Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Gratitude List

I watched this video a while back and it made me think of what I am grateful for. I used to say a few things that I was grateful for before I went to bed, even when I had had a horrible day. I realized it has been  a long time since I have done that and figured why not give it a whirl and write up a little list.

MY GRATITUDE LIST in no particular order
1. Sometimes when I am in the midst of a training for a competition or even in a competition I think to myself, I don't know if I want to keep going. I am tired, I am not on my game today, I want to give up and go lay down. Then, I think about how lucky I am that I have my health and that I am capable of running or biking or swimming and that some people would give anything to have this chance. I am grateful for my health.

2. I am grateful for having my best friend and partner in life by my side every single day. Nicholas challenges me and cherishes me, as I do him. I am so grateful for my husband.

3. Because most people will never get to have a year off in a foreign country to explore and discover themselves, no matter how difficult and lonely it can be at times, I am exceedingly grateful to have a year of reflection and growth in our new home.

4. Most* of my closest friends and family live thousands of miles away, I am grateful for how connected the world is now so I can still speak with my parents and brother when I want and also for the many new friends and family I have made here. Without whom I would be lost. (4.5* Ashley being here.)

5. I am grateful for the generosity and support of others. I would not have completed a triathlon this year if it weren't for the generosity of a friend who lent me her bike. I would not be as far along in my French if it weren't for the generosity of my neighbor.

6. The LAKE and the mountains, and the Swiss countryside

7. Chocolate

Monday, October 25, 2010

Fall = Races

Just like back in high school (and beyond), this fall is about running and races. I am signing up for a run in Lausanne on Halloween and we are set to run in Burgundy on November 21. I had toyed with the idea of running a full marathon this fall with the hope of qualifying for the Boston to run with Megan. I have to say, I am glad that I didn't train fully because the Boston sold out the first day registration opened! I am thinking that I am nearing the end of my full marathon days and I didn't want to waste my good(ish) knees and joints on 42km that would have no chance of getting me to Boston.

Boston Marathon blog - Boston Marathon sells out in a day - Boston.com

Also, on the Boston Marathon website's FAQ this Q&A is posted:

The B.A.A. annually addresses the qualifying procedure by which runners gain entry into the Boston Marathon. With such popularity for the event, qualifying standards for future Boston Marathons are under review.

Who knows what the qualifying times will be in the future. Maybe they will keep it at 3:40 for women my age, or maybe they will set a faster pace. All I know is people are loving themselves some marathons and fast times. 

Getting Away

Tomorrow Nicholas and I are sneaking away for a couple of days to celebrate the end of another part of the program and recharge for the final leg (who can believe that?!) The job search will continue, but this time from the Italian part of Switzerland and hopefully Zermatt.

I refuse to leave Switzerland before seeing the Matterhorn, rumored to be the inspiration behind the Toblerone triangular shape. Mmmm... 

Sevillanas continued, with a side of Rumba

So, after being completely confused after another dance class and endless new moves, they told us that we will do a Rumba in the middle of the flamenco.

Oy vey...although, I have to say, Rumba is super simple compared to the Sevillana. Phew!!

Camila and I will go next week to find the costumes for the ladies but for now- I have to get to work on these new steps...
I may just have to fake this til I make it on this one.

Impromptu Swiss Concert

Outside my window the other night, a circle of men with alphorns performed a 15 minute concert. Pretty amazing. I am trying to post the audio, but for now you will have to use your imagination :)

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Bike Ride through the Vineyards

There is no way to truly capture all the beauty that exists in this country. A month or so ago, we went biking in the morning til late afternoon with two Chilean couples through the neighboring vineyards. The day was crisp and clear enough to see the beautiful snow-covered mountains across the lake. We were exhausted after arriving to our first destination- a wine cave where we did tastings of the regions wines.
After we watched a video and finished the wines, we bought a couple more bottles to drink during our picnic lunch by the lake where we were able to watch the last voyage of the Vevey float by, escorted by the lake police and spectators.
Needless to say, that night was an early night for us. So much fresh air and wonderful wine takes it toll.

Girls Week 2010 Switzerland and Paris

Just as soon as they arrived, they are off again! The week of family and fun is now a great memory.

