geneva. I put the address in my phone and it pinpoints a place in France. So I double check that I have the address right. Yep. Hmmm. Text to Kendall - Hey, can you send me the address of our hotel because I think I have the wrong one. It says it’s in France. Moments later I get a text back - What?!? Mine says that too! After a frantic search and realization that we could get a refund, we realized that it was on LAKE Geneva. Turns out that’s not only in Geneva (word to the wise). Long story short, we found one hotel, IN Geneva, that was within our price range and close to the area that we wanted to be in. We had a read a little something about there being some ladies around this hotel, but at this point that didn’t even faze us. So a month later, when we’re walking through the adorable city of Geneva to our hotel, I was immediately a little taken aback when I saw the short shorts (it was definitely not warm enough for those). And then it came back to me. Ooooohhhhhh, yeah. I shot a quick glance at Scott and he knew exactly what I was thinking. So I guess there are some not so nice areas too, but that’s what gives it character, right?
Now to the pretty parts. We took the train to Lutry one day for some wine tasting and although it was not exactly what we expected, the town was everything you could wish for in a little Swiss town. Despite our best efforts to research before we went, we didn’t have a ton of information about how thing whole wine tasting thing was supposed to work here. One tip we read said that we should just go around knocking on doors and asking for wine. So you can't blame us if we were a little skeptical about how that was going to go. When we got to Lutry we took the approach of asking random people on the street and in shops, where we could go to taste wine. Every response consisted of pointing and ummm, there is a place down/up the street/a couple streets. So we wandered. Luckily, Lutry is a great place for aimless wandering. It’s a small town right on the lake with breathtaking views. What more could you ask for? Wine. We came for wine. So we continued our search. On one of the final tips from a friendly shop owner, we found what I’ll equate to a wine tasting room. We walked up to the bar, expecting a set tasting that we could order, and found no such thing. So we proceeded to describe to the bartender what we were looking for. Oh, I can do that - was the response. Perfect. So we sat and waited for the wines. He came, placed the wine glasses on the table, and very kindly described them for us and answered all of our questions. Then when he left we looked at each other. There were three wine glasses, with three different wines, and there were three of us. Not to be picky here, but we are just used to getting a “tasting” each, which means each person gets to taste several wines. So we politely asked the bartender if we could have two more, as in tastings. He looked at us, furrowed his brow, paused for a second, and said (in a tone that was confused by the ridiculousness of the request) why don’t I just bring you some more glasses so you can split the wine? Oh, yes, of course, that’s a much better idea. Crazy Americans.
The rest of the time was just blah. You know, like boat rides, hiking, delicious fondue, more wine, that kind of stuff. I won’t bore you with all the details.
After our exciting encounters with the mountains via snowboards, we spent our last full day exploring them on something a little more familiar. There was a hiking trail near our hotel that took us to see some pretty mesmerizing views. We first walked through the cutest neighborhood that I'm convinced we'll live in some day (just like every other place we visit). The houses all had names written on them and they all looked like they would have the perfect fire place inside. Towards the end of our hike it started to snow. Much to our surprise, Switzerland was warmer than what we are used to in Finland, so the snow was a welcomed treat.
Two important things that we learned: everyone in Switzerland is trilingual (at least where we were), so we've really got to step up our game. Also, I learned that you should be really sure that an egg is boiled before you try to crack it (important life lessons). Our first morning at breakfast I made it pretty clear to everyone around me that I had yet to learn this lesson. I was really sure that this egg was boiled, why would you serve an un-boiled egg??? So I tried to crack it. It was really hard and wouldn't crack on the table. So I squeezed with all my might. And then it cracked. All. Over. All over my shirt, all over my pants, all over the floor and all over my food. It was quite a scene. Needless to say, I avoided the eggs for the remainder of the trip.
All in all Switzerland was pretty amazing. I could have stared at those mountains all day. We were so lucky to get to spend our honeymoom amongst them.
My idea of the perfect honeymoon had always been a relaxing week on the beach, laying out in the scorching sun with little umbrellas in my drinks. But since our recent move forced us pretty far north in the world, we felt like a warm beach was just too far away for a December trip, so we decided to embrace the winter. Our minds were made up when Scott found an advertisement for a hotel wih an infinity pool looking out over the Swiss Alps - sign me up! It really was everything we imagined (from the picture). Skiing/snowboarding, a wintry hike and lots and lots of pool time.
Our journey began when our Finnish speaking skills failed us, yet again, and we were forced to walk to the train station in the snow/ice. An hour pulling/pushing/dragging luagge through the ice qualified as my exercise for the rest of the year. I was not a happy camper, starting from about three minutes in. From there it took us a train, a plane, another train (with one transfer), and a bus to get us to this quaint Swiss town, but it was so worth it. (I'd probably still be at the train station without Scott's supreme navigating skills). The people in Adelboden were so friendly and everyone spoke English (small victories).
In retrospect maybe skiing, with it being Scott's first time and on some pretty narrow/steep slopes, was not the best honeymoon activity. (The Swiss definition of easy was a little different than ours). We spent our first day with me trying really hard to be a good and patient snow board instructor and Scott not really feeling like I was succeeding at that. Then I took a pretty serious tumble which left me partially crippled the rest of the trip. At least these will be stories to entertain our children with some day.