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Posts tagged ‘Switzerland’

A Bustling End


The last two days of our marvelous three week trip to Switzerland were a bustling, busy, blessed time. Our daughter, DeDe, and her hubby, André, treated us royally with a trip to Chamonix, France on Monday and then a tour of the Gruyère Cheese Factory in Gruyère, Switzerland on Tuesday.

Up, up, up and over!

That’s the Rhone River Valley below.
We were headed through Switzerland to France.
It was a surprise gift for us
plus De’s best buddy, Laina (our daughter#2),
and her daughter, Katy.

Wow!
Look at this chalet next to ours.
We stayed in one named “Soli.”
(That’s De’s hubby’s nickname)
Enjoy the views out of every window!

See the snow covered peaks up there? We took a cog train up to that glacier!!

After settling into our beautiful chalet,
we walked to the place where the cog train (tram)
took us up to the top of the high peaks
where the glacier is.
With climate change, it is melting fast!

Here are Laina, DeDe & Katy –
taking the tram up to the glacier
that you could see from that first window view.
Bob with Laina & Katy at the glacier.
Here’s a live view of that trip up in the tram to the glacier…

That night we were treated to a phenomenal dinner.
My choice was veal with mushroom sauce. Mmmmm!
Thank you, De & Andrê.

We’re so grateful for their love of us and one another
… and their generosity!

Tuesday morning we drove back
up and over the mountains into Switzerland
to another surprise destination:
the town of Gruyere.
Gruyere is our favorite cheese.
How fun to see the place where it is made!

Wow! Look at the gruyere cellar where the rounds are aging!
De is showing us how heavy a round of gruyere is!

Tuesday night we returned to De & Andre’s chalet in Vissoie.
We packed, and prepared to go to Geneva to fly home.
Wednesday was supposed to be a smooth set of flights home.
However, with the Queen’s Procession,
our flight to London was delayed,
so we missed our connecting flight from Denver
and had to spend the night there.
This morning we finally made the flight to Bozeman
where our kind neighbor, Gary, met us and drove us home.
It’s a gray, dull, cool day …
not like the warm, blue sky days of Switzerland.
We’re spoiled!
But our hearts are filled
with the beauty and warmth
of our fabulous trip.

The rolling hills and milk-producing cows of the Gruyere area.
Here’s the fun of cheese fondue
and having our grandson, Nick, join us.
Our 3 grandsons & their sweethearts
were with us for so many fun and delicious occasions.
What a joyous three weeks we had!
Goodbye, France and Switzerland… thanks for the memories!

Thanks so much for traveling with us.
Back to reality in Montana now.
(Not a bad place to return to –
just a little smokey and cool right now)

Our house is behind those trees.


God bless you, family & friends.
We love you. 😍😘

See ya tomorrow –
Hugs, JanBeek

(of course God is willing, Laina!!)

Fairytale Wedding


Have you missed me? We’ve had a whirlwind four days here in Switzerland. Each day from eye opening early mornings to collapsing in bed at night has been phenomenal. If you’ve been following me, you know it was the weekend of my oldest grandson’s wedding.

Let me take you to the church and two fairytale receptions. Sit back and enjoy!

The wedding was full of music, fun, smiles, tears, promises, family & friends. A choir sang, our daughter, De, and Chrissy (our youngest grandson) sang a duet with Nick ( the middle brother) accompanying on guitar. I even had a role by reading a message ( in English, thank God) that they prepared for me – a message if forever love and devotion. Then we all headed to the outdoor reception nearby where wine, hors d’oeuvres and music flowed. Mike played in his alpenhorn group.

Look carefully! I’m holding Mike’s hand. The group just played “Amazing Grace” and dedicated it to me!!!!

The second reception was a sit-down dinner after more wine, beer, and socializing in this gorgeous outdoor setting:

We woke this morning back in Vissoie. Ready to go on another adventure. See ya later! Thanks for sharing and visiting with me.

Love , JanBeek

Scenes So Lovely


Seeing the falls he named in honor of his queen, David Livingstone wrote in his journal, “Scenes so lovely must have been gazed upon by angels in their flight.”

Waterfalls and all God’s natural beauty affect me the same way. This country of Switzerland is so full of those “scenes so lovely.”

Waterfalls and bridges in Switzerland amaze me!
Chalets with lovely flowers abound
This was on the way to Zinal yesterday
But De & André’s is the best!

