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15.06.2003 - Happenings During the Last Month

Mother's Day in Morschach

On Saturday, May 9th - the day before Mother's Day - I organised Anne and the kids a real surprise by announcing in the morning that we are going to spend the weekend in Morschach. Anne initially always hates these kind of sudden surprises, but as the surprises almost always turn out to be real fun, she (almost) always is happy afterwards.
In the picture a view from Morschach over Vierwaldstättersee.

We spent the weekend in Swiss Holiday Park http://www.shp.ch/ which is a hotel combined with a very nice spa and lots of possibilities for outdoor and indoor sports. In the picture we spent some time playing minigolf - in the background you can see the hotel.

We of course also spent time in the nature and had a picknick. On Saturday evening we ate in a chinese restaurant in the hotel which finally wasn't that great for the kids - Anton fell asleep and Amanda went to the room to play computer games. However, we really enjoyed the food as well as the company of an older couple at the table beside us.

Visit by Family Hartikainen

End of May we were visited by our old friends, the Hartikainen family. They also lived in Switzerland for a couple of years but are since 2 years again back in Finland. We mainly spent time moving around in the neighborhood or barbecuing in our garden. Here a picture from Bremgarten. Elena is there with a light pink dress and brown shirt. You can only see a glimpse of Katja in a pink dress behind Anne.

Weekend in Locarno

Early June we spent a prolonged weekend in Locarno with the Tissari family (Päivi and Timo in the picture at a dam-lake by the Lukmanier Pass). The weekend was really fun -their kids are more or less in the same age as ours and the hotel had a swimming pool and a large playroom. (Hotel Ramada-Treff Arcadia: http://www.ramada-treff.de/cgi-bin/hotel.cgi?TCODE=HTZJIAR) We spent the Sunday in the Valle Maggia with very pictoresque small villages. Unfortunately I only have this one picture because my digital camera broke down.

Weekend at Home (or at least almost)

Last weekend we decided to spend a relaxed weekend at home and "enjoy" the lasting heatwave with temperatures up to 35 degrees.

I spent Saturday with the kids walking over to the river Reuss

where we spent time playing on the shore (looks like nice sand but is actually gooey mud) and swimming in the river close to the beach where the river is shallow and the stream is weak. The water temperature was quite optimal - I don't know exactly how much but would estimate something around 22-24 degrees. It was quite a cool experience swimming against the stream. Works like a simulator - you don't move anywhere but have to swim quite a lot anyway.

We also had the chance to see all kinds of peculiarities of the nature and what man has built to change it. We saw a fox, different types of locusts and butterflies, and a deerhunter's hut. The kids of course wanted to climb it - Anton made it by himself - also down (though I gave him "my shadow").

We ended the journey by going to a nice restaurant between Mellingen and Fislisbach to have some ice cream.

We also saw an old bus ruin the side of an A-Class Mercedes by passing it on a narrow road. Nasty sound!

The next day we took Anne with us to go eating to this restaurant (here's the proof - behind you see Boll from the other side).

The food was summerly excellent and the price was decent. (Restaurant zum Bahnhof at Mellingen railwaystation - in the middle of nowhere). We will definitely revisit this restaurant at some point.

Eastern Holidays 18-21.4.03

This Eastern rewarded us with very beautiful, though somewhat cold, weather. As this was kind of a 4-day weekend, we spent lots and lots of time outdoors doing stuff kids like to do

One thing kids like to do is play with water - in any form. Close to where we live there's a small brook running through the fields. During spring-time this stream is very nice as there's enough flow and almost no undergrowth in it - perfect for floating boats downstreams.

This ain't your normal pussy brook where you get bored pushing the boat along the slow stream. This one has a pretty strong flow and is filled with twists and turns and an occasional waterfall (see the boat plunging down to a sure doom)

This type of cool action has already started to become important to Anton. This waterfall, for example, was rafted down three times before we could continue - the boat suffered total virtual damage each time, of course...

One day we spent adventuring in a gorge in Schwarzwald called "Wutach Schlucht". This is one of the most beautiful areas of the Black Forest - roughly 1.5 hour drive away from where we live.

Here Anne and Amanda by an old bridge over the river Wutach - wouldn't reccomend any fancy jumps into the river from this one...

The river basin is surrounded by steep slopes along which pathways have been made. You have to walk up and down along narrow pathways with only elementary fences between your feet and the abyss. The whole area is declared a nature reservation, so one has to behave!

Here's an example of a typical slope on the gorge where pathways have been built. As you can see on the picture, the rock is quite slated and as a consequence you never know if you're going to get a rock in your head or not. A helmet would be suitable equipment here. Of course we were Rambos and didn't give a second thought about such ridiculous things as rocks breaking our skulls... those things only happens to losers.

On one of the more rougher pathways, Anton rightly noticed, that "Pojkarna säger cool, och flickorna säger uöögh" and put more steam into his climb. I had one heck of a time trying to keep up with the little fellow.

The river Wutach has several wonderfully beautiful spots to spend family time on...

If you look carefully you see that Anton has stones in his hands. Each time we reached the river shore he was carpet bombing the water with rocks.

But let's move back home...

The Easter Bunny is, of course, an indespensable part of Eastern. Fortunately this merry little rabbit found time to pass by our garden with her basket. She seemed to have hidden a couple of chocolade eggs amongst our plants as well.

The weather was nice enough to allow relaxing on the lawn. Amanda is here buried in a new "Felix" book - on Saturday she visited a kids' store in Baden where Felix the rabbit himself gave autographs on his travel books

On Saturday I engulfed myself in lavish spending spree and bought a new kids' swimming pool. I even tried it out myself (however didn't want to offend you by include a picture of this event here).

The kids loved it, as you can see (there was one heck of hot water carrying required from me, though - the pool takes one cubic meter of water)