Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Two Week Countdown!

YOU are amazing! I have raised $2,115.56 for Komen Race for the Cure! 
And that is thanks to all of YOU! 


I have spent the past few months working hard! For those of you keeping up with us, while training, we have also managed to leave Zurich, celebrate Ella's third birthday, fly across the Atlantic, land in Oregon for a three week stay, re-unite with our family, friends and our dog, drive our family down to San Francisco, pick up boxes from Swiss Customs, meet the movers that brought our storage boxes from Oregon, unpack (almost!), buy furniture (because we didn't have ANY!), John started work, and Ella started swimming lessons! Whew! We've been in San Francisco for nearly three weeks, which means I have been training in SF for three weeks, and I am SORE from running these hills! At least I'll be ready for them in 17 days. 

We lived on top of a hill in Zurich, but for some reason, the hills here are more challenging to me both while running and while walking around with Ella and the dog. I'm just thrilled I get to do the 60 miles without pushing a 35 pound weight the whole time!

One great thing about training is San Francisco is that I have my running partner back! 

This is Sierra after a training run
If only I could have taken a nap too!!

With less than one month to go, I am starting to focus on all the little details that go into the planning. What should I pack, do I have the right shoes, how many layers do I need, what should be on my ipod, etc.
I need your help with the most important detail....fashion, of course!

What should I wear on the first day of the walk !?!

Option 1 -Go DUCKS!

Option 2 - Komen Breast Cancer Awareness shirt

Option 3 - 'I am Walking for YOU'

You can send your votes through on the blog or via my email

I'll announce the winner in a 'Kick-off' Blog post on October 1st!
I will also be doing my best to post walk updates, pictures and blog updates while I'm touring San Fran! Think good thoughts for sunshine and no rain!

I am hoping for view and weather like this:

Please help me raise that last $184 in two more weeks! 

I know that most of you have already donated, and I really can't thank you enough for your generosity. If you have already donated but know of a friend or family member that would be interested in supporting me, please pass this on. Every dollar is going to support research for breast cancer.

Donate HERE 
Even the smallest amount helps!

And if you would like to donate in honor of a friend or family member, please list their name as I will be writing names on my shirt to recognize these amazing women. 

I will be publishing a list of these amazing women on my blog and on my t-shirt, starting on October 1st.

(Fine print: Donations are tax deductible and many companies have a Matching Gift program- check with your company today!)
Love and Gratitude,

Me and Ella visiting my Nana during our Oregon visit!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Komen Race Update! Only 6 weeks to go!

YAY! I've already raised nearly $1700 for Komen Race for the Cure! And that is thanks to all of YOU! You are amazing, THANK YOU!

When I committed to walking 60 miles I was very apprehensive about commiting to raise $2300, that amount is DAUNTING! As you began donating in honor of your loved ones, and letters of support started pouring in, I began to feel like this was an achievable task. Is it weird that I was more anxious about the fund raising then the actual walking 60 miles?!?! One of my dearest friends even sold some furniture to help raise money for Komen - how COOL is that! Thanks to your donations, the Komen Foundation is getting great support for their research.

What the focus should really be on is the women currently battling breast cancer, and how much you are helping support them. Recently I received a letter from my brother detailing a heartbreaking story about his friends moms recent diagnosis with breast cancer.

"We’re writing this letter to you for our friend DJ. His mother Vicki has been recently diagnosed with breast cancer. She has already had a double mastectomy and started chemotherapy this past Monday 08/09. When DJ broke the news to us we immediately wanted to help."

And another letter that started off with this,

"Kim, Thanks for fighting this fight, another one of my friends diagnosed with breast cancer. We need this research to help women and their familes."

I truly hope that raising $2300 and walking 60 miles through the streets of San Francisco will continue to raise awareness, support and research dollars for our mothers, sisters, and friends fighting this horrible cancer.

I will be walking on October 1st-3rd in San Francisco. I will walk 20 miles each day, and camp out for two nights with thousands of amazing, strong women from all over the country.Please join me in this fight! I only have $600 to go before I reach my goal! IIf you would like to donate to help me raise that last $600, you can donate

Even the smallest amount helps!

