Gratitude Friday : S-Squared

If you are a frequent reader, you know one of the downsides to living in Geneva is saying goodbye.    It is bound to happen and living in this transient city is somewhat of a “Survivor” show come to life.   Except our challenges come in the form of tasting chocolate, doing laundry in the worst of conditions, gorging ourselves with fondue, and navigating a life in a foreign language.   And no one ever knows when you are going to go home.

So, this week, it is time to put out a torch, and this one is a doozy.   We will miss S & S tremendously as they move back to Charlotte.    Mrs. S is already there starting her grad school program, and Mr. S was wrapping up some projects in Geneva before heading back later this week.

So onto Gratitude Friday….we’d be remised in saying that our ex-pat experience wouldn’t have been the same without them.  We can’t believe our luck that we actually had friends from Charlotte that would be taking on the same adventure as we were.  That has made our experience a lot easier, comforting, and enjoyable.    Their gracious hospitality extends not only to excellent parties, but beyond that to knowing you always had a friend to count on.   From playing tag-along to road trips, to having someone to check in on us when they suspected we might be “down”, it was priceless to have these types of friends in a foreign country.    If you know these two, you know what I am talking about.

 

Anyhow, to S & S, we’ll miss you greatly.   We are excited for the things in store for your next chapter.   And we can only hope that when our “torch” blows out, we’ll be back in Charlotte….particularly, if we can continue some of our Genevan traditions.  Fondue at the annual Lawn Olympics, anyone??

 

 

 

Bon weekend, everyone!

Desalpe Festival

Sometimes I have to pinch myself when I realize that we live in Switzerland.   We love getting to experience a completely new way of life and new customs.   This past weekend was no exception, when we attended the Semsales Desalpe Festival.

What is a Desalpe you might ask?    In Switzerland, the cows happily live in the Alps in the summer, munching away on the greenest of grassy pastures.  However, the cold snowy temperatures that come in the winter are even too harsh for Swiss cattle.  So every Fall, the happy Swiss cows come down from their summer home in the high Alps to their lower grassy pastures and barns.

Most small villages celebrate their return home with a Desalpe Festival, literally translated, “from the Alps”.

We attended the festival in the town of Semsales, in the canton of Fribourg, near Gruyeres.   This festival is special because of its spacing.  Typically, all the herds are condensed in one parade.  However, in Semsales, each group gets the individual spotlight.    From 10:00 in the morning until 18:00 in the evening, a total of 14 families march through town proudly, welcoming their herd home for the winter.

We got quite an awakening to the procession when parking our car.   Literally, one of the herds came into us!

Well, hello there.

Walking into town, we got to see quite a few more processions.    The first few cows wear very tall ornamentation.  Sort of like Christmas trees on their heads:

Nope – not Christmas in October. Just the Desalpe festival!

Then comes the more subdued cows….smaller floral arrangements.

This lady has a classier look going on. But what she looses in floral prowess, she makes up in cowbell size. Holy cow.

Moo-ve over and get out of my way, lady.

Just an everyday walk on the highway

In addition to the cows, groups of musicians were also a special part of the Desalpe.   We enjoyed the cowbell group:

The cowbell band

Handling their bells. The muscles on these folks have to be strong!

We really enjoyed the Alphorn band

They also have delicious cheese and meat based foods.

This was a super big pot of cheesy potatoes

Local meat, cheeses, and breads for lunch. Plus some nice red wine from the nearby vineyards.

If you are attending a Desalpe, just make sure to wear old shoes or maybe even some wellies.  You are most certainly going to step in something nasty.

Hey lady, maybe you want to keep your baby out of the cow poo

I thought this was my best picture of the day until I realized what was happening.

For a more interesting visual, check out the video footage from our day at the Desalpe:

Postcards from the Swiss Riviera

Switzerland, being landlocked, actually has no ocean.   However, the shores of Lake Geneva near Montreux and Vevey are named “The Swiss Riviera” because of it’s picturesque and prestigious location on the lake, in view of both the Swiss & French Alps.  When Heidi & Olga were visiting Geneva, we took a day trip to this special region of Switzerland.

This area is located about an hour train or car ride from Geneva.  The ride provides amazing views of the coastline of Lake Geneva.

Typical view in the Swiss Riviera

Upon arriving in Montreux, we walked through the Montreux Marché, or Friday market.  I had actually never been to Montreux for a Friday market, and found it delightful.  It included vendors selling everything from handmade sweaters, to Provençal soaps, to secondhand goods.  They also had quite a variety of delicious street food.

