Sunday, June 24, 2012

Lugano, Swizerland (change of pace)

We are in Lugano for five weeks.  You may not have heard of Lugano, but in my one day of experience I have determined it is a type of heaven - along with every other part of Switzerland.  We rolled along in the tilting train, passing endless eye-popping lakes, waterfalls cascading off cliffs, handsome cows, and not a blade of grass out of place.  Even the tagging is tasteful.  It is a version of utopian dream - there is a hay field and then next to it a bustling hypermodern laboratory facility.

How to explain this trip in context of this blog - or our lives?  In short, Catherine won a Fulbright to University of Otago, and she also connected with teaching here in Lugano at Franklin College.  She threw in her cards for a sabbatical, I folded, and we started planning.  While it was borderline-frantically busy until literally a few hours before I got on the plane (and I am still getting a steady stream of work email), I will miss my work and colleagues at the Department of Law.

Why we came is encapsulated by a Will-J observation.  He was standing on a train platform, looking up at the mountains, and asked, "Is that the smoke from the fires in Fort Collins?"  No, Will-J, those are clouds right on the peaks, and this is a very different place.  You will learn a lot of different things on this trip.  

A summary of the journey from his point of view:

-First we went to Chicago to see Grandma and Grandpa.  The flight was okay, but I was really upset that the man next to Dada got a hot breakfast and I did not.  The Frontier airplane had an elk on the tail, which I liked a lot.  Chicago was pretty fun as well, and there was a lot of good food.  I caught tadpoles at the Arboretum, and got all wet.  Both Grandma and Grandpa have toys, which is good.

-I thought we were going back to Denver to see the big stuffed tiger my teachers got me on my last day of preschool.  But instead we went to a different airport - O'HARE INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT, which is bigger than DENVER INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT, and also has different art: there is no blue bronco, but there is a big sculpture of different people.  When we went into the airport, they had flags from so many states - which Dada calls countries.  I saw the one with the white cross on it and I asked if we were going to Switzerland now.  Dada said yes, and that I was smart to understand this just from seeing the flag.  After security, I saw the big plane also with a white cross on the tail and then I was sure we were going to Switzerland.  This was good because I knew I would see Mama there, and also I would get to camp, or go to something called camp, or maybe both.

-The O'HARE INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT was okay - they had a playground inside, but really it was just for little kids.  I met a boy there I thought was a girl because he had long hair.

-I was worried about the big plane at first because I thought it would go faster than other planes.  But really, it's just a regular plane - just bigger.  The people on the plane were really nice - they gave me new books, crayons, and a lot of food.  My food came first, it was lasagna, and I ate it.  They also gave me a glass of Sprite when Dada wasn't looking - this is great because I can't have Sprite at home.  I love Sprite.  I got to watch Ratatouille movie, which was good, but scary because a person tried to shoot a gun at a rat.  After the movie, I put on my pajamas and fell asleep.  It was strange because I had to sleep in the airplane chair, but when I woke up it was morning and the people on the plane gave me a breakfast.  We had crossed the whole ocean!

-The big airport in Zurich was crowded and I was tired.  Dada showed my passport to a woman and she smiled at me.  

-The worst part of the trip was waiting for the train in the big Zurich train station.  There were too many people, and I was hungry and tired.  I did like the train, though, and I fell asleep for awhile.  We had to keep changing trains, and even take a bus, because of a landslide.  Dada didn't like changing trains because he had two big bags to carry, but I thought it was sort of fun.  I saw the REAL LANDSLIDE near the big tunnel Dada called "Gotthard."  The tunnel itself was really long - so long that when we came out the other side, the man on the train speakers was speaking a different language.  The bus was good because I got to sit on the upper deck.  I've never done that before.  I saw a playground in a town along the way, but I couldn't play there because we were traveling.  Dada said maybe next time, but I don't care because the playground here in Lugano is better.  

-In Lugano, we took a car to a place where I saw Mama.  She says I will live here for awhile.  I think it is hot here, and too loud, but there are a lot of water fountains and again there is a very good playground.  I saw my camp, too, but I'm nervous that it's not Colorado, and also my big stuffed tiger is not here.  Dada says that after I live here for awhile, I will not want to go back to Colorado, and maybe he is right.

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