Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Dishes are done

We'll the trip is over and we're back to reality.

I posted all the photos on the my mobileme account. I made them full size and down-loadable for my Momma and M-Law or anybody else who want them. Unless you're some creepy dude that just wants a picture of my hot wife...you can't download one.

Jet lag was a piece of cake for me. You can't phase this insomniac however the narcoleptic suffered from it and still goes to bed pretty early, but what else is new.

Turns out writing is pretty fun and I'll try to find some other time in my life to blog about something. Until next time.

Here's the pics.
Click here

Friday, October 1, 2010

Homeward bound

We had a relaxing day yesterday. It was pretty hard to sit still but I eventually figured it out. We sat around a drank some coffee, walked down to the market and got food to make lunch, and
I did some yoga. Other than that not much really happened, but I think it was necessary.

Cyndie and I talked about the trip over lunch. We discussed what was the best, worst, neatest, what we will do different next time, and just overall reflected.

Here's a couple of things that made the top of the list.

Most amazing thing we saw:
By far St Peter's Bascilla

Most fun part: Cinque Terre hike in the rain (paragliding was a tie for me)

Biggest mistake/rip off: Laundry in Orteisi for 28 euro and they weren't even dry or ironed and smelt like smoke.

Things we'd do a little different next time:
Plan a little more about where we are going.

Things we are really glad we did:
Bought comfy travel pants, ditched the car and took trains.

Best meal: for me an authentic pizza shop in Selva, Italy. For Cyndie the pesto in Cinque Terre. Overall though I have to say I really wasn't impressed with the food at all, and we really tried to find authentic meals. America has much more of a diverse variety when it comes to food.

Some things that are just different in Europe:
Everyone smokes....everyone.
No variety in drinks.
Only bread, meat, and cheese for breakfast.
No road rage over here even though it's chaos out there. And people had every right to be mad at the American that didn't know what he was doing.
The two stroke motor lives on over here.
No bumper stickers on cars.
Much thinner people. Especially in Italy. We didn't see any over weight people there.
And lots lots more that I'd love to talk to you about.
Water is more expensive than wine and you always have to pay for it when ordered.
No ice used in drinks (this is a problem for me. I like cold drinks)
Everyone shuts down at lunch time for at least two hours. Grocery stores, post office, shops, even restaurants. If it's from 12 to 2 just forget it.
Italians dress really nice and everyone wears perfume/cologne.

A big thing we noticed over here is Jesus is everywhere. There is so many murals, carvings, statues, paintings, and churches with His face on them. The faith seems to be less divided and more united.

Funny story about our trip to the airport. I mentioned a nice lady that helped me navigate out of the city yesterday. Well her name happens to be Rosealee. We were at the bus stop this morning catching an earlier bus than expected and started talking to a nice lady. I felt like I'd seen her before and as soon as I mentioned our bike ride it clicked. She was the same nice lady. 600,000 people in Geneva and we get the pleasure to talk to her twice. These are those moments that I like to call divine intervention.

Oh and I just found out that airport security is very relaxed. Not sure if I'm cool with that one.

I think it's very important for people to get out and travel to experience different cultures. I strongly encourage you to just go and explore.

We're excited to be homeward bound.
God bless America.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Running of the Bulls

I'm willing to bet that riding through Geneva feels the same as it would if you were running from the bulls in Spain. Just picture the bulls as buses, cars, and motorcycles though. Our ride took 11.5 hrs all together with 8.5 hrs of actual ride time. We rode 123 miles and I crashed and ended up under a car at mile 115. Read on for the rest of the story.

We got up this morning about 6:30am to have the biggest breakfast we could stand for our long day of riding. We walked outside around 8am and it was still about 39 degrees. The first part of the ride was freaking cold and we got lost in downtown becasue of construction. It was pure madness for about 45 minutes till a nice lady saw me looking at the map and pointed me in the right direction.

Once we got moving and out of town it wasn't so bad. We were riding along the lake on a bike path for a ways and things were nice and pleasent. Then we got to France. You would think the country with the biggest bike race in the world would be set up to have a nice place to ride a bike, but we bascially road on a freeway till we got back to Switzerland again. Then the bike lanes reappeared and life was less stressful.