We strolled along the Quai des Fleurs (walkway of flowers) towards Villeneuve.   One of the most special things about Montreux is that it has somewhat of a tropical ambience to it, provided by its plants and landscaping.

They have a few nice hotels in Montreux

Beautiful flowers against the French Alps. Seems like Summer, not Autumn!

A sweet hibiscus overlooks Lake Geneva

After a half hour’s stroll, we reached Chateau Chillon.   The castle dominates the coastline and was a major defensive structure up until modern times.  We didn’t go inside, but instead enjoyed the different perspectives we could see on the nature trails surrounding the chateau.

Chateau Chillon in autumn.

The legendary castle

The modern speedboats were a funny juxtaposition against the medieval castle

After walking back to Montreux and partaking of some of the market food, we then decided to visit to the Lavaux region.    I have heard numerous rave reviews about Le Deck, a beautiful bar/restaurant that overlooks the UNESCO designated Lavaux vineyards.   Heidi & Olga were game for checking it out, so we took a small regional train to Chexbres, the small town where Le Deck is located.    Note that it is possible to get there on the train, if you pay a 1.80 CHF  supplement on your Geneva-Montreux train ticket.  And you can return straight to Geneva via Lausanne.

The town of Chexbres is a quintessential Swiss wine town.  Gabe & I have driven guests through it, descending off the A1 at the Chexbres exit and weaving down the wine roads to Rivaz.  There are almost as many wine cellars as citizens, with dozens of these little operations dotting the small village.   We have always enjoyed the drive; however, there is a certain magic about walking around in the town that Heidi, Olga & I discovered.    This was especially true during the timing of our visit, as it was the height of the grape harvest.      The locals were busy, soaking in the sunshine, and tasting the year’s dividends.

The village of Chexbres

It was very tempting to stay and drink our way through the town, but we continued on walking towards the outside of town and our destination: Le Deck.  Our friends were right – this is certainly a special place.   Cushy chairs and linen canopies provide an oasis above the Lavaux vineyards.   You can purchase wine by the glass and enjoy the view, savoring the fruits of the labor of the vineyard workers, who just happened to be harvesting underneath our feet.

The Lavaux vineyards

Olga, enjoying a glass of Lavaux rosé

Au Revoir, Swiss Riviera.  Thanks for a remarkable day!

Six more pieces of “chocolate trivia”

While the Heidi and Olga were in town, we managed to sneak in a chocolate tour at Stettler Laboratories.   I had done a tour with the AIWC back in February, and it was really well done, so thought they’d like doing it.    Plus, the last time I did the tour, it was in French.   So, this time, we opted for English and I soaked up a few more facts that my previous visit.    Here is what we learned:

Chocolate can help get your full day’s servings of fruits & vegetables.   The cocoa pod, from which chocolately goodness is extracted, is actually a FRUIT!

The cocoa plant.  Kind of creepy.  Like a brain.

Chocolate can help your garden grow.    You can actually use the non-edible parts of cocoa shells for garden mulch.  Just be careful if you have a dog!!

Cocoa shell images courtesy of Homejelly.com

White chocolate actually isn’t chocolate.    It is a derivative of the delicious stuff, but really only uses the cocoa butter.

Learning about the differences in cocoa and cocoa butter

You can spread out the joy over many months.    Most chocolate keeps six months.   If it has cream or fruit-type ingredients, you should consume it over 8 weeks.  Good to know!  I always try to consume it within a week so it didn’t go stale or maybe that was just because there was fresh yummy chocolate in the house and I couldn’t resist.  But, I guess I can savor it a bit more now!

Chocolate can’t be kept as long as a fine wine, but longer than I had assumed!   Loved Stettler’s chocolate wine bottles, just in time for the grape harvest, come stuffed with truffles 🙂

However, speaking of storage, don’t keep chocolate in the fridge.  The moisture can break it down.  If you don’t have a cool, dark place, make sure you wrap it tightly so the moisture doesn’t reach it.

Mmmmmm. Tasty!

Like most hand-crafted goods, expect to pay more for quality chocolate.  Stettler is a very quality Swiss brand and all of the chocolate is made by hand.

The classic marmites for Geneva’s L’Escalade take a lot of hand-work.

