Thank You! Arigato (Japan), Khob khun (Thaliland) — Logged Miles: 26,851

Thank You –Part Two 


Can you guess where this is?

Mariko is our dear friend from Japan.


She was our tour guide once before when we went to Tokyo.


The first of many, many sushi meals– one of my favorite foods in the world!

Mariko held a party for us and I would like to thank everybody who came for the lovely birthday party and gave me birthday and welcome to Japan presents.


Her friends let us stay in their beautiful traditional Japanese home  in Kobe.  We couldn’t have asked for more in our home away from home. I want to tell you how wonderful it was to come home each night to a beautiful place.

Mariko and her friends organized many fun things for us:


I especially enjoyed the traditional Japanese Tea Ceremony.  Our teacher demonstrated a traditional tea ceremony for us. She showed us all of the tools and postures that you should use in a traditional tea ceremony. I was very amazed.


Going to the Harry Potter world was a real highlight for me, for sure!


Kazu, who is a high school friend of Mariko’s, treated us to a traditional Japanese meal and showed us around Kyoto.


She was very fun and we can’t wait to see her this summer in May and June 2016 when she and Mariko will come to visit us in America.


I also loved  meeting Mariko’s friends in Nara….

And in Nara…. We would like to thank the famous roof tile artist who showed us how to make a Japanese roof tile.I found them very interesting and enjoyed making one myself.

I now have the tile in my room, so I see it every day!

We were sad to say goodbye to Mariko, but know we will see her soon in the U.S. — in just six weeks, now!

It was time to go to Thailand!

Oh my goodness in Bangkok, Ploy, was amazing. She was a foreign-exchange student in our neighborhood the year before we went on our trip.  My Mom taught her how to swim and she spent some time around my swim team.

When she learned we were traveling to Thailand she offered to show us around. Thank goodness – Bangkok is wonderful, but hot and crazy – crazy traffic, crazy crowds, but we were so fortunate.

Ploy took us to see all the amazing temples and historical landmarks, Some with her friend Pear.

We especially enjoyed the floating markets, the street food,


and the Bangkok Renaissance – Marriott – executive club lounge level where we could go into the air conditioning and have food from all over the world!


Khob Khun to Ploy again and again….and we were off to Phuket!

In Phuket, we had a marvelous time being lazy and going to the beach. It was beautiful when we took a sailing tour to their offshore islands and had an awesome lunch with a little, funny monkey.

And you might remember my moms really enjoyed their Thai massages, here, too!

Unfortunately, because of the terrible earthquake disaster in Nepal, we are not able to go to Kathmandu next.  So, we took a flight to South Africa two weeks early.  We flew to Kuala Lumpur to Doha, on one of the world’s top airlines, Qatar, to Capetown, South Africa.

Total RTW miles  logged upon leaving Phuket is 26,851. If any of these areas of the world interest you, you may refer back to my original blog for that area of the country. Or ask me any questions — I would love that!


I have many more people to thank and much more to be grateful for……


so stay tuned for more posts from your Junior Worldtrek Reporter

Keep calm and travel around the world.


Thank You! Vinaka (Fiji), Kia ora (Maori-New Zealand), and Daynks Mate (Australia) — said with lots of crazy accents!


Part 1


2015 was a monumental year for our family!   I want to give a shout out of gratitude to so many people who made our trip around the world so beautiful, comfortable and the adventure of a lifetime!


So Much Excitement, All Over the World!

There are many people to thank, so I wrote a few thank you blogs…

What a better way to start celebrating the New Year!  And Happy New Year to all of my blog followers!  I am choosing to go in chronological order because that simply make sense to me! 🙂  Remember looking at the map, we started in Sacramento to Los Angeles and left America for over four months.  So let’s start from the very beginning… As Maria in the Sound of Music would say.  This would have been March 2015.

First of all, my mothers were the whole meaning of this trip for me! I wouldn’t even be here if it wasn’t for them.


Warm Water for Warm Hearts!

They were with me and we were so close the whole trip!


