Thursday, June 30, 2016


Bonjour friends!  Today is my last full day in Switzerland.  It is a bittersweet moment for sure.  I will prepare a separate post to try to wrap up the past four years (not sure when I will actually get to that since I'm handing in my laptop today!), but before I reflect back on my time as an expat, let's reflect back on my final few days in Switzerland.

At the end of last summer, I realised that I hadn't spent any time exploring Switzerland, so I really wanted to make sure to do that this summer.  This summer in Switzerland is a bit short for me due to the move, but I spent a few days last week exploring!

I met Mallory in beautiful Lucerne for a day

The lake here is so beautiful, and the Old Town is really charming.

We visited this lion statue - it was a lot bigger than I thought it would be!

We climbed above the city walls to look below

From Lucerne, we headed over to Brunnen - the lake was super beautiful!

The reason we went to Brunnen was to assemble our own Swiss Army knives!

Afterwards, we took the train back to Zurich and had a lakeside picnic on a beautiful summer night

The next day, Mallory and I headed over to Kandersteg to hike up to Lake Oeschinensee.  The hike was about 90 minutes, and while terrain wasn't terrible, there wasn't very much tree cover, so it was really hot!  However, it was incredibly beautiful, and it was a really nice way to spend the day.

One thing that I find humorous is the other people I encounter while hiking in Switzerland.  When I hike, I am dressed in full kit - hiking pants, Icebreaker top, sun hat, hiking shoes, Camelbak, etc.  I sweat.  I struggle.  Usually, I will also see some old Swiss people, just casually out for a stroll in trainers and jeans.  Maybe they are carrying a canvas backpack, but maybe they are just carrying a small water bottle.  They are lightly perspiring.  They are not struggling.  I admire them!

Finally, we reached the lake!


Back in Kandersteg, Mallory and I parted ways, as she headed back towards Zurich.  I stopped in Bern to dine on some rosti, and then went back to Geneva for a day to take care of some admin.

Indulging in mountain foods while I can - even though it's summer!

Beautiful day for a run along the lake!

My final Swiss adventure was a trip to Zermatt.  This is a place that I have loved skiing in during the winter, but this was my first trip during summer!  Based on some recommendations from friends, I decided to do the 5 Lakes hike when I arrived.  I was a bit disappointed at first because there was a lot of cloud cover, but I started to get a bit more optimistic when it seemed like they were burning off.  Unfortunately, they never totally went away, so even though I could see blue sky and sunshine, the views of the Matterhorn were obstructed by clouds pretty much the entire time I was in Zermatt.  But no worries - I enjoyed some beautiful hiking, some delicious food, and of course, some time in the spa!  It was a great way to cap off my time in Switzerland before heading back to Geneva for my final wrap up with work and my apartment.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016


Um, hi.  My last post (which wasn't even a real post) was more than three weeks ago, so I know that I have been behind on blogging.  In truth, I have been trying to spend some time away from the computer in favor of figuring out all the details for my move, spending precious time with friends, and squeezing in some last minute European exploration.  I hope you guys understand.

I know that I owe a lot of updates, but for right now, the most efficient and effective way to do this is via photo dump.  Here is a bit of what I have been up to lately:

May 26 - I randomly took an overnight trip to Beaune, in the Burgundy region of France, solely to have dinner at La Lune, a Japanese fusion restaurant, which was highly recommended by some friends.  It did not disappoint!!  If you ever find yourself in that area, you MUST go.  It is a super tiny restaurant, so it can be difficult to get a reservation, but it is so good!


Strolling around the outer ring of Beaune

For lunch the next day, we drove 30 minutes to Dijon, which was beautiful!

We kept seeing these little birds all over the sidewalks.  Turns out, that it is a marked walking tour that shows you many major tourist sights in Dijon!  So cute :)

May 27 - Upon returning to Geneva, we hit up the summer food truck festival in Old Town.  It was much, much better than the inaugural one last year!  So many vendors, lots of tables and chairs, multiple bars, and fun music!