If you would like to visit Stettler, you can call or email them to make an appointment for a visit.   The visit costs 20 CHF per person, but includes a lovely gift of the famous Paves de Genève at the end.
Chocolats Stettler
49 avenue Blanc
1202 Genève
Téléphone: 022 738 17 20
Related links:

The Swiss Watch Blog:   It’s Raining – I guess we have to go to the chocolate factory

The Swiss Watch Blog: The Land of Chocolate & Cheese

The Swiss Watch Blog:  Famous Swiss Foods – Chocolate (My first Stettler visit)

Gratitude Friday: Beating the Blues

This Gratitude Friday, I just wanted to express my thankfulness for finally learning to control cultural disorientation a bit better.    It’s taken a long time, but I finally have been able to understand some of the triggers and manage them in a way that subdues the “culture shock” from previous experiences.

Fresh off of a visit from the USA when this typically occurs, I wrote the following article for the AIWC blog.  I wanted to share it because it’s been a year and a half of learning for which I am grateful to have finally wrapped my arms around better.

Bon weekend, everyone!

We have been living in Geneva for a year and a half now, but still its common to get “the blues” every now and then.

I learned in assimilation training that the many varied stages are natural part of the expatriation process.  Their theory is that the following stages are experienced:

1. Initial excitement
2. Initial anxiety
3. Arrival fascination
4. Initial culture shock
5. Surface adjustment
6. Internal shock
7. Acceptance & adaptation
8. Return anxiety
9. Reintegration shock

The stages last different lengths of time for different people.  Also it is very common for spouses to be in different stages at different times.    Cultural shock / disorientation is something we all go through, but I thought I would share a few of my personal tips on beating the blues:

Geneva can sometimes feel lonely.

Reach out.  It is always good to build your social network in a new city, so it starts to feel like home sooner.   A few social groups  in Geneva include The AIWC and Glocals.   Many churches are English-speaking as well, including ECBG – Old Town, Emmanuel Church – right bank, Anglican Church – right bank, and the Lutheran Church – Old Town.   The sites AngloInfo and World Radio Switzerland also provide ways to link up to others.

Don’t wait.   Many people want to wait until they are settled, unpacked, and feel like everything is in order before they get to socialization.   I’d advise to join some of these networking groups immediately.   That way, if you start to get the blues, you already have these to lean on.

Spread your wings early!

Embrace the uncertain.  Living in a new place can make you feel uneasy many times.  When I first moved to Geneva, the hardest thing was that I didn’t feel capable of doing day-to-day chores.  Back in my home country, I was independent, capable, and could handle most any situation.   In Geneva, the language divide and difference in customs made me feel like I was a different person.     Everyone feels this way, so the key is to tackle things head on!!

Think positive.  Don’t let yourself get drug down by the differences and challenges.  Start a gratitude journal for the new experiences and things you are doing.   Along the same note, be careful not to be critical of your new country.   Avoid commiserating too much with friends as this behavior can sometimes foster more negativity.

Get out!!  If you are feeling blue, make sure to get out of the house.  Talk a walk.  Go discover a different park.  Make a date with a friend to go to a museum or restaurant.  These things can definitely help your mood.

Walks in the countryside make everything seem better.

Identify the triggers.  I discovered that about 50% of the time, I would get very sad upon returning to Geneva from my home country.  I identified two triggers – busyness/pace and weather.   If I have a lot going on when I come back, such as a guest, a trip, or work-related activities, I am happier because I don’t have time to dwell on the differences.   I also tend to have a harder time in the rain and cold, since this is different weather than I was used to.   That is a hard one to avoid, but at least I know to expect it!

Here’s hoping the clouds stay away!

Munich, Germany

I had been to Munich airport many times, but had never been off the airport grounds.  I am glad Oktoberfest and the subsequent meet-up with our friends from The States gave us a reason to go to Munich and spend a weekend, because the city itself was really cool.

Munich is rich in history.  This city was the capital of Bavaria during early times, set the stage for Hilter’s campaign as the seat of the Nazi Movement, and was the site of the Olympic tragedy in 1972.   There are numerous museums and monuments.

The city is beautiful, and had everything you would expect from Germany – – Cleanliness. Order. Lovely architecture.   We explored Marienplatz the morning we were meeting our group for Oktoberfest.  Gabe and I got there early and climbed the Glockenspiel, the tower of town hall, Neuesrathaus.   The sun was a bit bright but we enjoyed the vantage point the Glockenspiel gave us of Munich.

