the village my parents live in is called crans-pres-celigny. we all call it crans, but apparently there is another village in switzerland with that name, so it got lengthened. translated, it means “crans near celigny”, celigny being the village next door. these swiss officials are so creative! anyways, its a small village and as you can see from the map my parents’ house is surrounded by fields. they grow different stuff each year but mostly you can expect to see wheat, corn, potatoes and sunflowers. today we went on an adventure to check out a combine harvester which was taking in a big field of wheat next door. nayou was bug-eyed the whole time and was very excited to get a ride in it from the nice farmer!
for those of you who don’t know, my mum has been a teacher her whole life. she’s been teaching at an international school here for many years and today we all went and visited her at work. ever since mexico nayou has been curious about school so this was the perfect opportunity for him to see what its all about. not that i’m biased or anything, but my mum is a really amazing teacher. every time i go into one of her classrooms it makes me want to be a kid in her class! one of the cool projects she just finished is hatching chickens from eggs. the chicks have hit puberty and are all gangly and uncoordinated. still cute though!
school was, predictably, a very fun place for nayou. there are toys everywhere and all of the kids in mum’s class adored nayou. they were scrambling over each other to feed him lettuce from their garden, help him down the slide and show him their gymnastics tricks. definitely one of the sweetest bunch of 5-6 year olds i’ve ever met!
i also had a chance to give the kids a quick yoga lesson.
after we got home the fun continued when my dad gave nayou a ride on their tractor-mower contraption. this was like a dream come true for him and i only managed to pry him away from it with promises of more rides tomorrow.
nayou was so excited he continued to improve his driving skills afterwards.
one of my parents’ friends came over to drop off an archery set to play with. none of us have ever tried it before but it looks like a lot of fun. maybe in the coming days we’ll hone our skills?!
we capped off the day with some skype time and now we’re enjoying the last rays of sun before we head off to bed. let’s hope us adults can sleep through the night!
on monday evening we bid a sad farewell to epito and epita. after three weeks of lounging around and eating like royalty, it was time to pack up our bags and head on over to see the other set of grandparents. thank you epitos for a wonderful time and for your generosity! i hope we can hang out again soon 🙂
the flight over there was really painless. we got bumped up to that weird class in between economy and business and enjoyed lots of extra leg room, although the stupid arm rests didn’t move which meant that we couldn’t get that comfortable. we hung out for five hours in heathrow airport checking out the planes and taking naps. i was dreading the long layover in london, but that new terminal 5 in heathrow is great. they even have cool benches that are perfect for dozing. we even found a place that served fresh fruit smoothies, albeit at around $7USD a pop! from heathrow is was a short trip to geneva and we were safe and tired in our new temporary home before we knew it. nayou was a rockstar the whole way, not complaining or crying a single time. he has really turned into a world class traveller and its fun to see him get so excited about planes and the various vehicles that service them.
the dreaded jetlag hasn’t been all that bad either. the last time we were here nayou was seven months old and it was a complete bitch getting him back on track with his sleeping. this time around he’s been tired, but has been adjusting with minimal hassle. in fact, its brenda and i who are waking up in the wee hours of the morning!
we’ve been here for three days and they have all been pretty jam packed. my mum has been stocking up on toys for weeks before nayou’s arrival, tempting him over skype. upon arrival he immediately wanted to know where they were and wasted no time getting right into them.
nayou has also been spending lots of time in my parents’ garden, which is actually very impressive. there are potatoes, sweet peas, strawberries, raspberries and all kinds of good stuff to eat. all this time in the sun is also good for his circadian rhythms!
yesterday we took it easy and wandered around the village. we stopped in a barn to feed some cows, and nayou nearly peed his pants when one of them mooed right in his face. it was funny (and kind of sad) to see him jump so high.
in the evening we packed up a picnic and hung out by the lake. the local brass band was giving a concert there, but unfortunately it wasn’t that impressive. the food was excellent though!
… we played with nayou’s superduperamazeballz truck that brenda snagged for $3 at a thrift store. its made of metal and is bulky and heavy, but there is no question that this thing has to come with us to switzerland!
then epito came out to give nayou a special treat. mention the words “special” and “treat” and nayou will close his eyes very tightly and hold out his hand. so cute. this time his treat was some cheese!
epito also busted out some really tasty riesling so we decided to a “drunk in suburbia” series.
i was going to write a post about all of the changes that i went through during our time in sayulita before moving onto our adventures in maryland, but i’m having trouble putting my thoughts into words so i’ll save that for another day. in the meantime here is an update on the happenings in our lives as of late.
for the last ten days we’ve been basking in the love and luxury of epito and epita’s home. we had a bit of a rocky exit out of mexico – our flight reservations mysteriously cancelled (twice!) and visa issues – which resulted in us spending an extra night in a hotel, but eventually we made it safe and sound into america.
the ‘pitos live in a town called gaithersburg in maryland. its about an hour out of washington d.c., in a community with parks, a pool and trails to play in. we didn’t venture very far during our first week, opting to hang out at the pool and explore the playgrounds that dot the area. currently he has a thing for slides so its a good thing that there are plenty of them around!
nayou can be real temperamental when it comes to being friendly. most of the time he isn’t that nice with adults he’s not familiar with, although there are the rare few with whom he will cosy up to right away. it took him a couple of days to warm up to epito and epita, which was a bit sad for me to see, but now he is being sweeter with them. we still have to prod him to give them hugs and kisses, but their names come up often in conversation and he has found a very willing playmate in epito 🙂
we spent one day exploring “the mall”, which is what everyone calls the area in downtown washington d.c. where all the museums are. each of the museums are world class, and you need days to see each one properly. best of all, they are all free! brenda and i took nayou to the air and space museum followed by the museum of natural history. nayou must have thought he had died and gone to heaven seeing so many aircraft and dinosaurs in a few hours! plus we took the metro in which was another bonus.
the best view was from the floor looking up!
here is nayou in the natural history museum. at this point he is soooo tired but there is too much eye candy for him to be anywhere close to sleep.
oh yeah, and there was brenda’s birthday in there somewhere as well! one of brenda’s indulgences is to get a decaf soy latte, so we started her day off right by bringing one to her in bed. it turns out that nayou is a bit of a coffee fiend too, and i had to restrain him from trying to drink it all down before we could bring it to her.
at this point brenda is probably thinking about switching to non-decaf coffee though because she has been burning the midnight oil ever since she got her new birthday present, which was a shiny new ipod touch. she’s been hankering for one for quite a while now, which is evident from the expression on her face in this photo!
we have just spent the last two days in millville, a town three hours south of gaithersburg. epito and epita have just bought a townhouse down there and so we went down to check it out. it is close to some of the famous beaches on the east coast like bethany, rohobeth and ocean city. i read somewhere that you could surf at these beaches, and was really hoping for some sort of swell, but unfortunately the ocean was very flat. still, it was nice to be back at the beach. i didn’t realise quite how much i missed the ocean until i felt my feet touch the sand again.
three things that are really nice to have again: drinkable tap water, broadband internet and a postal service. we didn’t mind living without these things at all (we had adsl for internet), but i am not complaining about having them back! brenda and i were super excited to go to whole foods and get all kinds of yummy organic food as well, but were stopped dead in our tracks once we saw the price tags. food has become a whole lot pricier here since our last visit!