Getting good at the goodbyes

Today we shared our teary goodbye with the train station in Winterthur. It’s like a traveling road show…we’ve made a scene here, at the Zurich airport, at the Zurich train station, the Calgary airport, at random bus stops, you name it, if we are saying good bye, it can be guaranteed that there will be tears.

There she goes…thank goodness for blurry windows.

(Still fighting the urge to promptly shop following an emotionally charged moment. Auntie Susan you’d be proud to know that every time the thought “hmmm, maybe I should go look for something pretty” creeps up I am now much more equipped to squash it realizing it is merely a genetic short circuit.)

It does feel as though the goodbyes are getting easier now. Perhaps its the practice. Or perhaps the “see you soon” is starting to feel a little more real.

It very well could have to do with the fact that we don’t seem quite so stunned and wide eyed now. Those leaving us behind aren’t quite as worried about how we’ll manage. 10  months in now I think we’ve proven that we’ve managed just fine at this adventure we call life.

I do like to share our sense of adventure with our visitors. As Grandma heard on a daily basis “it’s not a true outing without at least one sprint.” Even on the days that I promised her there would be no need to sprint for a bus or train, we would find ourselves under the gun, givin’er all we had to make it on board. Those heart pumping moments when we look around and say “phew, we made it” are solidifying memories thanks to the most cherished part of the medulla oblongata.

This also speaks to the importance of ones’ physical health. It’s one thing to holler out “time to HUSTLE!!” to my children. It’s a whole other matter when my 70 year old mother is in the mix. But she’s a spry one and she kept up with every step and every sprint along the way.

Still holding her own in the Lugano arm wrestle. Once again it was a draw.

We had to get creative in our final days together as the weather just started to taunt us. Of course the warm, gorgeous sun came back in Lugano just in time for us to depart. Like any time spent in paradise, one must never take it for granted and this trip helped remind me of just how blessed we are when the sun is shining down on us.

There’s some fresh snow on top of those hills. This was supposed to be a flip-flop and capris holiday, darn it!
The Alps just got a whole lot closer.

In our need to be a bit more creative in our adventure seeking we started to investigate the brochure stands at the local info centres. I’m not as skilled at planning indoor fun – it’s just so much easier when we can simply head up a trail to see what creatures and adventures await.

Switzerland has a number of Unesco World Heritage sites (so we’ve learned) and it seems like a pretty darn good idea to try to visit them all. Luckily one was right around the corner from Lugano – the Fossil Museum of Monte San Giorgio. A bus, train, bus and 20 minute walk up a windy mountain road delivered us there.

The wee town of Meride awaits. Somewhere in there are dinosaurs…


Thank goodness someone is looking out for the frogs here too.
We made it! (Bates family, notice the Bernardo street name above.)
Pretty little ancient town.
It’s no Royal Tyrrell but it was still pretty great.

It was impressive, a lovely, modern exhibit tucked away in a tiny, ancient town. As fossil museums go, we are terribly spoiled with having Drumheller practically in our back yard. That does kind of skew  the measure of fantastic. But this spot was pretty great in its own right and well worth the excursion.

Not to mention the accidental discovery of a very popular stop on the train one stop before ours. People pouring off a train in the middle of no-where usually means there’s something to see. On our way back we got off too to investigate. Hidden in a very random industrial looking place is one of the craziest high-end outlet malls you’ve ever experienced. No Unesco World Heritage site but this will be getting a repeat visit for sure. (Kim, you really do need to plan another visit.)

D and I at the mega-mall. Me trying to convince the world that the frizzy, big hair look is making a comeback. 

Speaking of repeat visits, we took Grandma to Swiss-miniature world which was our second visit. It was great fun to go through the listing checking off all the places we’ve now seen in person since our first visit in July. We’ve also now got a list of all the places we still need to see during our time here.

G’ma and the kids looking anything but miniature.

Our final morning in Lugano saw the return of the sun and warm. One last stroll into town before making our way  back to Winterthur..

A chilly morning sail.
The sun even brought out these two love-birds. (Strangest thing ever to watch this man feed swans from his tongue.)
A spectacular week-long food festival was just getting underway as we were leaving town. Darn it!


Massive pans of mushroom risotto simmering away. Yum!
And an inexplicable parade of people in exquisite period costumes. Why is the day we have to leave turning out to be so fun!?

Mom’s visits tend to overlap my laundry days quite nicely. So while the excitement of 1/2 a month’s worth of laundry is something every vacationer dreams about, we also decided to add some final exploring (and one last sprint) to her days here.

A visit to the Kyburg Castle, just outside of Winterthur, is a lovely way to spend a hot summer day. We did not. We visited on a sunny but rather cool April day. It’s like touring the inside of a refrigerator for hours. So much sympathy for just how cold they must have been during those times. Poor buggers.

Nothing like taking your opponent’s castle whilst inside an actual castle!
Pretty window
This room showcased all the battle armament. It was amazing.
The sheepskin blankets made a huge difference when sitting on these stone window seats.
Kyburg Castle

With the end of another wonderful visit comes the end of our holidays. Real life beckons once again. Real life is always so much easier to face when bolstered by the love and support of Mom. Thanks for the wonderful visit Grandma. You filled our cups to over flowing.  We love you.



One Comment Add yours

  1. Eli says:

    What mom wouldn’t like a daughter like you? It’s wonderful!
    I feel guilty that we took the nice Easterweek and left your mom with the rainy one. She hasn’t had much luck in that department but you made it fun anyway so it sounds.
    Hugs and kisses

    Liked by 1 person

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