Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Neuchâtel walk-about

Today Payton and I went on a walk-about Neuchâtel. It was a nice walk with my son.

Click on the slideshow and a separate window should open up with larger pictures. There will be a slideshow link on the right if you wish to see a full sized slideshow.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Payton is loving swimming

Payton has surrendered his floating ring and loving his water wings. He is realizing the freedom he has with them. He is floating on his tummy and his back kicking his feet swimming around the pool.

Filling station air

Here is something I haven't seen in the States and I think it is a pretty good idea. To get air at the filling station I frequent you use the little portable air tank pictured below. The small tank just hangs on a bracket (left picture). Built into its handle is a flared female fitting that sits atop a mating male fitting (right picture). To put air in your tires just lift the tank off of the bracket and carry it around to each of your tires. You use the small hose to connect the tank to your tire and push one of the red buttons. One button lets air escape into your tire from the tank. The other red button releases air pressure from your tire. The gauge is really large and easy to read. When you're done you just place the tank back on the bracket. Through the fitting mentioned earlier the tank is automatically refilled ready to be used again. I rather liked using it. I thought is was far easier than dragging a hose around and much cleaner too. While I do think it is a good idea, so would the petty thieves in America. This thing would go missing from an American filling station quicker than you could blink your eye.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

A luxury you could get used to

Today was pretty nice here around the house. We spent the late afternoon swimming in the pool.

We had planned to go tobogganing in the mountains, but the weather up there canceled those plans. It started raining shortly after we got there. This would have been so cool. It is basically a 700 meter long dry water slide twisting down the mountain side. You ride on sleds that have brakes. Man, I wanted to do this. We went across the road to Hotel de Vue des Alps to wait out the rain. We had coffee and hot chocolate. Obviously the rain didn't let up. Oh well, there is always another day.

Thursday, July 24, 2008


Today me and Payton drove up to the base area of Creux-du-Van. This is a huge horseshoe shaped cliff. There are trails going up to and around its rim. It may take a lot of patience but I hope to get Patyon to hike up to the top with me soon. He hiked about 2½ miles with me the other day. He did pretty good. I think as long as we hike uphill first he'll be okay.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Our little daredevil

We have such a little daredevil sometimes. Payton would ride his 'motorcycle' up the ramp, turn around and ride down. He almost crashed his last time down. I have a picture of him bouncing down the last few steps.

Strange place for a ramp don't you think? Actually this is a wheelchair ramp. They're quite common in Europe. Notice that the steps aren't quite as steep as you would normally see. One would just guide the wheels up or down the ramps while their helper would use the narrow set of stairs. This ramp is also handy for the 2-wheel shopping baskets people use for shopping. With these ramps you can easily pull your load of goods up a flight of stairs. Very clever.

Nice sleeping weather - unlike Ohio

Here it is, well into July and we have low 60's for sleeping weather. It has been really nice lately. There has been the warm night here and there and it isn't any fun without air conditioning. All in all it beats the summer weather of Ohio.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Swiss Vapeur Parc

Today was a very fun day indeed. We traveled due south of home to the town of Bouveret on the east side of Lac Léman. Geneva is on the west side of this lake. There we found a wonderful park for little boys and big boys alike (girls will like the park too). Swiss Vapeur Parc is 17,000 sq. meters of miniature railroad. Not model railroad, but 7¼" guage railroad. (this represents the width of the rails). You can see from the pictures that these are good sized trains. These babies can work and play.

I shouldn't get ahead of myself though. On the way down we just had to have our little taste of Americana. Guess where we went?
You bet, we stopped off at Starbucks. There isn't one in our town and we never pass up the chance to visit at at least one when we travel.

On to the train park... As I said, this park is pretty big and devoted totally to riding the trains. There really isn't anything else to do here but ride trains. Kids under 4 are free. Ride all day if you want. There is over a mile of track with 16 switches that make for many different track layouts twisting and turning throughout the park. Depending on demand they run from 1 to 9 trains simultaneously. They travel across numerous bridges and streams and through a number of tunnels.
Situated around the park are miniature buildings. There is a 1/8 scale replica of Aigle Castle, - a stronghold dating back to 1475, in the little 'village' of Chablais is Saanen church which you can go inside and worship, plus several more buildings and constructions.

It had been a pretty full day by the time we headed home. We thoroughly enjoyed this train park.

Friday, July 18, 2008

6 weeks to go!