They were with me through lots of historical moments…


Learning about Apartheid and the Fight for Freedom, South Africa



The Jewish Synagogue and Holocaust



Michael Angelo’s, “The David”


Gods, Goddesses and the Acropolis

and emotional moments…


There is nothing like seeing these animals in their wild, natural habitats!



The Vatican and the Rotunda, Italy



A Prisoner of Robbin Island Telling Us His Story and Fight for Freedom, South Africa


ANZAC Day, New Zealand and Australia

and physically demanding moments….


Hike/climb up Table Rock Mountain, Capetown, South Africa


Six-mile Hike Santorini Island, Greece


Trekking in Switzerland

I love them a lot! 🙂  Lots of love and appreciation… 


In Fiji, Shaiyal and her parents, were very kind.  They were our first hosts via Airbnb.


They took really good care of us, making sure we always had what we needed, including some traditional Indian dishes.


Sachin and Malti

Malti is a very good cook and we tried lots of Fijian food while we were there, too.



We had an unbelievable experience going to their celebration of the God, Ram, and enjoyed even more traditional dishes, and more importantly, the spirit of love and camaraderie  in their religious celebrations.


Matthew at the Wyndham Resort, in Fiji, was so special. He spent extra time with my new friend Hannah from Australia and me, and made a hat out of palm leaves that I wore the whole week, and then gave to Hannah. He also helped us navigate around Nande because he is a local. That was so helpful!



Alina and Shail were terrific hosts in New Zealand. Their house was very comfortable, and their dog was really cute. They were hospitable, and hey, Alina your new baby girl is beautiful! Congratulations!

On to New Zealand!

Our friends, Nicki and Susan, who we stayed with in Wellington, New Zealand, were amazing. They took us to some great places, such as the Wellington museum and the shoreline of Wellington. Wellington reminds me a lot of San Francisco – so it was very special.


We had lots of fun staying at their house, and can’t wait to see them again. (We did get to see Nicki when she came to the U.S. in Oct.!)


They, too, we’re also good cooks and we really appreciated the welcome to New Zealand meal, with lamb and pavlova – it was great to see you again Nicki in October! Hope the next time you come with Susan.


Remember our first backpacker experience in the old, renovated prison in Christchurch?

IMG_0743 - Version 2


After Christchurch, my grandparents’ and parents’ friends, Philip and Di , are who we visited and stayed with next. They live right on the coast line in New Zealand, and have a beautiful garden and farm.


I had fun feeding all the chicks and herding their sheep. Animals can be so funny.


We had tons of great food eating out and in their home, too!



Enjoying Meals on “the Bandstand”


We took a side-trip to Queenstown.

They also took us into their town Omaru.   It was fun and sort of old-fashioned, but also is very artsy and exciting.


I love Philip and Di’s place in New Zealand!

Lizzie who is a UK ex- pat, and retired teacher after a couple decades of teaching in Australia, was our tour guide in Meeyanin (her home town in the country),  which is the south western end of Australia; and Melbourne.




Melbourne at Night

She took very good care of us and was very funny.   We saw many cool animals in the wild right at her place, such as koala’s.


Right in Lizzie’s Backyard!

We only had to travel a short distance to Wilson’s Promontory to see many other amazing marsupials during the daytime…….


Wilson’s Promontory

and nocturnal, too……


Awww, These Wombats are so Cute!

Special thanks to you, Lizzie, and Paul MacPhair and his lovely partner, Anika, and Beloka Kelpies, for an unbelievable experience at the Kelpie Farm.



I would love to come back sometime.


We had a fabulous time with you, Lizzie!   After four days in Melbourne touring…..


Melissa, at the Apollo RV rental in Melbourne, was a great help to us!


We had reserved an RV for three people online, but when we got there they told it is not safe for three people.  After many hours Melissa worked out a great deal for us – we are so thankful.


We spent so much fun time together for the 10 days in our cool RV!


Onto another big Australian City.  The The Fletcher’s were our hosts in Sydney. I met Hannah Fletcher in Fiji, and then we were reunited in Australia.