Marienplatz – ground level view

View from the top of the Glockenspiel into the Neuesrathaus courtyard

View from the Glockenspiel, looking out towards St. Peter’s in Old Town

Sunday we also had an opportunity to explore more of Munich with Olga & Heidi, our friends from the States.   We  started in Marienplatz (where the U is in the below map) and walked around the perimeter of Munich centre city, walking to each of the gated walls.   We took our time, exploring the area, people watching, and noting plaques for churches and historical sites.

Image courtesy of Google Maps

Karlsplatz (one of the city gates) and the pedestrian shopping streets.  On the above map, it is to the far left.

And our little walking tour led us right to Hofbrauhaus! We knew it was a little touristy, but delighted in experiencing the renowned brewery.   We had a traditional German lunch and a round of Oktoberfest beers, happily singing along with the band which played in the upper ballroom where we were seated.

The Hofbrauhaus

Lunch at Hofbrauhaus.   Oktoberfest liters all around….except a Lauren-sized weissbeer for me.

Beyond being a city that really enjoyed a good time, probably my biggest takeaway was how green Munich was.   Parks seamlessly blended into urban life.   They weren’t necessarily perfectly manicured like a Paris, but they felt very natural and thus, softened the city.

Hofgarten, center city Munich

In fact, the city’s gem, The Englischer Garden ( English Garden ) , is the one of the world’s largest urban parks.  It is larger than Central Park in New York and Hyde Park in London.    This park was actually the location of our hotel, as we had Hilton points.   This little waterfall was steps from our hotel:

English Garden

Finally, the public transportation in Munich is excellent.  They have a combination of bus, metro, and train options.  We took all three during our duration and got quite good at navigating around the city.

Olga & Heidi on the Bus

For tourists, you have the option of buying 5-person passes either for one ride or for the day.  It is a great way to save money.   If you are going to the airport though, take note that you need the pass that includes all zones.

Neuschwanstein Castle & Bavarian Landscapes

After a full day of beer drinking at Oktoberfest on Friday, we had opted to get out of Munich and do a little sightseeing on Saturday.  This was both a good and bad idea.    The good was that it prevented us from signing up for another day of beer drinking.   The bad was that we had to get up early and  navigate how to get to the little village we’d selected, all whilst suffering from a bout of cocktail fever.

Nevertheless, we boarded the correct train at the München Hauptbahnhof towards Fussen.   We marveled at the hoards of people coming in that day for Oktoberfest.

Our train. Direction Fussen.

Revelers, coming in from their villages, ready for the day. You’ll see some good examples of traditional German dress here.

Lederhosen and party hats.  Don’t these guys look like they are 16?

Notice the crates of beer they’d brought with them to consume on the train.

The scene made us glad we weren’t on those trains coming into Munich.   There wasn’t a seat to be had!    Our train was busy, yet seats were available.    We enjoyed the peaceful two hour ride through the Bavarian countryside.

Taking the train through Bavaria

We got off at Fussen and took a cab into the nearby village of  Hohenschwanau.   Towering above the town was the Schloss Hohenschwanau.   This19th Century castle was built by Maximillian II of Bavaria.   It is more famous nowadays for being the childhood home of King Ludwig II who built Neuschwanstein castle, the castle that Disneyland’s Sleeping Beauty castle was modeled after.

View from town of Hohenschwanau

View from above of Hohenschwanau and the tiny village

Ludwig II built Neuschwanstein a stone’s leap away from his parent’s house, funded from his own fortune.    He built the castle as a tribute to Richard Wagner, the composer.  He wanted to make it feel like one of Wagner’s pieces had come to life in the castle, to make it a reality.   That, and he fancied living in the Middle Ages.  The castle helped bring these fantasies to life, creating a retreat which resembled Middle Age living, far outside the city of Munich.

Neuschwanstein castle

Sadly, King Ludwig II never was able to live inside his castle.   He was deposed of his throne due to mental incapacity and building stopped.   Only about one-third of the rooms were finished.   Shortly after, he died mysteriously in the shallow waters of a nearby lake.   There is speculation about the medical prognosis due to the sudden and unexplained nature of his death.  Some think that there was a conspiracy to take his crown.   Only the shallow waters know, I suppose.

We were able to tour the castle because Olga had pre-arranged tickets.   For those interested, I’d recommend her approach: buying tickets in advance.  You can only tour the castle with a reservation on one of the official tours.   When we arrived to pick up our reserved tickets, the wait was 4 1/2 hours to get a tour for those who had not.

Walking up to Neuschwanstein

The inside rooms that we saw were miraculous – amazing detail.  Ludwig was very creative in weaving the stories of Wagner’s operas into the artwork, carvings, and castle floors.

