Alaska, Animals, Yo'shi

Yoshi Vs Snow

Yesterday I was driving home with Yoshi when all of a sudden she got super excited. There was much whining and tail wagging and sticking of her head out the window. I couldn’t figure out what was wrong with her…until we got home.

It had snowed while we were in town and she had just realized it. She insisted we go outside and play. She wouldn’t take no for an answer.

So out we went.

Just for the record, I wasn’t slamming her with snowballs -I threw them up in the air -and she ran into them. Also she is a bit of a drama queen with her facial expressions, but we wouldn’t have her any other way!

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You can just see the wheels turning “Where’d it go?”

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“Oh, THERE it is!”

At least someone is enjoying the snow!

Switzerland - 2017

Switzerland: Day 3

Last night, we decided it might be fun to book a train that would take us up through the mountains. Actually, the first day we were here -while I was out for a walk, I thought it might be a fun idea -and when the rest of us showed up I ran the idea past them and we decided to book.

Apparently, however, when you ‘book a reservation’ on a train here -you are only reserving a seat. Not buying a ticket! Seat reservation is only recommended during peek season -which it is not. Woops! Oh well.

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We got these fancy red tags on our chairs and felt super special. So there is that!

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The train ride itself went from Montroux to Zweisimmen. There were some epic mountain views! The whole journey took about 5 hours to complete I believe. It didn’t seem like that long and after walking all day yesterday it was nice to sit and relax…well, relax is relative with two small kids on board!

It was also quite funny -we met a man in the coffee shop from Australia -who had traveled to Alaska and been in Ketchikan! It was crazy to not only meet someone who spoke English, but to meet someone who had been in OUR town!

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Sadly, today is our last day -we head out tomorrow, so this is au revoir, Switzerland, it’s been a treat!

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Switzerland - 2017, Travel

Switzerland: Day 2

Today was a great day, but that could have something to do with the fact that a few of my favorite people finally made it late last night!

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After breakfast we wandered down to the Christmas market -but since it was still early and everything wasn’t open yet -we changed our plans and began a walk to the Chillon Castle. It was meant to take about twenty minutes -but with our group we ended up taking at least an hour. Or two.

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It was a very scenic walk -and the trip back only took about 20 minutes.

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The castle itself was nice…except we forgot to pack food and by the time we were done we were famished. So off to a little pizza joint we went. The best pizza is always from the little shops in the wall that are dimly lit and unadvertised.

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Then back to the market for some hot chocolate, waffles and shopping.

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We also did another round on the Ferris Wheel -because of course we had to!

Then dinner and back to our hotel. It was a full day -but a lot of fun.

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Switzerland - 2017, Travel

Switzerland: Day Un

I woke up this morning a little bummed out about how things were panning out. I may be spontaneous enough to hop a plane with a few days notice and travel a billion and some odd miles alone -but going to a foreign country where I don’t speak their language? That’s where I draw the line.

But I am here. And there wasn’t anything left to do but get up -and then I looked out the window and saw this:

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…and couldn’t have been happier to be here. It’s seriously so beautiful!

Now I am the type of person that likes to have a plan -even if that plan means leaving in ten days for a five day trip a billion miles away. But I digress. Not having a set in stone plan for where I was going to go and what I was going to do, threw me a bit. Especially since I was already kind of reeling from the fact that I was here. Alone.

But first things first. I knew I had to get an adapter so I could charge my laptop and cell phone, and well everything really, and coffee. Because can one really start their day right without coffee? All that meant going for walk in a town I didn’t know. This could have been a disaster, considering I am direction-ally challenged. Seriously. I get lost in Walmart.

But priorities, folks.

I got up, got ready -opened the door and stepped out.

…and thus began my first day in Switzerland, solo.

I may have walked into a few doors, and may have gotten stuck in a revolving door. I may have also been called a name or two in French -I really couldn’t be for sure. The point is, I went out and ordered a coffee (to go) in what little French I knew, and got just that!

Honestly I was probably a little too excited that I had actually navigated the whole thing. And I’m also fairly certain it was straight espresso. No coffee. But it was good.

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But I got that adapter. And I got that coffee. And I found my way back to my hotel.

And then I went out again -to check out the Christmas Market…and walk along the water….

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I’ve never been to a foreign country alone, before. Sure, I travel alone. But I always have met up with someone. Someone who can help me navigate the roads and the languages. It was a whole new experience -this navigating alone stuff. It was also the first time in I don’t know how long that I didn’t have an agenda, or a plan, or anyone needing anything.

