A Jam Packed Entry: Swiss Family Ford’s Favorite Trips

I thought I had a few more weeks to write this post – but with all our trips cancelled indefinitely, the time has come! It continues to be a weird few weeks of combination confusion, concern, blessing-counting, and nostalgia. The time seemed as good as any to be grateful for our good health and also to recount some of our greatest adventures. Whenever we discuss our experience with others, inevitably, we’re immediately asked “what’s been your favorite?”

It’s such a tough question because it’s shaped by about a million things. The company, the weather, the activities, the pace, your interests, the beer. Our Christmases (part one and part two) were of course, epic and won’t ever be forgotten. The whole experience to me feels very broken into “before James” and “after James!” (even though my husband has long loved an early night regardless!)

Pre-Baby:

When I think about hours-long cocktails and long lingering dinners on vacations, the post-baby contrast is startling. Before James arrived, we were beyond enchanted by the fairytale magic of Copenhagen and Stockholm

We were totally swept up (by Pinochio and booze) in Bavaria.

Our hearts soared when paragliding in Lauterbrunnen

and hiking in Grindewald

and watching my sister skydive in Interlaken….

We felt so much calm in Bruges (maybe it was the waffle coma.)

We marveled at the pastel skies in the South of France and had a brief James Bond moment in Monaco.

We were completely charmed by Northern Ireland’s coast.

 

 

We ate our weight in cheese and wow-ing at windmills in Amsterdam.

And we felt like we were living an alternate reality on our first week-long trip flying from France...

to Greece.

I felt like a festive “Belle” during the crowded holiday weekend in Colmar.

& that isn’t even to mention our favorite country, Switzerland, and all the magic we found here in…

Montreux!

Luzern!

 

Jungfraujoch!

Zermatt!

Part 1

Part 2

And that barely scratches the surface of all the wonder we felt and saw. And that was just magic all before James.

Post Baby:

Since then, there were some really special moments as a group of three- a quick overnight in Strasbourg, France

A long weekend in Prague

But there are really three trips, all within Switzerland, come to mind first when I think about our best family moments. Our first as Ford party of three to Lugano was exceptional. We held our breaths and it was worth the risk of traveling with a 5 week old?! (when we told people we were going they either laughed in our faces or behind our backs) It was a long car trip we could never do today and was designed for newborn travel. The food, the views, the sunsets were just spectacular and it gave us so much more confidence that we could still travel with this new precious cargo. Friends have asked me for my best tips on baby travel generally and I’ll share shortly. I can just remember sitting on that balcony feeling immeasurably lucky.

Second was just a two night visit to Gstaad for one of our most incredible hikes of all time. It was a quick (and gorgeous) scenic train ride, we celebrated James’ six month birthday, and we sat out on the most stunning balcony after bedtime just marveling at our good fortune. After being a really chill baby and solid newborn sleeper, we were hit HARD by a four month sleep and development regression. Combined with constant B work travel, and lots of memorable but difficult summer travel (to Spain and Germany!) we had just bitten off more than we could chew and I was at my lowest sanity-wise. Also, my hair was falling out so much I was considering making wigs. But by Gstaad, things had really leveled out. We could go away again without panic, he had calmed down during the day, and after some (mostly) gentle sleep training, slept all night and has ever since. We were so lucky it was a short-term blip in the scheme of things but goodness can I empathize with people who struggle with challenged sleepers!

The final trip was was back to Lauterbrunnen this winter. After a stressful few weeks of zero family time, we just had the most zen experience getting fresh mountain air, reconnecting as us three, soaking up all that Swiss winter goodness. So peaceful! ,

And then of course, it was the trips with our company! We are so mindful that part of what has made our experience so amazing was that our loved ones were so generous with their time, resources, and vacation days to be here with us. We loved our trips with groups – our first trip to Chamonix, France with friends…

my peek behind the Iron Curtain in Budapest with just my in-laws…

London with home friends and expat friends (and the Eagles)…

a lovely Thanksgiving in Madrid

a truly fantastic wine trip to Piedmont, Italy

Spain with aunts galore!

Munich and Salzburg with our (unpictured?!) Aunt C

an enormous confidence building trip with dear friends to Yorkshire

our high-class Viennese (and Slovakian) adventure with my mom…

a quick overnight to Burgundy with friends…

our huge family trip to Portugal

visiting Kandersteg with our dear friend A ….

and of course – enormous Christmas 1

and Christmas 2.

My conclusion of course is that there is no favorite. Each and every moment has been special – even when tinged with the difficulty that plagues any travel – delayed flights, rain-outs, forgotten reservations, sick kids. It’s been so heavenly it truly brings tears to my eyes.

We have been lucky enough for a lifetime, and yet feels like there’s so much left to do. Croatia, Scotland, Norway – not to mention South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Australia, New Zealand- we’re coming for you, someday!

But we are also looking forward to James’ first Fenway frank, first lobster roll at the Canteen in Provincetown, ice cream cone on the beach in Connecticut, his first walk through Central Park, first hang at the Boathouse in Hilton Head, his first crab fest in Bethany Beach, and eating pizza on the deck in our future home on a Friday night with our loved ones. We will probably have to listen to the 24/7 Grateful Dead station on Sirius but honestly I won’t even care.

You can visit the travel tracker for all the details of these spectacular spots, but don’t ever hesitate to ask if there’s something not covered if you have questions or need a recommendation! I will always be happy to share my nostalgia of these best-loved spots.

I’ll be back with a few more posts with some baby travel tips, some Switzerland and Geneva tidbits, etc. but I thank you all very much for following along on my long, rambling posts and all your sweet words (virtually and in person) about my recaps. Writing for myself and for others is my most restorative joy, and I thank you for letting me share.

 

With love always,

5 Comments Add yours

  1. Marie says:

    Great pics – here’s to many more trips.
    Stay safe.
    Marie

    Like

    1. Thank you, Marie!! Take care in these unprecedented times!

      Like

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