Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Trip to Switzerland - rolling clouds and thunder storms

If there was a theme for our trip to Switzerland this summer (for Tim's dad's 70th birthday) it would be rolling clouds and thunder storms.

His family remarked that it had been an unusually bad summer in Switzerland with constant rain. They all agreed it was a shame that we did not get many sunny days with full view of the mountains.

But I didn't feel that way at all. In fact I think I was a meteorologist in another life because I absolutely loved watching the different weather curl it's way around the huge immovable mountains. Every time I looked up, the view was completely different and I would ooh and ahh constantly.

In fact after years of hating that I am not a consistent person in anything I do, I have come to realise that change, any change, is the thing that really sets me on fire. Which is probably why I like travelling in the first place.

Highlights of our trip...

The route...
It takes two full days of driving, with one crossing on a ferry and a stay overnight in a hotel in France. We kept ourselves amused...



Just like last time it was tiring but also one of my favourite parts of the whole trip.

As was the constant storms as we drove through France...


It was just like last time except more extreme. I felt like a storm chaser. That was until it got so bad we had to pull over because we couldn't see through the windscreen. Then I was like okay chill a bit with the beautiful storms we have to somehow find our hotel oh and STAY ALIVE!...


Returning to the familiar village that we love...

Exploring the woods with cousins...
Roasting sausages with cousins... 
Exploring...

Feeding grass to the mountain goats...

Campfires up the mountain

Everyone working while I watch the smoke rise through the trees...

Hiking across ancient waters from the Glacier above...

Feeling like you are living in a land above the clouds like Jack and the beanstalk...



These valleys...

These mountains...
Even when they are constantly playing hide and seek with you...

And too much more to list...

Change is a very good thing x

Thursday, 7 August 2014

First camping trip

Before we had children we used to go camping a lot. I loved being out in nature, sitting by the fire, looking up at the stars, cooking food and in the morning drinking weak bad tasting tea.

It was one of my all time favourite things to do...

But I never sleep well when camping...

So I couldn't face trying to camp with two little ones. Despite everyone telling me that all that fresh air would send them out like a light, I put it off over and over again.

Which has meant we haven't been camping for over 6 years.

Man when you say it like that...

So last week when the weather was good we decided to go for a night and see how it goes. Tim drove us to this campsite that he has been to several times with friends. He didn't tell me much about it other than it's nice and there's a good pub nearby...

He didn't mention that goddamn beautiful mountains that would surround us. As we drove closer I started to get real excited...

We picked our spot and started to set up our tent...
Well some of us did...
Later we walked in the woods, ate a delicious meal at the pub and collected sticks for the fire on the way back... 
Exactly why was I putting this off again...?

Then back to make and enjoy a fire...
How much are you loving our makeshift fire so we didn't damage the field?

Then when it got darker we played with glow sticks... 

At bedtime we made bets as to who would be the first and last to fall asleep. It was a given that Tim would be first. I mean he borders on narcolepsy with his ability to fall asleep anytime, anywhere... 

We all knew I would be the last. 

And so everyone except me did fall asleep within seconds. Tim, then Lucas, then Isaac...

Oh hum...

I could hear the sheep in the fields, the birds in the trees, the wind through the leaves, I could feel the lumps on the ground, I couldn't stop switching which side I lay on...

Hours went by...

Eventually I checked my phone and it was 3am. Good grief...

As I lay there, I tried to accept that I am not and never will be a good sleeper unless I am in a large bed, it's completely and utterly dark, no one is touching me, the temperature is cool and there is absolutely no noise...

*sigh*

And nature of course called so out I reluctantly and noisily ventured out into the dark and was met with the most beautiful star filled sky. 

It never fails to amaze me. The universe that is. How big and beautiful it is. And how small we are. And how for a brief moment in time we get to be here and see it. We get to be part of it. Even understand some of it. 

I almost jumped for joy in that moment. Okay I actually did jump for joy with my arms high in the air. It turns out there are perks to being a bad sleeper on a camping trip. 

After that I crawled back into my sleeping bag and fell asleep real quick.

*****

The boys all woke me about 6am fully rested from their good nights sleep.

My first thought as I stumbled bleary eyed out of the tent was wow so pretty...
My second thought was COFFEE, COFFEE, COFFEE...

Then breakfast...
(can you tell which ones are Quorn and which ones are regular...?) 
Then bubbles...
Followed by a morning bath...
Then just enjoying nature while the morning unfolds... 
I'm reminded again... 

How big and beautiful it is. And how small we are. And how for a brief moment in time we get to be here and see it. We get to be part of it. Even understand some of it...