Saturday, November 25, 2006

Thanksgiving in Nyon, Switzerland.

This was my first Thanksgiving away from home, the most crucial one I should have been home for. The reasons I should have been home are obvious and not the point of this entry. I have decided after this past Thursday that I will never again miss Thanksgiving at my parents house if I can help it. This not to say that I didn't have a wonderful time, for the most part, with my family in Switzerland but that it is a holiday too important to me not to be with my parents and sisters.

So on to the good details of the past few days. Wednesday evening I flew out of London and into Geneva. I spent the next three days at my cousin's condo in Nyon. Thanksgiving day I accompanied her to her eighth grade science class which she teaches three times a week at an international school in Geneva. It was the first time I had been repeatedly referred to by my last name only with the prefix of Ms. After a lesson in sound we returned home to pick up her two kids and go out for crepes. We then returned home to begin cooking the feast. Once the turkey was in the oven and a pie baked we took a walk along the great lake of Geneva. We stopped by a local playground so as to keep the kids and myself entertained on the swings. One is never too old to have a good swing. Upon returning home we set the table, put the finishing touches on the evening meal, poured the wine and waited for my cousin's in-laws to arrive.

Friday my aunt, uncle, cousin, her two kids and myself were loaded into the car to drive around the lake and up into the Swiss Alps. The switch back roads leading up the mountain threw us from one side of the car to the other with every turn giving us a new view of the mountains with each stretch of road. Growing up in the Midwest where the closest thing to a 'mountain' you see is a golf course, garbage dump or a combination of the two, the Alps have me in awe every time I see them. Once we arrived at our destination we picnicked outside with Thanksgiving leftovers, surrounded by Swiss challetts and the snow covered peaks of the Alps. It was after lunch that the fun began. My cousin had taken us to a "spa", D'Ovronnaz. We then spent the next four hours going from naturally heated pool to naturally heated pool. Two of the pools were outside. I sat for hours outside in a hot spring, in Switzerland, in the Alps, in November! This was one of many fist for me.

Later that night I was treated to a night on the town, just my cousin and I. We walked through the main streets of Geneva and into the old part of town. We found a cute little bar at which to chat over drinks before continuing our walk through the town. She took me to one of her favorite places to get dessert. There I tried creme brule for the first time. We then walked through her old neighborhood where she use to live explaining to me as we went the less charming aspects about the streets we were walking down. Around midnight we found a Turkish restaurant where I fed my craving for French fries (how embarrassingly American). Another first for me happened here, I was hit on by a Turkish man speaking French and had to be interpreted for me by my cousin. He complimented us both by saying how beautiful American women were. Apparently prior to us he was under the impression that all American woman were wildly over weight and seemed to be pleasantly surprised to find that we were not. He then apparently went on and on about how pretty my fair skin was and how he just loved looking at me. All of this of course was only explained to me after leaving the restaurant. After the flirting French session we returned to walking around the city waiting for our ride to whisk us back to Nyon where we eagerly awaited going to bed.

This morning I leisurely got ready and packed my things into my small bag for the return trip to London. We stopped by an orchid greenhouse to admire the beautiful flowers before driving back into Geneva for lunch at a Mexican restaurant. I was very excited at the prospects of eating some Mexican food as I have yet to find any Mexican restaurants in England let alone London. After a delish meal I was driven to the airport with many thank you's and promises of returning at the end of January.


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