They were very hospitable to us.  Hannah and I had lots of fun together, along with her brothers Ryce and Braden.


We went to see Les Miserables, at the historic Capital Theatre.


They took us to the Sydney Zoo and lots of other places.  Thanks Rochelle and Jamie, too!


We hope they come to see us soon in America because we loved our time with them!

12,616 miles and counting……Thanks again, to all our old and new friends in Fiji, New Zealand, and Australia!

Next up:  Japan (Kobe, Kyoto, Harry Potter World, and Nara) with Mariko and her friends; and, Bangkok, Thailand, with Ploy and her friends, and Phuket.


Stay tuned for more posts from your Junior WorldTrek Reporter.


Keep Calm and Travel Around the World!





We Have come ‘Full Circle,’ Around the Globe! Food, Fountains, Fun, and Farewell…


Hello, everyone!  I hope you have enjoyed reading all the posts from your Junior WorldTrek Reporter.


I just counted them, and I have written 67 posts with more to come!.  One of my goals is to become a published writer/journalist, so this has been a really great experience for me.


My parents told me that I AM officially published now, on the largest public domain in the world, the internet!  🙂

So now I have been encouraged by many people to keep writing, so I think I will write a couple  more blogs about the RTW trip and then maybe continue writing about other things that are important to me.  How does that sound, everyone?!

Here’s what I want to share about the last days in Budapest.  We enjoyed as much as we could when we were hungry in Hungary — let’s see what I mean:


The famous traditional Hungarian Goulash

We went back to Sir Lancelot’s after our friends, Andy & Ara returned to Switzerland.



More wonderful Soups!


Remember the fountains to music?


These were the misters that came on every 30 minutes at the Parliament to help cool everyone down – and take great photos!


Another famous Hungarian Soup, Cold Cherry Soup.


I-see, Ice Cream Flowers!


Not really swimming! But I did miss my swim team this year!!! I’ll be back!


The second longest river in Europe, the Danube, and of course the beautiful Parliament building.


3 flavors on this petal cone – Yummy!


I know you are wondering if I “ate the whole thing!?” Believe it or not, I had help 😉

World famous salami, from Szeged!  We brought some home, and Mommy G brought some back to Andy & Ara in Zurich.


It is also home to world-famous paprika – The Hungarians love paprika on many things — and so did we!


Look at these pictures of the paprika that we found in our cabinet after we got home!

IMG_2714 IMG_2727

And this is the one that we brought home from Hungary.


The last night of our trip we went and had some paprika chicken, and went on the night boat cruise on the Danube.




It was a relaxing way to enjoy the end of our European Expedition, and our RTW (round the world) adventure!


OMGoodness look at our route in Europe, the last continent we visited before heading home!


Look at the ground (and sea) we covered in Greece – Greek Islands, Athens and Delphi!


We flew over to Rome, then traveled by train the rest of the way to Florence, Venice, Zurich, Salzburg, Vienna, Budapest and around Hungary. Check out the blogs for more fun details about each stop!

Mama K and I left and flew through Stockholm.



Of course, we had to enjoy some fresh seafood from Sweden.


And Mommy G is staying for 5 more weeks to continue touring Europe, to include a little more time in Budapest, then Croatia, and more…..


I’ll miss you, Mommy!

I am sad in many ways that our trip is coming to an end.  But I am SO excited to start 5th grade, and see my friends, and tryout for the school sports and theater productions when I get home!


First breakfast home – blueberry pancakes – Yummy!


Of course, we had to go to Trader Joe’s and get all the favorite things we had been missing.

I will write again soon to share my reflections and more about our wonderful and exciting journey, so….

Stay tuned for more posts from your Junior WorldTrek Reporter.


Keep Calm and Travel Around the World!

Down to Szeged, Hungary! — How quickly things can change!

Hello, my fellow world travel enthusiasts! I am reporting from Budapest, Hungary!


Okay, so here we go — our final days in Hungary and Europe — WOW!



