Southern Swiss Hospitality

So we took a little trip down to Switzerland this month to visit our favorite American transplants.

What I am about to describe can only be touted as the most perfect cross-cultural experience any traveler could ever ask for: Southern hospitality laced with Swiss charm and culture. Let’s just say Hollee–who charms the world over at Moxi blog--makes me wish I lived in Europe.

I mean, I do live in Europe, but I really live in Little America Europe. My kids do American schools, I’ve got Kix and Jiffy and Daisy sour cream at my finger tips for dollar prices. It’s the most amazingly convenient thing in the world.

But it keeps me from having to live in Europe.

Hollee, on the other hand, is over here with her husband and two kids forging a path through the Swiss wilderness, going to church with headphones and trying to get a handle on the Swiss German language so she can communicate with her kid’s teachers.

Also she’s the world’s most incredible hostess. This girl has brought her southern charm clear across the ocean and has melded it with all the local customs and tricks she’s picked up from friends and neighbors. She’s like a human Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup, two perfect ingredients that are so much more awesome when you put them together.

We pulled in late Friday night and Saturday morning after a stellar breakfast of Swiss potato shreds crisped in the waffle iron and Italian french toast (who does that?), we bundled up and headed to the slopes for an afternoon of sledding in the Alps.

When we got up there and realized that Harrison had forgotten his coat at home I thought our goose was cooked. Let’s just say the hills were alive with the sound of Mom yelling. Thankfully Rex had brought an extra and with a few layers underneath and a quick trip back to the house we made it work.

I am not a hiker. I don’t “do” outdoors. I hate bicycles as a rule and prefer concrete sidewalks to wooded paths. I’m not “sporty” or particularly “in shape.” I don’t “enjoy fresh air” or crave “nature.”

But. I would be a big fat winded liar if I didn’t tell you that our day on the mountain blew my mind (and my lungs). All that huffing and puffing through the hills interspersed with mildly terrifying sled runs was about the coolest thing I’ve ever done in my entire life. I want to go back every weekend for the rest of my life it was so amazing. My dearest Hollee girl took these amazing pictures which is a good thing because we all know what it looks like when I start pointing the camera at things. And I have to say it, Jason was kind of hot in his furry hat with that gorgeous matching beard.

harry had fun 2 grey skies above the clouds views georgia and coco PINK fonzzie bear sled caravan northface ad_ june 2 annie and jason mt. view above the clouds bellow the clouds lift and views

























Check out the below picture of the bundled Swiss baby. They were all over the place. Super cute but NOT my fifth kid.

Of course our sledding experience wasn’t without a little whining here and there. June’s boots, despite having thermal inserts, didn’t keep her feet warm and she might have peed her pants halfway through the day for lack of a decent tree.

cute harry swiss babies on the slopes rex in action 2Georgia











Rex apparently got “lost” on his way down the mountain and stopped to ask some local Swiss for directions. They pointed down. He felt much better after that.

We used the Baby in Front system, as you can see from this picture of Georgia and me. This worked incredibly well…most of the time. But we got to our last big run and I was the last one down the mountain. These runs weren’t just for sledders, there were a number of snowshoers and day hikers traipsing through the Alps as well.

I had been sledding with Georgia the entire day and was feeling pretty smooth about this whole sledding-with-the-baby-in-front system, so once everyone took off I got on my belly behind Georgia and kicked off.

annie in action

Nothing happened.

Picture a beached seal trying to climb it’s way up the snowy bank and you have a pretty good idea of how I looked. Me, trying to push Georgia forward with my hands while simultaneously pushing off behind with my feet…and neither of us moving.

I think I had about two dozen Swiss hikers pass us on foot. They all openly watched this process with a mix of concern and horror for my plight which took an eternal four minutes to finally get moving. I kept waving them on and saying things like, “It’s okay, I got this,” then pushing and huffing a few more inches down the mountain while they strolled leisurely by.

Not my best moment.

And for the record, Georgia is definitely my mother’s granddaughter. The entire time we were headed down the mountain she talked my head off. “Tho, when we awe done can I put thome lipthtick on? I wuv lipthtick and bwush, and do you like my pink coat? Am I cute today? I wondew if my baby’s awe cwying, we’d bettew huwwy back tho I can check them…and put thome lipthtick on…”

We made it home that night and Hollee treated our family to real Swiss Fondu. It was so worth the three trips to the bathroom I made the next day.

Sunday we attended church in the local Swiss ward and I had an awesome time meeting Hollee’s friends. She’s such a colorful blast of fresh air, they are so lucky to have her and I’m pretty sure they know it. Afterward we came home to another amazingly satisfying Sunday dinner and I wasn’t surprised to find that my jeans wouldn’t button. Donning a pair of leggings, we headed into Lucern for an evening walk through the city.

coco and june Annie with kids TINITLES family in Luzern













We stayed another night and made the four hour drive home (took us 5 and a half) Monday morning.

We are so spoiled rotten over here. Amazing places and amazing faces, even with peed pants and the extra Swiss love around my belt it was a magical weekend.


  1. Such fun memories! We miss you guys already. Did I tell you Coco is saving “recyclables” for Rex? You make me sound like a nice person who has lots of energy. I love you for that!