The week started early Sunday morning at the airport where we picked up Mom and Aunt Laura and forced them to stay awake with a tour of Geneva, a late lunch and a visit to the Hindens before heading back to Lausanne. There were a few moments of poking Laura to make sure she didn't knock off during the car ride back home. But who can blame her? The first day is always torture.

Monday was a lot of fun with a trip to Sion to see the mountains and to have a picnic lunch amongst the city's two castles.

Despite the luck, or lack thereof, of buying train tickets to Paris on the first day of the national strike, we still managed to get into the city! We explored all things Parisian- Notre Dame, the Louvre, Champagne at the Eiffel Tower, shopping on the Champs Elysee, Sacre Coeur, Arc de Triomphe, the many many gardens and squares. We ate quiches, croissants, pan au chocolates, pastries, and crepes. Even though the strike did put a hamper on our last day, as we had to take a much earlier train back, we made the most out of our excursion to the City of Lights!
On the Seine boat tour 

Finally back to Switzerland Thursday afternoon, we planned the last couple of days in my very clean (see trip to Paris above) and organized country.
In Ouchy

Friday, we made the trip to the region of Gruyere. A trip to the cheese factory was a must, followed by a tour of the chocolate factory and the castle. We ended the evening with a yummy fondue dinner with Kirsch and wine followed by the very Swiss meringue and double cream dessert. Our bellies thanked us :)
Gruyere cows are happy cows :) 
Finally, Saturday, we made it to the neighboring wine region to taste some local Swiss wine.

All in all, we made the most out of a week vacation. I am so blessed to have had my mom and godmother make the trip to see me and extend our annual girls weekend to a girls week! Can't wait to see what next year has in store for us :)

The video doesn't come close to doing the week justice, but enjoy Mr. Armstrong and his rendition of La Vie en Rose (our soundtrack for the week)!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


Across the pond, people give the date differently, instead of month/day/year it is day/month/year hence the very cool date today

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Being away from home*

Makes you realize how much you miss strange and obvious things.

Strange things being things you didn't realize you liked, not things that are bizarre. For instance, to-go coffee or tea is a strange thing that I miss. I love getting a large tea or coffee in the cooler months and carrying it while walking to and from destinations in the chilly weather to keep my hands warm. Yes, I wear gloves, but there is something so nice about a hot tea to sip on slowly while walking to a meeting.

Obvious things being things you knew you would miss and then remind yourself, duh, of course you would miss this/that. For instance, my friends :) Just thinking of them back home* makes me smile and ache for them at the same time. Two of them in particular make me smache all the time Jen and Meg.
See you girls in December!! xo

*home = Some days its Cleveland or C-bus, others it is DC or NY. It is places I have never lived but love, like Paris. And, believe it or not, it is even Switzerland at times :) 

Monday, October 18, 2010


What I am learning to dance- of course the mbas put it into something that looks more like a math equation:

A Very Happy Belated-30th-Birthday to My Dear Friend Camila

May this next decade be the best yet and May all your wishes come true!

And they are gone...

After a whirlwind week, my mom and godmother are back home. Safe and sound. A great review of the week to come!

Now I am planning my mother-in-law's trip for graduation, the adventures never end :)

Saturday, October 9, 2010


In just over a day and a half my MOM and GODMOTHER will be here!!!! GIRLS WEEK 2010- European Style :)

Great Night :)

Wonderful night with our Singaporean/Aussie friends. Good food (If I don't say so myself) better company, and loads of laughter! It is good to have a night like this every once in a while! Looking forward to our next night together. I am sure it will be  of Taboo :)

Monday, October 4, 2010

After a great weekend

Spent with my husband and friends outdoors enjoying this beautiful fall weather, I am off to the Z to see one AP :) 

T-6 Days until Mom and A.Laura arrive!! 

Friday, October 1, 2010

Where has the time gone?

Can it really be October 1st already? Back in the States, my old company is in busy season doing tons of ads in breakneck fashion for the elections in a month. Here, the students are applying to jobs in the same manner with 2 months to graduation. The grapes are being harvested and the mountain peaks are starting to get dusted with snow, and slowly. things are starting to go back to the way we found them...