Monthly Archives: July 2009

Home sweet home away from home

We moved into our home-swap apartment in Zurich today!  It is so nice not having to live out of our suitcases.  Tom really made us feel at home by leaving us a stack of Switzerland and Zurich books and box of (Swiss, of course) chocolates.

More than anything (even laundry), we appreciate having a kitchen again.

Bike trip to Rapperswil

Saturday we rode to Rapperswil on our “free for tourists” bikes. The city of Zurich wants their tourists to be see as much of their lovely city as possible, so they let people borrow a bike for the day…how great is that?! It was an easy, flat 20 miles each way. The route is along Lake Zurich through small towns complete with vineyards, churches and mountain views.

Once we got to Rapperswill we walked among the castle and churches on the hilltop. The clouds cleared up for amazing views of the city and lake. Below the castle is a monastery, rose gardens, outdoor cafes and the ferry back to Zurich. Of course you can see that we are eating healthy- giant pretzels cut in half and stuffed with cheese and salami. Hey, we burned the calories off on the return tip!

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Planning for New Year’s 2010 underway

Save the date for a California style wedding reception with our favorite family and friends. See you on Thursday, December 31st through Sunday, January 3rd. Feel free to join us for some or all of the festivities. More details to follow.

A few of our favorite wedding day photos

Here are some of our favorite photos of the big day. We hope you enjoy them!

Como and Bellagio

Beverly and I just returned from Como and Bellagio, Italy.

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I’m at work, so I don’t have a lot of time to write about the experience, so I’ll summarize in one word: wow.

Here are some pics…

UPDATE: I have to say, there’s nothing like authentic Italian pizza. I lived on it while I was there. Beverly was kind enough to share some of her Caprese salad once, and I had a delicious local grilled trout dish… otherwise, it was all pizza all the time.

The difference between the Swiss and the Italians is not just a stereotype. Even on the train ride to Como, it was easy to identify the Italians by their boisterous voices and loud give-and-take. It kind of reminded us of dinner at Liz’s house. Liz, there was even singing in the restaurant car… are you sure you still want to visit?

On Friday night, the skies opened up, and central Europe was being hammered with pretty intense rain, thunder, and lightening. Through the train windows, we could see that the rivers and waterfalls were pumping. We had fun “armchair rafting” our way through the rapids, which I’m sure were class IV or V at that flow. On the way back, though, the skies were clear and I don’t think even a kayak would have made it through.

Advice for the North Island?

It’s a long way off, and we just got to Switzerland, but I want to be sure that we’re well prepared for New Zealand. Any ideas for a quick trip to the North Island?

Trying to sleep, trying to eat

The trip to Zurich was uneventful and seemingly very fast. We are still adjusting to the jet lag…not too well. We wake up at all strange times of the night and cannot get back to sleep. Ethan arrives in a couple of weeks, and I hope his youth will help him rebound more quickly to the time change than we have thus far.

Zurich is more beautiful than I thought it would be. Just like a fairy tale. People are very nice, with lots and lots of European tourists everywhere! We met with one of our house swap mates, Tom. Their home is lovely and in a great neighbourhood. Our guest bedroom awaits our first arrival.

If you’re planning to visit, please bring real organic peanut butter and some “Nutz Over Chocolate” Luna Bars and peanut butter flavored Builder bars. The stores here have Jiff-like peanut butter only and who knows what the nutrition bars have in them. We are still in the experimental stages of food. Tonight will be our first time in a restaurant where we will have to order on our own meal. Wish us luck.

Cosmo at Summer Camp

I thought Cosmo would be distraught without me. A faithful servant, lost without his master.



Cosmo is living the good life in Michigan, with kids to chase him around and a hammock to share with my dad. What could be better?

Wedding Photos: A Preview

We don’t have all of the wedding photos from Jill yet, but I did manage to grab a screenshot of one of Jill’s preview files.  Beverly, Cosmo, and I are on my parents’ neighbors’ dock, with the lake in the background.  It was a beautiful day, and we we all so happy, and I think this picture captures the feeling nicely.

The Holtzman-Aabjerg Family

The Omnibus Post

Was our last post really back in Nebraska?  Wow, a lot has happened since then!

  • Arrived in Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • Settled in with Marni, Scott, Arend, and Aidan in their beautiful new home
  • Met Gregg and Liz at the GR airport late on Friday night
  • Got married on Saturday
  • Visited Frederik Meijer Gardens (what a gem!)
  • Said goodbye to the Holtzmans, Vyns, and to Cosmo for the next few months
  • Presented Opencast Matterhorn at the Sakai conference in Boston
  • Hung out with Rosie in Boston (soon to be Rosie in SF!)
  • Arrived in Zurich (thanks Tobias for meeting us at the flughafen!)

Each of these deserve their own post, and I’m sorry to say that we’ve been falling down on the job.  Beverly has been fully briefed on posting to the blog, so our faithful readers can expect an increase our posting velocity.

I’m looking forward to my first day at ETH Zurich tomorrow (today, actually… it’s 2am already!), and Beverly will be exploring the lake and looking for cheap get-aways for this weekend.