Happy belated Thanksgiving!
I hope you enjoyed a cozy holiday! I missed being at home with you all, but I had a good Thanksgiving too. I have a lot to tell you all since it's been so long! Gregg visited last weekend, I saw the alps (again), visited the church where John Calvin used to preach, met some North Carolinans and a pro basketball player from the Midwest, baked some pies and managed to get lost for an hour in a pea-sized town in Germany.
Gregg and I didn't do as much as we had planned while he was here. He was coming from a week in Paris and was a little tired of traveling and eating foamed goat cheese with his French friends, so we had dinner at Burger King (it cost us a whopping 35 Sfr. too!). We stayed up till 2 talking and the next day decided to not do much. We went for a walk up to the park and found the first veritable evidence of snow on a car parked at the grocery store. It wasn't much, but it was enough to make a snowball or two (see video).
Hey, did you know that in Geneva there are some really big statues of the major Reformers guys (Zwingli and Calvin, etc.)?? I didn't know either, until this week. In honor of Thanksgiving I skipped classes to go to Geneva with some people from church. I think it rained the entire time we were there, but we tramped around town anyway, checked out the cathedral where John Calvin used to preach and the old city that somebody rightly pointed out felt a bit like Paris. There was a building named Alabama too, after a Confederate pirate ship! Apparently, their was some international dispute involving the ship, and a Swiss body mediated. Or something like that. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CSS_Alabama
We stayed in a youth hostel Thursday night, which was better than I imagined hostels to be. Our door locked, and the breakfast lady let me have extra orange juice, so I thought it was pretty positive experience. It seems like I've known some people who stayed in youth hostels for their honeymoons. The orange juice was pretty good, granted, but still...I'm not sure I would recommend hostels for a honeymoon (in case you were considering it). But anyhooo. Geneva. There are a lot of hotels in Geneva, and a lot of shoe stores too!! But my travel buddies didn't have a proper appreciation for shoes, so I admired from afar. The best part was the drive home through the foothills along the French/Swiss border. If it weren't for all the people I like the best living in Oregon, those hills would be on my list of places to settle down in, with some cows and a cat or two.
As nice as the trip to Geneva was, it didn't constitute proper Thanksgiving festivities, so I joined about 30 other people for Thanksgiving dinner Saturday night. I finally baked some pies. =) And I listened to some goofy Bing Crosby song about promenading a turkey. I had an extra pie Sunday, so I took it to Daniel's family. My phone died on the way and I had a little trouble remembering my way to their house from the train station. I set off in the right general direction, but I quickly found I could only remember about half the route, and I couldn't remember the road name either (German names!), although I thought I might recognize it if I saw it. An hour later, still lost, I stumbled into the main part of town, where I found a map. I still couldn't say the street name for sure, but looking at the map helped narrow the possibilities to a very small vicinity, and I gave myself 10 minutes to find it; otherwise, I was going home. I did happen across it, and they were surprised to see me, hours later than expected (I had missed my train after church in the first place because I couldn't run to the station with a pie in hand). So we had pie, finally, and Dan's brother informed me he "prefers the German" version of apple pie. Sigh. After all that effort...
This week I am trying to finish all my school work for the rest of the term so I can focus on other things, like Christmas presents and getting ready to head home. I'll let you know how that goes. It involves a paper, preparing for a few tests, and a lot of reading, so don't hold your breath or anything. It's just a nice idea and potentially good incentive for me. That's it for now. I'll try to add a slide show here for you (it includes music). It's a work in progress, but it takes a while to upload video, so I will have to work on it more tomorrow. Civil Society class early in the morning tomorrow, you know!