Saturday, December 24, 2011


Hey everyone! I am sorry that I have gotten so behind! There has just been no time at all to write lately, and the last month has just flown by. I'm going to quickly do a blog about the Matterhorn, then I'll write one about Christmas and the Weinachts Ball tomorrow.

So, about a month ago (has it already been a month?!?) Rotary took all the exchange students in Switzerland to a weekend in Zermatt, Switzerland. There are over 100 exchange students, and about 10 Rotex (Swiss young adults who volunteer to help, because they enjoyed their exchange so much) there, so we definitely filled up Zermatt.

After about four hours of travelling, we all met in Zermatt, and moved our luggage to the Youth Hostel. Here is a quick snapshot we took of the Matterhorn along the way:

After getting situated, Rotex brought us all down to "down-town" Zermatt. This is a picture of all the exchange students in Switzerland

Then, Rotex told us we were going to do a Zermatt-style Scavenger Hunt. Let me just say, that Scavenger Hunt might be one of the top highlights of my exchange.

We all split into groups of 5, and then had to do ridiculous tasks in Zermatt. We had to find a stranger who would boil us an egg, get a picture with a bride and groom, and trade a pencil for something bigger. Some of the exchange students ended up trading their pencil for a TV, while I saw some others who ended up with a pair of skiis in the end. I dont think I have laughed that hard in my life...immagine 100 teenagers running around a little mountain village, trying to get someone to boil them a hard egg.

My team did not win, probably because we got a little distracted along the way. Kelsey and I FOUND ROOTBEER. Yes folks, I am telling the truth--we found Root Beer in Switzerland! Being the Americans we are, 4 months deprived of our favorite carbonated drink was damaging to our souls. Needless to say, we were very happy.

After our scavenger hunt, we got to go to a museum about the history of the Matterhorn. It probably would have been a lot more interesting, if we all weren't starving to death, and knew we were eating fondue afterwards.


Ah, finally! Fondue! Rotex took us on a 25 minute walk to get to our Restaurant (to burn calories? or just to be mean?) so when we finally got there, we were all starving! That meal is also probably one of the highlights of my exchange.

The room was glowing with candlelight, and toasty warm. Everyone was laughing and talking, and it was so noisy and wonderful. As I have said before, I can not explain in words how much I adore the other exchange students. Not only do they understand what I am going though, but they are all also some of the funniest, and kindest people I have ever met.

In my booth, I was with 7 of my closest friends who all don't live in Zug, so it was so nice to see them! And the FONDUE WAS SO GOOD. Oh my gosh. I was dying. I think we ate all of our cheese before anyone else.

And I dont even know what is happening in this picture...something about our water bottle looking like a Gin bottle.

Then, Rotary brought us to a Rave! Well, I wouldnt call it that. More of a alcohol-free, Rotary sponsored dance.  But it was still fun. Only exchange students could make a dance with Katy Perry music a fun night. When we all finally got back to the hostel, we konked out.

Rotary Disco--hard core music like "Barbie Girl"


Sunday was the day we actually go to go up the Matterhorn! We had to take FOUR different gondolas. I almost got a little faint because we were up so high. Lucky I'm not scared of hights!

This is just the first gondola, but look how hight we were! After all my freaking out, and a quick Wikipedia check, I found out the Matterhorn is just a little taller than Mt. Raineer! I think it is so funny that Switzerland is famous for its mountains, and our little mountain is as tall as the Matterhorn.

Once on top, we go to go to some ice caves, which were so cool! No pun intended! They were filled of ice sculptures, and tunnels. It was so beautiful.

Then, once we were finally on top, we got to see the wonderful view, and think how lucky we all are to be here. Being all there together, when we are all from so many different countries, was just such a great feeling. Standing on top of the Matterhorn with all my friends, holding my flag, and singing our anthem made me feel the most patriotic I ever have. You never realize how much you truly love your country, until you have to be separated from it for a while.

I never was one to say this back home, but now I shout it with pride: "God Bless the USA! Land of the free, and home of the brave!"

Sunday, November 20, 2011

New host family!

Its official: I moved today! I now live in Menzingen--population 8000 (eek!)

I'm going to try to explain the topography of Kanton Zug, but visualizing things has never been my strongpoint, so bare with me.

Ok: this is Kanton Zug. The majority of people live near Zug, and the population kind of gets less dense as you move farther away. I lived in Steinhausen before, which is a suburb about a 10 minute drive away. Do you see the city Baar, just North of Zug? Well, Baar is at the base of a mountain (range? or one mountain? I dont know) which basically slices the Kanton in half. Menzingen is IN the mountain. And it is the biggest town to be so fact, we get snow here when they dont, and we can see over the fog of Zug! Luckily, its only a 20 minute bus ride.

