Monday, January 16, 2012

Madrileños en la casa

This weekend, we had two of our favorite Madrileños visiting us. Fernando has always had an open invitation to come to Switzerland to visit, ski and allow us to payback a bit of his hospitality that he always showed us whenever we have been in Spain. Now that we are mere weeks from leaving, he finally has taken us up on our offer and brought his better half, Marga :) 

We had such a fun weekend. Friday night we gave them a walking tour of our side of Geneva and took them to one of our favorite restaurants in the old town. Saturday, we got up early and drove to Italy to hit the slopes. To see Fernando on the funicular up the mountain was priceless. Peering out the front, salivating at the slopes as they appeared. Never have I seen someone so happy to be in the mountains. Of course, no Swiss winter weekend would be complete without a fondue dinner. We took them to a well-kept secret Geneva fondue spot. You have to walk down a long pier in the lake to get to the hidden restaurant and reservations must be made well in advance. It was really cool to bring them there. 

hot cocoa ski break :) 

Sunday, the three of them went to France to ski while I stayed back. I had a nasty tumble the day before and figured it would be best if I make it to the end of the month in one piece before we start our travels :) I am happy to take a day to relax and get things organized for one of our last weeks here. 
Looks like the fondue was a hit :) 

Pretty sure they will be our last visitors to Switzerland, and I have to say, we have had quite a good showing! Thanks to everyone who has come for a visit, whether for an afternoon while passing through or for a week+. You have helped make this country feel a little more like our home :) Especially:  David N, Mom and Dad, MelRoc, Stacey MH, Mom and FGM, Betty, Cheryl, Tia Marta y Lala, Shippy, Kendra, Daniella, Johnny Z and Pete D, Camila, and Fernando y Marga! 

Who did I forget? 

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Our New Home, Our New Country

At the end of the month, we will say good bye to our home in Geneva. The past month, we have been preparing for our 4th international move in 2 years. I have been waiting for some time now to share our news and now I have the green light.

In November, Nicholas received a job offer with Samsung in Seoul, South Korea. We will be heading back to the US in February and moving to our new home at the beginning of March. We will have a few weeks to find an apartment and try to get settled before Nicholas starts work the first week of April. We have several friends in Seoul and many Korean friends who have offered to put us in touch with their family and friends. We feel very lucky to have the support system we have for this next move. There is no doubt in our minds that this will not be as easy as moving to Switzerland and learning French and adjusting easily into the culture. We have talked at length how even just reading a street sign will be challenging in our new home. The good thing is we both are very open-minded and excited for this next chapter and won't let little things like a street sign or menu stop us :)

We have already started our Korean lessons and will continue studying intensively until we arrive. Once there, the company will get us enrolled in classes. Nicholas will have class everyday as part of his job. Stay tuned- looks like 2012 may be one of the most interesting years yet for us!

As ALWAYS our door is open for visitors, don't be a stranger!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

New Year

To say 2011 was a rollercoaster is an understatement. We started the year in Washington, DC, where Nicholas applied for jobs all over the world. In February, Nicholas traveled throughout Europe and then Brazil for interviews and I went to Cleveland and Chicago to spend time with family. When Nicholas came back with an offer from Switzerland, we did one trip to Chicago to celebrate the birth of our nephew and then started packing for our next move.

April brought more changes. My mother-in-law moved back to Colombia, my parents came to help us with the final details of our move to Lausanne and we boarded the plane at the end of our month to our new home. May was filled with reunions of old friends, a visit from my Theta Little and many job applications for me. June, I flew back to the US to visit friends and family and to attend one of my best friends' wedding and then we spent a weekend hiking throughout Switzerland, France and Italy with the Forum. July, we had family from Colombia visit, as well as Shippy! August, Kendra came and I started my volunteer position with the WHO.

September, I continued applying to jobs and faced many more letters and responses informing me I wasn't quite what they were looking for...We went to Paris and Nicholas' sister visited us! October, we took a trip to the Middle East, I started interviewing women for my project, and we attended the wedding of Nicholas' cousin in Madrid. November, we moved to Geneva, Camila visited from London, Nicholas had business in Singapore and we celebrated Thanksgiving with Ashley and Mike. December, I traveled to Amsterdam, Brussels and London.

There were high moments and exciting ones, as well as moments that were a bit lower. We received some exciting news in November and only recently started sharing beyond our immediate family. We know that the New Year is going to bring continued change and excitement and opportunity for our family and we could not be more open and happy.

New Years Eve

NYE we got up early to spend the day skiing with Marc, Laura and Rosemary. There was so much snow that we were sure the day was going to be a success in the mountains, but in fact, it was coming down so heavily, it was hard to see where you were going- even with goggles. Soon, the snow started to get heavy and wet and the skiing stopped being fun for me. Just wet and freezing. I decided to head inside and have a hot chocolate while the others finished skiing :)

German NYE tradition

That evening, we headed to Rosemary's for her NYE party. It was great to see old friends and meet new ones. One guy that was there, was at our first NYE in Lausanne two years ago! It was fun to catch up with him and see what has happened in the past couple of years. After our potluck dinner, and some interesting NYE traditions by the Germans (of burning lead shaped figures to read your fortune...) we headed to the Cathedral with our champagne to ring in the New Year, Lausanne-style!

Outside of Cathedral ringing in New Year


After spending Christmas Eve with our Colombian friends in Spanish, we spent Christmas at the home of our Mexican friends, Karen and Juan Martin. They had a large group of friends over, including Yannou and Maxime, to share Christmas dinner and to play games :) Since most of their friends are from Switzerland or France, a large part of the evening was in French.
Yann and I on the same team for the game :) 

We had another great meal then played a board game for several hours. I introduced the international group to my homemade egg nog and the Christmas cookies Karen and I spent the whole previous day baking! Again, we felt so blessed to have wonderful friends to share the day with!

Christmas Eve, Colombian Style

Before we headed out for the evening, we had a great Skype call with my family in Cleveland. It was amazing to see so many aunts and uncles and grandparents and cousins. It definitely helped make everyone not seem so far away!

Later that evening, we were adopted into our Colombian friends' family. There parents were in town and it was a cozy evening with family and friends. We started the evening drinking, what else..., Whiskey! Ah, the memories of Christmas's past in Colombia with Nicholas' family. I had no idea how popular whiskey is there! They served a spectacular feast and we ended the night well after midnight sharing presents and eating the Christmas cookies I spent a full day baking! It is wonderful knowing if we cannot be with our own families, we have friends who make us feel a part of theirs!
The Hosts
The Feast :)