The excitement was enormous with the approach of our first friends visiting from Chicago. It’s an interesting thing when you move away. People from home ask a lot about your life abroad, but when you start telling them, they zone out. They’re either not really all that interested, or it’s just too hard to understand what it’s really like, living in another country. Some people, though, are truly interested. We have been lucky enough to have some friends and family come visit us to see what life is really like for us over here. And these visits have definitely been the highlights of our time here. Our first friend visitors were the Wintons, whom we met when I was pregnant with Vin and Megan was pregnant with Sean. Katelyn and Sophie were just one at the time. We all hit it off immediately and the rest, as they say, is history. They are our very best friends. So here we are, all together again in Switzerland! The day arrived for their visit and I wondered all day how hard it was for my kids’ teachers to keep them under control. The excitement was physically bubbling out of them. 3:30 arrived. They all came barreling out of school and tackled the Winton kids.
We took them off for a quick tour and dinner in our Altstadt (Old Town).
The next morning, it was off to Grindelwald to stay in the mountains for Easter. We rented a gorgeous chalet with killer Eiger views. The first night, we went up to a tiny little fondue hut for dinner, high in the Alps. This is the quintessential Swiss experience, and it’s always cozy and fun. After dinner, our bellies full of cheese, it was time to sledge down the mountain on old fashioned Swiss sledges. Somehow, no one told us that in Switzerland, the night sledging runs are not lit up like they would be in America. You can imagine how dark the Alps are at night. I’m talkin’ pitch black, the darkest of night black. Since we had no other way down, we had to sledge! We managed halfway in the dark, and halfway by holding up iPhone flashlights. A few crashes and many laughs later, we survived and made it down. Another great memory made. The Easter Bunny visited the next morning and brought lots of Swiss chocolate. We rounded out our trip with – what else?? Skiing!
After our Easter weekend in the mountains, it was back to Schaffhausen and regular life. Sean came to Vin’s soccer practice and the coaches even recruited him to scrimmage with the team. That kid is some athlete! We showed them the Munot and Rhine Falls, and even fit in a little park time.
Matt’s family is originally from Gachnang, Switzerland, which is only 30 minutes away. So, of course, we had to go! It was fun to take them there and wander around the tiny little village. The kids were so excited to come upon a little house with sheep underneath, right in the center of town! We also took a trip to Stein am Rhein to admire the beautiful frescoed buildings in the gorgeous village on the Rhine.
Our time with them was precious. We are so grateful that they took the time and spent the money to come visit us. I’m not sure they’ll ever know how grateful we are. Goodbyes are never easy. This one was especially tough for Vincent, who is very bonded with his best friend, Sean. Oh, the memories they made together. We will see them again this summer. We already can’t wait.