My new host family is very nice. I have a host sister who I think is around 12, and a host brother who I would guess is 14 (he doesnt really talk much...I think he is in that awkward "girls are gross" phase). My host father is so funny, and the pastor of the Reformed church here, and a Rotarian. My host mother Barbara also works in the Church, and is very funny too. There family is much louder than my last one, which is different for me. PLUS they have a dog!

This is Menzingen. What you see in the backround is the famous fog over lake Zug, and Kanton Luzern. It is usually 3 degrees Celsius colder here than in the lower villages.

I think you might be able to see my house even in this would be somewhere around the bottom right hand corner. We are in an appartment, but they own a couple different appartments on the same floor, which is kind of weird. But my room is bigger! I'll be sure to put up some picture when I am able to find my card reader from unpacking.

I have mixed feelings right now. I am excited for the new change, and my new host family seems very nice, but it is hard to leave Steinhausen when it was beginning to feel like home. I will miss being so close to Zug, and having the house to myself often, but its good to be in a family again. Plus, I'm really happy that I have a host Dad, because honestly, not having a father figure here has been really hard for me. I missed my Daddy! And it was hard to say goodbye to Margrit, who has just been so nice to me. Driving away and seeing her alone waving to our car just broke my heart! I am planning on visiting her whenever possible.

I'll write again when I have more news about Menzingen! And CHRISTMAS!!!


How is it already November???

Ok, I will quickly try to sum up the last three weeks. After getting back from Holiday in the end of October, I have been going to school regularly, and getting in the swing of things. Zug is getting colder, and the leaves are all turning a vibrant orange, and the fog is starting to set in. My Deutsch is getting better, and I am able to now understand the basic idea of most sentances, if the speaker speaks slowly and in High German (which is not Swiss German!).

School is getting pretty boring, but I knew this would happen, since school is just normal now and not exciting anymore. I usually read in class since I can not understand anything that is happening, all though some teachers are much more helpful than others, and some make me take tests. My friends at school are great, but I am usually hang out with exchange students, since my German isn't good enough yet to have actual conversations.

Here are some highlights from November:

Hometowns from left to right: Yukon, Portland, Seattle, Kansas,
Colorado, and Australia

Me, failing at ice skating

Last weekend was definitely a highlight too. I went to a couple of parties with friends, and ended up at the Baar Chilbe, which is basically a carnival--but at night! It was so much fun! I had no idea Zug had so many literally seemed like every teenager in a 10 mile radius was there.

This month I also went to a concert, went up the Rigi with friends, went to Luzern, had a halloween party for Americans, and have eaten a lot of raceltte! (Cheesy goodness)

Its been a pretty good month, if I do say so myself

I went skating with about 20 other exchange students in Bern a couple weeks ago, when we had school off. It was so so so so much fun! Can I just say how awesome exchange students are? Not to toot my own horn, but all of them are the kindest, funniest people I have ever met. I think its because you have to have some guts to do this, and they all do, which is a quality I really admire in people.

Anyway, skating was super fun. I learned I cant skate! Everyone had to help me, but I got a little better by the end!

Sienna, Laura and I at the Chilbi,
or Swiss fair

Last weekend was definitely a highlight too. I went to a couple of parties with friends, and ended up at the Baar Chilbe, which is basically a carnival--but at night! It was so much fun! I had no idea Zug had so many literally seemed like every teenager in a 10 mile radius was there.

This month I also went to a concert, went up the Rigi with friends, went to Luzern, had a halloween party for Americans, and have eaten a lot of raceltte! (Cheesy goodness)

Its been a pretty good month, if I do say so myself

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

I'm Baacccckkk!

Hey everyone! I just got back yesterday from a LOVELY three weeks off school! It was so much fun and I saw so many places. Let me start of with Project Week.

On Project Week, my class was separated into three groups. We spent the whole day practicing songs with our teacher (such as Make You Feel My Love and Obla Di Obla Da), and then spliting off into rooms with our groups to work on individual songs. We could print off any sheet music we wanted, and use any instrument we wanted. At the end of the day, each group preformed a song for the whole class. It was so much fun, and I learned a lot about guitar--and became one of our class' lead guitarists! Although, I had some trouble with the a cappella group had like perfect pitch!

On Thursday, we left for Basel and preformed on the streets for money. Our class sang songs together, and then we split into groups and took separate street corners. At the end of the night, we ate pizza at a real Itlalain restaurant and stayed at a Youth Hostel. Basel was so pretty! It is situated on the border of France, Switzerland and Germany on the Rhine River.

