Sunday, May 26, 2013

Weekend getaways, Nelson style.

This weekend was Joel's first real weekend back home and we loaded up the car and headed to Switzerland for a short little getaway. We plan things in a unique way in that we don't plan things. Then we get all miffed when things go wrong. We don't question this process or try to change because that's  how we roll. 

It sounds terrible, but really we have some pretty unique adventures that way. Some of us deal better than others.

Our lack of planning almost didn't pan out for us when we went to the interwebs to find a place to stay. There were no vacancies anywhere over the weekend. Unlike us, the majority of Europeans, it seems, do plan their trips ahead of time. 

We moved our dates forward slightly and found a really cool place. Score! We booked it on Tuesday, to leave on Thursday. 

I packed the car and got everything ready so that when Joel got off work Thursday we could bolt. And bolt we did. We got bout 30 minutes from home when we realized we had forgotten our passports and Joel's wallet. Which would have put a serious damper on some things. We turned around and got back on the road again, just in time to get to the place we were staying around 10pm. It was kind of in the middle of nowhere, and so we drove around for nearly an hour, until we realized we were at the wrong location.

We finally arrived and our hosts were welcoming, if not half asleep, so we found our hut and went to sleep. We enjoy staying in hostel like places, or generally more unique, non hotel places. This place was no exception. Called "hutnbreakfast", it was quite unusual-a loft apartment, completely renovated into 4 individual huts, a kitchen, dining area and 2 bathrooms. The huts were all individually designed by different artists. The night we got there, it was late and there were no other people so we just went to sleep. 

Our hut-a cabin with a little cabin off of the side for a child. 

The inside of Bella's hut

Another hut

From the kitchen. Our hut is to the right, past the hammock.

From our cabin, another hut and the kitchen (behind the low wall).

Our personal sitting area.

The next morning, we got up early and the hosts were already out, taking their 4 year old to school and heading to work, themselves. We headed out to Lake Constance in Konstanz, Germany. It was beautiful, albeit cold. We hit the hot spots and retreated into the Sea Life Park to get warm and see the fish. The penguins were my favorite and they were so fun, playing with Cora. 

At the end, we came outside and it was actually pretty sunny, so we walked around the water, where a bunch of tents were set up for a regatta that was over the weekend. Both girls were asleep so we sampled some wines and cheeses at a booth and pretty much just enjoyed the scenery. We grabbed some food then headed back for the evening. 

When we got back to our place, there was a guy there who was doing some laundry. He was a polish refuge who came to Switzerland with his family during World War II. We talked to him for a bit before his laundry finished. Several other people came and went while we ate our dinner and hung around. Around 7, our hosts returned and we sat around the table and got to know them while our girls played with each other. This is always my favorite part about traveling-meeting and getting to know people. 

We asked where she was from-her mother was from Argentina and her father was Swiss. She grew up in Switzerland. Her husband was from Mexico, then moved to the states, where they met. Here's how the rest of the conversation went:

Me: so where in the states did you live? 
Fernanda: Charlotte (but with a Spanish/European accent, so I wasn't sure this is what she said.)
Me: where? 
Fernanda: Charlotte. In North Carolina. 
Me: ::deadpan::  No. Way. 

I told her that's where we were from. I asked her what brought her there and she said she had a friend who lived in south Charlotte and she moved in with her to learn English and then go to college. At UNCCharlotte. 

Where she met Ruben, her husband. 

Talk about small world. 

Her daughter was born at Presbyterian and they lived in Charlotte up until recently, when they moved back to Switzerland. 

The next morning, we got up and headed to Rhine Falls and spent most of the day there. While we were there, there was a tour group from India there as well. As we were waiting for Joel to get us some Swiss chocolate from the gift shop, a family walked up to us and were enamored by Cora. The mother and daughter just kept telling me how cute she was. Then she called her husband over. He asked if he could take a picture of us. Then he gathered his family all around us and took several pictures of me and the girls. I could hardly contain how funny I found all this. 

I wish I had a picture of my own. They were sweet and we talked for a few minutes while we waited for Joel. 

The rest of our trip was pretty uneventful, though we did leave a little early because everyone was sick. 
When I was a kid, we used to joke that every trip was like a Griswold vacation. I guess we are just carrying on that tradition. 

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Things motherhood has taught me

Motherhood has taught me more than a few things about myself. 

1. I am terrible at laundry.

For instance, Bella hasn't worn her leotard to gymnastics for 3 weeks now because I couldn't find it. (I didn't really look, but that's beside the point) Today I found it in the bottom of her laundry basket. 

Nearly everything she has has a stain on it somewhere. I feel like I should buy stock in a stain remover. I sit at the washing machine, painstakingly spraying, scrubbing and soaking her clothes. I spend more time removing stains from her clothes than I do from Cora's diapers. By the way, dry erase marker? Does. Not. Wash. Out. 

There must be some kind of conspiracy with craft manufacturers and Resolve. 

2. I can function on 3 broken hours of sleep a night. For about 3 nights. At that point I may or may not function like a drunk person. Or a zombie. I appologize to anyone I have made a promise to after a 3 night bender. Or tried to bite. I can not be held responsible for anything I have done when under those kinds of circumstances.

3. I am much less judgey and more understanding with each passing year. When I was pregnant with Bella, I saw a lady in Walmart (this isn't starting out well.....) yelling at her 5ish year old. I thought, "I will never.....oh I just love my baby too much to ever yell!" 

At the ripe old age of 3, Bella has made me eat my words more often than not. "GITYOURBUTTOVERHERE." Is a very common phrase in my day to day. 

I really am pretty laid back as a parent, but when she is running off through the parking lot while I am cleaning poop from behind Cora's ears, I am not messing around. I yell because I love. Seriously. 

4. If I thought Caillou was the most annoying show for kids, Caillou in Spanish is that much more annoying. His voice is awful enough when I can understand him. Netflix needs a "delete this show forever and burn in effigy" option. Caillou, Barney and that stupid show with one eyed monster (hello, inappropriate much?!) would be n the chopping block, for sure. 

5. The most mundane things in life have become so wonderful. Like silence. And slightly warmer than room temperature food. Also, floors that have nothing on them. And rooms I can't smell before I get to them. It's the little things in life. 

And finally, the more children you have, the faster they grow. I'm pretty sure Cora was born yesterday (according to the fluffiness that is still residing around my mid section), yet somehow she is able to terrorize her sister and cause all kinds of grief to little people and train cars.