Loving One Another

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Our Trip to Switzerland – Part Two


Our Grandsons

My husband, Bob, and I went to Switzerland June 27 through July 16 this year. It was our best Swiss vacation ever! One of the reasons it was so great is that our three grandsons, Mike, Nick, and Chris were such a joy to be around. Nick joined us for lunch our first day there. Tante (Aunt) Irene did, too. We ate at Le Rothorn, the restaurant (bar and grill) that our daughter and son-in-law own there in Sierre, the Sun City of Valais, Switzerland. Andre’, a master chef, prepared chicken in curry sauce over rice with veggies. His meat sauces are the best! The restaurant is a place people go for a cup of coffee and a place to read the newspaper in the morning. The plate of the day is a popular lunch time fare. Lunch is the main meal of the day. The menu includes typical Swiss dishes of cheese, chicken, pork, beef, cheval (horse), and pastas. The bar is the most popular part of Le Rothorn, in spite of Andre’s wonderful cooking skills. I wish more people came to enjoy his talents!

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Our youngest grandson, Chrissy, joined us up in the apartment after he finished work. De & Andre’ and the boys live in a three bedroom, one bath, no kitchen apartment above the restaurant. They allowed us to stay with them during the first four days of our visit. The boys all bunched up in Mike’s room on two beds and the floor so we could have Nick & Chris’s beds. We really appreciated it because staying with them gave us a chance to really have quality time with our grandsons who have grown from “boys” to young men since we saw them two and a half years ago.

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At age 17, Chris has quit regular school, lived for 7 weeks in Germany with a family (to try and learn to speak that language), and then returned to enter a nursing apprentice program. He works three days a week at the Nursing Home in Sierre and attends classes two days each week to get his vocational nursing certificate. Chris has a tender heart. He is a compassionate, thoughtful young man with a bright future ahead of him.  Bob and I enjoyed several long, insightful discussions with him during our three weeks together.

Nick, likewise, entered an apprentice program – but he finished his regular schooling near the top of his class and chose to go to work as an apprentice at SwissCom, the state owned telephone company, rather than going on to college at age 17. Now, as a 19 year old with two years of experience in the work world under his belt, he has his resume’ out and is looking for a job before going for a year to serve in the army. Army is mandatory for young men in Switzerland. After that year, Nick plans to go back to school to become a “mediamatician.” He plays a mean steel guitar, has a magnetic personality, and is the life of every party.

To complete the grandson picture, Mike (21) also is an apprentice. He worked last year as an assistant to a disabled 12 year old who was in a wheel chair and needed one-on-one help at school. Now, with the school year completed Mike is considering a computer programming apprenticeship. He has had an interview and is awaiting results. Meantime, he worked a week at a summer camp for handicapped teens. Isn’t it wonderful that our young grandsons have such a giving heart for service to others? I am so proud of them!

In the evening on our second day there, we took the three boys to dinner in Sierre. De and Andre’ had to work at their restaurant that night. We went back to Le Rothorn after dinner, had a “nightcap,”  and visited with friends before tucking in for a good night’s sleep.

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Stay tuned for Part Three – more “Family Time” and some scenes of Sierre, Switzerland 🙂

Our Trip to Switzerland -Part One


My husband of 51 years is my best friend and a great travel partner. Even though we love the place we live (beautiful Ennis, Montana) and there’s no place like home, it is imperative that we leave it occasionally and visit our children and grandchildren. Feel sorry for me, friends. We HAVE to go to Switzerland at least every other year! What a terrible place to HAVE to go!

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Every other year, we draw some money out of our savings, get our round trip tickets, pack our bags, and head off for Geneva to spend quality time with our daughter and her family. Trying to keep our suitcases under the 50 pound weight limit is a challenge as we stuff them full of bottles of honey (Bob’s a retired beekeeper), California wine, new clothes for our three grandsons, and special treats – like Reese’s Peanut Butter cups. Would you believe – with all that delicious, creamy Swiss chocolate – you can’t find Reese’s in Switzerland? We had to transfer a few things from our large suitcase to the smaller one in order to make the weight limit. Other than that, we checked in at Gallatin Field in Bozeman without incident and with plenty of time to spare for our 5:56 AM flight.

It’s a good thing we had a long layover planned for Denver, because we sat until 7:30 AM before boarding and then sat on the runway until 8:30 before finally getting clearance to fly. “Mechanical glitches,” we were told. Better to get them taken care of now… safety first… we can wait! Wait we did! Again in Denver – a cockpit warning light that wouldn’t go off. We waited for clearance, and eventually embarked for the east coast. We sat on the plane nearly two hours in Newark waiting for a mechanic to sign-off on the safety of that plane before we could take off for Geneva. Eight hours later, with sleep escaping me on that long, overnight flight, we landed smoothly. I had finished reading Kahled Houseini’s “And the Mountains Echoed.” It was gripping, causing the hours to fly with me! We were only an hour late – after all those delays!

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Our daughter, DeAna, and her middle son, Nick, were there to meet us in their “White Willy,” a Volkswagen mini-van that became our reliable friend during the next three weeks. In it we zipped down the freeway from Geneva, past the immense and impressive Lake, through the Rhone River Valley with its sheer, terraced, vineyard-covered Alpine walls, to Sierre, Switzerland’s “Sun City.” We arrived at our daughter and her husband, Andre’s restaurant, Le Rothorn, in time to join his parents for an aperitif. Andre’ treated us to lunch, a delicious chicken breast with rice and zucchini. Our oldest grandson, Mike, joined us.

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Mike was grinning ear to ear as he approached our table.  Carrying a certificate, he presented us with evidence that –  just this morning – he passed his driver’s license exam and behind-the-wheel test. What a thrill! At 21, he finally can drive on his own! After lunch, he took his girlfriend, Sophie, to Crans-Montana to buy his dad a present for his 50th birthday tomorrow. It’s a 10 to 20 mile trip, up switchback turns to the resort city high in the Alps above Sierre. A first for Mike. Oh Lordy – let the fun begin!

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Tomorrow I’ll tell you about our other two grandsons – and Night Number One of our Swiss Adventure. Stay tuned!

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