We weren’t able to take photos inside, but this photo is courtesy of wikipedia.

Ludwig even thought to construct a man-made cave that lead from his bedroom to his dressing room, to mimic a scene of a cave in one of the operas.   Olga mentioned this was the “original man cave” which drew a lot of chuckles from some of the guys on the tour.

Image courtesy of wikipedia

After the tour, we took a lovely walk through the fall foliage and stood on Marienbrücke, Mary’s bridge, to take pictures.  The bridge is a 15 minute walk from the castle.  If you end up not being able to tour the castle, we would still recommend getting the vantage point from Mary’s bridge.  It was pretty awesome.

Mary’s bridge is the little white horizontal line in the center of the photo. Sorry our point-and-shoot camera isn’t the best at focusing.

This shaky little bridge made me a bit nervous, especially after looking down!

Heidi, Olga, Gabe and me on Mary’s Bridge.

We followed our experience by drinking some King Ludwig beer at the little restaurant Bräustübert, underneath the castles.  As we’d hiked a mile on a steep uphill, had a tour, and made a stop at the bridge, all within lunch hour, we really were ready for some delicious German food.  We all got some form of sausage or schnitzel which did the job of satiating our hungry bellies, along with the delicious beer.

My schnitzel and weissbeir. A good lunch.  

Oktoberfest

We had a few friends from the States visiting Europe and they suggested a meet-up in Munich during the 16-day long Oktoberfest.   Sure, twist our arms!

While this was my first time to Munich & Oktoberfest, Gabe was no stranger to the event.   He attended the 201o Oktoberfest on it’s 200th anniversary.

As the biggest festival / fair in the world, with 6 million attendees, it was quite a site to behold. The first thing I noticed is the beer tents are not actually “tents” but beautifully designed wooden buildings.   I was expecting muddy shoes and being outside in the elements, but was pleasantly surprised!

Our group outside our “tent”.

I thought the tent was so beautiful.

Our friend from Geneva, Mr. Lederhosen, arranged for an amazing table inside the tent for us.  Apparently, you have to get tables a year in advance and still you need to be a VIP – either German with a lot of ins, or willing to fork over a lot of cash.   We met some Americans the last day whose concierge said he could get them seated for 5000 euro for their group of six.

Our awesome table location

Mr. Lederhosen hooked us up big time with his Munich connections.   We paid 20 euro each for our seats, and got a liter of beer and a half chicken, a Hendl, to boot!

A and I with our first liters

The best chicken in the world. Mmmm.

There is a special attire for Oktoberfest.  Men traditionally wear  Lederhosen, and the girls wear a German dress called a Dirndl.  Both can wear Bavarian hats called Tirolerhüte.

Typical storefront in Munich

Gabe with A & A in their German attire.

Our host, Mr. Lederhosen in his authentic lederhosen

7 million liters of beer are served annually at Oktoberfest.  We had our fair share.

Prost!

So did the rest of the tent.   I loved when the band played, “Ein Prosit”……

Ein Prosit, ein Prosit 
Der Gemütlichkeit 
Ein Prosit, ein Prosit 
Der Gemütlichkeit. 

A toast, a toast
To cheer and good times
A toast, a toast
To cheer and good times.

An enthusiastic crowd.

It was pretty impressive how much the beer girls could carry.

A typical delivery – 7-8 liters without a tray.

We tried to have a stein-holding competition as well as a beer girl competition.  It was pretty hard.

Who can hold it the longest?

A gave it a good try!

Certain vendors are very popular.  My favorite were the folks selling pretzels.

This pretzel stand means business.

Don’t worry about getting up out of your seat. Pretzels come by every 5 minutes.

The pretzel was the size of my head. So was the beer for that matter.

Gabe liked the pickle guy.

Pickle guy

They also have Lebkuchen – gingerbread hearts for sale.   Gabe brought me back one of these in 2010 that said “I love you” in German.  He had a work trip in Europe afterwards so by the time it reached me, I needed to wet the cookie in the sink to soften it enough so we could bite into it.

Cookie stand

It was still a lovely thought and I really enjoyed getting to experience Oktoberfest myself!

Gratitude Friday: My First Vernissage

The photography group I belong to at the AIWC recently hosted a vernissage.   The word vernissage is common in French & Dutch, and references an opening night of an exhibition before it is open to the general public.  In this instance, it was a vernissage of our photography.

