Eau Potable

One of our favorite things about Geneva (and Annecy and Yvoire) was the plethora of water fountains, most quite ornate and often surrounded with delightful flowers, and usually with a placard stating “potable water.”  We took frequent advantage of those fountains, using them to refill our water bottles at every opportunity! The water was delicious – clear, cold, and tasty. This is definitely one thing we will miss!


Yvoire

One of the things Paige and I really wanted to do was visit Yvoire, a medieval village on the shores of Lac Léman. On Monday morning, we got up and bought tickets on the CGN ferry from Geneva to Yvoire. It was a relaxing boat ride, a gorgeous day with clear blue skies and spectacular views. 


On the way out of Geneva we had beautiful views of Château de Pregny aka Castle Rothschild and also of the Palais de Nations. 




Up close and personal with Jet d’eau! 


The views….and then coming into Yvoire! 




So, Yvoire. It’s old. Medieval. Those of you who know me know that I kinda get a little giddy over old stuff. Like, the older the better. Cobblestone streets? Old stone walls with moss? Old churches? It’s nirvana to me. So Yvoire was basically heaven. It wasn’t quite tourist season, so a lot of the little shops weren’t open yet. But that was okay because…it wasn’t quite tourist season and so hardly anyone was there! It was quiet. A few people were walking around. You could hear birds chirping. Cats were strolling around nonchalantly and sunning themselves. It was peaceful. 





Paige and I happily wandered, and explored. We shopped, and ate lunch. We loved the charming village of Yvoire. But…we still had the return boat ride to look forward to, and even more spectacular, breathtaking views…




The sniffling, sneezing, aching, coughing, stuffy-head, fever, so you can rest medicine…

When we arrived in Geneva, Paige was coughing a bit and had a stuffy nose, but we thought it was just from being so tired and that she’d be fine after getting a good night’s sleep. 

We were wrong. Apparently, at some point, she’d picked up some sort of bug. And she was sick. And we were in Europe…raring to go! Before I continue with my tale of our Swiss adventure, let me mention that for the rest of our stay we began searching out pharmacies wherever we went, looking for medicines. The pharmacists were all extremely helpful- even when their English was not so great, we’d pantomime until we, mostly, probably, understood each other (between their poor English and our poor French, we mostly did okay!) We ended up amassing quite a collection of Swiss and French medications…and, they were okay…but I can assure you that Paige would’ve given her first born child for a bottle of NyQuil and a decent night’s sleep. Actually, by the end of the week, I would’ve too. 😳 (Sorry, Clay.) #desperateforsleep




Mom/Daughter Adventure ✈️

Paige was supposed to do an exchange with a French family this summer, but because of a lack of communication from the French family, we resolved that we would have our own mother/daughter adventure instead. After Paige returned home from Tallahassee, she spent several days running around filling out applications and interviewing and got a summer job…and when she found out she didn’t start until May 20th, we decided to hop on a plane!

When you are part of an airline family, you learn to be flexible and you learn to be spontaneous- this trip was certainly that! It was planned and executed in about 24 hours! After searching flights and hotels, we settled upon a destination, and off we went!





We had a pleasant flight with fabulous, attentive flight attendants. We arrived in Geneva, got an early check in at our lovely hotel, and promptly took a much needed nap! Once we woke up, we started walking towards Lac Léman and Jet d’eau.


It’s hard to tell in the photos, but the water is amazingly crystal clear. It’s absolutely beautiful. 

The first day was mostly just us stumbling around, jet lagged, but ooh-ing  and aah-ing over how pretty everything was, until we started fading and decided to grab a sandwich and a shower and collapse in our beds…

(Day one)

Lazy Days of Summer 

It’s officially summer vacation in the VK household!


After slogging through finals week, the kids have finished their semesters. Clay is happily leading paddleboard tours nearly every day and Paige will start her summer job in a couple of weeks. 


Since she has a bit of time before she starts her job, we thought we’d take off for a mom/daughter trip in a couple of days. But in the meantime, we’re all enjoying the slower pace of summer  😊. 


Looking Forward to Summer 

The spring weather here in Florida has been delightful and Tim and I have been enjoying our evening beach walks immensely. It’s that perfect time of year – not too warm, not too cool – just perfectly wonderful. 


Paige was able to come home for Easter weekend and we had a nice, relaxing family weekend. We had home cooked meals, family movie nights, slept late every morning, (well, the kids did…) and enjoyed lazy beach days. It was wonderful. I think the kids really appreciated the weekend of laziness as they are in the final stretch of spring semester. Clay has final exams this week and Paige has hers next week. 


Paige has been filling out applications, looking for a summer job. Clay will start his summer semester in a couple of weeks and will also be working. I’m looking forward to having the whole family together under one roof again for a few months. 😊

Spring Break (when Mother Nature hates you)

Spring break was a bit of a disappointment this year, especially for the kids. We all had plans; to lounge blissfully on the beach, to go hiking at http://www.gtmnerr.org/, go kayaking, etc. Mother Nature wasn’t feeling very cooperative, however, and a nasty cold front came through and spring break felt more like winter break. 

So…instead of lounging blissfully on the beach, we curled up under blankets and read and watched movies. When the sun finally came out and the temperature warmed up a little bit, the kids went hiking anyway (it was brisk, but fun).


The final day of spring break it finally warmed up enough for Paige and I to wake up early and crawl out of our warm beds, grab our cameras and some coffee and head to the beach to catch the sunrise. Tim scoffed at us the night before. He actually guffawed  when we told him we were going to wake up early and go watch the sunrise. 


Oh yeah!

That’s right, Mister. We were up at the butt crack of dawn, and we’ve got photographic proof! 

Hmph. Guffawing at us. So rude. 

Anyway, it was really nice. Bonding experience, peaceful, spiritual, blah blah. 

We came home and had some more coffee, ran some errands, Paige got a couple hours in at the pool and cuddled with Jack, Clay went fishing, and then….

Spring break was over. 

Monday, when the kids started back at school, temperatures were in the 80’s. 

Mother Nature hates my kids. 

Family Time

Paige came home last Friday and we had such a great weekend, spending some much needed family time together! Paige caught up on her sleep, ate some good food, and she and I had some mom/daughter bonding over shopping (as one does💁🏻). 


Saturday evening we all had an escape from all the awful, terribleness in the news every day (or so it seems) and went the WellRed Comedy Tour, which was hilarious and just what we all needed. 


The rest of the weekend seemed to speed up and go faster and faster as the time came for Paige to have to head back to school, but was mostly spent walking on the beach, or just hanging out, talking and just catching up. It was a fantastic weekend but we’re going to miss the munchkin until we see her again over spring break!

It was nice to see a bit of Clay this weekend too – he’s usually in class, or at work or in the library. Lucky us… both kids were around this weekend! 😊


This is what I usually see of the kids…Snapchat pictures they send to me to let me know where they are…

Every day….

The past few weeks have been, well…interesting. Exhausting, actually. I’ve been taking some classes at Flagler College- a French class and a class on Putin and post communist Russia (how timely is that class, hmm?🤔) which keeps me busy. Clay has been busy with school and his girlfriend, and Paige has been working hard at school and is getting involved with a few more activities at school (more on that soon.)


Mostly though, what’s been so…exhausting…is just, everything else. Turning on the news. Or going online. Reading the New York Times or the Washington Post or Newsweek or The Atlantic or listening to NPR. My point is that anywhere you look, or listen…you cannot escape it. Everyday it’s another scandal. Everyday it’s another crisis. Another violation. (Not trying to get political here; just trying to explain how we’re feeling- alarmed, and exhausted.)

We’d love to get through just one day in peace – just one 24 hour period without a scandal or crisis – but that doesn’t appear likely. Anyway, it certainly hasn’t happened in the past 27 days. There’s not much we can do about all the crazy going on in Washington D.C. right now and that’s frustrating. So we walk. 


We’ve been doing a lot of walking. It basically has been keeping us sane. 

2017, Already

January, already. And well into it, no less. 

Once again, I’ve been remiss about blogging. 

I’d say that we’ve been busy…and I suppose we have. The kids were home for their Christmas break, and as always, it seemed to go much too fast. We tried to squeeze in all the doctor and dentist appointments we’d been putting off, along with a trip to North Carolina to visit my mom for Christmas. Which was nice and relaxing, and we did a lot of this….



Unfortunately, the time passed much too quickly and before we knew it we were saying goodbye to Paige and both kids were back in school. 


But… I’M taking some classes at Flagler this semester too! Flagler offers some “lifetime learning” classes for the community, which I’ve wanted to take in the past but never managed to sign up for in time. This time  I did, and I’m taking a French class (from a darling French lady 🇫🇷) and a very intriguing (and timely! 🤔) class on Putin and Post Communist Russia taught by an ex-CIA operative. I’m quite excited about trying something new!


A bientôt ~