Category Archives: Lugano

Swiss Bliss (zwöi)


Continued from some previous bliss with other Swiss…

From Bern, we took the train to Chur, the closest train station to the hamlet of Ober-Says where my cousin Andreas and his wife Simone lived. Andreas had come to visit his (and my) Uncle Jeff over two different summers, so we had gotten to know each other then. However, while I knew hypothetically that Jeff and his family were Swiss, my only interactions with both Jeff and Andreas had only ever been in Manitoba, so I couldn’t actually imagine seeing Andreas at home in Switzerland. Furthermore, the last time I had seen Andreas was not only the summer of my & Josh’s wedding (so we were already a bit preoccupied), but it was also during their holiday to Canada that summer that Simone, only six months pregnant, had gone into labour and ended up giving birth to their second son in the backseat of my aunt’s car in the middle of rural Manitoba and had to spend the next three months caring for her son in hospital. Therefore, the last time I had seen Andreas and Simone, there hadn’t really been a lot of time for hanging out together!

As a result, we really had no idea what to expect when we stepped off the train. What we got was two blonde tow-headed Swiss boys hurtling towards us with fistfuls of waving Canada flags, and hugely welcoming hugs from Andreas and Simone.


They asked us how long we planned to stay, and we proposed three days, but when they hesitated, we hastily assured them we could leave earlier if three days was too much. “Well, we have this whole week off and then we were going to take you to Simone’s family’s place this weekend as well, but if you have to leave earlier than we don’t want to keep you…”

Hosts that want you to stay longer? We would never say no to that!

With our week-long stay confirmed, they got down to business. Spreading out a map of Switzerland on the table between us, our hosts extraordinaires proceeded to plot out all possible destinations and activities for our “programme” together.

Hang on to your hats… It was a packed week, and we have the pictures to prove it! 🙂

The “4 Countries Before Lunch” Roadtrip (Lichtenstein, Austria, Germany, & Switzerland!)

A little (okay, a lot) of rain couldn’t dampen Lichtenstein’s mysterious beauty
Lich horse

The Bodensee (finally seeing it for ourselves after hearing about it from so many Bodenseehof alum!)

Mid-roadtrip power-nap

Dinner with Simone’s sister Andrea in quaint Appenzell (ps. Andreas – where is my beer?! :P)
App dinner

High-Ropes Climbing Garden

Choo-choo… Loading our car onto a train to pass through the mountain on the way there

Ropes kids
J ropes
S ropes

Snowball fights in July as we passed over the mountain on the way back!

The Great Canadian Breakfast (where our hosts proceeded to write down every single Canadian breakfast food they could think of, then looked at the list and mused, “Maybe we will need to invite another family to help eat.”)
Cdn breaky

Roadtrip to Italian Switzerland in search of sunshine!
J jump
Italy side

Josh’s Alpine driving lessons in a standard proved that Simone has the patience of a saint (apparently my terror was palpable from the backseat)
J car

Weekend with Simone’s family

Ruk-Shuk (thanks to Simone for introducing us to this truly awesome Canadian game!)

Schwingen/Hoselupf aka Swiss German wrestling pants (apparently it’s a thing… I plan to ask Uncle Jeff for a demonstration! :P)

A beautiful little walk turned deluge! (Josh & I seem to attract flash floods on this trip…)
Ps. Dankeschön to Elizabeth for the towels and clothes dryer!!

The best way to learn a language: hang out with 3-year olds (they are always excited to name farm animals and colours, and only judge you a little bit when you can’t count to 10)

Andreas, Simone, Aric, & Gabriel: You have redefined the meaning of “hospitality” for us.


for an incredibly fun, beautiful, relaxing, and entertaining week. We cannot wait to host you in Winnipeg next time! 🙂