And if you would like to donate in honor of a friend or family member, please list their name as I will be writing names on my shirt to recognize these amazing women.

(Fine print: Donations are tax deductable and many companies have a Matching Gift program- check with your company today!)

Love and Gratitude,

Saturday, August 14, 2010

The Hug

All giggles now!

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Leaving on a Jet Plane...

Don't know when we'll be back again!

Goodbye Zurich! Thanks for the wonderful year, great friends and fantastic memories.

Right now, we're flying over the Atlantic Ocean headed for family time in Oregon. We still have a few more Swiss posts to get caught up with, then stay with us, our blog will continue with our lives in
San Francisco!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Boat cruise

 A few weeks ago, we actually spent a whole weekend in Zurich! We didn't do much on that weekend, but we did get out and enjoy the sunshine and the city for a few hours.

 We ate lunch at a little take-away Dim Sum shop on the Limmat, next to the train station. This place came recommended by a few articles I read in the beginning of the year. It's a mom and pop shop, with great food! Of course, it was on my 'list' for Zurich, and this was a great weekend to cross it off my list and have a picnic with my family.

E got to play in the park for awhile

Then a nice walk along the Limmat River, watching the tourists and soaking up the sunshine

We walked ourselves down to the lake to hop on a 90 min boat cruise around the lake. (Yes, this too has been on my 'list!') This trip only cost us 4 francs! One of the many great things about living here is there fantastic transportation system. Even their boats are included and used as transit, which means my tram/train/bus pass included the boat cruise! We also have a card that gets us a 50% discount on transit tickets around the country, so John only paid 4 francs for his ride! Cheapest entertainment in Zurich!

View of the hill we live on from the lake

This was a great, low-key way to spend a Saturday afternoon with my wonderful family.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Fussen, Germany

Known to us as 'Castle Country,' Fussen was a town that was recommended to us within the first two weeks of our arrival, and we continued to hear about it over the year. We weren't going to miss it. We even got lucky and had some wonderful friends join us for a quick weekend vacation to this stunning countryside.

The drive was a little over 4 hours from Zurich, and we arrived just in time to walk to Fussen and grab some lunch.

Amazing color of the Lech River

Walking into town from the hotel

Views  from along the river

Entering in the main part of Fussen

As we walked into town, we saw these, Schneeballen (snowballs).... YUM! 
Our first thought was to come right back after lunch and try them!
BIG Mistake! They are little bits of pastry dough glued together in the shape of a ball, then fried and dipped in chocolate. Deceiving. They tasted, well, like someone took 3 month old donuts from the bakery across the street, then fried them again and set them out for a few more weeks before selling them. I just learned that,"Schneeballträume made from short pastry deep-fried in butter-fat, served for the first time in 1719 on the occasion of an inspection of a mill."  1719, yep, we got the leftovers.

Loving the sunshine!

Ella and Mia hungry for lunch

I LOVE flower boxes. I love that everyone has them, I love that they make each house look perfect.


Walking from the hotel to dinner. Can't beat this country walk.

View from dinner, looking at the Neuschwanstein Castle

Getting to dinner was, naturally (because it's us), a challenge. We walked for a LONG time, only to find out that the restaurant was full. We turned around and headed down a road where we knew we could find what we wanted - a tv. It was still World Cup season, and the USA was playing that night. We found another restaurant with a tv, but it was full. The server directed us to this little farm house just down the road that could help us. It was adorable. We showed up unannounced to this tiny little restaurant/hotel, and the woman that ran the place was able to put together a fantastic, classic German dinner. A array of meats, cheese, breads and spreads! There were only 5 tables in the whole place, and we were the only ones there. After our girls finished their dinner, they got to play on the floor and be 2 year old girls without us worrying about them, while the adults watched the soccer game.

Sunday we woke up to blue skies and lots of excitement from the girls to go the the CASTLES! There was so much talk between them about meeting Cinderella, and seeing the princesses, and wearing their princess outfits, and on and on....

