Saturday, March 31, 2012

Saturday BBQ and Flower Planting

We have started the past three Saturdays with a nice jog. Today we went out to an area that was perfect for running. There are paths everywhere for walking, bike riding, and even horseback riding! It is very peaceful, running through woods, farmland, next to the river, and by the lake, all with snow capped peaks in sight! After our run we went flower shopping. Backstory: Our apartment is right next to a bridge where everyone stops to take pictures of the view. I was getting a little good old fashioned Swiss grief about the dead ass flowers on our balcony....hence the flower shopping. We also made a small herb garden for when yours truly is cooking dinner. Not sure what exciting news I will have to share with you all tomorrow, but we can only hope that it will be slightly more riveting than this post.

Friday, March 30, 2012

First Beer Brewing Day!

Yessss!!!!!! Good beer is only two months away! The Striding Bear Brewing Co. will proudly have two beers on tap: a Belgian Noble Trappist and a double IPA. There where some obstacles to overcome, but nothing a little creativity couldn't solve. My newly assembled burner worked excellent! The second pic is of a wort chiller that my friend Bunyan made for me back in Minnesota. I was able to find a reducer to attach it to my shower head and voila'!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

I Have Made Fire

After peace mealing a bunch of parts together....I have made fire! This is my new burner for brewing beer. I will make my first swiss batch tomorrow!

Hello Alps

Nicole had some work thing up at a mountain lodge and forgot her phone. I drove to take it to her and these are a couple pics from my drive.

French Lessons

Wow...this is a really hard language!  I started morning immersion class that is for three hours everyday for two weeks.  I didn't know how used to being at home I have become after only three weeks!  A three hour class seems like it takes up my whole day now!  The homework is also killing me...all the instructions are in French.  When you know absolutely nothing of a language, how do they expect you to know how to do an excercise when the directions are completely in French! Come on about we at least pronounce half the letters in a word.  Just venting....I will update soon.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Josh's birthday....

So it is always hard to follow a St. Patricks day celebration because there is always a group of lively people looking for a good time on the 17th.

We did however maintain a healthy respect for beer and endeavored in a mini brew tour in Lausanne- the town where I work in ( yes- it is actually Nicole posting the blog). It's about a 20 min train ride from Montreux.

The celebration was a day early for one main reason. Josh wanted to see Hunger Games for his big day - and yes, his desire to see a PG13 movie based on a teen novel on his 32 birthday only further proves that age is nothing but a number. Given that we are in the Suisse Romand part of switzerland (translation: French speaking), the Hunger games is only shown in English once a day- three times a week. Basically- it was Saturday or bust.

We started the festivities by hitting up 3 brew pubs:

The first was a Belgium spot that featured all Belgium beers. good beer, but the standard hoogarden, Trappist....the name was Bruxelles
Second stop is a place that makes it's own beer. They actually had an IPA on tap that received approval from Mr. Ayers. Although, he did have some advice to improve the clarity of the beer. This place has a great vibe, great beer and offensively bad food. Name: brassiere aux chateaux.
Third place was sort of a chain, but they had a sampler tray for beer- so I give it a thumbs up. Not to mention my hamburger came with guacamole!

The grand finale for the night was the movie. It was like they rounded up all the anglophones ( and oddly enough a group of about 30 Spanish teenage girls , who were very vocal admirers of Gayle) and put them in one single theater.
The movie was actually quite good and if you read the book you will not feel betrayed. If you have not read the book- you will probably still like it.

All in all it was a good day. On sunday, after the day of celebration, we did long long hike that started and ended with the 1013 steps Josh blogged about. Success.
Happy birthday Josh.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Friday Nights Menu

To start: Fresh Bread from a local boulangerie with a hard Gruyere, Brie, and Goat Cheese.

Middle: Fresh Greens with bell peppers, cucumber, and carrots.

Entree: Steamed Mussels in a white wine garlic cream sauce with tomatoes, fresh basil, and oregano.

Dessert: The Usual (a couple of pieces of local chocolate)

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The School for Wizards/Mutants

Hard to see, but those small lights are the school at the top of the mountain.

Nicole Home Early

It is a rare occasion when Nicole gets home while the sun is out! we decided to open a bottle of wine and sit on the patio.

1068 Steps!

I meant to take the dogs on a nice leisurely stroll but ended up going straight up!  Backstory: There is this building perched on the top of the mountain behind our apartment that you can see from our neighborhood.  I would say that the main question we have is usually along the lines of  "Do you think that is the school for wizards or mutants?" (I will try and take a picture of it tonight if it is clear out and post it.)  The other day we discovered a staircase by a big church and today, I randomly followed it.  HOLY STAIRCASE!  My legs are now jello and I think Strider is even tired.  I went all the way to the top to a town called Glion.  Apparently the school for wizards/mutants is actually a super fancy school for higher who knows, maybe we are right!  On the way down...when I was regretting my decision to go up in the first place...I ran into this super cool swiss man who humbled me greatly by telling me he does it everyday!  He also told me that from my apartment to the top, I walked up 1068 stairs and almost 900 feet of elevation change. 

Monday, March 19, 2012

Yellow Vegetable Curry

Yellow curry paste, potatoes, eggplant, Zuchini, bell peppers, green beens, and onion. We are trying to eat two to three dinners a weak that are vegetarian. Obviously this is Nicole's idea....not mine.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Nicole's Birthday and St. Patrick's Day Celebrations

(The following actually posted by Josh) We had a very full day. We started with a long, very scenic run. I would say this was enjoyable minus the part where we barely made it up a quarter mile hill! At one point Strider was walking next to me jogging and still out in front! We had breakfast (see previous post) and started getting ready to catch a train and head to Fribourg, a swiss city that is on the border of the French/German part of Switzerland.  Before we caught the train, we stopped at a little swiss bar next to our apartmet for our first beer of the day.  I had a white ale and Nicole had a Blonde ale, both very good.  We jumped on the train, and after switching trains in Lausanne, we were on the second deck of a very crowed train for the remainder of the trip.  I was, of course, sweating profusely while everyone around me seemed to be perfectly fine with the temperature...wonderful....By the time we reached Fribourg, both of us had to use the bathroom super bad.  Now...I can honestly say that this train station was not the cleanest place I have ever been so we were immediately not excited about the prospects of what their public restrooms had to offer.  I will spare all of you the long story, so in short: three weird old men doing something that I don't even want to know about at the urinals and, much to Nicole's dismay, a women's bathroom that required 1 franc (that we did not have) to use.   Moving on......We arrived at Paddy Reilly's for our first Guinness of the day, DELICIOUS....and we're back in the game! It was still early so we decided to do some exploring.  After a walk down what we dubbed "Shady Row," a place both of us decided would be best to avoid after dark, we came to Old Towne Fribourg.  This area was very picturesque and cool to just walk around in with a bunch of shops and restaurants that looked amazing. (We can't wait to go back for a good dinner sometime)  After a couple hours and a beer or two later, we ended up at this amazing bridge with a stair case that went to the top....I would have been perfectly fine noting the bridge..give a couple oohs and awwws and move on.  Nicole, of course, had to "conquer" the up we went!  Finally back to Paddy Reilly's for way way too much whiskey and beer! The Ireland/England rugby match made for quit the raucous crowd!  Our pre packaged frozen hamburger was disgusting but only cost 20 francs a peice (note the sarcasm)....but the atmosphere was everything we could have asked for on St. Patrick's Day! 

Happy Birthday Love, I hope you had as much fun as I did!  I can't wait to experience our next St. Patrick's Day adventure together!