I had the pleasure of hosting Lexie this past weekend. She went on the UF MBA spring break trip to the UAE and made her return flight a multi-destination trip so she could stop by Switzerland.
Since leaving Duke, I’ve kept my sweet tooth relatively in check. (Can’t gorge on my daily dose of Twinnie’s or BXP’s giant cookies…) Well, the sweet tooth was revived this weekend when Lexie came to visit!
Lexie arrived in Geneva around 11 am on Friday morning. We began our sugar-rush-marathon-not-a-sprint weekend (but honestly, we sprinted the marathon) with Laudrée macarons followed by chocolates from Blondel (my favorite chocolate store in Lausanne). We took the boat across the lake to Evian and explored the quaint, lake side town. We also drank from the city’s local spigot for fresh, un-bottled Evian water. Then we ate a coffee ice cream sundae before heading back to Lausanne.
Saturday morning, we went up to Bois de Sauvabelin to climb the wooden tower for spectacular views of Lausanne and Lac Leman. Lexie definitely brought the sunshine from the UAE to Swizterland. We accidentally lost track of time, so we had to sprint our way down some hills to make it to train station on time to meet up with Charlotte. A minute after we sprinted onto the train it departed. The three of us went to Murten for the town’s Carnival festival. Upon arrival at 11:30 am, Charlotte and I had an exchange that ensued in a minor panic:
Charlotte: So what’s on the Carnival schedule?
Kristie: I didn’t look it up.
Charlotte: *Pulls up schedule on her phone* Well, the first event is at 3 PM.
Given Charlotte’s and my previous travels, Carnival would have probably been cancelled or started at some time in the evening rather than afternoon! Well, Lexie must have been our good luck charm. We whittled away the three hours by eating a long lunch, walking around town, visiting two bakeries (and consuming a citrus mousse dessert and a carac* in the process), and eating banana flavored cotton candy. I’m only a little ashamed. The Carnival was similar to Halloween in that people were dressed in costumes. My two favorite costumes were two children dressed up like astronauts and a child dressed as a gnome. People threw confetti, bands played music, and we ate sweets. It was very un-Swiss in that it was socially acceptable to play loud music and throw paper on the ground.
Sunday morning, we woke up early to take a train to Gruyères. While on the train, we each ate a piece of chocolate. Since we got to Gruyères before La Maison du Gruyère (the cheese museum) opened and we were cold, we found a hotel and sat down to drink hot chocolate. Our highest (maybe lowest) point of the trip followed:
*Orders hot chocolate*
*Gets hot chocolate*
Lexie: Ooh, sugar cubes. *Adds two sugar cubes to hot chocolate*
Lexie and I: There’s a chocolate cup with cream. Are we supposed to add this to the hot chocolate?
Lexie and I: *Add cream*…*Add chocolate cup*
*Consume hot chocolate+cream+chocolate candy*
Yeah…unsupervised Lexie and Kristie = scary amounts of sugar…
Following our hot chocolate, we went to La Maison du Gruyère where we saw the production of Gruyère cheese. We then went to the castle, which had beautiful painted walls and a wardrobe that looked like it could lead to Narnia. (I’m currently reading my way through the series–currently on book 4–and everything seems to remind me of Narnia.) We shared a fondue in Gruyères before heading back to Lausanne. Upon arriving, I took Lexie to my favorite ice cream shop (Loom gelateria 1900), which I found by trying every ice cream store in Lausanne back in September. Then we went to the Olympic Museum. The Olympic committee was moved to Switzerland back in 1915 due to Switzerland’s neutrality in WWI. After the Olympic Museum, we went to Musée de l’Élysée, a photography museum. We’re definitely not hipster enough to “get” the photography in this museum. Since we woke up early and ate a big fondue lunch, we went back home early and made a dinner of fruit and muesli. Lexie had a coconut-caramel macaron. And thus ended our sugar marathon weekend.
It was great fun catching up with Lexie and showing her around Switzerland!
*Caracs are traditional Swiss desserts (in this region) that have a chocolate-mousse type filling in a pie-crust mold and are topped with radioactive green frosting.