Graduation cake

Graduation cake
My graduation cake: a suitcase and two books. Very fitting....


Life in der Schweiz

Some of you may not know this, but I haven't exactly been having a great time here in Geneva.  At first, I was initially charmed by the town's quaintness and quiet, yet beautiful, setting.  That quickly changed.  Ridiculous prices abound in this city (a happy meal at McDonald's is 6.90 CHF/~$7; a tall coffee from Starbucks is 4.40 CHF/~$4.50).

I got this picture from my friend, Jason.  It shows prices at Burger King.  Yeah.

There's also: a lack of entertainment, unreliable transportation, dismal weather, and mental insanity have plagued this term.  Still, in the spirit of optimism, I've decided to share some things that I have enjoyed and have been lucky enough since my last blog post (and yes, I realize that was awhile ago :P ).

Over break, I got to hang out with my favorite people: my family and friends (and a very special gentleman in my life).  Christmas was wonderful, and although I missed the warm weather in Thailand, I wouldn't rather have been anywhere else in the world.

Cocoa and me by the lovely (and well-stocked) tree.

Opening presents on Christmas Eve.

My sweet little puppy :)


My favorite women :)

The lovely and classy Ms. Amy A.

Megan, my homegurl for life.

Ray, my best friend, "boyfriend," partner, love......

Helen, Andrea, and me at Emily's engagement party!  I love these ladies.

After a fantastic break, I didn't want to leave.  However, I quickly discovered the beauty and charm of Switzerland after arriving in Geneva.

My apartment is awesome!

Very spacious.  I love it.

The scenery is always breathtaking.  This is the view while walking out of the grocery store.

A view of Geneva with the Jet d'Eau.

In my first few weeks, I did a lot of awesome things:

Hung out with my Cohort 2 buddies.

Visited the UN office in Geneva.

Saw the Palace of Nations.

Took a trip to Zermatt.......

.....and skiied for the first time!

I did pretty well! :)

Found a new running route with a sweet view!
I also recently took a trip to Zürich, one of the loveliest towns I've ever been to.  The city was filled with beautiful and unique sights, as well as some of my ol' favorites, like:

Schnitzel mit Pommes! :)

German beer!!

I went with my friend Tabitha, and we stayed in a hostel right in the heart of Niederdorf (part of the old, historic city) where there was always something going on and plenty of things to do.  Honestly, for the price and the location, I would recommend this place to everyone traveling to Zürich (or at least anyone under, say, 30; it is a hostel after all).

I managed to get some pretty sweet pics of the city.  I even got in some "ninja" shots (AKA I wasn't allowed to take pictures, but I did anyway ;) )

This was a Giacometti painting in the observatory.  I had to take ninja shots of it; the colors were so vibrant and the designs were so incredible that I couldn't resist!

Zürich is truly a lovely city.

I love the purple shutters :)

There are random painted cows placed throughout the town in rather odd places....

There's another.....

And another.

Tabitha and I had a fantastic time, and we were very happy to escape from Geneva for a few days.

This is Fraumünster Church, home to......

Chagall stained glass windows!  These were definitely ninja pictures.  I wasn't about to fork over $20 for a picture I could take myself ;)

Totally and completely lovely.  If you're ever in Zürich, these are definitely worth seeing.

The general sights of the city are also quite exquisite.

I love the old yet eclectic architecture that abounds :)

There were several painted window ledges and walls throughout the city.  

This is one of my favorites.

The city is even beautiful at night!  And, unlike in Geneva, there are a lot of things to do in the evening.

James Joyce was a well-known expatriate who lived for a while in Zürich.  Although we didn't manage to see his grave, we did see:

his bar......

and his corner.

While in Zürich, I was introduced to some extraordinary new culinary wonders.  For example:

Tabitha and I were invited over for dinner at a friend's house, where we were introduced to the art of melting cheese on a sort of double-sided heater.  It was a-ma-zing.

One of the craziest culinary wonders I witnessed was......

We witnessed this magical occurrence whilst dining at the Zeughauskeller.

It has since become one of my favorite restaurants IN THE WORLD.

While I was in Zürich, I even made some new friends!

These are Tabitha's friends from Texas who just so happened to be in Switzerland as well.  We met up and were introduced to their European friends (one of whom invited us all for dinner were we partook in the amazing melted cheese experience).

Good times!

So yeah, I haven't particularly had a great time in Geneva, but I've been very fortunate to be able to take weekend trips.  The trips to Zermatt and Zürich were truly amazing.  This weekend, Tabitha and I are headed to Gruyere for some tours of cheese and chocolate factories and the Geiger museum (ever heard of "Alien"?  Yeah, he did all the sculpting and art for that.).  I can't wait to share some more of these great excursions with you guys!  I do apologize for the delay in posting, but I didn't want to depress you all with tales of misery in Geneva :P  

In any case, stay tuned!  More adventures are to come :)