As we venture out, the lovely scenes are amazing in every season here.

Tania at Hotel Weisshorn – photo by Mike Solioz – taken last autumn
Way back when … we climbed waaay up with DeDe.

Scenes so lovely!

Flowers are abundant in private gardens and public places.
André’s croûtes au fromage (potato or bread w cheese, etc.) is a Valaisan specialty. It’s a “scene so lovely” too!

André and De are so generous as they share their chalet, meals, transportation and their love with us and with De’s best buddy (our daughter #2 Laina) and her daughter Katy. What a grand reunion we had with them here yesterday!

Katy, Laina, me, Bob & DeDe

Hebrews 13:16 “Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.”

Last night Mike & Tania joined us for a fun evening of raclette & karaoke. Chris & Nick and their girlfriends came, too. Ah, we are so blessed with this wonderful Swiss family!

Thanks for joining me and sharing these “Scenes so Lovely” today. Wish you were here in person! Come back tomorrow, okay? See ya then (God willing).

Hugs, JanBeek

The Joy of Being (in Switzerland)


The joy of just being

Is certainly joy enough

But the joy of being in Switzerland

Is a joy that’s hard to beat – it’d be tough.

While friends and family back home

In California and Montana are roasting

We were enjoying comfy mid-seventies

And lovely meals and yummy wine toasting

Then the weather changed!

.

We were having ham with salad & sausage

At De & Andrés wonderful chalet

I came back to our room to post

And left Bob to finish dessert, but hey…

.

There were two girls outside

Hunkered under umbrellas in the rain

So I pointed to our inside table

And sent them to Bob – let me explain

He was having sorbet; I was done

My place at the table was free

He will love getting acquainted

And they will love his company!

This morning we cooled it in our room

Bob read and I enjoyed reading posts

The day started off rather quiet

More alone time than Swiss’s most

We went for a walk in Vissoie

And enjoyed every sight and each sound

We visited the local church and had

Time for prayer, finding God all around

“Daily Word” gave us the scripture

“Be glad in the Lord and rejoice”

Let nothing keep your joy from you-

Respond with a song; raise your voice!

Like a well that can never run dry

My joy is a wellspring from the Lord

I deal with whatever life brings me

With a smile – and I never am bored!

Keep your sense of humor alive

Find the joy in whatever you see

That poor bunny hit the door with a bang

Oh come on, have a good laugh with me!

There he is on the other side!!

.

The joy of being in Switzerland

Is part of the happiness of being alive

Well enough to travel and adapt

Thanking God each day we survive!

Thank you for traveling vicariously with us!

We love sharing with you. Take joy!

“Be glad in the Lord and rejoice, O righteous, and shout for joy, all you upright in heart.” Psalm 32:11

See ya tomorrow (God willing) –

Love, JanBeek

Visiting Zinal


What a wonderful way to spend a Monday afternoon in Switzerland! DeAna drove us up to Zinal… just to enjoy the time together, the scenery, and an ice cream. We did all three. Wanna join us?

Mountain majesty

Views usually not seen

Except in movies

Sharing with our De

Made all the more beautiful

By stream and mountains

Blue sky up above

Flowing River at our feet

Life can’t be more sweet

Then add some icecream

And the cows that made the cream

Surely it’s a dream!

Hearing the children

Laughing and playing outside

Yes, it’s Paradise!

Meantime, the Groshongs

Continued their hiking fun

In this same region

Found a gentle cow

Grazing on the Swiss hillside

Up close – personal!

Lucky the bovine

Was feeling cooperative

But don’t press your luck

Here comes another

He’s looking mighty leery

Don’t try petting him

Onward to glacier

Visit before it is gone

Then back to Zinal

What will tomorrow bring? Come back and see! I love sharing with you. Which of my pictures today did you like best?

Love to you from JanBeek (and Bob & De, too)

Sweet Swiss Times


Our weekend began with a cloudy day in Sierre, Switzerland, but soon the sky cleared and the weekend was sunny and beautiful.

It was a beautiful fun-filled time with family and friends. Let me share some highlights with you. We’re having such sweet Swiss times! One highlight of our weekend was a choir festival in Véraz (near Sierre) where our daughter, DeDe, and grandson, Chris, sang with the Chippis choir.

