Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Our Swiss Family

On our second and last night in Switzerland, we had a big reunion with almost all of our Swiss family members. We all met at Christine's (my dad's cousin) house, which has an absolutely beautiful and pristine view of The Alps. See below...
She had toys, colored pencils, and all sorts of other things that interested Ian and Annie. She's a new grandmother to an adorable little boy.
Really wanting a family picture before it got dark, we started corralling all of the family outside.
 And, here's the picture you've all been waiting for! It's not the best and it's shadowed, but it includes almost all of us.
Left to right: Marianne, Adrian and Karina, Christine, Helen, Christoph, Phoebe, Marianne, Annie, Aunt Lizzy, James, Uncle Walter, Jim, Ian, and Yours Truly. Missing are Mike Burkhard and his family who arrived shortly after the family picture.
 Uncle Walter and his pipe and The Alps. I didn't realize he was in this picture when I took it, but it's perfect. This is the 180 degree view in front of Christine's home from left to right.

 Jim spotted a fox in the field while peering through his binoculars.

Unfortunately, this was the last picture I could take of our travels in Switzerland. My camera battery died and we had no way to charge it in Switzerland, since the adapter is different than in Germany. From this point on, we used our phones.

Then we had a huge family dinner. I had never met Michael and Adrian, but had heard many stories about how talented they are from my grandparents. It was neat to finally meet them in person!

After dinner we sat down and asked Aunt Lizzy about what we should see in Solothurn. And asked her for specifics about exactly where to find them. See the upcoming post for pictures and details!

It was such a beautiful night. The Alps became purple as the sun went down.

Ian, learning from the big kid!
All too soon, it was time to say our goodbyes.

Fuzzy photo, but priceless and special. I'm so glad Ian got to meet and spend time with Aunt Lizzy.

It was a whirlwind of a night of family and connecting. Thank you to our Swiss family for coming together to see us! We are really grateful for your hospitality and generosity. Hopefully it won't be too long before we see you either in the states or abroad again.

One short story that has stuck with me came when I was talking with Marianne, my dad's cousin. She was talking about my grandpa and how he came back to Switzerland for the first time right after her father died. She said that as soon as he arrived he became like a father-figure to all of them. She said that it was always really special when he came to visit. It was really interesting and neat to hear her share this.

We headed back to our living quarters and spent an hour more with Phoebe & James before they had to head to Bern. Another big thank you to Eva, my friend, for allowing P&J to stay in her apartment to catch that early train in the morning.

Next up, exploring Solothurn!

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