About Me

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LAUSANNE, Switzerland
I am an American living in Switzerland with a Swedish husband, a beautiful baby boy, a Swedish cat, and a French dog.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Am I getting old?

Let me show you what I bought in Chartres, France the weekend of my birthday, and then you can answer the question.
I couldn't resist. The tea pot was just too funny to pass up.

All I can say is....... OH SHIT -when did I turn into my mother????

Busy, Busy, Busy!

The past week or so has been absolute craziness. I have been doing a lot - the days just seem to fly by. The holiday season seems to be a bit more relaxed than it is in the States. Not as much commercialism or hype, just a lot of Christmas markets! I have also become addiction to vin chaud (hot spiced wine) which is fabulous.

The weekend of the 9th we went to Paris to celebrate my birthday. We drove to Chartres Friday night. On Saturday we walked around Chartres for a little, did some shopping, and visited the famous cathedral. The photo below was taken from wikipedia on the internet.

Then Saturday afternoon we went to Beville Le Comte to "see about a dog".
We went to a breeder that specializes in Westies.


Now before anyone begins to give us any advice, please don't. We have already researched the dog and have made our decision. We wouldn't just choose a dog without doing the research first. My mother and my sister (no offense if you are reading this) have already put in their two cents. Enough said.
Anyway, we have put a deposit down for the dog and will have a puppy sometime in April.

The rest of Saturday was spent in Paris. The only touristy thing that we did this time was walk the Champs-Élysées and did some shopping. We were there long enough to see the Christmas lights come on which was fantastic! It did rain about 90% of the time, but we were prepared for it! I didn't bring my camera along due to the rain so I am using a picture that I found on whatsonwhen website.

Our hotel was in the Saint Germain area which is an amazing little area with a ton of small restaurants and boutiques. We stayed at The Hotel Esprit Saint Germain. Here is their website: http://www.espritsaintgermain.com/flash/francais/index.html
If you go to Paris and are looking for a great hotel in a quaint area (still close to major "attractions") I would highly recommend it. It was a wonderful birthday and in addition to our fun weekend away I even got a gorgeous pair of earrings from Lars! He is just too good to me!

Monday, December 3, 2007

Waiting for the snow........

The hubby and I picked up our skis and boots this weekend. I also talked him into buying snow shoes for the both of us. I have found a ton of websites for skiing, dog sledding, tobogganing, and snow shoeing. If we are here, well then we are going to enjoy ourselves and make the most out of the winter season. Did I ever tell you that the both of us HATE the cold??

On Sunday we were very "Swiss" and took a 2 1/2 hour walk in Jussy. It was a nice walk, but nothing too exciting. The only thing exciting that happened was that we were almost run over by two horses that escaped from a near by stable. I had my camera, but being the experienced camera person that I am (ha!), I let the moment pass me by. I was too busy trying to stay out of the horses way and my mouth was on the ground because I have never seen run away horses before. I know, I am just a pathetic city girl.....well, that's better than being a girl trampled by horses!!! Here are some pictures of the walk. Fall is now over but there are still glimpses of color to be found. Oh, and I also included a shot of the horses being led back to the stable by their owners.

I also signed up for more French classes in January. It will be Jan - April but only 2 days per week (3 hour sessions). I need to be able to more than grunt and use hand signals while in a store. It is driving me insane not being able to speak the language better or maybe it is that I like torturing myself......

Friday, November 30, 2007

French Lacoste Commercial

Last night Lars and I were sitting on the couch watching French TV (exciting, huh?). Before you get too impressed with my amazing French skills, I must admit that we were watching the French version of "Wheel of Fortune". While I can't solve a puzzle to save my life, I figured it would be a good way to practice/hear letters and vowels. While we were watching, there was a commercial break and on came a Lacoste commercial. Only the French could get away with a commercial like this..........
God bless them!

I can't figure out how to paste the you tube viewing of it on the blog yet but here is the link:


You would not believe some of the things that they show here on TV. Fantastic, isn't it? :P

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Bern - Onion Festival

Yesterday a group of us went to Bern for their Onion Festival. I never in my wildest dreams thought that you could have a whole entire market made up of onions (and also garlic). Boy, was I wrong! I have never seen onions made into figurines but yesterday was my lucky day. My favorite one was the skier that I put in my previous post.
Here are a few:

Of course, they had "serious" items as well. Such as clusters of onions.
I bought one of these for Lars:
and one of these:
And you people wonder what I do all day...............................

Ready or NOT!