I didn’t have to be anywhere, had nothing but time, and was in an amazingly beautiful place. I couldn’t help but smile.

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Photobombs!

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After I went for my wander I came back to the hotel for a bit. Then just as it was getting dark, I decided to go back out and check out the market at night. To see the lights and take in the sights.

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I went in for a closer picture…

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…and ended up buying a ticket to go on it! I think this is probably the closest I will ever get to buying an “All around the world” ticket. Maybe not tho! One can dream!

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This is my “I am up so high, and I think I just might die if I look down so I will just stare blankly ahead” face.

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…and then I started laughing -because I was on a Ferris wheel, in Switzerland, alone, in the middle of the night…and I couldn’t stop. It took a few rounds for me to settle down and people probably thought I was losing my mind…or had too much warm rum and maple syrup. But I was just having fun. In Switzerland. Alone. In the middle of the night. On a Ferris wheel.

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Switzerland - 2017, Travel

Switzerland: Travel

“Do one thing every day that scares you.” ―Eleanor Roosevelt

It’s probably safe to say that I am set. For a few years. At least. Maybe. Maybe not. I can’t decide.

Let me explain.

A few weeks ago Amanda mentioned that they were going to Switzerland. “You should come!” she said. “Are you serious?” I asked. “Are you?” she replied. And so it began. I didn’t have a lot of time to think about it, but I didn’t need a lot. A quick look at my calendar told me I could be gone for approximately five days. And that was if everything panned out in my favor…

After securing the okay from everyone I had commitments with, I purchased my ticket and spent the next week and ½ attempting to get everything in order. It takes about as much time to get ready for a five day trip as it does a five month trip -which is really why I like to go for an extended period of time. But with Christmas, and previous engagements -being gone longer than five days wasn’t feasible. So a five day trip to Switzerland it was.

Sunday I taught Sunday school, attended church and mere minutes after the final amen -bolted out the front door, changed in the backseat of the car while mom drove to the airport -gave her a kiss and ran down the ramp to catch the ferry -which left right as I stepped on.

It’s been non-stop ever since.

I’ve traveled before. I know how it’s done. I didn’t check any bags so I could make it to the airport just ½ hour before the plane left. Perks of a small town -I arrived before the plane. I made my connecting flight in Seattle with ease, and traveled the next eight plus hours with a seat fully reclined into my lap and a guy who had taken sleeping pills, melting out of his seat into mine.

I know what to expect in the airports. I can even manage to haggle my bag into the overhead bins without any help -which is no small task when you are just over five feet. Our flight was late taxing in which meant I had to run to make it through the largest airport in England -and after a short runaround because my boarding pass was invalid -it was determined that my flight was cancelled. Due to weather. Because apparently Switzerland got snow -and they aren’t used to that.

No big deal. I got on the next flight, bought an international sim card and called Amanda. Who was supposed to meet me in the Swiss airport and together we would navigate to the hotel. Except their flight was cancelled too -and they wouldn’t be there until the following night.

It was determined that I would “Simply” catch the train in Switzerland and make my way to the hotel. In a land which I didn’t know. And a language I can’t speak. I will admit to crying a few tears in the airport -mainly because I was tired -having just flown 9+ hours and glorious jetlag and all. I was worried about getting lost. So yes, I left a few tears in England. But I boarded my flight, vowed not to let the issues get the best of me and slept the short flight Switzerland….

When I landed there were a dozen or so messages -telling me NOT to catch the train after all. Whilst in the air, it was apparently decided that no, catching a train in a foreign land -and making multiple connections before wandering the streets of a strange land in the dark  -would not be the wisest option…and after some finagling on her part, Amanda secured me a cab. Bless her socks.

It was a fairly easy trip from there. Except after traveling for a day plus, I was wiped. As we drove through the dark streets on our way to the hotel I couldn’t help but feel a bit disappointed. It looked like another big city. Full of busy streets and tall buildings.

I arrived at my hotel with a few minutes charge left on my computer and phone -because I had sent my travel adapter with Amanda, I wouldn’t be able to charge anything. I spent ten pounds just to call and inform my people that I had, in fact, arrived -then promptly fell asleep. For 12 hours.

When the sun came peaking into my room, I debated about getting up -it was, after all, early in the morning. I wasn’t entirely certain how I was going to get around in the town and having not seen anything except dark streets -I wasn’t sure I wanted to.

I got out of bed and opened the door to my private balcony and looked around….

Buildings….

….cars….

Then this:

 

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And suddenly, I remembered why I love to travel. With no expectations.

Because this place? Is quite simply: Beautiful.