International Man of Mystery Day Three

Christophe made a wonderful meal of pasta and pork cutlet for us last night. We even got to see his brother and family, who came by to chat for a bit and have drinks. Afterwards Christophe and I left my parents at the hotel and went out for a glass of red wine at “Les Vins d’espagne”.
photo.jpgToday, Christophe picked us up at the hotel around 9am, and we three drove and toured the musee de la croix rouge. A very solemn experience to be sure.
Afterwards, Christophe dropped us off downtown, leaving us to our own devices in order to accomplish some pre-wedding things
We had a nice and simple lunch at Les Brasseurs (and I had a Belgian-style seasonal ale) before we made our way back at the hotel to meet Christophe at Three.photo.jpg
Again, Christophe was our devoted host,and drove us to Carouge, another quarter in Geneva. We had an excellent coffee at “O Calme” and then back to his apartment. Before joining his parents for dinner at their place, we helped him assemble envelopes with parking vouchers and driving directions from the church to the cocktail.
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Dinner at Christophe’s parents’ was excellent, as was the company and conversation, though my French is no better than a four-year old’s.
His mother dropped us back at the hotel this evening, and I set off in search of a couple bars Christophe recomended. I think I must be getting older, or perhaps US culture is different. I was looking for a place with good beer on tap, not too smoky to breathe, light enough to write in my journal, quiet enough to hear my thoughts, dark enough to have some ambience…rather like Biere Paradiso or even Brickskellars. To a one, they were crazy smoky, full of loud music, and too dark and smoky. I’m seriously spoiled. Oh well; I’ve just decided that I would only enjoy that sort of environment with Jean, anyway.
Tomorrow, more touring before the wedding, then the wedding. A one hour ceremony, two hour cocktail, then party till? Christophe says the place officially kicks us all out at 7:30am, though most are likely to wrap it up before 2:00am. I look forward to it!photo.jpg

J’arrive!

photo.jpgZurich was a short one-hour hop from Frankfurt. My layover there was enough to catch my breath and hop on another plane to Geneva, not even thirty minutes long. Despite the short run, we got served a tasty little slice of cured meat, butter and pickle on a roll of sorts and a Swiss red wine.
photo.jpgI didn’t have to check any luggage, so once I disembarked, went through customs (less hassle than even returning to the US) and hit up the ATM for some Francs, I saw Christophe and dad headed my way, pretty much 15 minutes or so. Mom was taking a snooze at his apartment, so after greetings, we headed back there to pick her up and head to the hotel.
Christophe has put us up at a Best Western downtown, quite close to anything and everything. Mom and Dad decided to take a siesta, but despite being travel-weary, I showered ad walked around downtown. I adhere to Jean’s theory of staying awake once you arrive in order to beat the jet lag.
I eventually found a little street-side cafe, at which I got a good-tasting cafe.
Tonight Christophe us making us dinner and he and I may go out afterwards.photo.jpg

international man of mystery, day two

Arrived at the airport on time, car parked, bus took, security check complete. A brief respite in the red carpet club. Boarding was a non-event, a simple walk-on.
Seated on the upper deck with three feet of legroom. A glass of champagne with toasted nuts before take-off.
photo.jpgThe jetstream is stronger today, so we will arrive an hour ahead of schedule, just past six AM Frankfurt time.
Taking off now; nearly fell asleep before liftoff. I used to do that in my old job, travelling so much:) We fly north from the airport before turning east, the wing dipping and giving me a generousview of the woods and suburbs below.
Travel always carries such promise; one feels compelled to enjoy each moment as if one has discovered they have a terminal illness.
photo.jpg20 minutes from touchdown. Business class has its perks. A three course dinner begun with smoked salmon and salad, scotch (glen livet). Curried chicken that, although having derived its flavor from a spice jar of the same name rather than a combination of spices, was scrumptious; Cote de Rhone.
Two rounded scoops of ice cream for dessert, vanilla and strawberry, the latter having pieces of fruit mixed in and the better part of the former occupying my cup of coffee.
Duty-free catalogue has an inordinate number of celebrity scents; Sarah Jessica Parker, Liv Tyler to name two.
A couple hours of sleep, then breakfast of croissant and fruit, more coffee.
photo.jpgTouchdown. Just after six AM here. We have a few hours to lounge about in the Lufthansa club. Just after midnight back home, Jean and the kids asleep.
Just got to the club and sat with my cappuccino and water with gas. A text from Jean tells me the beer tree is leaking. I hop on the lounge’s tmobile network to save my precious data traffic (data over wifi is free, and over GSM counts towards my 20MB limit for which I signed up on this trip)
The lounge is FULLY stocked. Breakfast, obviously, but also spirits, beer, wine, desserts. A pair of very fancy coffee machines. Toilets that mechanically rotate-while-swab-cleaning the seats. People collecting your dishes after they are set down and obviously used.
Germans seem to favor dark, if not all black clothing and color schemes. Dark grey and black carpets, dark grey walls, black leather chairs. With the stark exception of the Lufthansa yellow of course.
iPhone battery life is awesome by the way. Watched two hours of video, took a few photos, have surfed the net and blogged. Still 2/3 battery.
Man, I miss Jean and the kids.