I wrote a small article about the event in the AIWC magazine, The Courier.  I thought I’d share an excerpt:

We are a group of women encompassing all ages and backgrounds.  Our photography expertise is just as diverse as our personal qualities, as we have professionals and beginners.  We have members who have been taking photos just a few months, yet some their entire lives.  We have large paparazzi cameras and we have small “point-and-shoots”.   However, we are all artists.  And we enjoy learning from each other.

Most of our work is done along themes.   Our leader, Wilna, says about themes, ”The theme is like a guide for your eye. It stretches your looking around and influence your focus.  It makes the photographer like a detective, who has his eyes always open for new discoveries.

Sport. Clocks. Bridges. Leaves. Trees. Roofs. Mountains. Textiles. Surfaces. Bottles. Time. Street life. Hands. Shadows. Eyes. Music.     These are yet a few of our themes that inspire our work.

It is quite interesting how a group can interpret these singular words.   Once a month, we come together for photo sharing and each member presents the work they have done along the theme.  Sometimes, photos can be almost identical, and other times, worlds apart.  It is beautiful that way, how we each interpret these themes differently, and thus, we learn and grow together in our perspective. 

In addition to our thematic projects, we have group photo shooting outings where we explore areas of Geneva together.  We also attend exhibitions and share articles and books to draw our inspiration.

This month, we’ll be launching a new exhibition at the club.   Each photographer will display their individual “Passion in Photography,” so you will be able to learn more about their style, motivations and interests through their personal exhibit.  We will host a vernissage, or opening night, on September 27 from 3:30 to 20:00.   We do hope to you can attend so that you can see our interpretations and our passion. 

Seventeen of the women in our photography group exhibited.   Here were a few photos of the set-up before the guests arrived.

Setting up for the vernissage. Photo courtesy of friend, CB.

Setting up for the vernissage. Photo courtesy of friend, CB.

Setting up for the vernissage. Photo courtesy of friend, CB.

The long hallway. Photo courtesy of CB.

For the exhibition, we were encouraged to select photos that represented our passion in photography.  For my wall, I chose to do landscape photography and my favorite thing to do with them: paint.   So, I accompanied each photograph with a painting of that same scene.    The camera lens is sometimes called the “third eye”.  For me, it was meant to show a “fourth eye”: the canvas, and the difference that medium can bring to an image.

Floating Village, Cambodia

White Turf, St. Moritz, Switzerland

Sun Salutation, Jussy, Switzerland

My display. Photo courtesy of C.

So, thus this week’s gratitude post.   This photo group has been very fun to be a part of.   I have learned a lot from the women in the group.  Mostly about patience.  While I tend to rush through things, the women in the group are from different cultures which tend not to be in such a hurry.   Being around them when doing photo-shooting has really inspired me to notice the small things.  Changing an angle or just waiting around for something different to happen can really change the emotion of a photograph.

Aside from that, I am grateful for the social aspect.   We have members from The Netherlands, U.K., U.S.A., South Africa, Canada, Japan, Brazil, Australia, and France.   How wonderful it is to see their perspectives and the subjects that they chose to shoot, and to learn alongside them.

I really do appreciate my time in Geneva for getting to do this. Also, a big thanks to my hubby for his support in my hobbies, especially with letting me use his Big Camera.

For more perspective on the vernissage and the AIWC photo group, you might also want to check out my friend C’s display and post here.

Bon weekend, everyone!!

 

Hammocks

I have a new found love of hammocks after our travels in Brazil.  Everywhere we went, the delightful resting spots could be found.

There are a few reasons why Brazil has hammocks going for it.  For one, it doesn’t rain much, so you don’t have the mildew or wet hammock factor.

Also, the trees don’t shed as much so you don’t have the tree trash resting and making them icky.

Thirdly, because there aren’t many bugs, houses are left open and it is typical for families in a house to have an outdoor living area.   This leaves a perfect reason to have hammocks.

The Awesome Family’s outdoor living area had a hammock.

The hotel we stayed at in Perinopolous had a few that we all enjoyed.

I was pretty impressed until we went to the Cachoeira Nossa Senhora Do Rosário and saw an entire floor of hammocks with the most beautiful forest view.

The room of hammocks

Enjoying hammock life

View from the hammock porch. Photo credit to Gabe.

The groom digging his hammock

It was hard to get him out of this thing

Gabe and I purchased one at an arts & crafts store for a souvenir.   It won’t get a lot of use in Geneva, but hopefully, you’ll get to try it out wherever we might live when we return.  Maybe we can get you addicted to this wonderful household item.