Sunday, November 6, 2016

Off to Europe! (Europe #1)

Welcome to my newest photo series! I'm super excited to share my pictures from the trip to Switzerland and France that I just took with my daughter Joanna in October! She's a grad student in counseling at UCF, and they gave her a grant to go present at a mental health conference in Geneva, Switzerland.  Back in May, she invited me to come along with her, and I jumped at the chance! I don't get to spend much time with her already, and she's getting married next spring, so I cherished the opportunity to travel with her. You can read her essay The Golden Hour.

I spent several months happily planning and preparing for our trip. I especially had to make arrangements for my youngest daughter, who is home schooled, to visit friends and her adult sisters while I was gone. And I stocked the freezer with convenience foods for her and her four teen siblings who still live at home.

That pic above is us on the plane... to Newark. That flight left late and we barely made it on board our flight to Geneva, which I shall hereafter call Geneve, which is what they call it there. 

I tracked our progress on Google Maps on my iPhone. More about Google Maps in a later post. I could not have done this trip without that app. That's an understatement.

It was a red-eye transatlantic flight and there was a six hour time difference. When we touched down in Geneve at 7:45 AM, it was still dark and foggy. We managed to make it through customs.

And then on to the bathroom. I will comment on Swiss and French bathrooms (toilettes or WCs) throughout this series, including an amusing story from Paris. I was satisfied with this toilette. That was not always the case.

Unfortunately, after waiting at the baggage carousel, we discovered that our big checked luggage did not make the connection at all due to the late flight. And I had, at the last minute, talked Joanna into checking her big backpack instead of taking it as carry on. And all of clothes and her presentation materials were in it. Except for her poster tube, which never even made it out of Orlando. Oy. The luggage arrived the next day. And we rushed downtown via train, with all of our heavy carry-on bags (including my CPAP breathing machine), to find an affordable print shop to reproduce the poster from the PDF file Joanna had on her phone. Phew. 

After that, we finally took the train to our hotel up in Versoix where many of the conference attendees were staying. Can you see the lake at the edge of the first photo? That's Lake Geneva!

Joanna relaxes in the bay window after our long travel ordeal. 

But on the other side of her, there's our window view from the hotel!

You will see this scarf in almost every picture of me in this series. I wore it everywhere. My daughter Rachel gave it to me for Mother's Day many years ago, and I always bring it with me when I travel because it is so versatile.

After a short rest, we decided to go explore Geneve together. It would be her only real day to sightsee there since she would be in the conference for the weekend.

We took a short stroll to the Versoix station for the trip downtown. And those pics will be in the next post!

Thanks for joining me on this photo journey!

I'll link to the other posts as I create them.

My Europe posts so far:

#1: Off to Europe!
#2: Our First Afternoon in Geneve
#3: On the Shores of Lake Geneva
#4: All Around Geneve, All by Myself
#5: Sweet Sunday Morning in Geneve
#6: Saint-Pierre Cathedral
#7: Musée d'Art et d'Histoire
#8: On Our Way to the Swiss Alps
#9: O Little Town of Lauterbrunnen 
#10: Mürren and Gimmelwald by Cable Car
#11: Staubbachfall in Lauterbrunnen
#12: Foggy Days in Lauterbrunnen
#13: Trümmelbachfalle, Ten Waterfalls in a Big Swiss Cave
#14: St. Beatus Caves at Lake Thun in Switzerland
#15: An Evening in Bern

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