Our first class Eurail ride was a beautiful 50’s coach, in impeccable condition! We even had wifi!

We took a train from Budapest down near the border of Serbia, to Szeged, which held great surprises for me!


Walking to the hotel and water slide park



Five stories high!!!

Yes, The biggest waterslides in Europe!


One of my favorites was shaped like a bowl, or a teacup when you got to the end of this really long slide you would go round and round and round until you fall through the bottom.


The red and orange “tea cup”

My parents and I tried them all out – although both of them did not like the teacup. You ended up dropping about six feet, head-first, a bit out of control  🙂


There were more than 10 huge slides and the whole park!



There were slides that started five stories up inside and then went outside, then came inside, and back outside where you splashed in the water at the bottom!


See Mama — Splash-a-rooni!

BTW – Can you say this street name?


The hotel, recommended by our friend, Andy, was awesome, too!


They had a wonderful spa that my parents took advantage of, and also, a bowling alley that we enjoyed.





Szeged was a very nice and quiet town and the people seemed happy!  Shocking is that today, just a few weeks later, we would not have been able to go to Szeged or enjoy Budapest the way we did, with the refugee crisis in that part of Europe now!



And we are, too!


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STRIKE # 3!!!

Keep Calm and Travel Around the World


Budapest, The Jewish Synagogue and Tour

It is so hard to believe that our trip is coming close to ending!  Wow!


Today was some serious and sad learning about history

You might know Hungary is one of the places attacked by Hitler and his Nazis in World War II.


We decided that we would visit the old Jewish quarter of Budapest followed by a tour of the synagogue.


First we went on a walking tour all along the Jewish quarter, learning about many different things all around the community.




The next place we went was the synagogue, the Jewish equivalent of a church.


This particular synagogue is the largest in Europe, and the second largest in the whole world.


If you are wondering which is the largest, it is in New York City.  It is absolutely beautiful!


We went outside into the gardens and saw a silver metal weeping willow tree, deliberately shaped like an upside down menorah.


This memorial is honoring all the people who died in World War II. Each leaf has a name of someone who died at the hands of the Nazis, in one way or another.


Many of Andy’s family members were deported and only his grandfather made it back from Auschwitz.  The rest of his family passed away in Auschwitz.


There was a mass grave to the side where over many people are buried.


This makes me very sad.  How could the Nazis do this?  However, there were some courageous people who helped save thousands of Jews.  Carl Lutz was from Switzerland, and in 1942, was the Swiss Vice-Consul, in Budapest.  He studied and lived in the U.S. for 20 years.  While he was in Budapest this amazing man negotiated the safety of over 62,000 people!


Some were so young, and some, died just before at the end of the war.


Afterwards, we went to the Jewish Museum, where we saw various items used on occasions such as Hanukkah and Passover, as well as the terrible facts about Hitler and his army.




I could not stay long in the area about Hitler.

Once we we’re finished we went shopping for some souvenirs.  During our walk, we stopped and learned that the Rubik’s Cube was invented in Hungary!


Then we came home to rest before the next day where we would be traveling by train — this would be a fun ride!


Stay tuned for one of my last Junior WorldTrek Reporter Posts


Keep Calm and Travel Around the World

Makenna in Vienna


Makenna is in Vienna!

Hey, that rhymes!


We arrived here by train, of course, and went straight to our Renaissance Hotel.


The Imperial Riding School Renaissance

The hotel used to be the “Imperial Riding School,” so it was old (but renovated), and there were photos of horses everywhere.

It was quite beautiful with all of the old paintings and stained glass.


That night, we went to the Parliament, which had a beautiful fountain with statue of the Greek Goddess Athena, which caught my eye.


The whole building had a sort of a Greek and Roman theme to it.


I wanted to understand why, so we did some research.

The architect of the building wanted to remind politicians working inside about their responsibility to history.


While in Vienna, we also went to the Vienna Museum.



We viewed many things from the creation of the city to present day.