We grabbed a pretty terrible lunch because we got sick of trying to find pizza (I really wanted pizza). We got back on the road and put in some good time before the next stop. We took a bio break in a vinyard and snagged some grapes. They were pretty good but all the grapes over here have seeds, and I'm over grapes with seeds by now.

About mile 80 my bottom side was really starting to feel it. We stopped to take a break and stole some apples this time. The apples were so delicious. So crisp and sweet and juicy. It reminded me of when I was kid. We used to take fruit all the time and to this day I don't really enjoy apricots.

I pulled (rode in front so Cyndie Belle so she could draft me) till about mile 100 then I let the freeloader take over. From mile 100 on things were pretty tough and uncomfortable. My shoulders were hurting becasue I didn't fit on the bike very well. We finally pulled back into Geneva just in time for rush hour. Fantastic! There is lots of railways throughout town and I've been super causious when crossing them before, but I think I was just mentally fatigued and not paying attention. My front wheel fell into the rail way and I went down fast and hard and slid up under a car waiting to go at a red light. Cyndie was right behind me and rode over my bike but she kept it together (good girl). I hit my face on the ground and the rear axle of the car (that's how far under the car I was). I just walked away with some more scabs. Something my body is very used to at this point in my life. I crawled out from under the car as fast as I could and just wanted to find Cyndie and make sure she was okay. Once the driver realized we didn't speak french he just hopped back in his car and took off. I wrecked up the borrowed bike pretty good. Hopefully I can give him some money and we'll be square. It was a super old bike and he didn't use it so he probalby won't care. Cyndie tried to get me to take the bus the rest of the way, but I told here "No! I don't quit, I'm finishing this ride". I rode that broken bicycle the rest of the way and finished. This isn't our exact route but it's very similar.

We were going to ride tomorrow but since the bike doesn't really work now I came up with a new suggestion. We're going to do nothing with our last day here. That's right, nothing. We're going to sit around and drink tea and coffee (yes, coffee). Walk down to the local market and get some lunch. Maybe take a little walk. Maybe not. We want to take the time to refelct on the whole trip, remember what we've seen, and what God has tried to teach us. God has been very great to Cyndie and I and were super thankful we could do something like this. You learn a lot when you see different cultures and we just want to take the time and relax. Yep the adverntures are going to relax... On that note I'm out. I need to google how to relax. I'm not to experienced in that arena.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Slower day

I don't really have any exciting news for today except we made fajitas for dinner tonight and they were great.

We woke up and looked out our country side chalet to views of the Swiss alps. I didn't even know what a chalet was. Turns out it's French for cabin. We're staying in a one room chalet with a friend outside of Geneve. It's fantastic. I needed a change of pace from the hostels in downtown areas.

We walked down to the local market and bought food for breakfast and lunch. We made delicious bacon and eggs.

Coolest things we saw today was some pigeons, ducks, and swans going crazy for some bread a girl was giving them and I watched a kid flying on a motorcycle straight up t-bone a car and fly over the bars doing a front flip. He appeared to be okay. It's amazing to me how fast the scooters and motos go out here. Even old ladies carrying groceries on there Vespas pin it through the busy streets. My dad "captain safety" would not approve.

We tried all day to find a road bike rental. You would think that in a big bike town that rentals would be easier to find. Nobody out here rents. We eventually found some to borrow through the people we are staying with. We plan on riding around lake Geneva tomorrow. I hope we have the legs for it. It's about 120 miles so it should take all day, but it's suppose to be one of the top rides in Switzerland.

I'm having trouble uploading photos so picture me having fun in your mind.

Money doesn't grow on trees

I've had major problems with this post and have lost all that I typed more than once so you're getting the condensed version.

We got to Zurich and started looking for a hotel. Things are crazy expensive. We settle for a pretty sleezy place but we didn't find any bed bugs so it was sleep-able. The showers were communal and gross so we showered in our room sink instead.

We got some free rental bikes (the only good deal in Zurich) and rode around. We saw some old churches and just sight saw because everything else was too expensive.
see 3 pics here for blog

The next day we got breakfast for 26 CHF which is basically equal to 26 USD,and all we got was a cup of coffee, tea, some juice, and bread! We hunted for a grocery store for lunch and got twice as much food for the same price. Then we had a picnic.

