Saturday, November 24, 2007

Basement Guts

Basement before.

Basement Now.. Stay tuned for "Basement after".
(This is the same view btw).

Monday, November 19, 2007


View from the condo (NITE)
View from the condo. (DAY)

Skiing. I essentially took a private lesson today and it was AWESOME. Unbelieveable. I can't believe I like a single solitary activity this much. It's ridiculous. You should have seen me this morning kicking my parents out of bed to hit the slopes. Like a kid on Christmas morning. Not many trails open not many people around.. but the man made stuff is just fine by me. I had been avoiding pushing myself or taking anymore lessons, but I am so glad I did it today. Got many helpful tips and improved my form considerably. Swiss Alps? Here I come!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Yeah Bears

Congratulations to the Wash U Bears Volleyball team on their NINTH National Championship!!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Tips toward more picturesque speech

Overheard.  Peter the Brit talking to my co-workers regarding a firm they were about to fire:
"Oh ya mean we have ta coll so-and-so and tell em they'ra packa wankas?"

"You mean we need to call and tell them they are a PACK OF WANKERS".
So funny.  Wankers.  Used in business conversation.
Ya pack a wankas.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Gott ist Gut

Before I get into the pics I have a few things to say! First and foremost GOD is amazing! So I am halfway around the world, feeling a lot spiritually dry, and not deserving of anything good from Him. I had been thanking God for the cool paintings I got to see that made my eyes tear up and my breath catch in my chest, and I asked him to give me something else. Today he started the wheels moving.

In our wanderings around Basel I noticed that there was a Basel Vineyard church office on our street. This was interesting to me because I know a lot about the Vineyard organization and I was excited to check out a service while I was over here sometime. However with all the travel and work I was hard pressed to get my carcass out of bed at any sort of hour that would get me to a church on a Sunday morning. So I went online and found that the Basel Vineyard meets at 5:30 PM (!) in a real live church building that is LITERALLY across the street from my hotel.

It is nuts.

I emailed the church and asked if they had any English services. They replied and said no but were happy to let me know that the worship songs were sometimes in English.

So I did some praying that I would get something out of the service and asked the God of tongues to help me out a little with the German. And boy did he. I walked into the church and it was very warm and inviting, a stark contrast to the empty churches I have toured in all over Europe. I spoke to no one and sat down. A man sat next to me and asked me in German if I would put his jacket on the edge of the pew. I said "English?" and he repeated in English. He then asked if I could understand anything and I said "not a word". So after the worship time (which was SOOO in English and SOOO familiar to me, I knew every song) this man TRANSLATED the ENTIRE service to me. We were annoying people around us so he moved with me to the back of the packed church to finish out. It was amazing. It makes the fact that I am going to be over here for nine more months almost exciting, and certainly bearable.

It was a wonderful gift. He said he wouldn't be there the next time I was in town, but I think sometimes words aren't needed.

Now for the continuation of the visual tour.

The Basel Fesitval at night in front of the Rhine:

A church in a quaint little suburban town called Arlesheim, and below Becky, Grace, John (in his easy to spot da-glow coat) and Dave.

Me "riding the weiner" dont ask.

Another Klee at the Basel Kunstmuseum (Happy Birthday Ange!!!)

IN Schwitzerland, it's not "Schwarm". This (and tons of other random words) was carved into a really neat wooden table we ate dinner on one night.

It was also way too "Schwarm" when we went "Swisser-dancing in Salsa-land".

It was awesome. Really awesome. I danced with a short Brazilian all night who only spoke Spanish, so I got to practice my Latin moves and my best second language! Hace calor, verdad??

A screaming Gargoyle atop the Muenster Church tower that we climbed today.

Below, back in Arlesheim, a JOHN DEERE tractor in a Swiss barn. Thought that was worth capturing. Even though the pic is hard to see... it's there alright.

Inscribed on a cave on the way up to the Arlesheim castle. I couldn't agree more.

This wine had my name on it. Look closely.

Cousin to the Zurich Blue cow and the Basel red cow of blogs past... I present to you.. the Arlesheim Cow. A cow of different colors.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Lausanne? Lugano? no LUCERNE!

Took a train to Lucerne today. I was so bummin that my travel-mates wanted to leave at 6:10 in the morning to get on the 7am train..."that one goooes faster, and we'll get there quicker!'... I would rather take longer, sleep longer and...why can't leave at noon again?
Anyway, I am not bitter anymore. Inspite of stepping off the train at 8:14, and freezing, and having nothing open until 9am, (Never thought I'd say this, but thank God for Starbucks) it was an amazing day. We couldn't see the surrounding mountains, because the lake fog didn't lift all day, but we did go see a few really 'rock star' things.
First, we sat at the aforementioned Starbucks and drank hot chocolate and dined on Luxemburgerli's and chocolate tarts I got at the train station.

'Luxemburgerlis are little yummy light treats that come in all different flavors. They look like little hamburgers. Buns made of meringue, and a macaroon filling. Oh they are sooo good, and they are so light, that they 'melt' if you keep them too long. The instructions on the box say "EAT TODAY" or something.

Then we trekked across the old wooden covered bridges to "The Lion". Amazing little tribute to some Swiss mercenaries who died defending the French King back in blah blah blah.

Inscription under the Lion says: "To the Brave and Loyal Swiss. "
I bought gloves and a hat as a necessity! It was nippy.
Then we continued to walk around Old Lucerne until my piggies hurt. We finally worked our way back toward the train station and into a museum where there were Chagall, Klee, Picasso, Monet, Renoir, Matisse paintings and sketches. Did I mention they had Chagalls? Oh man. I love his work. I almost cried when I saw a whole room full of his stuff, some I had never seen before. It was GLORIOUS. Happiness on canvas. He is quoted as saying:

"Will God or someone give me the power to breathe my sigh into my canvases, the
sigh of prayer and sadness, the prayer of salvation, of rebirth?"

I think God did:

And I sadly, cannot recreate it on your screen in the brilliance that it is in real life...

Another gift from God, to my eyeballs, and heart.