Vienna is the largest city in and the capital of Austria.  The architecture planning of the city is still recognized around the world and there are models and sketches in this museum.



You might recall, in the Sound of Music, the Baroness, Uncle Max and the Captain are driving from Vienna, when they see all the children hanging from the trees.


Vienna is also where Mozart spent his adult years, after leaving his birthplace of Salzburg.


So, we decided that there was only one thing to do! Go see a Mozart show!


We also wanted to see a marionette show, so we booked tickets to see Mozart’s Magic Flute at the Marionette Theater!


The marionettes glided across the stage as though they were real.


Each one was so carefully designed.

At the end of the show, we got to go back stage and see the puppets up close.


They are amazing and the people who controlled the puppets are so talented


Vienna was beautiful.


Along the famous “Ringstrasse.”


Opera House

Look for more posts from your Junior WorldTrek Reporter


I signed (and drew in) the guestbook at the Marionette Theater

Keep Calm and Travel Around the World


“The Hills Are Alive,” The Lake and Mountain District, Salzburg

The hills are alive, in Austria!


Yes, we are now in the home of the Sound of Music, Salzburg, Austria!  If that’s what you guessed from the previous blog, you are right!


It is the 50th Anniversary of the release of the Sound of Music Movie, and Salzburg is where they filmed most of the movie!


Many of you probably know that there are sing-a-longs all over the country now, which are mostly held around Christmas time.  Here is a picture of us with me friend, Nora, at the sing-a-long at the Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento.


My Mom got first prize for “The Baroness!”  We got second prize for “a drink with jam and bread.”  And Mama G yodeled as the “Goatherd.

Many people dress up for these sing-a-longs!”


“A Drink With Jam and Bread”

Hundreds of thousands of tourists come here just to go on the Sound of Music tour, which was made only for the purpose of people seeing all the different places where everything was filmed.


The Dome used for the Monastery

My parents went on this tour with me when I was a baby and decided it would be a great experience for me to remember now that I am older.


Remember the Children Hanging from Trees?

The first stop was a the lake where Maria and the children fall into the water from the boat.

Did you know that the child that played Gretl couldn’t swim, so Julie Andrews was supposed to grab her when the boat tipped over.


Well, Julie fell to the back of the boat and Gretl fell to the front, so Gretl was drowning until another one of the Von Trapp children grabbed her.

Another fun fact is that there were three different Von Trapp mansion sets used in the movie. One was by the lake, which was used as the back of the house, the second used as the front, which was three miles away; and, the last was a set in Hollywood for the inside of the house.


This is the house used for the front of the house when Maria first arrives at house.

After the “backyard house”, we went to the gazebo used in the song “Sixteen going on Seventeen.”


The thing that is funny is that they filmed if from the outside, but the inside was filmed in another Hollywood set because the real thing was too small for the dance.

We then went into the mountains which are called the Lake and Mountain District, but we couldn’t go to the mountains scene in the beginning of the movie, because it is on private property.


The next stop, after a ride of laughter and singing to the “Sound of Music” songs, was the church where Maria got married to the Captain.



It was quite beautiful. After the church, my Mom’s and I enjoyed an ice cream cone and took a break.



The Store Manager

At the end of the tour we went to the Mirabella Gardens where most of the Do-Re-Mi song were filmed.


We had fun acting out the scenes from that song.  We are going to dub it to music soon!



After the tour, we went to another cool park for more fun time.


Watch the 5-second Gazebo video — so after the Gazebo — Another Weeeee!!!

Well, as they say, “So Long, Farewell!”


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Keep Calm and Travel Around the World

Buddies in Budapest!

Alert! Alert! The Harding-Davis family has arrived in Budapest, Hungary!

This is our friend Andy’s, birthplace, so we met our Swiss buddies, Andy and Ara, here for some more of our European experience.


Remember our friends from Switzerland?


If you didn’t know, Budapest is the capital of and the largest city in Hungary, and one of the largest cities in the European Union.


Now, I think that you should see your thirst to learn, unless you are already Hungary for more (get it?)


