1. Zurich. Period. We LOVED Zurich. It is an easily navigated city (important with us) with amazing things to see. We checked out some münsters (including St. Peter’s which had stained glass windows by Giacometti.. Oh man!), had a yummy lunch (and so did some pigeons), and enjoyed beautiful weather all day.
2. The train ride from Zurich to Geneva. As far as he can remember, we saw the most beautiful scenery Ian has ever seen. It was absolutely breathtaking – the Swiss Alps shooting up above hills covered with vineyards leading down to Lake Geneva.
3. The rich and well cared for history of the Reformation in Geneva. We thoroughly enjoyed seeing things like: many streets named after reformers, the church Calvin preached in (and the chair he sat on), the college he started, the auditorium he lectured in, The Reformation wall (kind of like a smaller, full-body Mount Rushmore) and park, and the Reformation Museum (SO worth the 20 Francs we spent to get in! – we got to see a real Luther Bible – whoa..). Not to mention, finding Calvinus beer…
4. The Best French sandwich shop ever!!! Seriously, best bread, best ingredients, amazing pastries. We grabbed sandwiches there every morning to eat for lunch.
5. The birth of our first nephew!! Charles Benjamin Parsons was born Sunday, March 30 while we were hanging out in France.
6. Getting to see Becky and Alyssa for a whole week! Becky, Alyssa, and I were in the same class and studied Art at Taylor, so it was fabulous to catch up and see them in action putting all those filled up brain cells to use (they are both Art teachers at Black Forest Academy).
7. Getting to share various A-mazing! cuisines with Becky, Alyssa, and friends. (including of course – puppy chow!! Hooray!)
8. Meeting the rest of Alyssa’s family, that I had not yet met, when they came to visit for a few days, and spending a whole day with them touring some wine country in France.
9. Hooray for being with artists!!! It was wonderful to spend so much time with artists again, I gave artist talks in Alyssa’s classes one day, and we spent an afternoon at a Modern Art museum in Basel, Switzerland. (deep breath) aaaaaaaaahhh. That was nice. :)
10. My Hubby. Ok, I know that seems funny, but seriously, I love that guy. It was amazing to travel with him (this was essentially our first vacation just the two of us, aside from our honeymoon to Ohio :) ) and just enjoy his company and watch him interact with people as he practiced his German in Zurich and Kandern, butchered French in Geneva and France (an UNBELIEVABLY funny story, but only when he tells it), and demonstrated his seemingly never-ending patience and kindness as he enjoyed our friends, old and new. When we weren’t being captivated by the views on the trains or in the airports, he was making me laugh as he learned how to do a ‘bridge’ when shuffling cards, and his ceaseless amazement at how well I could do it (makes me laugh just thinking about it). And I taught him how to play ‘war’ (I kind of couldn’t believe he had never played that game…) and ‘spit’ with the cards.
We had a wonderful, refreshing trip and are SO thankful that the Lord provided for us the means and safe travel to make it a wonderful trip. We realize that we are very blessed to have these experiences and pray that our eyes are opened further to our world, the needs therein, and the ways we can make an impact as we explore the Lord’s creative works on this Earth and in these people.
I haven’t gotten the pictures together, but be on the lookout for a good ol’ slideshow in the next few days so you can see the sights as well!