Friday, October 30, 2009

Ahh, Zurich

The return to Zurich has been wonderful. Our first night home, we took our favorite walk that involves wooded trails and a view out over the city. We have caught up with many friends and settled back into our apartment. With the exception of the ongoing, noisy construction surrounding our place, we do prefer the more relaxed pace of life here.

I loved our time in London. Walks with Townes were so varied and fun. We had fantastic museums, huge parks, cool neighborhoods, and funky stores to explore. I loved being able to chat with the people around us who often were lured into conversation by Townes's big smile and wide eyes. (In fact, this has inspired my mission to 'chat' more while out in Zurich. I've decided that giving a familiar nod to the lady at the grocery is not enough and I'm now tripping my way through a bit more than the pleasantries in German.) When wrapping up our time in London, I had to admit that I also just liked that our apartment was bigger and had a washer/dryer! Here's a few pictures from our Saying Goodbye Tour:

Rose and Poppy treated us like family whenever we came to the grocery. When we walked in the door, the security guard would call out to them, "Your baby is here!" And at checkout time, one of them would shut down her line so she could play while the other scanned our stuff. This may not seem like a big deal but, for the first few weeks in an enormous city, it really meant a lot to feel known.

Patrick was from Ghana and he gave Townes an envelope when we left with some money. He told us that the Ghanaian tradition is to give water to people before they travel or provide money for the water on the way.

And Andrew from Scotland actually wiped away a tear when saying his farewell. These two men had spent quite a few mornings talking with Townes when we would walk Coy to work. Leaving London showed us how much we had to grateful for there.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Happy Happy

Birfday love to the twins. I love these pictures!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

More from Iceland!

Leaving Iceland was hard to do and not just because we were so enraptured by the striking beauty of the landscapes or because we didn't want to say good-bye to Barbara and her freshly baked bread in the mornings. Though those factors were true, our problems had more to do with Russian planes and frozen fish. Our flight to London was delayed by a solid FIVE hours (Our plane was apparently late arriving from Russia and then we spent an hour+ on board with a wonderful view of the cases of fish being loaded) which meant that we missed our next flight back to Zurich. The reserve of relaxation points that we had stored up in Iceland were spent by the time we made it back home!

So deep breath, here's some more pictures.

You're looking at bits of a huge glacier that are making their way to the sea. It seemed as though they were not going anywhere but we stopped by the glacial lagoon two days in a row and could see that there had been plenty of movement.

It was Townes's first trip to the beach! He loved the sound of the water and watching the waves lap up close to his feet. I hope he won't be disappointed when he makes it to Gulf Shores one day and can't find the black sand or the big chunks of ice.

Coy is standing on basalt columns that are basically cooled lava. Svartifoss is a waterfall we hiked to that is flowing over more of the columns. During that hike, Townes proved that he can sleep in his new backpack!

Friday, October 09, 2009

A reason to enjoy the cold

We are now wrapping up six days in Iceland visiting our friend, Barbara. Barbara was one of our Swiss roommates when we lived outside of Zurich in a Wohngemeinschaft (or shared-housing arrangement) when Kacey and I were first in Switzerland. Barbara is now studying environmental science in the UK, and had a year long assignment to Reykjavik, Iceland that will wrap up this winter.

Iceland has been refreshing. We've learned that the boy loves - or at least tolerates to an extraordinary degree - Arctic wind gusts. When they are mild, he laughs them off. The stronger ones he handles admirably.

Our time here has been marked by contrasting natural beauty - blasts of snowy wind, warm fall days, desolate landscapes, as well as the bright oranges and yellows that mark the change of seasons. And I shouldn't forget the fresh fish, which brings back great memories of my life on the coast of Alabama (and it is well worth noting that our host is an excellent cook!).

To explain why Townes was so bundled into his jacket today, Reykjavik was pounded by wind gusts between 30 and 40 miles per hour. Adding below freezing temperatures to the mix, Townes needed a bit of extra help to stay cozy.

Boy, it was windy.