Our first night, Andy and Ara brought us to experience a medieval restaurant called Sir Lancelot.  It was everything that you would imagine a medieval restaurant would be:



Fire eaters, sword fighters, suits of armor, and even some drunk people singing happy birthday.


There were some dancers standing on tables, and people slamming plates on the wall like cavemen!


We laughed a lot at Sir Lancelot!


Sir Lancelot serenaded me with the famous Hungarian song, “Susu a Sarkany.”  Have a listen below….you will hear people start to sing along…..

Crazy, right?


No silverware at this restaurant!


So, we decided to be crazy, too!


Thank you, sir!




Look at all the food!

One big advantage we had is that our apartment is right next to the Danube River and the Parliament Building, as well as bikes, trams, boats and the metro for transportation.


Many thanks to Andy’s family –  you may remember they are Hungarian-Swiss.  And we got to call their Parliament Apartment home during our time in Budapest!


My room

it was an awesome, safe, and quiet place to be!


My parents’ room

We loved coming home to a nice comfortable apartment and to air conditioning!




The Parliament Building is lit up in a very beautiful way, and the light attracts bugs, which means that there will be birds diving and sweeping all around.  At night it looked really cool.


All those white dots are illuminated birds!

The restoration of the building took many years, but we got to see it completed.  It is beautiful — at night and during the day, too.

During our first few days, we decided to take another hop on and hop off bus tour, so that we could get to know the city.


We passed by many famous sites such as the opera house, the castle, and the well-known market hall.



Since it was so hot every day, we stopped to get ice cream.


Andy and Ara knew of a place where we could get ice cream that is shaped like a flower.


You can get one, two or three flavors – they just keep adding flower pedals.

I wonder how long it takes to train and make this amazing shape of an ice cream cone?


There was a second day as part of our bus tour, so we took another route to see more of the city.


There was also a deal that was provided as part of the bus tour where we could rent bikes on Margarit Island.

We enjoyed touring the island with Andy and Ara.  Margarit Island is beautiful. There are fountains, similar to the Bellagio; that dance to music – although they didn’t do the same things or go quite as high as the Bellagio in Las Vegas.


All of the trees, grass, and water made the scene very pretty.


Boy, what a great way to spend our first few days with our buddies in Budapest!


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Keep Calm and Travel Around the World


Off we go, again!

“Watch” Now for Lake Lucerne

We are going on a day trip, people!

Let’s go to Lake Lucerne!

Andy and Ara recommended this beautiful town.

To get there we took the train and then a beautiful boat ride across Lake Lucerne to get the cog railway to Mt. Rigi.


After that, you take a cog railway up to the top of Mt. Rigi – this is part of the many ski areas in Switzerland.


We took a cog railway because the slope is so steep, the train has to have something to grab on to – so the gears of the cog, grab onto the track.


This reminds me of my birthplace, Colorado Springs, where you can take a cog railway to the top of Pikes Peak.

IMG_7842 IMG_8091

On the way up, and especially at the top,you get the most lovely, awesome, beautiful views of the Swiss Alps, Lake Lucerne, the towns below, and all of the beautiful peaks, like the Eiger, Frau, and more…



The north face of the Eiger is known as the most notorious face in the world, and is referred to as the “Wall of Death”! Yikes!

We had just turned around when we heard the sound of bells, cowbells, to be exact.


I bet that this is cow heaven in the Alps, with the beautiful views, fresh air and with all that grass, I would turn green.


After the descent on the cog from Rigi, we took a steamboat back to the city.


Yes, those white dots are boats on Lake Lucerne

The steamboat has been restored and the engine was beautiful to see.

In town of Lucerne, we went to the oldest wooden covered bridge in Europe as well as the world oldest surviving truss bridge.


It was built in 1333 and was partially burned in 1993.  A very generous person donated all the money to have it rebuilt in its original form.


I wanted to know what made a truss bridge a truss bridge and found out it is a bridge whose load-bearing superstructure is made of a structure of connected elements forming triangular units.



