Tuesday, April 27, 2010


Ahh, they arrive first thing in the morning. Currently they are flying over the Atlantic. Busy week planned. Safe Travels M&D!

Over a month +

 I have finally finished Anna Karenina. Loved it till the end... then, not so sure. On to the next book.

Dear Stacey M.H.,

I thought of you when I saw this.
Love, your gnomies in Switzerland :)

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Two New Half-Marathon Finishers!

The race today was incredible. A bit too hot at the start, but cooled down a bit to make a more pleasant run. I had to stay positive throughout the race, since this was C&C's first time ever doing a race. There was a lot of loud cheering going on from me to them. (Megan, can you imagine what that is like? ;) Our most revered cheer during our training runs and today was one that I twisted from the original of: "somos las mejores!" "we are the best!" --  to "somos las mujeres!" "we are women!" This was our battle cry all day long. 

At the start line
We had an incredible, and incredibly hilly, tour of Lausanne. So many places I have never seen before and I really enjoyed it. It was definitely a bit different to do a race coaching others and not worrying about any of my needs, but making sure the two of them completed the race. I had no doubts about myself, I only wished a couple of times to run ahead when a beautiful downhill would open up and my legs would start going double speed. But mostly, I wanted to run together with the women I have spent 4 out of 7 of my mornings every week with and share with them this moment.

Somewhere between 5 and 10kms

I have to say, Caro and Camila did an incredible job. Their faces showed some signs of fatigue and frustration at all the hills, but we did our best to try and keep things positive. Even I was shocked at how many hills there were. Over 7 kms of the race was uphill. That is close to HALF.


When we all finished, together, there was celebrating, hugs, shouts, laughing. When we finally left the course and started towards home, I let them know that this course was the hardest course I have ever done. Never have I run a course with so many hills at such steep climbs. They couldn't believe it, they thought I was saying it to make them feel better. It could not be more true. What a tough course.

course elevation. yowsers. 
The whole time I was thinking, hmmm... will they notice this is another uphill? Will they realize that we haven't plateaued in a long time? Will they give up? What would I have done if this was my first race and I was faced with hill after steep hill?

Finish line hug. Amazing :) 


They did not give up. They did such an impressive run that I choked back a couple of tears at the finish line when the two of them hugged. What a great moment to watch them get their first "finisher" medals today. :) I am so proud. Wow.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

20km de Lausanne TODAY

The day has finally come for my team to run in the 20km :)

We have prepared for close to 3 months and we have a gorgeous, sunny day here in Lausanne, with temperatures at 68*F. The bands are set up and all looks right for a nice stroll through town.

This will not only be the first half-marathon for the two other girls I have been training, but their first race in general! This will be my first time to run a race in the evening. Our race doesn't start until 6:10pm... strange.


Friday, April 23, 2010

Piece of Art or Politics?

I found this in the window of a modern art studio in Geneva. 

Thursday, April 22, 2010

From the First Wine Tasting

The Sommelier and his assistants :) 

Me and My 'Friends' in Montreux

A couple weeks ago, I was in Montreux visiting when I came across a hard to miss exhibit. There where giant stick, leave, twig creatures all around town in a Madagascar exhibit. No, not for the country, but the children's movies... No idea why, but I had fun snapping some photos.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Alice au Pays des Merveilles

Alice in Wonderland. In 3D. In French.

I always have a bit of trouble with 3D. In fact, I hate it. I always feel like I am straining my eyes and that half the time the technology doesn't even work. The first few minutes I always feel a bit queasy, trying to get a hold of all the different motions and also from taking the 3D glasses on and off to see what the movie looks like without and if I really need to wear them. No matter how awful I think the 3D looks with the shades, without them it is unbearable. At this point, I am always kicking myself for paying twice as much to see a film in a version that I hate.

Onto the French part. Good. Always good for me to practice, even when half the script is in jibberish crazy, made-up talk. For instance, what is a jabberwocky? Anyways, with the insanity talk of the same-named Hatter or the doped out Cheshire Cat, it is a good thing I know the story so well :)

Do I recommend spending almost twice as much to see this film? Probably not, but did I love seeing such a close rendition of the classic done as an adult? Absolutely. Although I did not like Alice, the rest of the characters helped carry the film. I loved how clever the costumes and scenery were. I loved every time that Alice had to eat or drink something because I couldn't wait to see what her clothes would be. I loved everything that Helen Bonham Carter did, she played a perfect Red Queen. I loved the Red army and their armery. I loved Johnny Depp's version of the Mad Hatter. Wow. Except for the strange dance scene at the end. We could have done without him doing that.

