First Fall in Europe

Location:  Europe
Author:  Pete

Writing this post is helping me to feel not quite so much like a chump.  I’ve been feeling a little under-adventured.  Who’d have guessed, right?  This semester is quickly coming to a close and it doesn’t feel like we’ve done much besides keep our heads above water in a new apartment, school, and country.  But assembling the shots from the past months is just the ticket to shut my whiny mouth!



We started off the year running with my folks visiting!  Having visitors is always a good way to make you slow down and appreciate the place you live.  We spent time walking around cute Zug, finding our orientation around a new town together.




Just a few weeks into the first semester our school sends the students out on Personal Development Week to spread their wings and stretch their boundaries.  I deemed it prudent to weasel my way into a group taking students onto the high seas in the Netherlands, sailing the Zuiderzee on nineteenth-century sail ships.





Miranda and I bought a fancy car and have been making good use of it.  It’s striking to travel so fast!  We’ve been up to Frankfurt twice to see my niece!  Both trips we filled the trunk with cases of German beer.  The smuggling continues!





We’ve also explored the Alps close by with my parents.  Our school has a chalet in Wengen, near Interlaken, so we braved the switchbacked roads and got ourselves some alpine hiking in, overlooking quaint Swiss towns tucked into the valleys.




Over our fall break we drove five hours to the in Cinque Terre region in Italy.  We rented an apartment overlooking the Med, touristed around the seaside villages, and took a great cooking class in Lucca!  Five hours is the distance we used to drive from Charlevoix to get to Detroit a couple times a year!






We used Miranda’s birthday as a good excuse to drive into France over a weekend for a fall color tour. Belfort, just over the border from us, held an antiques market which splattered in the main square and oozed out into the winding streets.  We rummaged around for treasures and engorged ourselves on French pastry delights.





So there we go.  Sailing in the Netherlands, a new niece in Germany, cooking in Cinque Terre, Italy, exploring the Alps with my folks, and rummaging through French markets.  All in a semester’s work.  It’s getting colder now in Switzerland.  We’ve been getting dustings of snow that ices the bergs for a few days here and there.  I haven’t touched real snow in at least two years.




Oh… and Miranda’s pregnant!




  1. Lynn Schenck   •  

    So glad I read your post to the end! I am excited for you both. Although our paths crossed briefly we have enjoyed your blog over the last couple of years and hope we can see you again in the future. Take care and keep the posts coming.
    Hugs, Lynn and Bob Schenck

  2. Charlie Bentley   •  

    Fantastic News. Our most hearty congratulations to you. Another chapter in your saga begins…

  3. Greg   •  

    Love the way you snuck that last bit in. I like the cut of your jib, sir…and you thought the learning curve was steep with the boat. So many joys await. I’m excited to be along for the ride on this one, and given that you’re 9 hours ahead of me, it’ll be fun to do this one live-time. Can’t wait for the 4:00am calls as you’re walking around your living room, bouncing the grommet and wondering why the F he/she hates you enough to stop you from sleeping. At least you trained 2 years for this with all those night-watches.

    PS what’s your address and phone number?

  4. Colomba   •  

    Gorkiewicz! (I won’t call you “Mister” now)

    I was clearing up my inbox a bit and saw your name there. I thought of checking out your blog after so many years! I am so happy to see you and Miranda enjoying life to the fullest and travelling around this beautiful world. I can’t believe you actually sailed for that long! Something to put on a bucket list for sure… As for me, I am in my 2nd year studying Psychology at Exeter Uni in England and I absolutely love experiencing this completely different culture. Psychology is definitely my thing (and Stats is my highest mark ;)). Also, now I have a baby brother who’s 2 years old and he’s my biggest joy. I am so happy you guys are expecting a baby! You will be amazing parents! Keep posting your adventures as they’re really fun to read.
    Big hug!! xx
    Colomba Lyall

    • Pete Gorkiewicz   •     Author

      Colomba! No way!! Really great to hear from you! I have to say, that Patagonia shirt you gave me when I left Chile was one of five t-shirts that came on the boat trip with me. I wore that thing all the time! It’s a LOT less blue now. I’ll shoot you an email…

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