Friday, October 15, 2010

Legoland Oct-2010

From a Saturday to Monday, we went to Legoland. If you know JP, you also know that he is a Lego-maniac. This park was just right for a long weekend and we were blessed with good weather. The kids had a blast.
Riding the lego train


Joining the Lego family

There was a 4D theater, one of the movies was about Bob the builder. He came outside before the show to great his little friends.

Outside the Lego castle, there was the lego dragon...

Riding the pirate ship

Beautiful fall colors

Riding a canoe

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Another hike

This time we went along the river Sihl, 15 mins away from home. We found some interesting things there, like this piece of trunk, it really looked like a giant insect laying on its back.

Weird mushroom

October Fest

We took a day trip on September 18 to Munich to celebrate the 200 aniversary of the October Fest. Two days before, I should have celebrated the 200 aniversary of the 'Independencia de Mexico' (Independance day). It was a beautiful day full of treats for everyone. It also included rides.
These carriages from different breweries bring their best beer to the parade.
JP got picked up by a total German stranger who told us the history of October Fest. Once he finished, we told him 'We have to go, are you going to be OK with our kid for a couple of hours?' He response was: Are you CRAZY??!!!

Picnic de Otono

People ask me why I don't move closer to school... this is why!

My backyard

El Otonio llego temprano este anio. Sin embargo, hemos tenido uno que otro dia de sol y cada que sale el sol, nosotro salimos al patio a comer. Verano! regresa por favor!

Cumpleanos feliz! JP ya tiene 7

JP celebro su cumpleanios con sus companeros de la escuela. Sus amiguitos fueron muy generosos y le regalaron unos juegos para su nuevo Wii. La fiesta fue en el mall en us salon para ninios. JP todavia tenia sus dientes de arriba cuando cumplio 7, sin embargo ya ha perdido 3 de abajo. JP continua siendo un ninio adorable (claro, soy la mama). Simepre muy considerado y sobre todo quiere quedar bien. Cada vez escribe mas, lee mejor, y sobre todos nos hace muy felices. Te amo JP.

Hiking back in Zurich

After comming back from our long summer vacation, we have been trying to go for a hike every weekend. Everytime we go to the top of a mountain or even to the top of a hill, we fall in love with the scenery, again and again.

Summer in the US

. We eventually made it to Syracuse. Mom and Dad were there to meet us at the airport. The kids were so excited.

Friday was spent relaxing at Mom and Dad's house. We did some laundry, made some calls, the kids relaxed, ate popsicles and watched TV.

On Saturday we visited the Dehm family and checked out Griffy's new go-kart. Griffy has all the greatest toys. Then we visited the John Orzell family and the new backyard pavilion - the ultimate party spot! We picked up pizza and wings and ended the day over at the Myers - our new home for the next several days.

On Sunday, Paula, JP, and I went to Mom and Dad's to do dome yard work while Sandy stayed back with the girls. We did some weeding, but the real fun started when we cut down a dead tree in the backyard - JP and I got to clear away all the branches - what fun! In the afternoon, we went on the Myers boat. We did some tubing and water skiing. Sandy got up the first time and I got up after three tries. In the evening, Jay fired up the grill and threw on some ribs and sausages - the sweet corn was delicious. Dave came over later for a Nelson tradition of hot tubbing.

On Monday, we signed the kids up for a week long art course that ran from 1PM – 4PM. Paula and Sandy went out for the morning, so I took the kids to a local playground followed by some swimming. When Paula and Sandy came back, we quickly ate lunch and then sandy and I got the kids to their art course. While in the art course, Sandy and I went to the mall on a scouting mission. We had an ice cream at Cold Stone. We picked up the kids from art class and went to Chuck E Cheese. The kids behaved well in their class, so this was their reward. Afterwards, we went back to Paula's for dinner.

On Tuesday, Paula had courses most of the day, followed by dinner and a night on the town with Jay - they went to see Tower of Power at the Turning Stone. So we had the kids all day. We hung out in the morning until noon, and then we had a quick lunch and went to the art class. While at the art class, Sandy and I went to the mall for some serious shopping. The coupon we thought was valid for the day was not actually valid until the next day, so we picked out all our stuff and asked that they hold it until the following day. After the art class, we decided to make another trip to Chuck E Cheeses. We had a coupon for pizza and tokens, so we decided this was easiest way to get four kids fed and entertained. Chelsy impressed us by eating 4.5 pieces of pizza - an impressive feat for a five year old. Piper followed in her big sisters footsteps by putting away 1.5 pieces, the same as JP and Syd. Mom and Dad joined us for some pizza and played their favorite game of “deal or no deal”. Dad had a chance to walk away with 15 tickets as the brief case he picked held 25 tickets, but ended up walking off with 6 tickets instead. We went back to Paula's and started the bedtime routine early as we had four kids to try and coax to sleep.

On Wednesday, Paula had more classes and a big party planned for the evening. We made party preparations for most of the morning, had lunch, and took the kids to the art class. Sandy and I went back to the mall to finally use our coupon. While there, we did a little more looking and unfortunately for my credit card, found a bunch of other stuff. We had Piper since Paula was in her class, which turned out to be a very helpful disincentive to continued shopping. Sandy would not be deterred, so she left Piper and I while she ran some errands (i.e., did more shopping). Paula picked us up when she was done with her class and we went back to her house to make the final preparations for the party. The party was a great success as representatives from all fractions of the family were in attendance. The highlight was a video assembled by Uncle Don about the McKenney family - it even drew tears from Mom. Unfortunately, JP slept through most of the party - he was not feeling well, but perked up when we lit the fire and roasted marshmallows.