Now, I suppose I missed a lot not watching this in English, but overall, I would see it again. I started as an Alice in Wonderland fan, and they did not lose me.

how they cook on the other side of the world

The other day, my neighbor and friend Chunguang invited me over to have lunch with her. She was making pasta with a really spicy sauce. I had to admit that I had already started to eat lunch but she was persistent and I can never resist pasta, not to mention anything spicy, so I agreed.

Bad motion shot, she was cooking so fast
I went down to her apartment where she was still cooking and I did a double take when I saw that she was cooking pasta with chopsticks! I had to ran upstairs and grabbed my camera and then of course take a turn.

So much easier to test the pasta with chopsticks :) 
To wrap up the lunch, she served green tea she brought from China. It was actually from the mountain that Nicholas and I hiked in 2007, Emei Shan. What a small world.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

A Big Heart

I was recently told by a cardiologist that I do not have an athletic heart or a big heart... bummer. I always thought I had both.

heart Pictures, Images and Photos

I had a mini-scare this week with some concerns about my heart from a compulsory check-up all athletes had to complete before we could compete in the Paris MBA Olympics next month. I have never been told that I have ever had any health issues and for a doctor to suggest that I see a cardiologist regarding my heart--but not to worry, caused me to do just that. I thought of my family and family heart history. I thought of some things I had ignored in the past and I thought about my running.

Unnecessary worries past through my head all week. Would I be able to run the half-marathon next week? Would they even find anything? What if this is serious? I am only 28 yrs old... what will I do?

Due to language barriers, I did not wanting to screw up scheduling an appointment with a cardiologist and the recommended tests with my laughable French, so I enlisted Yann to help. He made a few calls and it did not look promising. Availability in June. End of May... Dang. I want to run that race next week and with all these new worries I did not want to risk it, but I also did not want to miss it.

Bless his heart, Yann finally made a miracle happen. He got me an appointment on Thursday for Saturday morning at a clinic that is normally closed on the weekends, but the doctor said he would come in specifically to see me. How the heck did he do that? He told me you just have to be persistent here and they will let you in. Wow. Amazing. After a million thanks to him, I asked if he could accompany me as well, just in case there was any translation needs. Of course he said yes.

Not only did we have an appointment this morning at 11am, in a clinic that was otherwise closed, but the doctor who saw me was the "Chef de Clinique."  How in the heck did Yann manage this??

The first thing the doctor said to me (in English) was, "I hear you are a professional athlete." I cough, "Um,... not exactly. I have run 5 marathons and several..." He cuts me off, "Well, that makes you a professional around here."Me, "Oh, Ok, professional it is." He proceeds to ask me if I am taking any type of supplement, etc. I think he really believes I am some American athlete that happens to be here competing in races. I assure him that I am the run of the mill athlete and I am not taking anything to enhance my abilities.

From there on, the exam goes really well, although the first thing he tells me after starting the first exam is that I do not have an athletic heart. Gulp, oh no... He then reassures me that this is 100% normal and good and the only bad thing is that "athletic" hearts tend to be the ones found in most professional athletes, but they tend to be abnormal. In reality it is better to have a regular heart.

He asked me if before my other marathons or competitions I had to have a physical. Nope, never. Then he asked me why I had went to visit a doctor now. I explained that it was compulsory to have a physical before we compete in Paris. He beemed. He was so happy and told me that Italy was the first country to require this, but since then, most of the other European countries had started to make it mandatory to have physicals before any competition and for competitions like biking, swimming and running, they were now trying to make it mandatory to have an ECG and an echography! What? That is crazy.

He told me that it is quite a heated debate in sports medicine between some American doctors and European ones. That the Americans say that these are expensive tests to perform on athletes who tend to be fit, young and extremely healthy. The European doctors see it as a necessary precaution and easy way to determine whether or not an athlete is indeed in the proper cardiac health to compete.

Had I known about these new requirements and precautions, this week may have been a bit less emotional for me. In the US if you are referred to a cardiologist, things tend to be quite serious. Here it seems to be more or less normal.

When we leave the clinic, Yann looks at me with a smile and mentions the "professional athlete" comment. I ask him what he said when he made the appointment, did he embellish? He tells me that he just told him I was a runner and maybe when he mentioned the Olympic race in Paris, he forgot to mention it was the MBA Olympics... Yeah, Yann. That could be it ;)

Although my doctor made it clear that my heart was just an average healthy heart, you do not need any special machines or fancy doctors to tell that Yann has a bigMerci mon ami. 

