August 27, 2004

Switzerland, Part II (Lucerne and Geneva)

On Monday, we went to Lucerne with Tiffany's parents and nieces, Amy and Taylor. We went by train, which thrilled Tyler.

A view of Lucerne

Once in Lucerne, we bought pretzels and bratwurst for lunch. We then took a boat on Lake Lucerne to Burgenstock. The boat ride was beautiful and also thrilled Tyler. Once we got to the base of Burgenstock, we rode a very steep funicular to the top of one of the hills surrounding the lake. This was yet another thrill for Tyler. At the top there are beautiful views and several luxury hotels.

On the oldest electrically powered funicular in Switzerland

We walked around enjoying the scenery, ate ice cream and then took the funicular back down and took the boat back to Lucerne. Tyler impressed several American tourists by telling them that he was from Israel.

A view of Lake Lucerne from Burgenstock

The most famous site in Lucerne is a long, diagonal wooden bridge dating from the 14th century, but rebuilt in 1993 after a fire nearly destroyed it. Before heading back to Basel, we enjoyed authentic Italian pizza.

The famous wooden bridge of Lucerne

On Tuesday, we went with Rob to grocery shop in St. Louis, which is right over the French border from Basel. Scott and Tiffany enjoyed being back in France yet again. That afternoon, Linda and the girls took us on a tour of downtown Basel. We saw a man blowing an alpine horn in front of the historic Basel guild house.

Tyler, Aviann and Allyson at the Basel guild house

We also saw an amazing mechanical water sculpture. Tyler was absolutely entranced and we practically had to drag him away.

Mechanical water sculpture in Basel

Video of the water sculpture

The next big step in our Switzerland trip was meeting up with the Beutlers in Geneva. The Beutlers used to live near us in Hillsboro. We relocated to Israel and they relocated to Geneva, Switzerland. Scott is a little envious, but there are no Intel engineering jobs in Switzerland.

We had a beautiful drive from Basel to Geneva and found the Beutler's apartment very easily. They took us on a tour of Geneva. We walked along the edge of Lake Geneva (Lac Leman for you francophiles) and took a water bus across the lake. We ate doner kebabs, a meal that we loved eating in France. Lisa also took us to the best ice cream shop in Geneva. For dinner, we ate a park near their home, that has a burger/crepe/omelette stand next to it. The grown-ups ate and the children played. It was a perfect way to eat out with children.

With our friends the Beutlers in Geneva

The next day we went to the Natural History Museum of Geneva. Tyler loved running around seeing the animals and the fluorescent rocks. We ate lunch in the cafeteria. In Europe, even cafeteria food is good. We had cordon bleu, fries and French bread.

Tyler and Elodie at the Swiss Natural History Museum

After the museum, we wandered around Geneva some more. Madeleine was excited to ride on a carousel, so we were glad that Tyler had overcome his fear of carousels so that he could ride with her. Elodie enjoyed the ride as well, but we didn't give Brooke a chance to try it out.

Tyler and Madeleine on a carousel

The culminating event of our time with the Beutlers was a marvelous meal of fondue bourguignonne. It was fun to spend time with our friends from Portland. We enjoyed it so much that we hope to make a trip next year.

Fondue bourguignonne.

We will wrap up the summary of our trip to Switzerland with part III in a few days.


"I need you to hold me because there are so many bicycles." - Sure.
"That car, is its eyes closed?" - About a car with pop-up headlights.
"It's a busy street with busy cars and busy peoples." - Why he had to be careful.
"Maybe we can just close me up and lock me." - Wanting his coat pulled over his head and zipped so he wouldn't get wet in the rain.

Posted by sjbowden at 5:33 PM

August 25, 2004

Switzerland (and France), Part I

We had a bit of a rough time getting to our plane. We arrived at the airport at a decent time, but the long term parking lot was full, so we had to go to another lot. We got lost and ended up outside the airport with a 15 minute drive to get back to the airport. We finally found the temporary long term lot on a grassy field and had to carry our bags and our children across the field to the shuttle bus.

In Israel, there is a security check before check-in where all bags are X-rayed. While we were waiting in this line, we realized that we had left Tyler's car seat in the car. It was too late to get it, so we just had to hope that we could rent one in Zurich. Once we checked in, though, things went much smoother.

Tyler watching our Swiss Airlines plane land

We flew Swiss Airlines. It was great. Every seat had a monitor with video on demand and a view from the cockpit, the food was great and Brooke and Tyler both got toys. Brooke got a teether and Tyler got a Duplo Lego set. It sure helped with the flight.

After arriving in Zurich, we picked up our rental car, a brand new Opel Vectra. Fortunately, the rental agency also had a car seat for Tyler. After about an hour drive, we arrived in Basel where we stayed with Tiffany's brother, Rob, and his family. Tiffany's parents were there too, so it was quite a party.


The next day, Rob, Linda and their four oldest went to Paris. The two younger girls, Amy and Taylor, stayed with us. We went to Mulhouse, France, where Scott started his mission 11 years ago. We didn't have enough room in our car, so Tiffany's parents took Tyler and Amy by train and met us there.

In Mulhouse, we visited the town sqare in front of the cathedral, bought Leonidas chocolates (only 1.5 pounds, though, so not enough to share), let the children ride on a carousel, bought bread and wandered around in the pedestrian zone.

In front of the Mulhouse Cathedral

Scott's favorite Belgian chocolates

It was then that Scott made his big mistake. He suggested that we eat outside at an Alscacian restaurant right on the town square. Scott was anxious to eat choucroute, the regional specialty. Choucroute translates as sauerkraut, but it is a meal, not a topping. Fortunately, we got a table under the tent, because right after our food came, an enormous thunderstorm came and drenched Mulhouse. We got a little cold and had to bundle up the children, but soon the rain stopped and we were able to enjoy our meal. Tiffany has since forgiven Scott for suggesting that we eat outside.

