Friday, June 22, 2012

Back in the USA...Recap of the last 3 weeks

It's good to be back! These last few weeks have been a whirlwind of non stop madness, but the kids have been real troopers and Luke and I have acquired a new level of flexibility and patience that only the craziest of situations can bring.

Backing up to 3 weeks ago: we were still in Switzerland trying to clean our apartment to "Swiss" standards and we had three days of non stop cleaning. Our friends took turns taking Jack for the day while Luke and I (with Lily strapped on to my back) cleaned every tiny speck of dirt from our apartment. The Swiss are known for a very stringent cleaning standard and most sane people will hire a company (usually costs 2 months rent) to clean the apartment. But seeing as we had no income (more on that later) we decided to take this daunting task on ourselves. We slaved away for three days while spending the nights in a nearby hotel. On Monday morning (June 4th) a man from the bank and the new tenant both came to inspect our apartment. The bank man went through every room and filled pages upon pages noting every little scratch in the floor or dent on a wall. Of course, he was writing in German so I had no idea what he found. But at the end of the inspection he said that I had no further obligations on my we had passed without having to pay for additional cleaning!! That is just about unheard of in Switzerland (Score 1 for the Americans).
Taking a lunch break from hours of cleaning

While I was dealing with the apartment inspection, Luke was driving our last remaining car to Zurich (2 hours away) where an engineering student at the University wanted to buy our car for his brother in Latvia. The problem was that our car was not drivable in Switzerland (because of certain mandatory tests we did not have done) so Luke parked the car in Zurich where the buyer was going to have a trailer take it over to Latvia. After dropping the car off, the buyer then had to drive Luke all the way back to Biel (another 2 hours) to turn in our license plates. Then Luke picked up a rental car and came to pick up me and the kids. We had a final meal at our favorite creperie and then headed down to Geneva to stay at an airport hotel for the night.

Tuesday morning we boarded our flights back to the states. Our first flight from Geneva to Newark, New Jersey was 8 hours. Jack did great and spent most of the flight watching movies and playing games on the iPad. Lily was more difficult as she wouldn't sleep in her car seat. So I ended up having to put her in the Ergo and walk with her for most of the flight.
Lily says: "No way am I going to sleep" 

Jack in the iPad zone

No naps for Lily

We had a 3 hour layover in Newark and then boarded our next (2 hour) flight to Ohio. Then we had another layover and our final flight to Las Vegas was 5 hours. When we boarded our final plane to Vegas the pilot invited Jack and Lily to the front of the plane, and I snapped tons of pictures.
By this point, Jack is goofy tired

Lily and the copilot

On this last flight everyone was exhausted and both kids were pretty cranky. Lily cried for an hour or so before finally conking out and then Jack had a semi meltdown but finally fell asleep as well. We arrived in Las Vegas at 3:30 am Switzerland time but it was only 6:30 in the evening Las Vegas time. Luke's cousin picked us up from the airport and can you guess where our first stop was?

I'll tell you next time.

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