Monday, December 5, 2011

Roma!!

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow
Create your own slideshow - Powered by Smilebox
Make a free digital slideshow


I don't know about you all, but the weeks are flying by!! I can't believe it's already December?! We are continuing to stay busy. We even got to go on another trip over the weekend to Rome!! We weren't planning on going anywhere else this year but some friends of ours had hotel rooms already booked to Rome and so they invited us to come along!! We had a great time. We left Friday morning at 6:30 a.m. and got to Rome by 8 a.m. It was a quick flight which was nice since we will be making the long haul to the U.S. in a couple of weeks. We had two full days in Rome. The first day we did a lot of walking and saw The Spanish Steps, The Trevi Fountain, The Pantheon, and the Colosseum. We also did a little shopping. By the end of the day we were all exhausted from being up since 4a.m.







We actually were lucky enough to get a great deal at the Waldorf Astoria. They had it decorated beautifully for Christmas!



The next day we went on a four hour tour of Vatican City. Which included the Vatican, Sistine Chapel, and St. Peter's Cathedral. Let me just say that it was information overload but it was really great learning about the history of everything. The rest of the day we did some souvenir shopping.

In true Henard fashion it sprinkled off and on most of the weekend. It could have been worse and luckily when it started to downpour we were eating lunch. We took several life threatening taxi rides while we were there. I mean seriously...I wondered if some of them had ever driven before. Several of the rides I really wasn't sure we were going to make it back to the hotel alive. What should have been an hour ride from our hotel to the airport only took 30 minutes because one guy was going 96 mph (about 160 khp) on the interstate....yikes!!

Some things I know we will want to remember:
1. The streets of Rome are incredibly slick when wet. Especially the Spanish Steps.
2. We had some great 1 liners: 1. "I didn't even know what a gladiator was until today". 2. In reference to Michelangelo's ceiling painting in the Sistine Chapel "How did they keep the ceiling wet for four years." (it took four years to complete the painting and the plaster has to be wet for in order to paint it.)

I won't tell you who did/said what, but it was definitely a memorable trip!

All in all...we saw a lot, learned a lot, and had a lot of good laughs!!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

A Swiss Thanksgiving

We have so much to be thankful for this year! I was a little worried about how we would feel on Thanksgiving day. I was grateful that we had spent most of the week in London leaving us little time to think about what we were missing out on at home. But we ended up having a great day and because of the situation we are in over here, we have so much more to be grateful for.


We got in pretty late from London on Wednesday night. Thursday (Thanksgiving day) was just a normal day here. David had to work his usual hours and I left to meet Miriam to start working on preparations for our expat Thanksgiving which she was hosting on Saturday. The plan was for her to pick me up and we would cook all day. We had pretty much planned the menu to do our best to have all the usual's for Thanksgiving. It's a little difficult cooking here though because we don't have a lot of the convenient ingredients than we have in the states and so we have to make things from scratch or try and find it at the American store. One of the thing we wanted to make was sausage balls. David's grandmother usually makes them every year and they are one of his favorite appetizers. Miriam had said that her husband Shawn liked them too and then that started us out on quite the adventure. We ended up going to four different grocery stores to find all of our ingredients for the sausage balls and for a couple other recipes. That is definitely one of the major things i have had to get used to here. I am always on a wild goose chase for some type of ingredient that you would think they would have. Some grocery stores carry some things and others carry different things so usually you end up going back and forth to several different stores over a weeks time.

We knew we wouldn't be able to buy the sausage here like you have in the states. We had some pork ground up and then we bought the spices to make our own sausage. In between running to four different grocery stores we got hungry and had lunch at one of our favorite restaurants called Supatra (Thai food). They have the best pad thai!! We also had to run up to her kids school so she could have a conference with one of the teachers and then we picked up her youngest two from school. By the time we ran all the errands we had to run it was already getting late. Her husband had a dinner meeting that he had to attend to and so we decided to pick David up and go have pizza. This is what our Thanksgiving dinner looked like!






These were taken from a phone so they aren't the best pictures.


On Friday morning I ran into town to get the turkey. You can't go just anywhere to get a turkey. They don't sell a lot of them here. So several weeks ago we went and ordered the turkey. Miriam has lived here for four years so she has done this several times. She warned us that it would be expensive (what isn't here) and that it would be heavy. Knowing that.....I took Stella with me. I know your wondering who Stella is. Well, she is my rolling cart. Since we walk to buy our groceries and things get heavy we use carts if we are going far. Here are a couple of pictures of my morning.

This is the store where we got our turkey.

I wish you could see the meat better. Some of them still have their claws. We don't find them like that at Kroger do we, ha!

They were also serving Thanksgiving lunch for 55CHF. There weren't any tables inside so you would have to take it somewhere else to eat.

Stella...and the LV store in the background!!

The turkey ended up being around 20 pounds and costing 186.50 CHF (that's probably a little over 200$ US).
While I didn't expect it to be that expensive nothing is cheap here. Don't freak out...there were many of us going in on this together. Our grocery bill has tripled to what it was in the states because of how expensive everything is. We even go to France to buy a lot of groceries because they are cheaper. Geneva is definitely a couponers worst nightmare, ha! After getting the turkey I went back to my bus stop and waited for the bus. While I was standing there someone started asking me what was going on with the buses. Finally, we figured out that our bus wasn't going to stop there. I would have had to walk down to another bus stop to pick up my bus. It was a long walk and I wasn't even sure which stop was for my bus. Instead I hopped on a tram and road it to a mall and walked down the street so Miriam could pick me and the turkey up. With all the unexpected walking and a 20 pound turkey I was so grateful I had brought Stella along for the trip.

When we got back to Miriam's we started on the sausage balls. Honestly, we weren't sure if they would turn out at all. Neither of us had ever made sausage before. We always pick ours up from Krogers :). It was quite the process. I think it took us about 3 hours..maybe longer. We made the sausage, shredded lot's of cheese, ground it all together and then baked them. They turned out to be the best sausage balls we had ever had and David and Shawn were two happy guys!!



First step: Making the sausage.


Miriam shredding all of the cheese we would need for the day.

That's a lot of cheese!

Ready and waiting to be cooked.


Finished product!! Yummy!!

We spent the rest of the day cooking other goodies for the next day. Everybody brought food and chipped in and we ended up with way more food than we thought we were going to have.

Thanksgiving dinner!!

The finished product!!




I think we had around 16 people at Thanksgiving. We feel so blessed. We are getting to live out our dreams of doing some of the traveling we have always wanted to do. David was so grateful to not be in the states when his favorite team lost to KY after a 26 year winning streak, haha!! Poor guy. He handled it like a champ though. We are both grateful for the friends that we have met here. I have learned so much from these ladies and am so truly thankful for their friendship and that we are here experiencing these crazy times together. I'm thankful that on Thanksgiving day, when I thought I would be lonely and sad that I had a day filled with laughter and fun and friendship!! It will be a Thanksgiving day I won't forget. I'm thankful for family who supports us and friends who put up with our nomadic lifestyle and do the extra work of keeping in touch. We are so thankful for everything that our God is doing in our lives and in the lives of our families and friends. Our cups runneth over.

The Real Housewife of Geneve

Munchkin Land Designs Elements by Raquel and Valerie
 
Designed by Munchkin Land Designs • Copyright 2011 • All Rights Reserved