Well, today is a beautiful day. The sky is blue and there is snow on the mountains. Here is the view from our house which looks at the Jura Mountains:

Snow on the mountains can only mean one thing:

I bit the bullet and bought a pair of ski boots. Now you know as well as I do that I don't ski but what is a girl to do?? I live in Switzerland for crying out loud. I HAVE to at least work on my skiing. By the way - I STINK at skiing and it scares the crap out of me. I wanted to rent boots for the season but I had a really hard trying to find rentals that fit my lovely flat feet properly. So we bought the boots for me and rented the skis. Lars really doesn't ski either but he rented skis and boots and we are going to bond together on the slopes.... :)

I also joined the ski group at the women's club. There are a few beginners like me so it should be okay. Say a prayer for me that I do not break any bones and wish me luck!

Below is a picture of my ski boots (well one of them at least. the other is at the ski shop being fitted to my boots).

Monday, November 19, 2007

Watch me!

My day -

Today I went to a watch shop to get a battery for a watch that stopped working. I asked for the new battery (in French!!) and the man told me to come back at 12pm and it would be ready. I was there at 12:03 and the doors were locked. It appeared that he had gone to lunch!!! Ohhhhhhhhh sometimes I hate the lunch break here. It seems unbelievable to me that people just lock up shop here. Anyway - there are no hours of operation on the door and no phone number. I have no receipt to prove that I left the watch there if I were to go home and come back another day. I didn't even know if he was going to come back for the remainder of the day. Sometimes they don't...

To calm my nerves, and to pass the time, I went to Manor (a dept store) to buy something. Went to the checkout line, the guy put my shirt in the bag, and then walked away. Someone else came to help me after I stood there for about a minute or so. Ugh!! It was not a good day.

THEN (being that the watch store was STILL closed at 1:45) I went to get 2 copies made of my mail box key (in French!!). For two little tiny keys it cost me 28 chf. which is about $24. Can you believe it???

Finally at 2pm the watch store opened back up. The little old guy was like OOPs forgot to tell you that I leave for lunch at 12pm. Nice, huh??

Ahhhhhhhhh - The Swiss.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Time flies........

Can it be November already?? Where does the time go....what exactly do I do with my days?? That is the question that everyone wants to know. I will save that for another post.

Now to more important matters. I don't know if we will be celebrating Thanksgiving this year. I guess that is what living in Europe will do to you. I have never been "turkeyless" and I must say that it is a bit depressing. Maybe I could cook a goose.........yeah, right!

I promise to be better about posting. Now that we are getting settled in I think that posting on this blog will be good for me. Once I have the pictures set up from our travels (I am SOOOOOOOO lazy) I will post the link.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Experimenting with photos

Time to start uploading some photos. I am starting small as this is my first time (ohhhh what excitement) and I want to see how it turns out.

Photo # 1 - My hubby in the kitchen cooking dinner!

Photo #2 - Le Tour de Champel. Our street is chemin de la tour de champel and this is the tour de champel. Go figure! It is right around the corner from our house about 50 yards away from the front door. Very cool.
That's Lars in front of Le Tour.

Photo #3 - The view from our patio.

Monday, July 2, 2007

Bush in Rome

Lars and I went to Rome for a weekend in June - the same weekend that George Bush was there. We found this out the hard way. While the taxi was driving us to the hotel we saw many military vehicles and dozens of police at each exit with guns. I thought that perhaps that we got off of the plane in the Middle East instead of Italy. The taxi gets about three blocks from our hotel and the driver says in broken English. Get out - walk to your hotel - all roads are closed. Turns out that our hotel (The Rose Garden, very nice by the way) is right across from the US embassy. So, we walked the rest of our way to the hotel. We were upgraded to a superior suite and all was well. The girl at the hotel kept saying what a tragedy it was that Bush was in Rome. I hoped that she wouldn't dwell on the fact to much that I had a U.S. passport. Everywhere we went we heard the helicopters. In the Vatician we had to leave early b/c Bush was coming in. No explaination from the guards, all they would do is say Bush...Bush...You must leave.....Bush, Bush.......while clicking their tongues and shaking their heads. They were none too pleased that our fearless leader was in their country.

I was excited that I finally got to see Rome and all of it's history (well, almost all of it. We walked so much I thought that my feet were going to fall off). I even saw George Bush. He was driven surrounded by a heavily guarded motorcade but he was in the back seat waving to all of us standing in the street watching him drive by. Who would of thought that I would of seen the President of the United States while in Italy. Now that is two for the price of one!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Time to Blog!!!