On Thursday, we hung out in the morning. I went through some emails and then gathered up golf equipment - Sandy and I would try golfing today on our afternoon break. After lunch, we dropped the kids at art class and then hit the links. We went to Burnett Park - a short 9 hole, par 3 course. It was a lot of fun. After not golfing for a year, I even parred a couple of holes. It was a real confidence booster, so I decided that we would try golf on a real course the next day. When we picked up the kids, we got the report that JP had fallen asleep toward the end of class. We thought perhaps that he was getting worn down with all the activity, so we took him to Mom and Dad's house for some R&R. We then brought the girls back to Paula's. Sandy made dinner - chilaquiles. We then hopped in the car and went to Rome to hear Claire play in an outdoor concert. After that, we came back to Syracuse and hit the movies: Inception with Leonardo DiCaprio. It was complicated, but good. We got back home after midnight - unusual for us.

On Friday, Paula had an appt in the morning, so we had the girls. Sandy entertained them while I was looking for our golf shoes - I thought they would come in handy on a real course. Finally, Jay pointed me toward the attic and I found the shoes. I was nervous about Paula making it back for our 10.20AM tee time, but she did with a few minutes to spare. We got to the course and were paired up with two guys in their late fifties. Sandy and I played horribly. After the first hole, we did not think we had enough balls to finish the course! The two guys were very nice and not great golfers either, so we all had fun. The crowning moment was when the two guys took off in their golf cart while Sandy was teeing up at the lady's tee saying to themselves "she'll never hit us". This was a pretty safe bet since Sandy had been duffing it off the tee all morning. Wouldn't you know that this time she connected and hit the two guys in the cart as they were driving towards the hole along the tree line. We ran out of time and had to skip the last three holes. It was the final day of the art class and the kids were having an art exhibit at 3PM. We came to find that JP had slept through the class. By this point, it was clear that he was not feeling well, so Dad and I took him to an Urgent Care facility, while Sandy and Paula took the kids to an Arts and Crafts festival downtown. The doctor saw JP right away and concluded that it was strep throat, so he put JP back on the antibiotic he was on before. We got JP back to Mom and Dad's house for some rest and I made my way downtown to rendezvous with the girls. I was very excited about the weekend because of all the fests: Jazz fest, Bavarian fest, St Patrick's Irish fest, and middle ages brewery fest. I went downtown to the jazz fest and the rest of the crew met me over there. We got some dinner and listened to the music while the kids ran around. It was enjoyable, but short lived - the kids cannot stand to be in any one place for an extended period of time. As we were heading out, a fire truck pulled up and the kids were invited to sit inside - it was a cool experience for them. We went home, watched a movie and then hit the sack.

On Saturday, we spent the morning poolside and then got ourselves ready for the two fests going on today - jazz fest and Irish fest. We went directly to Irish fest to try and catch the bag pipers. We had no chance, as we found out, because they were scheduled for Friday and not Saturday. We instead saw some Celtic dancing which absolutely captivated the girls. We ate some fest food and then dropped off the kids at Moms and Dads. After getting them settled into their pajamas and cranking a movie, Paula, Jay, Sandy and I went back down to the jazz fest for a couple of hours.

On Sunday we hit Bavarian fest, followed by a BBQ at Aunt Suzzy’s, followed by the Middle Ages Brewery Brew Fest, followed by some drumming at Uncle Dave’s house – it was a busy day.

We decided on Monday that we had not spent much time with Mom and Dad and therefore resolved to spend out last two days over there. We relaxed most of the day as JP was still recovering from strep throat. It was terribly hot outside and the kids were content just to stay in, eat popsicles, and watch TV. Sandy and I did some shopping in the morning and then had lunch out. It was nice to have some time just the two of us. We got back in the afternoon and Sandy went back out shopping again while I stayed behind with the kids. We enjoyed having lunch on our own, so we decided to do it again for dinner. We went to Colemens and afterwards went over to Roger and Amy’s house since they were out of town when Paula threw the big party the week before. It was a fun visit and we were encouraged to hear that they were seriously thinking about visiting us this winter. If they go through with it, they will be our first non-parental visitors in Switzerland – we are very excited and keeping our fingers crossed!

On Tuesday, we went to Albany to see our godchild Sabina, as well as my colleagues in the Albany office. I dropped off Sandy and the kids at Alberto’s house and proceeded straight to the office. I was a little nervous going back, but the nerves disappeared once I saw the first familiar faces. It was a great visit. I passed out a bag of Swiss chocolate and caught up with my old co-workers. Upon return to Alberto’s house, we enjoyed spending quality time with Alberto and Sabina and treated them to lunch at Applebees. On our way back to Syracuse, we made a stop at Chuck E. Cheeses to use up our remaining tokens. We then went to Mom and Dads for our final dinner of surf and turf – it was a feast to remember.

Wednesday, August 4
Departure day – Travel to Zurich

Wednesday came quickly. All good things must come to an end and this was our travel day back. We hung out in the morning. Chelsy stayed overnight so the kids played together most of the morning. We got ourselves together in the afternoon and eventually made our way to the airport. We had a 6.20PM flight. This worked out very well as we could spend a full day in Syracuse and then had an overnight flight back to Zurich. The late flight is great because you actually felt like sleeping. We awoke just before arrival in Zurich and mentally prepared to reacquaint ourselves with our life before vacation.

Family Picture in Syracuse

Atlanta reunion

Thursday, July 22
Departure Day – Travel to Syracuse

On Thursday, we spend all day travelling to Syracuse. We flew through Atlanta and used the opportunity to meet with our good friends the Kelsos. Jared jumped on an earlier flight to spend more time with us. Unfortunately, his flight got delayed and we did not see him at all. We did however get to see his wife and three beautiful kids. It was a short but wonderful reunion.

A la feria de Cepillin

Queretaro con el Tio Tico