today we went to france! … which sounds like a bit of a big deal, but really all it took was a twenty minute ferry ride across the lake. we rode the ferry to a small medieval village called yvoire, which sits right on the lake, but on the french side. its famous because the village looks pretty much the way it did in the 17th century, albeit with more tourists and all the trappings that go along with it. its still an absolutely gorgeous place though!

as is usually the case, nayou packed his bag to take with him. this dude is a real packrat – every time we go somewhere he spends ages stuffing his backpack with all kinds of things. cars, twigs, leaves, books, it all has to come along! pity he forgot to change out of his pjs 🙂


we left from nyon, which is the next village up the lake from where we are. we come to nyon quite a bit to play at the park, see friends and hang out at their amazing market. nayou has been jonesing a ride on the ferry ever since we got here so he was very exicted.



once we got to yvoire we couldn’t stop ooh-ing and aah-ing at everything. you realise where disneyland got their inspiration from when they were making their attractions – its almost too perfect!






of course since we were in france we had to have a baguette with cheese and pickles. or rather, nayou had a baguette with cheese and pickles, and his parents scrounged for the crumbs.


aaaand, here are some other random photos from the last couple of days.




here is an example of something positive that facebook has done for me – this photo is of me and olivier. we used to play together when we were living in geneva waaay back in the day. i was about four years old! he found out we were in geneva on facebook and got in touch. that resulted in the whole family coming over for dinner on sunday for a very happy reunion! we’re pretty much the same, just hairier.


we are approaching our one month mark in geneva which is hard to believe. this place is so relaxing time just seems to slip on by. its not like we’re going out and doing all sorts of crazy activities – the bulk of our time is spent in the house and garden, with sorties to the nearby park or soccer field to break things up. in writing this seems pitifully boring and yet in reality its a very peaceful and fun time for us. nayou in particular has been loving the smaller pleasures that life has to offer, like walking nekkid:


hiding in boxes:


collecting leaves (note appropriately manly work overalls augmented with fishing rod):


terrorising the neighbourhood on his bike:


and driving trains:


there have also been what he would consider more major events, such as getting a ride in a tractor that was baling hay:



and getting a visit from his newly minted five month old cousin charlotte (technically first cousin once removed, but who’s splitting hairs? baby charlotte is the daughter of my cousin adam and his wife marion. they live in london and popped over last weekend to hang out. nayou was very enamoured with charlotte, giving her cuddles and asking for her first thing in the morning. we did detect more than a hint of jealousy though once he realised he wasn’t the center of attention anymore! it was cool to see adam as a dad. especially to admire his aussie feeding style. no amount of time in london is going to take that out of him!


charlotte is really alert and super curious. she’s also very friendly. we all had good cuddle time with her and she responded with coos and dribbles, just like a good baby should!



on sunday we all went on a hike in st. cergue, which is possibly one of the most gorgeous spots on earth. i mean seriously, you wouldn’t even find a postcard that looks as good as this place.







so those are the haps in our corner of the globe for now. i’ll leave you with one of those pesky chickens that nayou loves to chase around.


since we’ve left mexico brenda and i have been amazed at how much english nayou has picked up. about a month ago he was speaking about 90% in spanish, but now that he’s been around english speakers he has adapted at lightning speed. in general he does an amazing job at keeping the languages separate. for example, he only speaks spanish to brenda and i because he knows that we’re the only ones who understand him when he does. it goes both ways though – he’s definitely starting to get into spanglish now that he’s figured out we understand both. it would be sad if he forgot how to speak spanish, but i suppose that’s the nature of the game at this point! hopefully when we settle into our next home we can find some spanish speaking kids for him to practice with.

excuse the poor video quality. i have to edit the video in premiere because windows movie maker doesn’t understand quicktimes, and the export settings are too numerous and try my patience. i just went with the first one that worked 🙂

the clan currently residing in the tanimura hotel grew by one last week with the arrival of hana! she came from london to hang out for ten days. nayou is very fond of her and spent little time attaching himself to her side.






this morning i found an old photo album on the kitchen table. the album had a bunch of my photos, documenting my life from birth until about 2001 when i graduated from university. it was cool looking at my first few years and thinking about my parents going through the same things brenda and i are now, but the main thing i noticed was that i had really embarassing hair styles. i’ve done them all – the bowl cut, the weird spiky cut, the long bit over the eye almost-emo cut, and the obligatory long hair metal-head phase. at least you don’t really have a say in your childhood hair style, but i wonder if nayou is going to look back on his mullet and be embarassed too? (full disclosure: as of this writing, i haven’t cut my hair in over five months and i find myself in yet another probably embarassing hair stage of my life)



the gourmet streak that started at the epitos’ house has continued with aplomb here. my mum has been cooking up super yummy food with stuff  from her garden. nayou’s been learning the tricks of the trade so hopefully he will be fixing us our meals soon. its never too young to start working in the kitchen.



and on that same note, the ladies have been hard at work in front of the sewing machine as well. nayou’s got a new pair of pants, i’ve got a new wallet and we have several pretty tablecloths. if you need anything, shoot me an email and i’ll crack my whip.



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!

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other random things we have been up to include fox-proofing the chicken house:


and looking cute in the process:


finally getting over jetlag (six hours is a real pain to deal with!):


getting a taste of the local cuisine:


lots of couch time with grandma:


and picking and eating copious amounts of raspberries and strawberries:



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!