Well, for now I figured out how to fix the dashboard so that everything is in English. Hopefully I will be able to keep it that way because it gave me a headache just trying to fix it.
We have received our shipment of things (i.e. junk) from the U.S. and I am finally up and running on a computer. WHOHOO!! It has been approx. one month since I moved here and I am looking forward to being able to write about our adventures.
Things in Switzerland have been going well. The weather varies more than you can imagine. One day it is sunny and 90 degrees, and the next day there are torrential downpours - with hail no less. Very odd.

There are other odd things (well, odd to me) about Geneva that I have noticed and I have decided to make a list of them for your viewing pleasure.

1. People are very courteous/proper. Now, that might be normal in other parts of the world but when you are moving here from Boston it actually strikes you as odd. You people in Boston know what I am talking about. Before you ask someone a question in a store you must say (in French of course) Good day Sir (or Madame). If you do not, the person will actually correct you.

2. Red means stop (yes, stop. Not go for the first three seconds after getting the red light just because everyone else does), green means go, and people driving cars actually let you walk at a cross walk without trying to run you over. Again, this just might be a Boston thing but when I lived in the city it was every man/woman for themselves and God help any pedestrians.

3. Sundays are a day of rest. Literally. Almost all stores, restaurants are closed and I believe that it is illegal to even wash your car in your driveway on a Sunday. You are almost forced to spend the day with your loved ones. It's actually kind of nice....who would of ever guessed?!?

4. Geneva is a very clean city. I have actually seen people pick up a piece of trash off of the street and put into a garbage can. They seem to wash the streets almost every day. I have seen shop cleaners vacuuming the street in front of their shop. No lie. Oh, and did I mention that you will actually go to hell if you do not recycle?? In the interest of recycling/not wasting, if you want a bag with handles to put your groceries in, you actually have to pay 30 cents for it. I have invested in a tote for small purchases and a "wheelie" tote/cart thing for larger purchases when I walk to the store. I thought that you had to be at least the age of 80 to own one of those carts but they do actually come in handy. Not to mention that mine is very cute. Black with white flowers (fancy). If you do major shopping and need a cart you have to put a 2 chf coin into the cart. The only way you get your money back is if you return the cart to where it belongs. This is brilliant and they should enforce it in the States. This way you wouldn't have shopping carts in the parking lot because people are too damn lazy to return their carts. Target could definitely benefit from this idea.
Ohhhhh Target.........I wish that they had a Target here (sigh).

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Free time in Geneva

Well, it has been one week and 5 days since I have moved to Geneva. I have had a LOT of free time to myself. I feel like I am on vacation - minus the beach. Although.......the lake here is quite lovely.

Dilemma #1 - I have finally gotten around to doing this blog AND it turns out that most if not all of the icons on my blog are in German. I have no idea what is going on or how to correct it. I can't even spell check b/c every word is showing up as an error because the spell check is - IN GERMAN. Bloody hell, like I can't understand what is going on around me in since it is in French and now I have to deal with German??!! UGH. Lars' server is a Dutch server so that is prob. what is going on. I only have today to do this post so please excuse the misspellings.

Dilemma #2 - I don't have easy access to a computer. Soooooo on line time has been very limited. It's very annoying but there is really no use in buying a computer for one month while we are waiting for our shipment to arrive.

That is what I am faced with today. I think that I will go outside and enjoy the sunshine. Who wants to sit at home on a laptop anyway when it is sunny outside???? NOT ME!!

Thursday, April 19, 2007

April: Getting ready for Geneva

I knew that I would be in for an adventure when I married a man named Lars from Sweden...... I just never thought that the adventure would happen so soon!

This blog will be about the trials and tribulations of a "trailing spouse" UGH! What a terrible term - who in the world ever invented this term? I think that it was the mortgage industry (go figure!!) I must say that I am looking forward to having some time off and starting a new life. It's not everyday that you get to re-invent yourself.

A blog was the easiest way (for me!) to keep everyone up to date on the "Vicksen Adventure Series". I intend to keep you all amused and smiling at my mishaps in a foreign country. I just have to remember that this will be much different than when I lived in Spain. I am glad that they didn't have blogs back in the day. Think of all of the trouble that I would be in. ; )

Boston has been good to me. It has had its ups and downs but I have had a fantastic time and have made so many wonderful friends. I wish that I could take you all with me.... I will just have to trust that we will have many visitors once we get settled in.

I have given my notice at my job and my last day will be the 30th. What will I do with myself???? How will I not handle not being a slave to my phone/email?? I suppose that I will do just fine!! Summer in Europe - what could be better? I have signed up for French classes for 9 weeks from July to Sept. That should be interesting. I tried taking a basic French class here in Boston and I pronounced everything in Spanish. Learning French will be difficult but I am up for the challenge. I am hoping that the classes will occupy me for awhile.