Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Home Sweet Home

Photo by kristinbradley.
We made it! After a long few days finishing up the apartment details in Zurich, I packed it in and followed the rest of the family back to Austin. I promise to share all the tid-bits related to the apartment handover/cleaning/shipping experience, but wanted everyone to know we are back home -- safe and sound -- and loving it.

It does feel a little weird to be back though. The initial shock of moving back into our house (for the second time, once after California and now after Zurich) was a bit to take in. It all just felt too easy once I got here. The same furniture, the same dishes, the same pictures...all in the same spots. It's almost like deja vu, but yet this really has happened before. It's comforting, but know?

Then when it came to seeing friends again, it felt just like old times, like no time had past. Heading to Curra's and Uchi just felt normal. Everything felt right. We were back in Austin and I felt like we had made the right decision. I realize there won't be those quick, spontaneous trips over to Germany for the week (like our last weekend in Zurich), but I feel like this is where we are supposed to be.

With everything fitting into place and with this whole Zen-vibe coming over me, there are still plenty of things that are weirding me out. Living in a different country definitely changes you. For example, my first trip to Target was the other day. I have never had anyone ask me if I needed help because I know this place like the back of my hand. We are tight. But, I was asked by two employees if I needed help looking for something. I must have looked like a deer in headlights just trying to decide which sponge to buy. There are like 50 kinds. So, now I go from standing in an aisle at the COOP trying to figure out the German labels when there are only two kinds to pick from to standing in front of a whole aisle full of sponges wondering which one will do the best job for the least amount of money. Way too many options.

I wonder how I would do in a Costco. Oh geez.

And, visiting Central Market was a trip. Again another spot I have spent a lot of time at before moving. But, this time we came back with clearer eyes. The way we look at food is totally different. I would say we have always been conscious about the food we buy, but after living in Switzerland where there isn't very much processed food around and all the meats and dairy are at such a higher level, we struggled finding which milk to buy or which eggs. I feel like even the things we think are "healthy" over here might not be.

Ugh. And, having to buy cheese over here. So much more expensive. We are such Swiss cheese snobs now (and Prosecco snobs). I love it. We had a whole long conversation with the cheese man about the Appenzellar Extra and Gruyere. It was awesome.

So much more to tell you all about. Now that we have internet connected at the house, blogging should be much easier. There are still a few more Peterthals in Zurich posts to come to wrap everything up and then don't be surprised to see a shift to Peterthals in Austin. Our adventure isn't over by any means.

Missing all my Switzerland peeps, but loving being back. Can't you all just come visit already?

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Moving Right Along

It's almost like I have done this one too many times before.

Put Josh on a tram this morning headed to the airport. Actually, I put Josh and his two large suitcases, one roller carry on, and his laptop bag on a tram this morning. I have no idea how he made it through HB and onto the train with all that hanging on him, but I better get creative because I will be in those same shoes very soon.

Next the Brockenhaus guys came to pick up the furniture to be donated. It was almost like a tornado came whizzing through here in the hour it took them to tear apart and load everything. Super schnell. The only thing that slowed them down was the time it took them to roll their eyes at me and ask me to wipe all the dog hair off our bed frame and from the back of the couch. Please. Nobody sees that anyway. Guess that Swiss clean thing didn't rub off on me.

Then I got to spend the next six-hours pulling weeds out from in between stones on our balcony. Oh yeah...and I'm not done. I learned that this isn't included in the grand I am paying for the cleaners to ONLY clean the apartment. This is considered to be yard work and not part of the cleaning package deal. Lesson learned. Make sure to ask. I will be now be spending tonight and tomorrow finishing the rest of our 80 m2 balcony. I guess it's just the price we have to pay.

Other than that, the guest room is filled with all the things to get packed and shipped off tomorrow. Stella's crate is all stickered-up and paperwork signed for her early morning VIP departure. And, then there is just me to get back to Austin. If I can survive the next 48 hours, I deserve a medal. Wish me luck.

Oh...and, if anyone has ideas on what I can make for dinner with some canned tuna, spaghetti (but no pot), muesli, some flour, and a bag of just let me know.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Flight View

Here's the pic I promised yesterday from our trip back from Barcelona. Not too shabby. I swear one of those peaks is the Matterhorn. There's only so much you can do with a photo taken out of a small airplane window from 30,000 ft overhead.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Checkered Flag

It looks like we are about to round the final corner of our European adventure. We have less than a week left here in Switzerland. The final t's have been crossed and i's dotted (for the most part, at least). We took our last weekend excursion up and around Bavaria and spent the last four days in Barcelona. Nothing like ending on a high note -- Peterthal style. Now it's down to the last nitty gritty's and we are outta here (insert frown here).

I have gone back and forth with whether we are making the right decision packing it in and heading back to the States. I don't feel like we are tucking our tail between our legs by any means, but it's just hard to see what we might be giving up by leaving or what we are potentially gaining by going home.

Last night when we were flying back from Barcelona with the ridiculously beautiful sunset over the Matterhorn out our window (I realize you are expecting a stellar sunset picture...which we have...but haven't made the editing cut with all the other pictures), I had a hard time keeping my emotions in check. I started thinking about all the places we have been, all the people we have met, all the memories we have made, and how all this probably never would have happened without Google sort-of forcing us into the decision to move here.

It makes ya think.

These damn tears. I swear something happens as you get older. Your tear ducts age faster and get flabby or something. I am not pulling out the tissues yet. Plenty still to come. Going away party on Saturday and World Cup extravaganza this Sunday.

...then you will be guaranteed to find me curled up in a corner with my head in a box of Kleenex.