This weekend Tom and I flew to Geneva to meet up with his sister Patty and her husband Tim. The journey was a bit rocky - there was some doubt that I would be able to take Friday off of work, though I had scheduled the trip weeks ago, which made for some tense moments sitting in front of my computer screen on Thursday night. Then, when we arrived at the airport at 5:30 Friday morning, after Tom checked in at the kiosk, I looked at him and said, "What about my reservation?" He looked at me and said, "I didn't make you a reservation, you did." And then the fun ensued! Cuz I didn't. Long story short: poor guy was stuck changing planes in London, which was something I wanted to do (because I am seriously messed up in the head), while I took a direct flight and wound up arriving three hours before he did. But we got here and that is all that really matters.

The weekend was just lovely. It was so nice to be around family and practice my French again. It has been sunny and warm and such a good break from grey Amsterdam. There was fondue and some delicious wine and beer in tubes that you tap on the table. We took a two hour boat trip, wandered around and generally relaxed. Geneva gets no love from people at work; "Why would you want to go THERE?", but it was just the ticket for a mellow city-break weekend.

Highlights: walking up the steps of the cathedral at midnight and hearing organ music coming from inside, seeing swans sleeping all over the surface of Lake Geneva, drinking cafe au lait from a china cup while lounging in the hotel robe, hearing Patty tell one of the funniest stories I have ever heard about Asbury Park and a stolen bike, seeing the top of Mont Blanc from the water, the smell of diesel on the wooden boat we took that reminded me of mom and dad, and right now, sitting in a park overlooking the city, having my picture drawn by a Japanese art student, enjoying the sound of chestnuts dropping from the trees and writing my blog from my Blackberry. Life is a strange and wonderful thing.



My mother is amazing. Very strong. Very resilient. Very caring. If you need any proof, here is a partial transcript of our Saturday night phone call:
Hi mom! I'm so glad you are online!
Well, I'm just trying to stay distracted by playing solitaire on the computer.
Why are you trying to stay distracted?
We're waiting to see if we're going to be evacuated.
Evacuated? From what?
Oh. There's a forest fire about a half mile from the ranch and we are on level 2 alert. But it's ok. I've packed up the car and your dad is watching the Oregon game and I am just waiting to see what happens.

And this is what she is talking about: