Saturday, October 24, 2009

Tiny Tim

Why Tiny Tim?  Check on my new videos and you'll see why (the link to the right).  It all started Wednesday.  Aiden started to complain that his leg was hurting him.  He called it his "Damn Leg".  Interesting choice of words.  Because I'm not sure what's Kosher in British English...I just kept telling him that was the wrong usage of the word "damn."  But anyway, I ignored his complaints because one minute he would limp and the next he would be fine.

The following day, Juliette (his mother) had to pick him up from school and take him to the doctor's office because he wouldn't do anything because of this "Damn Leg."  After X-Rays and a blood test, the doctor concluded nothing was wrong, but he'd like for Aiden to rest it a little bit.  So he gave hime crutches to take some weight off of it.  Aiden uses them sparingly at best, and when he does use them, he uses them incorrectly.  But it's so darn cute to see him use them!

In other news, I bought my ski pass for the season today.  By doing it early, I saved 150 euros...but it was still 300!!!  Thankfully, my family (here) is paying for half.  They are also chipping in to rent equipment.  Its expensive to ski.  I better like it and I better be good at it.

Tomorrow, I'm off to Spain!  I'll be spending 3 days in Barcelona and then 3 days in Madrid.  Originally, I wasn't all that excited to go to Spain, but now that its getting close, I'm stoked.  Yes, stoked.  Maybe I should rent a snowboard?

Monday, October 12, 2009

Juras vs. Applachians

Yesterday, I went on a little hike to see a famous set of waterfalls nearby.  Big mistake.  Well, not big...medium mistake.  You see, when looking at these waterfalls, it's best when there is actually water in the river (stream) that makes up these cascades.  Despite rain for the past 3 days, there wasn't much water.  I guess its best to see them in the spring when the snow is melting.  And on top of that, my batteries were dead on my camera!  I only managed 2 pictures.

This would be cool with more water.

While hiking, I realized that the Juras are a LOT like the Appalachians.  The Juras are smaller, and less numerous...but to the naked eye, they are quite similar.  They both have more rolling mountains than greak peaks, and they both are covered with a lot of similar foliage...or so it seems.  Now that I've hiked in the Appalachians, the Juras, and the Alps, its clear just how different the Alps were (more rocky, pastures of grass and flowers, etc.).  And despite me living in a rather well-off area, the socio-economic levels seem similar.  While driving in the mountains yesterday, this seemed apparent with the large numbers of small run-down towns along the way.

The top one is of the Juras.  The bottom is of the Appalachians.  See the similarities?  And yes, even people can be seen in the Juras.

I'm curious if this happens to anyone else while walking in nature, but I find it easy to transport myself back to different time periods.  It's hard to walk the streets of Chicago and imagine yourself in the Lewis & Clark expedition...but in nature, it's quite easy.  While walking back in America, I always imagine what it would be like to be an Indian during their times.  Here, however, I tend to imagine wars...WWII, Roman soldiers marching, etc.

This has nothing to do with either mountain range.  I just remembered that I never posted this picture.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Vive le Sex

Today, because of the rain, I figured it would be a good day to visit some museums I've been itching to see.  So off to Nyon (a small city 30 min north of Geneva on Lake Geneva) I went.  There, they are supposed to have a nice Roman Museum.  That's what I wanted to see.

And it was nice.  However, nothing was in English.  You see, typically when you go to a museum in Europe, they will have multiple languages available.  And despite recent renovations (it just re-opened last week), this one did not.  It was pretty neat to see Roman pottery and typical household items, though.  Photography wasn't allowed inside, so I can't show you what I saw.  Just imagine Roman things.

However, with admission to this museum, I got to go in the city's castle for free.  This was much cooler.  Instead of a typical castle, this was more of a museum.  The 2 best parts were the jail and the gallery of photographs of local people from the late 1800s.  The photos were disturbing to say the least.  The UGLIEST women I have ever seen.  This is what they reminded me of.

And in the jail, I could go inside old cells where there were writings on the walls.  Here are my 2 favorite quotes:
  1. Vive le Sex (Long live sex)
  2. La femme/ Elle a les beaux pieds (The woman/ She has beautiful feet)

This is the castle.  Both museums were very recently renovated and GORGEOUS.

Something of note...the colors of fall here aren't very good.  First of all, there are a lot of pine trees here, so there is still a lot of green (faded green).  And secondly, the trees that are changing colors are brown.  Nothing like the yellows and reds we see in good ol' Indiana.

Monday, October 5, 2009


I have a new idea.  Because this blog won't get interesting until I go somewhere*...I'm starting a collection for a vacation for myself.  It's simple.  If you want interesting stories out of me, send me money.

*I'm actually in the midst of planning a week long vacation to Spain.  I'm going from Barcelona to Seville to Madrid.  I know a lot of people who've been there, so if you have any suggestions for me, I'd LOVE to have them.

If you look to the right, there is a new button that says "YouTube Videos."  I've realized that many times, videos do a better job at illustrating things than pictures do.  So, I'm going to be taking more videos of more things and putting them under this link.  From time to time, check this link out to see new videos.  I'll also try to remind you when I add new ones.  I just added a new one.

This is pretty interesting...

I babysit Ray Charles.
This is Noa.  She doesn't talk to me, but she makes me tons of presents.  All with "Noa" on them...because she thinks we spell our names the same way.  I have the biggest crush on her.