Monday, June 6, 2016


If I was a decent, courteous blogger I would probably separate this trip into like 7 different posts. But I'm not that, I guess. I've personally never had enough patience to read parts 1, 2, 3, 4, etc of anyone else's trip it is. Our trip to Lucerne, Switzerland and Milan, Italy in ONE big fat post.

My dad came to visit last week and Jeff had to leave out of town. Instead of staying home and sulking we decided to go on a road trip. Let me just tell you, it was a heckuva lot more scenic than the road trip through Wyoming that I grew so accustomed to growing up ;)

On our drive down, we found the most perfect place about midway to stop. We ate and we played, and it was hard to get Jane to leave this fun park. 
 After she got some park time, we headed down to Lucerne, Switzerland. We drove through Zurich and we got lost in Zurich. Big cities in Europe are just not my cup of tea. Especially on days when my GPS decides to go AWOL. But you know, after that little hiccup + a few more than I would've liked traffic jams, we made it! By the time we were checked into our hotel in Lucerne, everything was closed. (at 6pm!) Luckily we were still able to happily explore for a bit. We did find a delicious italian restaurant that was open. Lyla probably ate about as much pasta as I did.
 The next morning was one of the BEST ever. We woke up and ate the free hotel breakfast. Then I laced up my shoes and went for the most gorgeous run of my life. There is a perfect paved path that goes around the Lake and I could hardly contain my amazement. It was truly one of the highlights of my life. I didn't bring my camera on the run, because who wants to lug around a camera on a run? Luckily we came back later (multiple times) and got actual pictures of all the beautiful scenes I was mentally capturing on my run.

 Not even kidding about this water right now. Apparently it's clean enough to drink but I witnessed more than one swan do what they do in that water; so it's a no thank you from me.

On one of our many walks around the lake, Jane noticed there were birds everywhere. Her main request throughout the day was to "feed the birds". This particular request set me up for an inevitable day of becoming a walking Mary Poppins soundtrack, one of which is - you guessed it- feeeeed the birds, tuppence....tuppence....tuppence a baaaag.
Annnnnd yep. You guessed it. Jane found another park. It is her specialty. 

 This is the Chapel Bridge and it was built in the 1400's! Still going strong, and so beautiful and impressive.
I loved that they lined the entire bridge with flowers! 
You wouldn't even believe how many miles I've put on that silly $10 umbrella stroller. It's kind of ridiculous. It has certainly served us well. Also, please note Jane's 2 fingers that I'm certain will one day be sucked off of her hand...

 There were so many fun streets to explore in this city! Lots of shopping! Lots of little stands selling fresh everything and it was such a fun atmosphere.
Of course Jane's favorite store of them all was this candy store. "I want that one, and that one, and that one...." And of course, what a first granddaughter on her birthday week WANTS, a first granddaughter gets. My dad is weak when it comes to her big puppy dog eyes. WEAK. (and I kinda don't blame him...)
 This is what a content toddler looks like- a sight that is becoming more and more rare. About to dig in to a big ol' bag  of candy.
Lyla still LOVES being in the baby carrier and snuggled up next to me all day. She doesn't make a peep unless it is to make cute sound that will get my attention so she can give me the biggest, gummiest grin. 
This store. Bachmann. It was a hit. We had 2 meals there. Lunch and dinner. Lunch is pictured above. A hotdog wrapped in a warm and flaky croissant, and a cheese pie. Yes, a CHEESE pie; which is a swiss specialty. It's even more delicious than it sounds or looks. We also tried some amazzzzzzing chocolate, macarons, and pizza. It was so good that it almost didn't phase me that a 1 inch macaroon was the equivalent of $1. Or one round piece of chocolate for $4. I mean, give me a break! 

