Come to find out, in Switzerland and other parts of Europe, you are expected to treat on your birthday. Whether it’s a meal, drinks, or dessert, it’s up to you to foot the bill or bring something to share. I think it’s great. You get what you want on your birthday! No need to worry whether your coworkers know you well enough to buy you a chocolate cake instead of a lemon pie. And you get to go to your favorite restaurant without guilt! No one can complain about free food. Then when it’s other people’s birthdays, you just get to relax and enjoy. It seems like a win-win situation to me.
This time last week, I have to say I was proud to be an American. The Boston Marathon was an incredible experience. It was amazing to be around so many people that came out to support their town, their runners, and stand up against last year’s tragedy. My brother, the runner of the Dunn fam, qualified for Boston in late 2012 and our family decided to make a trip out of it. We wanted to cheer him on as he ran a ridiculous amount of miles (26.2) along side a ridiculous amount of people (35,000 to be exact). We made a pretty good looking cheer squad don’t you think?
My friends from the Pacific Northwest always talked about how California didn’t have seasons, but I had no idea what they meant. It got cold in winter, warmer in spring, hot in summer, and the leaves fell in fall. Those are seasons, right? Technically, yes, but I now understand what they were talking about: dramatic seasons. The recent transition from winter to spring in Zurich has been a pretty sight to see. I got to ditch the puffy coat, hat, boots, and gloves for a lightweight sweater and tennies. The grey days turned sunny and the brown grass turned green and the flowers have bloomed! Imagine that. I forgot there used to be flowers until they started popping up again. It feels like the cold, grey city turned colorful overnight. People, including me, have started making their way out of hibernation and enjoying the warmer weather.
We took a mid-winter tropical escape to a little island called Seychelles off the coast of Africa. We marked it our “official” honeymoon since it was a whole week vacation with just the two of us. And a honeymoon it was. We flew in to this tiny airport that felt like we were landing on the set of LOST with the lush greenery and secluded beaches. Those secluded beaches were exactly what made the trip so amazing. Warm water that was bluer than blue (on the calm days) and stretches of beach that allowed me the option of choosing whatever spot I wanted (shade please! My poor pale skin can’t handle the sun). I read books, made a bracelet, and drank fresh coconut water all the while my fish of a husband was surfing or snorkeling away in the water. Other than beach days, we toured the island, took a snorkeling trip, and wined and dined. No crazy stories, just a perfectly relaxing vacation.
I have officially been a Swiss resident for one whole year. Where did the time go? It feels like just yesterday I arrived to a snowy and cold winter Sunday in Zurich. Thinking about my past year abroad, I can best describe it as constant learning experience. Learning a new language, new ways of doing things, a new city, how to be a better traveler, the list goes on. There are obvious things you need to learn, but then there are the things I never could have imagined that I would have to (re)learn. Like throwing out trash and recycling correctly. Or not doing laundry on Sundays as to not disturb fellow tenants on their “day of rest”. Or weighing your produce at the grocery store before getting in line (ooof they get mad about this one!).
Dairy and I have a love-hate relationship. Sometimes we can handle each other, and other times dairy hates me, which in turn makes me hate dairy. But, I love dairy so much, why doesn’t it love me back?
To get rid of the hate in my life, I try to minimize dairy as much as possible. I go through phases where I break up with dairy and swear it off for ever, and then it somehow talks me back into the relationship (cheese, why you so good lookin?).
Being in a foreign country, it sure is nice to have familiar faces just a train ride away. I headed to Nuremberg, Germany last weekend to visit my college friend, Melissa, for a relaxing weekend getaway. We went bowling, shopped, made some delicious comfort food, ate some delicious German food, and did some crafting. A simple weekend with good friends is sometimes just what the doctor ordered. Except the doctor also ordered me to quit travelling so much and catching colds on public transit. But that order went in one ear and out the other, and we are hitting the road again this weekend for our honeymoon! Runny nose, sore throat, and all.