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abroad travel

Taking Care of Business

Even after the marathon travel day on Wednesday, Thursday morning I found myself up at 06:30. My eyes opened and my body yelled “time to get up!” and despite my best efforts, I just couldn’t argue. Husband had more success at hitting the snooze on his body clock, and didn’t get up until closer to 09:00.

I spent the early morning hours chatting online with Michelle and then made it a conference chat when Vanessa (V) got up. I laughed when Michelle’s husband, Adam, walked into the room and was confused to see me on V’s side of the camera because, frankly, I was still a little surprised to be on that side of the camera, too! We had talked about this trip for so long, it was hard to believe it was finally happening.

For the better part of the coming week, Husband and I would be staying with Vanessa and Mark in their apartment in Lausanne, Switzerland. Recently built, their place is sleek and modern with windows that wrap all the way around, has all the amenities of home, and provides a through-the-trees view of Lake Geneva. Right around the corner from their place are both the #1 and #3 bus lines which take you right to the train station or into the city.

Once we got dressed and had breakfast, we headed out with our personal French translator, V, to run a few errands and get ready for the week. We took the bus to the train station where we bought our Swiss Passes for the week. These are fantastic! They covered all of the buses, trains, metros, cable cars AND over 400 museums in Switzerland. Once we had our pass, we could walk right onto a train without even having to wait in line to buy a ticket.

Next we took the Metro up to Co-op City (pronounced “coop” as in chicken coop), one of the grocery stores that V and Mark frequent. V showed us how to weigh our fruits and vegetables and print out a sticker with the price, how to put in a coin deposit to get a grocery cart, and next thing we knew, we were all set for a traditional dinner of Swiss fondue that evening.

After the grocery store, we negotiated the terms of a nap with our jet-lag recovery coach, V, and agreed that we could take a nap, but no longer than two hours. Unfortunately, V hadn’t been feeling well when we arrived, so the quiet time was good for all of us. As promised, V knocked on our door to wake us up at a little after 14:00 though we were quite certain at that point we could have easily slept another five hours or so.

Once we were awake enough to effectively move our arms and legs in a somewhat coordinated way, we headed down to Ouchy (pronounced “ooo-she”) which is the lakefront area of Lausanne on Lake Geneva. We had a relaxing afternoon catching up, getting some sun, and looking out over the lake, then headed back home to meet Mark for dinner. Mark and V prepared a fantastic Swiss fondue dinner for us that we thoroughly enjoyed. We had green apples, cauliflower, bread, carrots, and celery which we dipped in a mild white cheese fondue that both Husband and I were surprised at how much we liked it.

The next day we planned to take an early train up to Lauterbrunnen in the Swiss Alps, so we packed up our bags then headed to bed dreaming of snow-capped mountains, cow bells, and of course, cheese.

Savvy Traveler Moment of the Day: Bought a Swiss Pass. You might consider getting one next time you are out and about in Europe. There are so many out there- for one country, two countries, consecutive days, etc., and they can be a fantastic deal.  As mentioned, our Swiss Passes got us into museums, covered virtually every other form of transportation we took, eliminated long lines, and gave us the freedom to joy ride wherever we felt with no reservations.

Lesson Learned of the Day: To get over your jet lag as fast as possible, don’t think about what time it is at home. Adjust all your watches, clocks, phones, etc., and let go of your former time zone. Feel free to nap, but not before the early afternoon, and not for more than two hours. It was a rude awakening when V banged on the door to wake us up from our nap, but I’m glad she did.

2 replies on “Taking Care of Business”

Love this post! It’s fun to read about home from a visitor’s perspective! 🙂 Sorry I had to be the “mean mom” to wake you guys up, lol! You guys were troopers though! 🙂 Miss you already…our time together flew by too fast!

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