August 29, 2012
Two idyllic scenes from a hike yesterday
Yesterday I took a hike with exactly 30 moms from our school (well, one was an alum daughter, one was a grandmother, and one was the wife of a coworker, with no children, so I guess that makes 27 moms). Anyway, it was a perfect day and we saw these gorgeous scenes (when we weren't deep in lively conversation, getting to know new friends). I drove 7 minutes from my house to the top of our local hill, the Albis, to meet everyone else, then we walked in a brisk two-hour loop before finding ourselves back at our cars in front of a café for a nice drink together.
August 27, 2012
Arosa, Graubünden, Switzerland, August 2012
From the front of our hotel here, you can see our hiking trajectory - from the building at the very top left to the one at the very top right of this photo, along the horizon of sky and rock. It took a while.
On the way up in the cable car
The village of Arosa down below (from the top of the Hörnli cable car) - yes, our hotel is down there (where the first photo was taken from)
We started our hike from the top of one cable car, aiming for the top of the other
Big, tall, steep mountains (see the village in the far distance down there across the valley?)
Alpine Lake (the two little white specks to the right of the lake are houses; the dark area of the lake is where it goes suddenly deep)
Tiny blue flower
That's Jason up there on the right - big rocks
Emily on the side of steepness
Jason atop a precarious perch on the right
The wildflowers praise their Maker
In German, affixed to a rock at the top of the mountain:
"Come and see the works of God, Who is so wonderful.
Praise and fame be brought to You, God; You have brought about an awesome and beautiful work of creation."
Ropes Course & Bear-Viewing
While Jason was here for his two-week visit, besides a weekend in the mountains and quick day road trips to France/Germany and Italy, we did the high ropes course on Pilatus, and took a walk in our local Wildpark - with a huge score on seeing the bears, all three, feasting on meat and whole apples floating in the water. You never know whether they will show themselves or not.
To follow up on the previous post: I ended up doing things in this order last Wednesday (I think - it's getting fuzzy, but some details were of possible interest):
1. Post Office before it closed for lunch at 12, to mail Swiss tax documents and Jason's U.S. voter registration form - he turns 18 this Autumn and can vote in his first presidential election two weeks later! Cool timing.
2. U.S. Consulate in Zurich before it closed for the day at 1pm, to pick up Emily's and my renewed passports. There, I briefly met former Mrs. Texas 1995 (2nd runner-up to Mrs. America; her 2nd husband was the former Swiss ambassador to Germany), entering the consulate at the same time as I was. She pressed the doorbell to ask to be let into the building, we entered together, then she took the elevator, and I ran up the stairs for the exercise and solitude. I had no idea who she was. She was wearing shorts and a T-shirt, with hair pulled back due to the heat, as was I. She casually remarked to me that she should have taken the stairs too. The consulate guard (the same one who is half-Polish and half-Congolese and last time told us our 14-year-old daughter would fetch 100 cows "minimum" to be taken off our hands in Africa) greeted Shawne Rae Fielding enthusiastically and gave her special treatment as an old friend. She was very warm and friendly with him, too. After he processed her entry, I was left alone with the guard, and he whispered to me that she was a "movie star", did I know? I didn't. Of course I looked her up when I got home. Now it makes sense why she called Richard Gere by his first name when she saw him in the guard's newspaper (Gere is coming to Zurich in September to accept an award of some kind). She apparently played one of Richard Gere's character's gynecological patients in a 2000 movie. Well, life is interesting. She was also in Walker, Texas Ranger alongside Chuck Norris at some point. She is now a dual Swiss-American citizen and "plans to spend the rest of her life in Switzerland." Then I discovered that we are more closely involved than I thought - she currently has two kids at our school! But much younger, in the lower school (younger one is 5).
I guess 17 years ago she looked like this in a professional photo shoot:
3. Filled up the car with gas
4. Picked up the dry cleaning (closed from 12-2pm)
5. Mowed the lawn (not an option 12-2 due to peace and quiet laws)
6. Recycling Center (opened at 1:15pm) Dropped the old clothes & cardboard & bottles & cans (but not plastic bottles, which are returned to the grocery store)
7. Was back home for the roofer's visit at 3:30pm
8. Picked up Emily after her call-back audition for A Doll's House, in which she got the part of Nora Helmer, the protagonist. She has a LOT of lines to memorize, but is ecstatic to do so.
August 22, 2012
It's now 11:05am. The Consulate (to pick up renewed passports) is only open until 1pm. The Post Office is closed from 12 to 1:30pm. I can't mow the lawn between 12 and 2pm. And it might rain later. The recycling center is only open from 1:15pm onwards. The roofing guy comes at 3:30pm to have a look at our marten nest in the roof. Emily was called back to more serious audtions after school for Ibsen's play A Doll's House, directed by a 12th grader at her new high school. So she would have gotten out at 2:40pm but now I don't know when she'll need picking up. And I have other urgent-ish things to take care of at home at my desk, which have to be done today as well. Too complicated! I think I'm off to the passport pick-up & post office, then I'll deal with everything else later! See you! (if you have a recommended timeline for my day, let me know)