Sunday, July 12, 2020

New Beginings in Old Places

 We are back in the United States for good.  After an uneventful flight to New York City and a puddle jumper to Boston, we are here.  We are in an airbnb for the week we are in Massachusetts before Mat heads to San Francisco for his new job and the rest of us head to Pennsylvania for the summer.  

We are all messed up time wise, but we are used to that.  Happens every time we return.  This week we had a chance to say a quick hello to a few friends, get a peak at our house in Littleton (our renters are still there for the time being) and bought our new car.  That last part was the best part.  We haven't owned a car for 3 years and I had a good time hunting for just the right one.  Decided on a burgundy Honda Palisade and I love it.

We have eaten our weight in good old American food.  We have done a few things we couldn't avoid this week to get our American lives back on track.  It has been a good week.

So now we are ready to head out once again.  The kids and I will be in Pennsylvania for 4 weeks hunkering down in this never ending pandemic, with my parents.  We don't have many plans beyond sitting on the porch and soaking in spending time with them - who we haven't seen in a year.  Mat will be setting up his little apartment in San Francisco where he will live the one week a month he will be there for work in the future.  We won't see him for 6 weeks as he gets off the ground in his new position.  I am grateful for family support while he is away.

Friday, July 10, 2020

Moving Away Is Hard To Do

 The time has finally come.  The house has been completely packed.  The moving truck has pulled away.  Suitcases are ready to go and it is time to get on the airplane.  There is no turning back now.

So.....if we no longer live in Switzerland, can we say we are The Swiss Family Pletchers any more?  I say yes.  I think that these last three years have changed us forever.  We are no longer bound by one place in the world.  Our universe is wide open and I know that we could live anywhere.  This experience was amazing and I will never regreat it for one second that we took this leap.

So as we leave Basel and Switzerland behind I know that it won't be forever.  Will we live abroad again full time?  Only time will tell.  Will we continue to explore our world in travel?  Most definitely.  I refuse to be bound that our journey is anywhere near finished.  Our eyes are wide open to a world of possibilities for us and for our kids.  And it is freeing.

So we say farewell and see you soon instead of goodbye.  I leave behind good friends and take the memories.  And I know that I am changed.

Moving during a pandemic.

Last picture of us at the Basel house
Last day of school for Finley and Cainan was June 26th.  Finley refused to let me take her picture
We bought a broom like the ones we see the construction workers use around town.  Love it
We talked Cainan into organizing the tupperware
A few days before the moving truck arrived the signs in front of our house were placed
Packing is the WORST.  So glad we had a team to pack us up.

Goodbye stuff!  See you in America
Goodbye sweet house.  3 years of amazing memories were made here

We stayed in an incredible Airbnb in Basel during the week our stuff was packed.  It had a pool!  Unheard of in the city.  And the pool had windows that looks down into the house - super cool

Thursday, July 9, 2020

Finley's 14th Birthday

 Right before the moving truck arrived Finley turned 14 (on July 5th).  She has grown into a beautiful young lady.  Smart, caring and sweet, we are lucky to have such a wonderful daughter.  The baby of the family is 14!  How did that happen.

She wanted dinner at her favorite restaurant - Cartell

Cupcakes from her favorite place - a Cupcake Affair
Her big present was a Nintendo Switch light
She also asked for an Apple Pen so she could draw on her Ipad and a Swiss Sweatshirt
She also picked out this German novel.  She can read in German quite well

Thursday, July 2, 2020

Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland - Day 2

Today was our final full day in Lauterbrunnen.  We got up this morning and decided to take the train to Wengen and the Cable Car to Mannlich for a little hiking and sight seeing. 

I took a picture of this hotel because all along the balconies are geraniums.  Seem to be a very popular flower here in Switzerland - we see them everywhere!
 Starting our ride up the mountain

The train ride to Wengen was taking the same train we took yesterday to go to Junfraujoch - just not as far.  We only had to travel about 15 minutes today to get to this cute little town.  Only accessible by train, it was full of cute shops and houses and beautiful views.

From here we took the cable car to Mannlich.  This is a shot 6 minute ride to the top of a mountain to look down across Wengen, Lauterbrunnen, and even Interlaken.  The views were gorgeous.  We did a short (yet strenuous) hike along the Royal Walkway that ended at a beautiful lookout.  The weather cooperated - it was a little cloudy, but we did get breaks to see the towns below.

 The fog would roll in and out.  I told Mat it reminded me of the movie "The Mist"

 There was a herd of cows below and we could hear their bells clanging at the top of the mountain

 This is looking down into Lauterbrunnen where we were staying.  The rock face on the right there is the area right behind our airbnb.  We discovered that this area was inspriation for Tolkien's Riverdell in Lord of the Rings

 This is looking out toward Interlaken and Lake Thun

 Our buddy Jungfrau makes an appearance between the clouds

 The drop off was incredible

Instead of kid pictures today you get Mat and I.  Celebrating our last days in Switzerland 

 Jungfrau and her sounding Alps are something to witness.  We could not get enough

 You can see the path we took up to our viewing spot
 Here we are at the top!

 Back down in the cable car

We enjoyed our time on Mannlich before returning by cable car back to Wengen to look around at the shops before heading back to Lauterbrunnen on the train.  It was a great few hours this morning.

We returned to the Airbnb for lunch and then headed to the waterfall that sits behind the house we rented.  It is called Staubbach Falls.  There is a strenuous climb to the falls where you can look at the town below.  The climb is short, but tiresome.  And a bit tricky with rock stairs that were wet. 

 View from the top of our climb

 The pathway to the falls

We were hoping the hike would take us BEHIND the falls, but no such luck.  It ends in a weird spot where you cannot even really seem them from the end of the walk.  Ah well.  It was good exercise.

After this, we headed back to Basel.  We were originally going to spend one more night in the Airbnb, but the weather this afternoon was awful and turning worse.  Severe thunderstorms and hail and high winds, and it was to last until Saturday.  All we were going to do was get up tomorrow morning and drive back to Basel, so we decided we have too much to do with moving to wait and left today.

It was a great last trip in Switzerland.  My heart hurt on the way home knowing that we won't be back for awhile.  Glad we got to see another beautiful place before we left for good.

In other news:  Masks are required on Trams and Buses here in Switzerland, so I had these ones made for Mat and I.  A little piece of Basel that we can wear here and take with us to the US.