Every day here in this beautiful country is full of the blessing of family and friends. Sweet catch-up time. I love sharing the fun with you.

Me with DeDe at the choir festival
Bob with DeDe

After the festival, we went to André’s brother’s fiancée’s place for a raclette evening. So nice to have catch-up time with Kad & Roger.

Meantime, our friends, Jim & Terry, took the bus from Vissoie up to Grimentz where they are enjoying a few days of hiking in those fabulous mountains. They’re sharing a few photos of their experiences. Have a look!

Wow! Great photo, Terry!
Terry, the hiker
Jim … the trooper
Hah! Listen to Terry’s description of their hike and Jim’s take on this!

Yes, the mountains are alive with the sounds of water and hikers and joy! Once upon a time, a dozen years ago, Bob & I took that hike. Now we are content to enjoy those high Alpine views through others’ cameras! Oh, and from the bus- of course.

Thank you for your responses to our posts. We love sharing our trip vicariously with you, dear friends. Wish you could be here in person.

See ya tomorrow (God willing)-

Love, JanBeek

The Hills Are Alive!


The hills are alive with the sounds of family!

Yesterday our daughter, DeAna, drove us down into the Rhône River Valley, through Sierre, and up into the Alps on the other side to an area called Crans-Montana. It is where she & André lived 30 years ago when they first moved here. On the hillside e hind the restaurant André managed way back then are a few chalets. One of them, built in 1772, is owned by ZuZu & Célia. They invited us to spend the day there with them.

ZuZu (Christian Zufferey) was our AFS son in 1980-81. He is André’s first cousin. He and Célia prepared an amazing meal for us! The first plate was an outstanding eggplant quiche. The second plate was lamb (my favorite) and a ratatouille. All the vegetables they grew in their gardens here in this gorgeous high Alpine place.

The opportunity to be together again with ZuZu was so very special. After the meal we shared various liqueurs – also made by them using various fruits, etc. that they grew.

After our time there, De took us back down into Sierre where we had a nice visit with our friend, Christiane Rielle.

Then (as if day was not already blessed enough), we were treated by our DeDe and our grandson, Nick, to a wonderful dinner at Capri Restaurant in Sierre before returning to Vissoie for the night.

Then today we went on a guided tour of Sierre. Our grandson, Mike’s new bride, Tania, provided the tour. At the Sierre Tourisma Office, my buddy Terry found a hat for a souvenir… and I found a terrific pair of funky glasses that I could not resist!

Now you can see why I didn’t bring a pair of sunglasses with me on this trip. I needed THIS pair!!

Bob, Jim & Terry Groshong, our MT/CA best friends, learned all about the history of Sierre. There is the town hall behind the 4 of us. If you saw my post about Mike & Tania’s civil ceremony, it’s the same place where they were married last weekend.

Then Tania guided us to an old (1700s) chalet. Look at they key Jim is holding. It opened the cellar door where we did some wine tasting.

Next Tania drove us to Chateau Mercier where she explained the history and we tasted more fine Swiss wines.

Lovely Chateau Mercier has beautiful gardens, too. We walked around and admired them before going to Chateau Villa for Raclette dinner. Mike joined us there.

Mike & Tania’s church ceremony is Sept. 20, so we have another couple weeks here to enjoy the hills alive with family. Stay tuned!

Jim & Terry will leave tomorrow – so you can say farewell to them for now nit’s been wonderful to have them with us this week!

I can never tire of these beautiful Swiss Alpine views! Come back tomorrow. We’re going to take the bus down to stay with André’s mom. I’ll share those views with you, too..

Thanks for traveling vicariously with us! Bee 🐝 well, dear friends! See you tomorrow (God willing).

Love, JanBeek (and Bob)

Terrific Tuesday


Yesterday and today we woke to the magical sound of children across the road from our bedroom here in Vissoie, Switzerland. What a joy!

Yesterday evening we were treated to an Alphorn concert. Nine dear people (one being our grandson, Mike) played this age-old instrument. I became acquainted with it when I was a child. My Uncle Hans was my mom’s oldest sister’s husband. He was a young German-Swiss cheese maker when he moved from Switzerland to Washington back in the 1930’s. He & Aunt Evelyn had 3 children. He taught them all to yodel and he taught his son, my cousin, Hanslie, to play the alpenhorn.

Mike is on the left.

