Ende des Sommers in der Schweiz

IMG_2026
Author:  Pete
Location:  Zug, Switzerland

Just because we’re back in Europe doesn’t mean summer is over!  We’re treating this as an Altwiebersommer, which I think translates to and Indian Summer in so many conglomerated words.  Switzerland can get a little gray in the winter, so the Swiss has honed the art of enjoying summer.  There’s a festival within walking distance every weekend throughout the summer.  Zug is all bedecked for Swiss National Day and the Zug Festival.  We generally amble through and get a wurst and a beer, and to listen to some music.  There’s often silly things going on like the bike-log ride (which I didn’t partake in) and the blob (which I did).

IMG_3146

VertsSummer

IMG_2034

VertsHouses

IMG_3214

The badis, which are beaches or baths, are bustling with people meeting to cool off during the hot days.  The Zugersee is inviting and most afternoons we walk down to our closest strandbad.  We’ve been dipping Leonie in the lake regularly; she doesn’t seem to protest.  I think we’ve got ourselves a water baby.

VertsZugersee

VertsGrass

 

The last Friday of summer we floated the Reuss river with a bunch of friends.  You can take a train to Gisikon Root, walk down the steps and jump into the river with noodles, tubes, and coolers of beer, and float to the next town, Sins, which is six miles away.  The float is a summer favorite with stunning scenery; the river is swift and clear, six feet deep with smooth pebble bottom.  At the pullout there’s an great Zollhaus pub and you can take the train back, dripping wet if you need.  It’s an ideal way to freeze out the heat of the day.  It also makes a great ending to summer!

GOPR2795

Screen Shot 2017-08-27 at 12.03.26 PM

Summer, Beaches, and Babies

IMG_1765-2
Author:  Pete
Location:  Michigan and Wisconsin

I’m trying hard to make sure errantries does not become solely a baby-picture dispersion platform.  That’s what Facebook is for, right?  That being said, the trip back to the Midwest for summer was all about showing off Leonora to family and friends.  Consequently, the aforementioned initiative has been voided for this post and its unabashed infant imagery.

Flying back to the Midwest went without a hitch.  Leonie slept almost the entire time as we trained to Zürich then flew to Chicago and Appleton.  We spent the next weeks seeing family and friends around Green Bay and dipping the baby in the lake at the Pashouwer’s cottage.

verts1

IMG_2737

IMG_2818

IMG_2748

verts2

IMG_2774

verts5

IMG_1486

verts4

 

Leonora was sad to leave Wisconsin, but did really well on the six hour drive over the top of Lake Michigan.  She seemed to like her first trip over the Mighty Mac.  Back in Charlevoix we spent another couple of well-fed weeks making the rounds of our favorite beaches and spending time with our favorite people.

IMG_1652

IMG_1895

verts9

IMG_1742

verts8

IMG_3101

verts7

verts3

 

We made it down to Traverse City to see the McGurn clan, and spent a lot of time with Mikey and his son Hank when they weren’t busy at Stiggs Brewery in Boyne City.  Pretty amazing to me that we’ve been buddies since seventh grade and managed to have offspring within the same couple of months.  Good planning on our part!  In all the excitement Miranda and I even manage to weasel in a date night!  How amazing is that?

IMG_2845

IMG_1669

IMG_1938

IMG_1673

IMG_3020

verts10

IMG_1692

IMG_1688

 

About the time we were to head back to Switzerland I found myself overlooking Lake Michigan as a squall rolled through.  Two things occurred to me:  The first of which is that I felt relieved to be ashore as the rain and wind washed by, to be able to enjoy the beauty of the commotion without concern over the safety of my vessel and crew.  The second was how distinct the lines were between the stormy and blue skies.  The duality reminded me of how variable our compartmentalized lives feel sometimes these days. Things switch so quickly from work to play, from home to abroad, and from squally cries to sunny smiles that it’s been hard to catch up with my own thoughts.  Maybe one day with a more focused mind I’ll be able to better articulate them.  Maybe.

IMG_1874  verts6

First Father’s Day Expedition

IMG_2503
Author: Pete
Location: Mount Pilatus, Switzerland

For my first Father’s Day, Miranda surprised me with a day in the mountains.  We set out to hike Mount Pilatus, one of the prominent peaks that routinely beckons from across the lake. It’s the dusky shape on the right; Medieval legend has it that a dragon lives in the caves above the tree line.  We set out to see if it was true.  Leonie is old enough for dragon slaying, right?

IMG_1169

Our first experiment with babies and public transport went just fine.  Leonora did fine on the “Worlds Steepest Cog-Train” with it’s 48% grade and ear-popping pressure changes.  Not a problem, just don’t lean too far over the side.  There must have been ten different languages being spoken on by the other hikers on the train, but everyone said the same thing when confronted by sweeping scenery or adorable baby. “Oh!

vertsp1

IMG_2463

IMG_2468

 

From the end of the cog train we hiked a path that hugged the side of the mountain, well maintained in true Swiss fashion.  Leonie slept like a champ in the front carrier, despite some jostling along the trail.  We swapped between carrying baby and backpack to keep the muscle groups and sweat stains balanced.

IMG_2487

IMG_2475

vertp3

 

We did find some caves and sent Leonie in first to check for dragons.  With no luck we set our sights on one of the three peaks.  We were fortunate to have gorgeous weather and calm winds and our summit was enjoyably attainable.  Although there were a few other hikers at the top, we were the only ones with a baby.  While we’re not sure what that says about our parenting, it was refreshing to be out in the mountains after a few months’ hiatus.

IMG_2549

vertsp4

IMG_2505

vertsp2

IMG_2541