Monday, April 15th, 2002
Sunday evening to Monday evening is all a big blur as far as trying to figure out when one day ended and the other day started. When we first saw daylight we were flying over the ocean towards Denmark. Jamie had slept on the floor all night and Lindsi and Kacie had slept side by side on the three seats above Jamie. I was in the row in front of them and hadn’t slept for more than an hour or two. I had said hello to this seventy year old lady on my right and she kept talking to me the rest of the way. She had a mystery novel that she finished in the hour or two that I slept and even insisted on giving it to me to read on my flight back. All of the girls seemed to get about four or five hours sleep although not in the most comfortable of positions. We arrived in Copenhagen about one thirty in the afternoon. We had a one hour layover in the airport there and then we were back on our way to Switzerland. We were now in a smaller plane with two seats on one side of the aisle and three seats on the other side. Luckily for me the three seats on the other side of the aisle directly across from me were totally vacant. I was able to lie down and sleep solid for the next two hours as we traveled to Zurich. I was exhausted and the rest felt great. The girls all seemed to have new energy at this point and read and talked while I slept.
We landed down in Switzerland at about four thirty in the afternoon. Not more than five minutes after getting off the plane we were together with Diana getting hugs from her and Madison. It was the first time the girls had seen Madison and they were awestruck by her deep blue eyes and subtle smile. They also loved her rainbow colored stocking cap. The next hour or two was a little challenging as we tried to meet up with Jason in downtown Zurich. The city was all prepared for holiday festivities. Today the people of Switzerland celebrate one of their oldest traditions. It is called “Sechselauten”. The climax of this day is the burning of the “Boog” in the middle of a big city plaza. This “Boog” is a huge structure that represents a giant scarecrow. Huge in this case means about the height of two story house but maybe half as wide. It burned for an hour or so and thousands watched and partied. When the scarecrow is finally reduced to ashes it is a sign that winter has officially ended. History says that if it explodes and burns quickly they will enjoy a warm summer. Anyway, this whole experience was enjoyable but very challenging. We still had several bags of luggage with us as well as baby Madison. All of us were hauling two or three bags through the crowded streets of Zurich until we finally met up with Jason. Usually we would be able to take their local buses. Due to the festivities, however, many of the streets were shut down and blocked off. Jamie, Kacie, and Lindsi were all troopers and really never complained as we hauled our luggage all around Zurich. Lindi’s bag was the most challenging. In addition to her clothes, it was loaded with several cans of pumpkin, a huge jar of peanut butter, multiple bags of brown sugar, and a 4 pound bag of Nestle’s semi sweet chocolate chips. This was all courtesy of Aunt Kelly under instructions from Grandma Robin. Thank goodness for luggage with rollers.
We finally met up with Jason about seven o’clock in the evening and we were able to dump our luggage off at his Citibank office while we finished getting our first looks at downtown. We walked the streets and the smell of cooking food was all through the air as people were outside celebrating. Most notable were the outdoor barbeque pits with sizzling Bratwurst (big and juicy sausage). We bought several of these big tasty sausages and enjoyed eating them as we dipped them in mustard. We also bought some blue cotton candy. They had a little machine spinning the candy and making it as people watched. They sold it in four different sizes. We ordered the size labeled “Gross” which means large while “Mega” was the extra large. Kacie thought it was funny that we were getting “gross cotton candy”. No one thought it was gross to eat though. Everyone sampled the cotton candy including Madison. All of us had dark blue teeth and tongues within minutes. I think it was Madison’s first experience with solid foods – and she is now a believer. We snapped a few good pictures of the blue tongues and then headed home for the evening.
We arrived at Jason and Diana’s apartment a little after nine o’clock in the evening and settled into our rooms. Diana made some late night spaghetti as the girls finished getting in their time with Madison. Everyone was tired by now but the girls were excited and begged Diana to stay up and watch a movie with them. I headed to bed as I was definitely feeling done for the day. It feels good to be here.
Lindsi – lady behind puking on plane