Great, Goofy Parents

Today, after a stressful morning and then a bit of a blue-afternoon, I got to catch up with my parents:) Sure, it was really nice to talk and get everything that was on my mind out to them and, of course, hear what is going on in there lives. But it is also just fun to see them be goofy. Dad, this time I am talking about you. Last time, it was Mom.

I wish I had thought of doing a screen grab during the call to capture the many different characters my dad took on with his new video camera. It was a great rotation of a football player, a viking, Marilyn Monroe, Elvis, a baby, a wizard and a race car driver. I am sure you may have seen those cameras out there that allow you to place your head in the right place and you get fitted with a football helmet or a crazy hair style and polyester suit or race car.

"No, you can take me seriously.. "

Laughing while my serious father talked to me about finances dressed as Elvis definitely made me forget about lots of things that were bogging me down earlier. The best part was hearing my mom giggle in the background. 

Thanks you two for being so much fun. Cannot wait to have you here in our new home! 831

Friday, April 16, 2010

Wine Degustation Round II

Tonight was the Wine Club's initial meeting, but Nicholas and my second time doing this with our neighbors. We tasted 6 wines, 3 reds and 3 whites. I got to act as an assistant and pour the wines. All the students and partners seemed to really enjoy themselves and wind down a bit before the students went back to study and the partners came over for a pasta dinner at Yann and my apartments ;)

It truly was good to see so many students show up and really relax for an hour or two and enjoy some good wine and great company.

Maxime did an excellent job. A real pro. Sante!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Happy 3 Year Anniversary

Jen and Dan! Love you both! I remember when you had me guess what your big news was in the basement apt in NW DC and how I looked around the apt for a dog... SO happy you decided to get married instead ;) The rings were a dead giveaway... still don't know how I missed that! hehe
To a long and happy life together. MWAH!

PS It is technically still the 13th in the US so this still counts, even though it just turned midnight here! 

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

4 Months of Bliss

Today marks our 1/3 year anniversary ;)  This adventure we are on is an opportunity of a lifetime and everyday watching Nicholas fulfill one of his dreams while I get to explore and build friendships is incredible. To many more adventures.

Seriously, was this a fun wedding or what? 


So this is my first week of part-time work for a women's organization here in Lausanne. I am set to work for two weeks and then wait to see what happens with my permit. I am also keeping my fingers crossed for more permanent work...

The organization I am working with on a very part-time basis is called WIN and the whole purpose of this organization is for their annual conference where they gather tons of professional women from all over the world and lead sessions, discussions, etc. Check out the site, it is actually pretty interesting and if I stay with this organization, the conference is being held in Paris this year...

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Happy Birthday and Belated

Happy Birthday to my Godmother and my Poppy (a little belated)

Poppy, this one is late. I lost track of the days but I hope you are enjoying celebrating your birthday today with the family. Wish I could be there with everyone. I love you and think of you everyday! Miss you!

Bunny! I hope you are being treated like a queen on your birthday. Love and miss you!

Sundate = No Fundate When It Involves Filing Taxes

But we finally finished. Filing the first time jointly, we are hoping that Uncle Sam doesn't come after us rookies, fingers crossed we didn't make any major mistakes. With two moves, one being international, and a marriage... Have I mentioned I hate filing taxes.

Silver lining. We both had great jobs that gave us this opportunity to file.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Many Updates

I have to update the blog on our vacation weekend in Burgundy and Dijon. Amazing.  A million photos and so many great stories.

Now, I have my first official visitor in town, DAVID! Most likely won't get to updating anytime soon ;)

David in the North Tower of the St. Pierre Cathedral overlooking Geneva

Thursday, April 1, 2010


Nicholas is officially done with the first 1/4 of the year. All four exams are done and we leave in a couple hours for Burgundy, France!! Four days of vacation with my husband uninterrupted by class, start-up meetings or group assignments!! Of course, they did already assign next week's work so I am sure he will be tied up with the books a bit, but at least we will be out of Lausanne Switzerland! SO EXCITED :)

For Real

Thanks Ashley for having me in Zurich for the past few days to shelter me from exam week in Lausanne. I feel so lucky to have one of my very best friends so close to me in my new home. This is one of those life experiences I will never forget.