I loved seeing this Aperol van!

We also saw a guy making pasta inside of a cheese wheel!

May 28 - The annual Staff Weekend took place in Les Diablerets.  Every year, my company hosts a weekend outing for everyone, usually at some lovely resort area.

The weather in the valley wasn't amazing, but the scenery was still lovely.

After a 90 minute impromptu hike, we were treated to some spectacular views!

Me and Steve at the top of Glacier 3000!

Ready to do the Peak Walk

And of course, in the mountains, you have fondue!

We came back to town to find that the clouds had gone!

June 2 - I went with a group of girls to Ibiza to celebrate a double bachelorette party!  Spanish food, sunshine, and fun times :)

I can't resist octopus!


June 5 - I was introduced to a Singaporean restaurant in Geneva!!  Actually, Jeck's Place calls itself a Singaporean / Thai restaurant, but the menu has more Malay food than Singaporean, but I guess it's all the same.  I've been twice now this month, and both times (Kway Teow and Laksa) were delicious!

June 6 - My BFF Damaris was vacationing with her husband in France, so I was able to meet them in Beaune!  We spent a few days catching up, drinking wine, and eating delicious food.  I don't get to see Damaris often (we haven't lived in the same city since we were in high school!), so it was SO nice to be able to spend some quality time together and not feel rushed.

One winery that we visited had these amazing panels on the walls that cataloged all of the vintages, dating back to the 19th century!  Each year was noted as MV (mauvais vin / poor wine), PV (petit vin / average wine), BV (bon vin / good wine), or TBV (très bon vin / great wine).

Many of the years also had other little diagrams to indicate historical events.  I found this completely fascinating.

1917 - Russian Revolution

1969 - a man on the moon!

Not the best photo, but you can see the peace sign in 1945!

1989 - fall of the Berlin Wall

In addition to La Lune, Caves Madeleine is another can't miss spot in Beaune.  Absolutely amazing food here!

Manual labor among the vines

We also ate at the Clos du Cedre and loved it.  Beaune really does have such amazing food!

June 9 - Right after getting back from Beaune, it was time to pack up my apartment.  Ackkkk!  I chose to pack up so early because I wanted to make sure my stuff would be ready for me when I am ready to move into an apartment in New York.  (My company gives me temporary housing when I first arrive.)  Most of my furniture here is not coming with me since it is mostly Ikea crap, so don't worry - I'm not living in a completely bare apartment right now!

June 11 - I went for one last weekend in Chamonix to go to a going away party.  You may recall that I spent most of this past winter in Chamonix every weekend, so it is definitely a place that I love and will miss!

The best cure for a party hangover?  A nice hike!

June 13 - I flew to Florence and met up with Mallory for a yoga retreat in Tuscany!

The resort where the retreat was held was actually converted from an old town and was so lovely.

Just outside of our room (actually, an entire house) were these super fragrant flowers!  I loved smelling them each morning as we headed out for breakfast.

But of course, you can't go to Tuscany without doing a wine tasting :)

Beautiful views during a morning hike

And a little stop for honey tasting!

I also went to a gong bath?!  I'm still not really sure what this was all about, but basically we all laid on the floor with our eyes closed and this guy played various gongs and bells and stuff.  It was... interesting ha.

June 17 - Me, Becca, and Zach teamed up to host our going away apéro!  We had a great turnout of colleagues and friends.  It is always hard to say good-bye :(

June 19 - it was a beautiful morning in Geneva, so Courtney and I headed out for a run!  I am signed up for the Brooklyn Rock n' Roll half marathon in early October, so I need to get back into my running groove asap!

June 20 - I went to my first opera!  Colin, Katie, and I went to see Falstaff, which isn't an opera I was familiar with, but it was pretty enjoyable!

June 22 - and finally, we are all caught up.  It is a beautiful day, but I'm still working on some things in the apartment to get ready to actually leave.  Tomorrow I will be heading off to do some more exploring within Switzerland, so hopefully the weather is good for the rest of the week!  Have a good day my friends!