Sunday, November 29, 2009

A Colorado Thanksgiving!

Our Niece

A Scenic Hike

The Whole Family

Hiking Along

For the first time in many years, I spent the Thanksgiving holiday with my entire family! My sister Lauren is enjoying some time in the States on a break from her Peace Corps adventures in Ecuador and my parents exchanged their Tennessee lake house for some time in the Colorado snow. My sister (Jen), my brother-in-law (Brian), and their 8 month old daughter (Sam) did not have to travel quite as far as they live in Denver. To experience a truly magical Thanksgiving, we rented a cabin in the mountains and were spoiled with amazing hikes, runs, and evenings in the hot tub. Of course, I cannot forget to mention the amazing home cooked turkey day dinner that we are all still trying to work off. Jignesh was unable to make trip due to important meetings in Europe...well, so we thought! Imagine my surprise when the doorbell rang at 7pm on Thanksgiving night and we opened the door to find a tired but happy Jignesh standing on the stoop after a week of bouncing around Europe followed by a 13 hour flight from Frankfurt and then a long drive to the mountains.

While the Thanksgiving holiday is winding down for most, I still have another week in the States. I am going to help my sister move into her new house, fill my empty suitcase with all my new purchases, and simply enjoy a taste of American life. Jignesh, on the other hand, is going to surprise his family in Chicago for a quick stay before flying to New York for a conference. We will both return in Geneva within 5 minutes of each other next Saturday!

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

Au Revoir

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Our New Digs

The Entrance to our Building

Our Building

The Living Room

The View from our Master Bedroom Balcony

Master Bedroom

One Tiny Kitchen

I know it has been a while since I posted a blog, but I do have a good excuse! Last week, we finally said goodbye to our temporary flat and moved into our new digs. Thus, we have been without internet until today.

Flat hunting in Geneva is not as simple as logging onto Craigslist or opening your local newspaper to choose from hundreds of options. Places in Geneva go off the market just as quickly as they went on the market. In many cases (including ours), flats do not even go on the market as they are snapped up by a friend (or a friend of a friend) of the owner as soon as the old tenant gives notice. Because of the extreme housing shortage, most flats in Geneva are old and outdated (landlords don't bother putting money into places because they know they will easily get rented) and come with almost nothing (including ceiling lights, kitchen appliances, etc)!

Our place is on the 3rd floor of a 7 story building. The building is about a 10 minute walk from the city centre and is a short 25 minute bus ride from Jignesh's office. Compared to London, this place is quite big. We have a large living room, three bedrooms (one tiny with room for only a single bed), two good sized bathrooms, two balconies, and one very tiny kitchen. While I love some of of the old characteristics in the crown moldings and glass panel doors, I could do without the salmon colored bathroom and the dingy, small kitchen. In London, our flat was tucked away on a quaint side street and came with a garden. Here, we are on somewhat of a busy street and have to go down either three flights of stairs or one slow elevator to bring Schlopy out! We still have a lot to do make it a home (hang pictures, get curtains, buy some more furniture, ect) and it may be far from perfect but at least we have loads of room for visitors!
Au Revoir!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

A Few Updates!

Just thought I would fill everyone in on what we have been up to recently...

*We signed a lease on a flat and will officially get the keys tomorrow. We will then move in later this week! Stayed tuned for some pics and a description of our new digs.

*I found a beautiful 50m pool and have been swimming a few times a week. Although, unlike my sister in Ecuador, the charge is $6.00 per swim and it does not come with a free lunch or a takeway package of fresh fruit.

*We opened a Swiss bank account. Too bad it does not have as much money as most Swiss bank account. In fact, to date it has NO money in it.

*I have attended a running club full of English speaking expats. Although it is a bit unorganized and very laid back, it is nice to run with others.

*Jignesh has been extremely busy at work and was in Zurich at the beginning of the week for a meeting. He seems to really like his co-workers and is working on some good projects!

*Schlopy was almost abducted by the local security while I was in the grocery store for less than 5 minutes. Try explaining to some non-English speaking security guys that you have only been living here for 3 weeks and are in the process of registering the dog. It made my brain hurt!

Au Revoir!