My mom would be so proud to know her great-grandson is following in the musical tradition of her family! I get sentimental and cry when I hear these instruments and think of how mom & my aunt and uncle would have adored hearing this!

Today our friends, Jim & Terry, are here to enjoy a few days with us in this marvelous place. Last night they were able to meet Mike & Tania and we all celebrated Jim’s 75th and DeDe’s 55th together. André fixed an incredible dinner of ribs with a medley of vegetables. Yum!!

Here is yesterday’s delicious roast beef lunch.

Last night’s ribs

It is so wonderful to have my forever friend, dear Terry here to share these experiences with us.

This is Vissoie’s Main Street

Later this morning we’ll walk down that street and get a few groceries at the store. Wish you were here to go walking with us!

See ya later! Thanks for traveling vicariously with me. Hugs, JanBeek

Walking in Sierre


Today Denise (our son-in-law’s mom) took Bob & me on a walk in Sierre. Thirty years ago, when we first started coming here (when our first grandson was born), we would have jogged up the trails into the vineyards. Today we were content to take a leisurely walk on a relatively flatter terrain.

We walked up to the hospital where Mike was born. His grandpa was the chief executive officer there. André had been a chef in its kitchen before he came to California and married our daughter.

The grounds around the hospital are beautiful. Lots of trees and flowers and park benches where we could sit and take a break.

The leaves on the acacia trees are starting to show signs that autumn is coming. The grapevines are laden with fruit ready to be harvested.

Look at the base of this grapevine. It’s over 100 years old! All gnarled and twisted behind the protective wire fence.

I thought of Derrick & Jackie Knight and their beautiful garden when I saw these gorgeous rose bushes.

Beyond this water trough, with its constantly flowing fresh drinks for the cattle that used to come through this town, you can see the concrete sides of the round church. We went to mass there this morning with Denise. This morning I posted the sounds of the bells for you. Did you catch that blog?

I pray you had a beautiful Sunday, too, my friends. Tonight we’re going up to De’s chalet in Vissoie. We’ll be there all next week. Wait til you see it!

Oh, and tomorrow is DeAna’s birthday! Our DollyWolly will be 55. Can you believe it?

Our arthritic hands show our age – even if our active spirits deny it! Stay young in spirit, my friends. Thank God every day for the gift of another opportunity to live and play, breathe, and enjoy life. Live in the now! And stay vibrant!!

See ya tomorrow (God willing). Love, JanBeek

A Weekend to Remember


Happy Sunday, my friends! This is the weekend in Sierre, Switzerland for my oldest grandson’s wedding. The civil ceremony was at the County Courthouse in the beautiful town center yesterday morning. I was having too much fun to stop and post then. Here are the highlights for you to enjoy today…

Congratulations, Tania and Michael Solioz… Such a beautiful couple!

The civil ceremony was attended by their two best friends and 18 other family members. It was all in French, so Bob & I could not understand the words, but the feelings of love and commitment were more than evident.

We are so glad the couple has decided to make their union “legal.” In today’s world so many young people decide marriage is pointless.

Our daughter, DeAna, was a radiant mother of the groom!

Bob & I were so pleased to be among the grandparents who are still alive and well and able to travel to enjoy the festivities. We do not take this privilege for granted!

Following the ceremony, we all went to Tania’s parents’ lovely home. It was about a ten minute drive up into a town (named Chalet) on the other side of the Rhone River, perched on the mountainside with a phenomenal yard and the most spectacular views!

We were blessed with the most beautiful weather! On Friday it rained and was gray & cloudy all day. So this was an answer to prayer to have this gorgeous blue sky and warm weather!

De and I chatted about our arthritic fingers and compared knuckles! “Thanks Mom, for my hands!”

Grandmas of the groom (that’s me and Denise – the one in blue) and between us is the maternal grandma of the bride. Denise speaks some English so she helped translate for me. I wish I could speak French – more than just a few words!

It was a very happy occasion. We’re so glad we could share it with this darling couple!

There you have it! A Saturday to remember! And now on this beautiful Sunday morning, I send you my love 😍 Thanks for vicariously sharing this wonderful trip with me. Tonight we’ll leave Sierre and travel about 20 minutes up the mountain – on an amazing road with terrifying switchbacks – to Vissoie, where DeAna and André have their chalet/hotel/restaurant. See you there!

We are there! More later!!

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