The two main attractions in Fussen are the Neuschweinstein Castle and the Hohenschwangau Castle.
The Hohenschwangau castle was built by King Ludwig's father, King Maximillian II of Bavaria. Completed in 1837, this was their official summer residence.

Our only group photo with Svenja, Mia and Tim. We took this in 1 shot with a self- timer!!
Behind us is Hohenschwangau, where King Ludwig II was raised.

The courtyard of Neuschwanstein. King Ludwig's dreamland

View of Hohenschwangau from Neuschwanstein

The Neuschweinstein Castle was completed in 1892 for King Ludwig II of Bavaria. The palace was designed by the King and intended as his personal refuge. However, it was opened to the public after his death in 1886. The castle took more than 20 years to complete, and Ludwig only resided in the castle for months. Because of Ludwigs death and elaborate spending, the building was stopped due to lack of money, so only a few rooms of the castle we completed. 
This castle is the inspiration for the famous Disney castle - can you blame him!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Visiting Vienna

Vienna  was a 'must see' for us, and it just so happened we were able to find a great flight deal that allowed us to spend three nights in this great city, and still get John to work on time on Monday morning. For this trip, we rented an apartment off of tripadvisor.com (which we use for everything!) for our stay, giving Ella her own room, and us a little kitchen.  We spent three glorious and rainy days touring Vienna.

Yes, there are playgrounds in Vienna, can you believe it!?!

Rathaus was completed in 1883


Rain, rain go away

Flower Gardens in the middle of the city. This city is filled with parks and gardens that are all kept up beautifully.

My favorite pic of the weekend

Dancing on the steps of the library

It was also World Cup time, which meant two things for us: Beer. Soccer. 

Mom - saw the Hummels, and thought of you

Saw these and thought of ME

After we had been in Vienna for a day, my mom emailed me and mentioned that she'd be eating the Sacher torte if she were there. Of course, that was the first stop on day 2.

The cafe in Hotel Sacher

The famous torte

Next we went to Prater park to see their famous ferris wheel. You can guess that Ella was pretty determined to ride the wheel. From the top, she kept watching all these log cars go down the water slide. Guess what we did next....

Being in a city with such a rich history of music was amazing. Not being able to go to any of the concerts going on because we had Ella with us was a little frustrating for me. Thankfully, the opera had that base covered already - open air live broadcasts of the performance. You sit outside, with snacks, busy toddlers, dogs, casual clothes, come and go when you want and watch the live broadcast for free! This was my favorite part of the weekend. John humored me and came along with the family, and Ella actually found some of it to be kind of entertaining.

 She thought this was Santa  - If Santa was on stage, she was tuned in!

We stopped over at the aquarium. Totally not worth it. This bird nearly landed on my shoulder. We left.

And found an American bar, with great beer and soccer. On Father's day  :o)  Bird incident forgotten.

In all those pictures, there was no mention of the typical Fillmore travel 'hiccups' we've become so accustomed to.

Not to worry.

We hit plenty of bumps in the road as we were leaving on Monday morning. Our scheduled car service arrived to pick us up at 4:54am, and left before we came downstairs at 5am (the scheduled pick-up time.) Leaving us stranded in Vienna at 5am, with a flight to catch. John called the company and they said we were not out on the curb on time, so they left without even calling to tell us that they had arrived. We had no idea they even showed up, and we were on the curb at 4:58am. After 30 LONG and STRESSFUL minutes of trying to flag down a cab, we made it to the airport.

John's original plan when we were booking the trip was to fly back to Zurich on Monday morning and head straight to the office. Instead, he was scheduled to fly to Dusseldorf  from Vienna, leaving Ella and I to fly home to Zurich on our own. British Airlines booked John on his Dusseldorf flight, but never cancelled his Zurich flight. They even printed his boarding pass without checking his passport, handed ME his boarding pass, and never saw him. Then I proceeded to board with his pass, they never checked our passports or ID when boarding either. As the plane was just about ready to depart, a ground control employee boards the plane and comes up to me asking if they should hold the plane so my husband can board the flight.

Security at it finest.