Sunday, January 30, 2011

Winter Polo

This afternoon I wandered down to the frozen St. Moritz sea to watch the Polo World Cup on Ice. It was the final match between Great Britain and France, and it was an unbelievable experience. Enjoy!

Train Ride

Here are some images from the train ride to St. Moritz. It involved three trains altogether and was a little hairy at times trying to navigate unknown stations for the proper platform. In the end, we got it right, and the closer we got to St. Moritz, the more beautiful it became.

The snow deepened.

The sunshine came out.

The mountains got bigger and bigger.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Through the Haze

Switzerland is full of contrasts. The ultra modern, Euro-chic...

...juxtaposed with its medieval past.

The same moment that you pass a fairy-tale, cobbled alley, you may also wander past Hermes. In fact, speaking of Hermes, I can honestly say Zurich is the the most expensive city I have ever been in.

But I wasn't here to shop although I couldn't pass up Teuscher's champagne truffles.

I loved seeing and hearing German everywhere although now my brain is really tired.

These beautiful cobbled steps led up to Grossm√ľnster.

Statue to Bullinger, Zwingli's successor at the church.

A statue to Charlemagne. This is a copy.

And I very sneakily defied the photography policy to get this image of the original down in the church's crypt. Shhhh...don't tell anyone.

The church's dates. One word...old.


View from outside.


The bridge leading over to the church.

In my 31+ hours without sleep haze, I must now sign off. I have that weird light-headed feeling that comes with extreme fatigue. But I can't conclude without mentioning a couple of notables.

- Traveling by yourself is lonely. There is something about the sharing of an experience that inherently enhances its essence.
- How I travel is forever changed by Aberdeen. I no longer hesitate with public transport, asking for directions, or trying something I am unsure about. Tonight that meant it took me 3 wrong trains, 2 missed tram stops, and a bus to get back to my hotel, but never was I anxious, worried, or upset. I knew I'd figure it out eventually, and I did.
- People are the same wherever you go. Some are pleasant. Some are grumpy. Some are reserved. Some are very kind. And in general, kindness is rewarded with kindness.
- Swiss Francs look like monopoly money.
- A sausage wrapped in pastry is mighty delicious, especially when you haven't had any food since a danish on the plane before you disembarked.
- Too many young people smoke here. You can see a heavy pile of butts between the platform and the train where people flick them before boarding.
- Dogs go on trains. I sat next to a beautiful Newfoundland.
- When you're not with your children, you become hyper aware of them everywhere, and you miss them...a lot.

Tomorrow it's off to St. Moritz with the main group I am meeting at the airport and ferrying onto the train now that I've gotten a good dose of Swiss Rail.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Embarkation

This morning we woke up to this...

...and this...

...and this. Another foot of snow. Needless to say school was cancelled and prompted some concern about my flight leaving for Switzerland.

But my flight is only delayed. Not even that much. Just over an hour, which is what you might expect on any ordinary day.

Walking into the International Departure Lounge, a wave of emotion and goosebumps washed over me remembering being in this exact spot 4 1/2 years ago. Standing on the threshold of a new life, vulnerable, uncertain, and scared, it is very strange to relive that moment in hindsight.

I'm off to Zurich. Hoping I can tour a little during the day tomorrow. May test my rusty German and my fearless public transport skills honed in Aberdeen and see if I can hitch a ride from my airport hotel into the old town if only to take pictures for Trey of Great Minster where Zwingli preached. He asked so nicely.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Hippos

video

And at long last, the video I tried to upload showing Evie reading along with me. She's a firecracker, that one.

Monday, January 24, 2011

In Which I Explain My Absence

Hello! Remember me?

In case you were wondering, I have not fallen off the face of the earth although this blog post officially breaks the longest blogging break I have taken in its history. In fact, the silence may have continued longer except for the fact that this morning on my commute into work Trey called me and in a most pleading voice told me how sad he was that there were no entries for January on the blog.

How to explain? I'm not quite sure where to begin. It has been the perfect storm of busy-ness, lack of inspiration, and growing inertia fueled by a failed blog post on January 1. That and my computer being largely commandeered by two small boys who use it to watch DVDs in the absence of a television in our house.

The failed blog post? I started one about Genevie reading along to a beloved Sandra Boynton book called Hippos Go Berserk only to have the accompanying video fail to upload properly, which prompted a downward spiral of frustration and annoyance with the blog in general. Oh and did I mention my computer's been hijacked by two small boys?

To explain the busy-ness, I have to fill you in on what this month has been like. Coming back to work following the Christmas holidays was, well, insane. This year is shaping up to be the busiest in our company's history yet. The good kind of busy, but the kind that is, well, busy. Between that and a trip I'm helping my boss plan, I don't know where January went. Oh, yes, the trip. It's a long story, but the short version is that I have been moonlighting as a travel coordinator for an annual ski trip that my boss is heading up for a professional organization that he is a member of, and, as one of the perks of this side job, I get to go! Yes, this Thursday I embark on a journey to a fabulous place called St. Moritz to an incredible resort called the Kulm Hotel. I can hardly believe it's real myself. The planning of the trip has been intense, especially lately. Hence the silence.

The lack of inspiration is probably the hardest one to explain. Maybe it's the reflection that has accompanied turning 30. Yes, I hit that milestone last week. Maybe it's struggling to know who I'm really writing for anymore. Maybe it's feeling like my posts aren't always vulnerable and real. I've been told by more than one person that I seem like a superwoman and that makes me want to hang my head in despair because that couldn't be further from the truth.

This is me. I yell. I get impatient. I pick fights. I fix the same thing for dinner over and over. I work a lot but when I'm home I crave the peace and quiet that life with three children these ages just doesn't afford. I don't clean my house very much, except maybe for the bathroom and kitchen. I don't like my weight but I seem to lack the discipline I've had in the past to remedy that. My children throw tantrums, say no, and hit each other sometimes. I have feet of clay. Scratch that. I have feet of mud. I don't know why anyone would think I'm so great except that I probably project an image on this blog of who I wish I were -- some perfect corporate woman who flawlessly juggles work and home life while cooking gourmet meals, possessing limitless patience, and whose house is immaculate and children always smiling and well-behaved.

So this is my resolve. To be a little more transparent on this blog in the year ahead. Not to feel like I have to craft a witty, photo-laden, Rockwell-eque entry every few days to feel as though I'm satisfying whatever audience is still out there. No, I'm going to write for me because ultimately this is a record of the Holloway's life as seen through my lens -- the good, the bad, and the ugly.

PS I'm hoping that while I'm away in Switzerland, I will have some time to catch you up on some of the goings-on this January, like my birthday weekend away with Trey in NYC, all the snow we've been having...and, yes, that video of Evie.