After lunch we went to get our train tickets to head to Zermatt. They were 260 CHF. Something we didn't expect. The night before we checked the weather there and it was below freezing. We wouldn't really be able to do anything because we didn't have the clothes for that. We decided to head straight for Geneve. We're staying with a friend and the train tickets were way cheaper. Overall we will save tons this way.

We're hoping to get some road bikes and maybe ride around the lake. It's 120 miles it will be a big trek if it works out. It's really tough to find rentals.

Don't judge me for complaining about money you don't know how I was raised.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Sands through an hour glass

Do you guys remember Days of Our Lives? My momma use to watch that before I would head off to school. I wonder what that cast is up to?

I like the long train rides. Train rides force everything to pause. Time out! The feeling you get that your vacation time is coming to an end and reality is catching you slips away. There's really nothing you can do but throw on some good tunes and just watch the country side go by.

YouTube Video

Well if you're Cyndie than you just sleep. Riding on the trains is probably one of my favorite things about this vacation. It provides valuable reflection time.

I made a playlist before I left home called "glass cage". It's basically a bunch of songs that bring all different kinds of emotions out of me. I have those songs on there that take you back in time to a place in your life and just make you think how time is just flying by. How do I get this sand to flow slower through this hour glass called life? There's still so much to do and see. I heard some great advice the other day at church. It was to try and take the words "should have" or "shoulda" out of your vocabulary. There's nothing we can do about time that's past except remember it so choose to only remember the things that brought you joy or something you learned a valuable lesson from. There should be no life long regrets, only well feathered steps. Don't sweet the small stuff and enjoy what short time we have in this glimpse of eternity.

See, she's a sleepy head. And a pretty head. A pretty sleepy head.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

What's my age again?

I thought long and hard on writing this blog because I don't know if I'm cultured or embarrassed.

The red flag should have been the people that suggest the show to us. A very nice senior citizen couple just loved this Tyrolean folk show they attend last night and suggested we go see it. Well we had nothing going on so we rounded up some tickets at the tourist info station and made our way to the folk center by bus. The place was also a restaurant and we had a pretty good dinner before the show. It was more tyrolean food that had delicious dumplings mixed with some scrambled eggs. It tasted like a good homemade scramble from Cracker Barrel.

When we went and sat down in the stage area something felt a little off. I said "Cyndie do you notice something here?" she just started laughing cause we just wondered into something that would resemble a Red Hat Club prom littered with q-tips (little old lady with poofy hair) and bald heads.

We gaped everyone in there by at least 30 years. Icing on the cake was you could pick up a VHS for 20 euro at intermission and people were.

I don't feel like I wasted my money because I was entertained to some degree. However, it was almost awkward for us being we didn't experience the depression like everyone else.

Now let me tell you about the show. I think yodeling began from people getting wasted and wanting to hoot and holler because well... they were drunk. The dancing was just straight up goofy.

YouTube Video

And though I'm sure yodeling is difficult when done correctly. I think I could probably do a pretty good job just acting silly.

YouTube Video

Some interesting things from the night where the instruments they chose to play. Basically if you were sitting at at a dinner table you had the full orchestra. They would use spoons on sticks, cowbells, hit hammers on rocks' chop wood, and one guy even used his knuckles to hit the table.

YouTube Video

This goes to show how song and dance can bring people together to enjoy life (although beer might of helped a lot with this genre). I may not have a musical bone in my body but I'm pretty sure I could play all the instruments they did tonight to some extent. I find it interesting that all the senior citizens were entertained to their hearts content while I was thinking to myself "this really isn't music it's just dressing up an making noise". But come to think of it that's probably how older generations see my generation and the music we like. In fact almost all generations can be divided this way. One of my favorite bands is an Irish punk band that brings folk music to a whole new level. I want all those senior citizens to attend a Flogging Molly concert with me to see how an accordion should really be played "in my humble opinion :) "

What's left of the flag, by Flogging Molly

All differences and generation gaps set aside at the end of the show they sang typical songs from every nation. For USA they did Yankee doodle (I think). They would have anybody from that country stand up and sing along. There were people from everywhere. Germany, Poland, Canada, Japan, Korea, and many more. It was really interesting to hear all the languages and see all the people gathered together in peace enjoying the universal language. Music.