By the way, the Golden Gate bridge is another example of a truss bridge.


After a great day in Lucerne, we travelled back to Zurich and had a peaceful night’s sleep.

Throughout the week, we continued our crazy fun with Andy and Ara!


Who looks the weirdest?


This is the tram we took every day from A&A’s place to head out for the day


Another day, we also took a short trip to Uetliberg,  There is a tower at the top, with great views of Lake Zurich, and hiking/walking trails everywhere.


My Mom is coming back to Switzerland and she said she wants to do some hiking here.


The Swiss Alps just make you want to hike and yodel!

Switzerland is famous for its chocolate, too!  Cows  +  Milk  =  Milk Chocolate!


Swiss cows + Swiss ice cream (Movenpick) and Swiss Chocolate!

BTW – if you guessed this Swatch is the one I picked, you are correct!  🙂



Look for more posts from your Junior WorldTrek Reporter.


Keep Calm and Travel Around the World


“Time” to go to Switzerland!

Tick tock…


Oh, hello everybody!  What time is it?  It’s “time” to go to Switzerland.


We traveled through Milan for a brief stop in this beautiful train station.


As you might have guessed, we are now in Zürich, Switzerland.


I met a really nice Swiss girl, Sydney, on the train to Zug and taught her how to play “Go Fish!”


Sydney and I drew and played cards for hours!


We are graciously being hosted by our friends, Andy and Ara.


Right-Andy, is Swiss Hungarian; and, Left-Ara, is Swiss Armenian

My mom, Ginny, met Andy and Ara through our friend, Pam, who is the percussionist in the San Francisco-based band, “Blame Sally.”  Andy and Ara flew on an overnight flight from Lausanne, Switzerland, to San Francisco, to see Blame Sally perform their first public television special, on KVIE in Sacramento!


Out to dinner in the “old town” of Zurich

They immediately struck up a friendship, and the rest of us are so glad to finally meet each other.

We went out to dinner together the first night, and then, walked around and enjoyed some night views of Zurich.


The Limmat River empties into Lake Zurich



The “Hauptbahnhof” (train station) in Zurich. Boy, am I glad my Mom can speak German!

Since we were so fast-paced in Greece and Italy, it was time to hang out – thank goodness we had Zürich and some pretty slow going and rest time.


You guessed it – another night we had one of our favorites, a BBQ with Andy and Ara

One of the first things we did hear that might interest you, was go to a church and climb up the tower, to experience a great view of the city, and Lake Zürich.


Climbing the Clocktower for the View



St. Peter, Zürich, an 8.7-meter clock, built in 1534, is the biggest church clock face in the world


Zurich is a beautiful, well-preserved city!

Another day we went to the National Museum of Switzerland.


As you can imagine, they have a very cool display of their famous winter sports!


You can guess what these were used for.



Original snowmaking equipment on left, and yes an old “T-Bar”

It was hot, even in Switzerland, so we also went swimming in Lake Zürich.


This was a great, fun local experience!

There were two diving boards that were 5 meters high, and there was a platform so high that I almost backed away.



But I did it!


There was also a really long slide that turned and twisted and emptied into the lake.  Waiting for my turn, I met two really nice kids from New York.  We had fun playing together.


Since Switzerland is known for its clocks, we went to a famous Swiss watch store. — OK, not Rolex, not…, But Swatch!



The one I chose is in the bottom row – can you guess which one?

Swatch stands for Swiss Watch. Andy works for them.


Watches at the Museum

Ara is a lawyer, and my Mom told me he specializes in corporate immigration.  Check out this nice feature article about him!


Andy, Ara and I love Despicable Me and the minions, so they invited me to go see the new minions movie!




My parents went to a great restaurant called, “Drei Stuben.”

While my moms had a date night (The first in four months!), Andy and Ara and I had a great time at the movie, enjoying popcorn and fountains, and of course, the movie.


Andy and Ara are so nice….


Andy modeling the apron we got for them in South Africa


I can’t wait to see them again in Budapest.

I love Switzerland!

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