Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Swiss Miss - Nyon

Through the magic of couch surfing we've ended up in another place that we hadn't planned on going to but are completely charmed by. The plan had been to go to Zurich post-farm and hang out for a few days before picking up my dad and Martha. Alas, the couch surfing scene in Zurich seemed to be mostly younger, single guys and the one family that seemed like a good fit were busy prepping for couch surfers who were coming for two weeks. I opened the search to all of Switzerland since we really could have gone to just about anywhere and we found Claudia who lives in Nyon with her three children. Nyon (pronounced 'Neon') sits on the shores of Lake Geneva about 25 km outside of the city of Geneva.

Claudia is warm, easy-going and laughs easily. She has a younger daughter (age 11) and two children in their 20's who also live with her. The house is always bustling with energy from her two dogs; a gregarious (is there any other kind?) black lab barely out of puppyhood who liked jumping on the trampoline with Vaughn and a sweet mixed breed dog with doleful eyes who was a bit shy at first on account of being a rescue dog. In addition to the dogs she has three cats and two guinea pigs.

Claudia home-schooled her younger daughter up until last year and she was a wealth of knowledge in addition to a source of reassurance when we share with her our concerns about 'doing it right' and our frustrations over the never-ending battles we seem to be having. On our last she observes Vaughn (who has recently decided his new career goal is to be an illustrator for the Simpsons and is already pestering us about special classes when we return to Portland) diligently sitting at the table searching for articles and videos on how to draw the Simpsons and tells Jacob she thinks his tendency to dive intently into one subject at a time makes him a perfect candidate for home-schooling.

Apparently Nyon is popular with ex-pats and it is easy to see why. It's not overly large (population is just under 19,000) but it has everything we could imagine needing and is clean and charming. While it rained the first day we were there, the second day it was sunny and warm and we went and sat on the shores of the lake while Vaughn practiced his illustrations and Jacob began crocheting our winter hats.

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