Due to an overwhelming number of requests, I am providing you all with a picture of how I am looking at this stage in my pregnancy. I was also brave enough to give you a nice side view so you could really get a good sense of my girth! This is also to provide, for those interested, a forum to take a guess at when I will deliver! Here are the important facts that should help you with your guessing.

  • My due date is September 1st
  • Payton was 6 days late at 8lbs. 10 oz.
  • It's a boy!
  • I am currently 20 lbs lighter than my final Payton weight!
  • There is a full moon on August 16th
  • I am walking 3 miles at least 5 days a week (at least till now)

I am feeling great. It is starting to get uncomfortable to sit at my desk and my feet swell some by the end of the day, but I am trying to walk around often and drink lots of water. Fortunately the summer has been very cool here compared to anything in the US which is a blessing since homes do not have AC here! It's also amazing what not having a Dairy Queen down the street will do for you! I do really miss my soft serve chocolate cones with chocolate dip though!

I plan on working as long as I can. I have tons to do and it's not like I can sit home and watch Oprah! Besides, after the week I spent home with Payton I quickly realized that going to work is a much easier day (at least physically) than staying home. Being Spiderman's mommy is hard work!

So feel free to take a guess at my due date by logging a comment or sending an email. If you win maybe you'll get some Swiss Chocolate as reward!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Our 'King's Island' away from home

We have a very nice waterpark here in Neuchâtel. It's called Piscines du Nid-du-Crô. Seven bucks for adults and kids under 6 are free. Lockers are free too. You rent the key for 2 bucks, but get it back when you return the key. And dare I say that it is better than King's Island back in Cincinnati? It is for families with young kids. Payton loves the big sandbox. The family pool has a neat river around it you can float on. The dive pool has platforms has high as 10 meters (about 33 feet). There's lots of grass to spread your towel out on - sure beats the rough, hot concrete at King's Island. And of course there is the wonderful view of the lake - you can swim in it too. We've been a couple of times now and will surely go again.
Check out their video. It's in French so only Lisa will understand it, but for the rest of you (and me) just look at the pictures.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Moon over Lac de Neuchâtel

I took this picture from our patio at 22:00 hours (that's 10 pm for you civilians). It doesn't really start getting dark here until then. About 7 hours later, a little after 5 am, the sun pops back up. This is a benefit of living so far north.


Payton and I swam in our pool today. The water was kind of cold, but not to bad. Payton just jumped right in. Me, I had to wade in a little at a time. The deeper I got the slower I waded. Payton had a blast, but then most kids take to water like ducks on a pond. I mostly just like looking at the pool.

Monday, July 14, 2008

The tunnel is open

For all of you following along with my tunnel story, I want you to know that it is now open. Payton and I noticed this going to the COOP today (grocery store). On the way home we turned up into the tunnel to check it out by car. We found out it is just like any other tunnel. Anyhow, it's open - finally.

Peeing in the bushes

Kathleen was talking to me on phone when she looked out the kitchen window and caught Payton peeing in the bushes. Yep, right off the driveway he decided he needed to pee. I taught him peeing in the bushes, but where we were there wasn't a bathroom. Oh well, at least he remembered what he was taught.

I like my new kitchen gadget

I really like my new hamburger press. I can make a nice burger from about ¼" thick to about 1½" thick. These burgers are a perfect ½" thick. I just plopped a ¼ lb. on and lowered the press and BAM! the perfect burger.

I got plenty of wax patty dividers too. I think I have enough for 1500 burgers easy. With hamburger being $9 lb. here I will watch for a sale, then load up, press out a bunch of burgers and freeze them. I'm going to be in burger heaven and I do love burgers. If one needed to make a lot of burgers, you can get this press in a double version. That would have been a bit over the top for me.


As I said in a previous post I'm back from the USA, but not the USSR. I brought back some goodies for Payton. One of them being a Batman costume.

He loves his superheros. I also got him a Spider-Man outfit. He and Batman are his favorites.

Update to a couple of things

It's been to cold to use the pool. I left for the USA the day after we started it up. It also turned rainy and chilly here. I'm back with my family and it's still rainy and chilly. Burrrr!

Can you believe it, they still haven't opened that tunnel! It's been more than two weeks since their opening ceremony. I thought it was the opening ceremony. I had to translate the notice. Maybe I didn't translate it correctly?

Payton writes his name!

Mommy worked with Payton to write his name. He did a pretty good job. Click on the picture to see a larger view.

First Mommy wrote his name to show him how. Then she showed him how to copy the letter P. Payton with pen in hand then copied his whole name.