Switzerland: Background

This was actually my 6th trip to the beautiful country of Switzerland.  My mother’s side of the family has lived in the Bern area of Switzerland for as far back as we have records – more than 200 years.  Since my mother only immigrated to the US in 1969, in Switzerland I have grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins in abundance.

The first time I flew to Switzerland was in 1979 at the age of 5.

I am sitting in my favorite spot on my grandparent’s balcony.  They’ve lived in this apartment for 35 years this September.

My second trip was exactly ten years later in 1989.  I celebrated both my 5th and 15th birthdays in Switzerland.

Lisa and I at the top of the Jungfrau.

My third trip was a short 3 1/2 years later in December of 1992.

This is dinner at my grandparents apartment.

And a personal favorite…

Some random St. Bernard we met on the train that I befriended.

Isn’t he cute!?

My next trip wasn’t until the summer of 2000. I had graduated from college and worked a year, and finally had a little extra money. This was probably my favorite trip, I stayed a month, traveling mostly with Leslie, but Mom was there too.

Three generations!

In 2004, my Swiss family organized a huge family reunion, so my 5th trip was with Clark and little Ben.  The family rented a huge Chalet and we spent a few days there together.  My grandparents have seven children, and with their kids, and their kids, we totaled about 100 people at the reunion.  Three of the seven children have immigrated the the US.  The other four stayed in Switzerland, but one daughter married a man from Geneva, so that branch of the family speaks French.  On Sunday we had a short church service together, in three languages.  German, French, and English.  It was great fun trying to communicate with each other.

This is us at the reunion.

Little Ben with his great grandparents.

Ben and I at the Bear Pits in Bern.

And so it had been 6 1/2 years since my last visit.  I was talking to my mother in December and she mentioned that my sweet grossmama is turning 95 years old in September.  I so dearly wanted to fly over and see her and my grosspapa one more time.  Mom was going in March for a little family reunion and Clark suggested that I go with her, but Jacob would only have been 7 months old – too young for me to leave. (I wasn’t interested in taking him with me)  So Clark suggested May.

“But what about work,  and how will you take care of all 4 kids by yourself?”

“Don’t worry about, I’ll make it work”

And he did.  His wonderful parents came to help, and my cousin watched the kids a few morning.   I left and didn’t worry about a thing!  Ten days just my sister and I, enjoying our Swiss family and beautiful Switzerland.


Happy New Year!

I am so excited to begin a new year!  While 2010 did have some great moments, it certainly wasn’t my best year – it didn’t even make my “top 20 best years list” – needless to say, I am happy and some what relieved that it is behind me.

I’ve always enjoyed starting a new year, I get excited about making resolutions and love feeling motivated to make a new start – a fresh beginning.

My blogging resolution is to blog more.  At least once a week.  So if I don’t, please get on my case about it.

We had a great Christmas this year.  For the first time in nine years the entire Lucas family was together for Christmas.  Lisa was so kind to invite us all to her house, Mom and Dad drove down from Alaska, Devin and Jenny from Oregon, and Leslie came from Idaho.  We spent several days together.  The first order of business was to have a family portrait taken.  After that we just had fun.  Some of my favorite moments were dressing up and acting out the nativity while Dad read it from the Bible, opening the mountain of gifts under and around the tree, playing card and board games, and watching the little cousins interact and play together.

It was a Christmas to remember.

(Sorry, no pictures, I need to get them from Leslie but haven’t yet)


Being sick stinks.    Sorry I’ve been absent for a few days, Friday I spent in bed – or in front of the toilet vomiting.  I had such great plans for the day too, which just added to the frustration of being sick.  My friend was here from Canada and we were going to spent the day together and go to a reunion later that evening.

Saturday I felt fine, I relaxed we took a family drive to enjoy the fall colors.

Saturday night Daniel woke up at 11:00 and was sick throwing up until about 2:30.  I guess whatever I had was contagious.  Today I relaxed and napped, trying to recover from my mostly sleepless night.

Tonight I am crossing my fingers that no one else gets sick, and that I can have a wonderful, blissful sleep.

Table Rock

We drove the family to Idaho Falls last weekend, and (after ditching the kids with Dad, Mom, and Liberty – thanks guys!) we hiked Table Rock with some of the extended Ricks family .   What a spectacular hike!   We climbed about 4000 ft in 4 miles up the steeper trail, and then meandered through the valley trail on the way back down.  Great scenery on both trails.

Of course the highlight of the climb is supposed to be the view of the Grand Teton from the top of Table Rock, but that will have to wait until next summer.

NOT because I didn’t make it to the top, I DID, in the midst of a raging blizzard.  Obviously though, there wasn’t much of a view.  Oh well, next time.

This is Table Rock BEFORE the blizzard!


We stopped for lunch at the tree line on the way down – We were freezing!

Table RockThe storm swirled around us, sometimes snowing, other times the sun would break through, but it was cold!

Our life saver came in the form of my always prepared husband. In the twinkle of an eye he had a nice cozy fire burning.   The Fire

AAAhhh!  It was so nice I almost sat on it!

What a perfect day!  I can’t wait to do it again next year!

Happy Hikers

The Uintas

Leslie and I were SO excited for our three day backpacking trip to the Granddaddy Basin in the Uintas.  We left Springville in the afternoon on a hot sunny Wednesday loaded with backpacking gear and photography gear.  We met up with a thunder/lightning/rain storm in Heber city, but enjoyed a nice dinner while it moved in, stayed a while, and then moved on.  The skies were clearing as we headed up past Kamas to the trail head, and we started walking at about 8:30 that evening, planning on hiking about three miles before setting up camp for the night.

It was a nice hike in, fun to walk in the dark by the light of a full moon.  The moon was so bright that we actually had shadows.  We found a nice spot by a little spring to camp, and debated sleeping under the stars, or setting up our shelters.  Opting for the stars, we laid out our ground covers, and went to bed.

But not to sleep.  Yukon gets all weird when we camp, he turns on Mr. Guard Dog mode, and he kept my awake until after midnight pacing around the perimeter of camp.  I finally tied his leash to my sleeping bag and we both dozed off…..

CRACK!!!  BOOM!!!               Drip.      Drip.

The storm had returned.  Starting with jolting thunder and lightning, the rain soon followed.   The three of us slipped into my tube tent (I had been using it for my ground cover)  and listened to the storm.  A few hours later the rain briefly stopped and Leslie set up her own shelter, leaving Yukon and I in the tube.  After she was settled the storm returned, and stuck around the rest of the night.

We didn’t sleep.   At all.  Yukon was so scarred he lay next to me shaking!

Our lovely shelters.  I enjoyed the orange plastic tube tent.


In the morning we were up at around 6am, lighting our stoves and cooking hot oatmeal and apple cider.  The rain had let up to a light drizzle and the sky was dark and foreboding, so we walked to the lake with our cameras,



took a few pictures, and then hiked out.   It was cold, wet, looked like more rain any minute, not good picture taking weather, and we hadn’t slept at all the night before.  It was an easy decision.

“Are you having fun?”

“No, are you?”


“Isn’t this supposed to be fun?”

“I thought so”

“Do you really want to spend another night here?”

“Not if I don’t have to!”

“Well, if we’re not having fun, let’s get out of here!”

We made the right decision, it started pouring when we were about halfway out – we got soaked!