A good day, all around

Lots of updates from the past two days, not the least of which is the greatly anticipated next chapter in my visa saga.

Yesterday was a good local kind of day, we did things other local people do. Hosted my first dinner party (Does having 2 people who are family over count as a dinner party?) Even managed to pull of a Mexican meal that tasted pretty close to home despite a substantial shortage of my mainstay ingredients. 

And the kids and I rode the bus. We wanted to practice the route they will need for school (still praying for a school bus solution) which involves them both transferring downtown during the 20 minute journey. Their schools are close enough for a bike ride but we thought we’d figure out the transit option too. The first bus they can ride together but the transfer point they go in separate directions. 

Happy transit riders.

Tomorrow we’ll practice the bike routes. Monday we’ll divide and conquer, each taking 1 to their school. But Tuesday one will need to be able to go on their own which really sucks. But the reason is a good thing…Manolo will be starting a job that morning!

His earlier opportunity didn’t grab his interest but at least he can now say that I’m not the only one in our family who was a Barista for Starbucks! He did one trial run shift with them here at our train station and came home completely gobsmacked by the amount of sugar people consume in their drink! And how handsomely they pay for the diabetes-in-a-cup. Sounds like things are quite different than when I was there back in 97 when we sold predominately cups of coffee. He said in his entire shift he sold no simple cup of coffee but doled out loads & loads of expensive teas which were 90% syrup. 

Anyhow, at the end of the shift he said “thanks but no thanks” which made me sad as I was hoping for some good free coffee for home and their indoctrination to help turn him clean. A girl can dream….

So the job he starts Tuesday is at a building site, helping a team in the construction of a big project there. The good news is it’s close to Helena’s school, the bad news is that he has to be there just after 6:00 so is out of the equation for helping get the kids to school. 

With our locals activities aside, today we set off to Zurich both for some business and some tourist fun. This was my biometric appointment for my visa. We arrived, on time, despite needing to take a combination of a train and 3 tram cars to get there. We drew a number and were the next to be seen. When called, I walked up to the window to be greeted by a very friendly lady who was not at all troubled by the fact that I came WITHOUT my husband! It was all feeling too easy…I did a photo – even allowed to smile – gave my finger prints, retina scans, signature and that was that. She smiled and said my resident card would arrive in the mail.

I’m pretty sure it’s a scam of some sort and that I’ll get a call saying they need my husband, children , parents and pets to come in again. I just can’t believe it is done…granted, nothing in hand yet but seemingly no more paperwork and red tape. (Please touch wood immediately!)

So with that taken care of, we set off to explore the Zurich zoo. The kids were beside themselves with excitement. Every creepy crawly bug, reptile, amphibian they’ve obsessed over for years were there in living, breathing colour. “Best zoo ever!!” they kept saying. It was such a delight to see them so relaxed and happy knowing how much Monday is weighing on them. 

Last year Helena’s class studied the rain forest. Every animal they covered was here to be seen including this big iguana which was her animal to research.
Turtles have become one of D’s favourite things. touching this big tortoise was his highlight.
The colour and pattern of the rain forest frogs were amazing, almost too vivid to believe. Quite certain that’s a sign of major poison, we didnt try to touch any of them.
The lion exhibit was amazing. This big cat was just exquisite. His face was so beautiful.

So after some great care-free time at the zoo, we made our way back home. Planned on heading to the music festival again tonight but considering the last two nights were late, we threw in the towel. We know our limits, three nights in a row is an impossibility! Big talk for a date night there tomorrow which we’ll likely cancel as well some time mid-late afternoon. For us it’s the talk and planning of a big night out that makes us  feel youthful and vibrant. We don’t actually ever have to follow through on the plans. 

The other part I’m excited about is that I’ve connected with an old friend I met through Camp around 6 years ago. She moved to Austria at the time but has since moved to Switzerland, a short train ride from Winterthur. So yay!! I have hope for some social outings that don’t involve me and my two children.

Tomorrow we plan to set out to discover a castle. It’s one I accidentally discovered on my bike ride the other day and looks quite spectacular despite its unfortunate name. Wart Castle, have a look on google. We’re told it’s not a REAL castle, it’s only 100 years old and someone currently lives in it. But it sure is pretty and I think the kids will get a kick out of a castle that looks fancy rather than all the old ones we’ve seen so far. You know, they want the Disney effect, not actual history!

  

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