Graubünden: A Very Small Taste of Swiss #Vanlife

FullSizeRender 3.jpgAfter two weeks of living in a 35-degree apartment — that’s 95 degrees Fahrenheit, for my American readers — Guillaume and I were desperate for one blissful, sweat-free night. So we rented a jeep, drove across Geneva to the canton of Graubünden and celebrated our wedding anniversary in bright red camper van perched on top of a mountain that I found on Airbnb. Sipping rosé and taking in the gorgeous view of the valley below in the crisp mountain air, we knew we had made the right call. And when we woke up at 6am absolutely freezing because we had left all of the camper windows open, we weren’t even cranky. Oh what a joy it was to be cold again!

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Fribourg: Urban Golfing à la Suisse

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With our half-fare train passes on the verge of expiring, Guillaume and I decided to take advantage of our last discounted weekend and the gorgeous weather to visit the medevial city of Fribourg, Switzerland. The train journey itself was quite the treat, particularly the stretch just after Lausanne, and I think the above and below photos of Lake Geneva look like paintings even though they were taken through a glass window — Don’t you?

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Two-Year Anniversary

I experienced a bit of déjà vu on Wednesday: I pushed through one of the enormous glass doors of the Geneva Apple store, weaved my way through the sea of eager customers trying out the latest Macs and made my way to the left side of the room where I knew I would find the iPad-wielding employee that essentially serves as the bouncer for the Genius Bar. As far as I could remember, I had not set foot in the store since the several-week debacle over my MacBook shortly after moving to Geneva, during which I helplessly relied on my husband to communicate on my behalf. But this time, I reminded myself, things were different. I took a deep breath and approached the smiling bouncer.  Continue reading

21-Month Anniversary

Optimized-118I don’t mean to disappoint, but I think it’s only fair to share bad news up front. This post is from Guillaume. You may know me as Melissa’s husband, a supporting character in the Plaid Shirt Diaries known for erratic driving through the Balkans and an unquenchable thirst for history. Have no fear! This is temporary! The Plaid Shirts Diaries is not about to become an unwanted history lesson. Thankfully, Melissa will soon return to the stage. Over the past few months, other projects have sadly pulled her away from this blog. But I can assure you that she will return and cannot wait to fill you in on our latest adventures.

Soon to come are posts on:

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15-Month Anniversary

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I have to be honest: I’ve been totally wrapped up in trying to power through the 90-degree Fahrenheit/32-degree Celsius temperature inside our un-airconditioned Geneva apartment and get some studying done for exams, and did not realize I was due for an anniversary post until my trusty phone alert late last night. Thus, you’ll have to forgive that this entry is short on thoughtful expat reflections, and accept a substitute of some very wise attic apartment advice instead: When it’s 90 degrees outside, do not leave your windows open all day in the hope that a breeze will bring some fresh air into your flat. There is no breeze and your apartment will somehow stay at a sauna-like 90 degrees all week as a result — even though it’s back down to 70 degrees outside. (You’re welcome.)

Outside of studying for exams — four more to go! — Gui and I have been spending our time down by the lake relaxing between workdays and classes, and soaking in what I really do think is Geneva’s best season now that I’ve experienced them all: Summer. (I know, it’s still officially spring, but this weather says otherwise.) The city comes to life with swimmers, sailors and festivals, and it’s really a different atmosphere from the quieter winter months when downtown empties out in favor of the nearby ski slopes.  Continue reading