 Anything labeled "House of Chocolate" is a place that will be inexplicably difficult to avoid ;)
After lunch we went on a boat tour around the lake. This ^^ was our boat and it felt more like a yacht! It was so fun for all of us. The girls were excited and well behaved which was good because the camera was glued to my face nearly the whole time. 
Loved all these tiny little villages nestled at the foot of these mountains, and at the edge of the land. It is crazy to imagine what it would be like to actually live in one of those houses!
It's kind of cool when the water is the same color as the trees....!! 
I think I wouldn't mind living in this house...

 After the boat tour we did some more shopping. They had a Lush! Even though it's an american store, I had to come all the way to switzerland to experience it for my first time. Wishing I would've bought some of the stuff. Jane had a hay day sniffing and touching all over that store.
 We had a fun-filled day that included A LOT of walking. (and running!) Our feet and backs were sore by the end up the day- but our stomachs full and satisfied. A great feeling. I asked Jane what her highlight of the day was and she said, without skipping a beat: "coming back to the hotel and taking a nap!" And so it goes with toddlers and traveling. She won't appreciate this until she is like 18 years old

 We went to sleep and woke up early the next morning and hit the road again. This time we drove to Milan, Italy!

We got to Milan and found our way to a parking garage that I found the address to awhile ago when I was planning the trip. The sketchiest parking garage I've ever experienced and I'm just grateful my car was still there and not vandalized when we returned. We parked and started walking around. We turned a corner and BAM- we were staring at the duomo. The most beautiful and intricate building I've ever seen. The pigeons agree.
Jane was feeding the pigeons puffs. (you know those little baby snacks) Pretty sure this was the highlight of the trip for her!
 I was mesmorized by this building. 

Right next to the duomo was the Galleria. Full of the name brand stores that I would feel unworthy to even step into. And probably couldn't even afford to buy a handkerchief from. 
Italian Gelato craze is a warranted one...Oh and the pizza! I had the best pizza I've ever eaten.
The hotel had a swimming pool so of course Jane was in heaven!
Couldn't pull this girl out of this make up store! My little Girly-girl!
Milan was so fun to walk around. Really, a shoppers paradise! I didn't buy a thing, but it was fun to browse and pretend like I fit in at one of the biggest shopping capitals in the world.

We began our trek home and my dad and I took a simultaneous, giant gasp of relief once we were out of the crazy city center of Milan. The driving there scarred us. We weren't particularly thrilled to dedicate a full day of driving. That is, until, we realized that we had chosen a route on quite possibly the most scenic road in this whole world. I got my camera out, started snapping, and didn't really stop for awhile. Trust me, if you were there, you wouldn't blame me ;)
 We made our way through the northern, vineyard ridden part of italy and soon after entered into the swiss alps. So, Imagine you are on a road trip and you are just getting stir crazy and anxious to arrive to your destination. Now imagine that, instead, you are secretly wishing the road trip part would go on a bit longer because outside of your window, seemingly within your actual grasp, are italian vineyards, and THEN before you can recover from those surreal views, you find yourself driving through the most majestic mountains you've ever seen that are so very generously adorned with waterfalls.
Aaaaand once again, my camera was glued to my face. Because apparently Switzerland's stunning beauty knows no bounds!
Again with the this a joke? I've never seen anything but murky brown lakes and/or rivers, so the water in Switzerland will forever diminish my appreciation for any other ugly-colored lake! Also, I bet it tastes like Kool-Aid.
Switzerland, you make a long road-trip with 2 small kids feel like a luxurious paid excursion. Thanks a bunch. Be back soon. (if I have anything to say about it.)

All things considered, this trip was a huge success. Jane's tears were minimal for a toddler. Lyla was happy as long as she was in the baby carrier, and remained an angel on the drive home and didn't make a single peep. We came out with our car unscathed, our health as vibrant as ever, and injury free. And we never got eternally lost somewhere in Europe. And last, and best, with 4 days worth of great memories and experiences. Thanks for coming dad!


  1. Literally SO GORGEOUS! I am sooooo jelly right now. Those are my kinds of places to visit! It would be fun to go back packing there!

  2. Literally SO GORGEOUS! I am sooooo jelly right now. Those are my kinds of places to visit! It would be fun to go back packing there!



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