Rainy restaurant

The next day, Grandma and Grandpa watched the kids while Scott and Tiffany went shopping in Mulhouse. We bought French clothes, French music, French comic books and lots of French food. It sure was fun to go shopping with just the two of us.

On Sunday, we went to church in Mulhouse. The ward was very nice and some of the members even vaguely remembered Scott. We even met a family that is learning Hebrew, so we got to practice both our French and our Hebrew.

At church in Mulhouse

When we work up enough energy we will continue with Switzerland, Part II (and more Tyler-isms).

Posted by sjbowden at 9:08 PM

August 10, 2004

The Water Park, the Beach and the Pool

On Thursday, Scott got to leave work early for an Intel family activity at a water park. We had a great time. The food was great too: ice cream, hamburgers, hot dogs, falafels, cotton candy, popcorn, pancakes, cinnamon rolls and mini pitas with spices cooked in an open oven. There was music, dancing and glow in the dark toys for the kids.

Tyler loved it. At first he was timid about floating in the water and riding the water slides, but then he scared us by becoming too bold. Scott took him down a kiddie water slide and Tyler said he didn't want to go again. But then he saw how much fun the other kids were having and he jumped out of the pool, ran up the hill and started going down the water slide by himself. Scott raced behind him, slid down and caught him right before he hit the water. After that Tyler went down over twenty times by himself while Scott caught him at the bottom. Brooke also loved the water park. She loved being in her baby float and splashing in the water.

Tyler and Scott going down the waterslide

On Friday, we went to the beach in Herziliya with the youth from the branch. Tyler didn't want to go in the ocean so we just played in the sand and ate snacks.

Fun at the beach

Mr. Sandman

Our friends, James and Heidi, live in Herziliya so after we went to the beach we went swimming in their pool. As long as Tyler had a water noodle, he floated by himself in the pool. It was the first time that Tyler didn't leave claw marks on Scott's arms.

After we swam, we left Tyler with a babysitter and went to dinner at Max Brenner with James and Heidi. Max Brenner is a chocolate restaurant. We ate Belgian waffles with chocolate sauce for the main course, had chocolate milkshakes and for dessert, a chocolate souffle. It was very good.

Fun at the pool

Tyler is into band-aids right now. The other day, Tiffany picked Tyler up from pre-school and he had a band-aid on his ear. It looked like it could be pretty bad, so she asked what had happened. He had just wanted a band-aid. We bought a supply of Looney Tunes band-aids for those times when he stubs his toe or just needs some comfort.

Do you have a license for those cars?

On Monday night, Tiffany and Scott got to go on a date by themselves. Our friends, Aaron and Sarah, watched Brooke and Tyler while we went to eat at a French restaurant and then went shopping. On Sunday, we watched their daughter while they went out.

Drinking buddies

Brooke is still an angel, but now she is very wiggly. She no longer just sits on our laps, but she has to be moving. She loves playing with empty water bottles and Tyler's Matchbox cars. In the picture below, she is helping herself to some cars.

Tippy toes


"The tracks are puzzles and the cars are games." - Tyler loves his puzzle track cars from the mall.
"How do I look happy? I'll go look in a mirror." - After Scott told him to be happy, not sad.
"Mommy likes to kiss me because I don't have hair on my face." - After discussing why Scott doesn't have a beard.
"Would I like you with hair on your face?" - To Scott.
"Why do the big people get to watch a movie and the little people have to go to bed?" - Life's not fair.
"Please don't go home and go to bed until my parents get home." - To his babysitters, the Nielsens.
"It's a little bit sandy." - The crumbs at the end of a box of cereal.
"Why are the piggy banks driving?" - About a book with pig characters.
"Let's go eat dinner so we can go to bed and then wake up and have breakfast and go on a plane." - Can you tell someone is excited about our trip?

Posted by sjbowden at 11:06 PM

August 4, 2004

Has it been a week already?

The past few weeks have been a bit slow. We haven't gone on any big trips and we haven't taken very many pictures. We promise that the next few weeks will make up for it. Next week we leave for Switzerland! We will see Tiffany's parents, her brother Rob and his family, and our friends, the Beutlers.

On Friday we went swimming with the Nielsens. Tyler and Arwen had a blast, especially in the kiddie pools. Brooke enjoyed swimming as well, and she was the only Bowden that escaped without a sunburn.

In the evening we had another branch picnic. We gave a ride to Gwen, a BYU archeology student, who was here for a couple of weeks. She gave Tyler a sticker and he talked her ear off. She became an instant best friend.

On Saturday, we both spoke in church. Scott also conducted the meeting and Tiffany also taught the young women class. It was a busy Sabbath.

Sarah and Arwen have been coming over almost every day. Tiffany, Tyler and Brooke have really enjoyed the company. Today, Arwen brought her monkeys over to play. Tyler was thrilled to wear the pink one. Speaking of pink, he has been disappointed the last few days at pre-school because his favorite toy there, a pink pickup truck, has been misplaced.

Monkey business

Tyler calls Brooke, "Brookie." She gets more wiggly by the day. We don't know what we are going to do with her on the flight to Switzerland. She is getting better at eating "solid" food. She loves yogurt, applesauce and cottage cheese, but doesn't do as well with meat and vegetable dinners. Graham crackers are her new favorite treat.



"I don't know what questions to tell him." - Explaining why he didn't say anything to Scott after begging to talk to him on the phone.
"You be the shady man. Make it not sunny." - Demanding that Scott block the sun while playing with Matchbox cars.
"Daddy, I'm gonna be tall and have big hands so I can touch knives." - Watching Scott slice bread.

Posted by sjbowden at 9:08 PM