Basel by night

My friends and I explored the city at night, and had such a fun time staying up all night talking (yep! partly in Deutsch!). That morning, we played some more music, but it started raining so badly we had to hide in Starbucks. There are so many Starbucks' here, that I can never fully get away from Seattle :)


For the first week of vacation, I went with my host Mom to stay with her sister in Chur, the oldest city in Switzerland. We went hiking almost every day, took trams and explored the was really beautiful.
This is me hiking in the Alps!

This is me hiking the Santis with my counselor! So so so cold.

My counselor Rolf also took me to St. Gallen, a large city in the East of Switzerland. We visited a beautiful monestary, and one of the oldest libraries in the WORLD! It has books from before the birth of Christ! The whole building was complelty gorgeous. We also drove past Lichetstein on our way there--a country twice the size of Vashon, with its own Prince!

St. Gallen Catholic Monestary

St. Gallen library

When I got back from my week in Eastern Switzerland, I decided to spend my week home travelling with friends. Some of my favorite places I went to were:

Geneva, home of the United Nations headquarters (my Dad will argue with you about this, he says its New York...the Swiss say Geneva)

This is us inside the original League of Nations Building

Lugano, the capital of the Italian region of Switzerland. It was about 15 degrees warmer there, and more sunny! It is absolutly beautiful! And the Gelato is killer.

Me and Elle infront of the Lake--which you can see Italy from
Elle, Stacy and I in Old Town, we couldnt understand any Italian
Us infront of the fountain and park

Then I went to Appenzel, the tiniest capital of the tiniest Kanton (like Swiss states), and the last place to let women vote (1990). Also, supposedly (this is according to Rolf, not sure if he is alwazs reliable...haha) everyone in the whole Kanton gathers in the town square to vote--by raising their hands like in a school board meeting! It was really cute, and had some great stinky cheese.

I was freezing there, because it was about the same temperature as Vashon is in December. My friends with me are from Colorado, New York and Ontario, and they all infromed me that it was nothing. Eeek! Im scared I might die in the winter!

Maddy (ON), Elle (CO) and Laura (NY) with me in Appenzel

All in all, it was an amazing break. Although I'm kind of sad to be back in school, it is good to be back to my normal routine :)I love how many breaks you get here! I dont think we ever have two week breaks back home in the states! whoopee! Winter break in 6 weeks!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Rotex Weekend!

Hey everybody! I just came back from the Rotex weekend (Rotex are exchange students who have returned from their exchanges) and it was so much fun!

We started the say by meeting in the Bern trainstation. All the exchange students from the West side of Switzerland were there--over 60 teenagers. We then met our Rotex leaders, who brought us by bus to Bern's Ropetech. A Ropetech is a park where ropes and bridges are suspended from tree over 50 ft high for you to walk on. About half of the students and I got to go first. We go suited up in harnesses, and learned the basics, and then got to try it out. In Switzerland, it is a lot harder to sue someone than it is in America, which is part of the reason why we got to do this semi-dangerous thing without any superviosion, which was super nice.

It was so so so much fun! We walked on ropes (clipped in of course, so it we fell we wouldnt die) 50 ft in the air! Some of the obstacles were so scary, and I am proud I was brave of enought to do them. One of them was where you had to walk across a log path in the air. The logs were standing vertically, and were suspened each by one wire, so you had to walk on the tops of them as steps. It was really freaky because they tipped when ever you walked on them, and the girl in front of me fell, and was hanging in the air by her harness!

You can see a person here stating to make the climb up the steps (right in picutre) to the starting of the lowest platforms.

A lot of the course was also ziplines. My parents would not believe you if you told them what I did...haha. I climbed up a series of ladders until I was parallel with the top of the forest, and then went on a 50 meter long zipline. I didnt get any pictures of that one, but here is a picture of one of my friend's Emily going on a smaller one. You can see here standing on the platform.

Later, we all took a train to a log cabin in Langenthall, and stayed there for the night. Immagine 60+ teenagers (and exchange students for that matter, which I think are a breed of teenagers) alone in a cabin for a night, with the only superviosion being four 20 year olds. Yep, it was a very fun night. We were all up until 4:30 in the morning...haha. I bunked with some girls I havent met yet, and they were all so nice. We talked so loudly that some Spanish girls who went to sleep early had to kick us out in to the hallway.

In the morning, after a great breakfast of bread and Nutella, (Swiss people loooveee Nutella!) we played a relay race and other games (which my team SUCKED at...we got an A for effort though!). We also took some picutres.
Here are all the exchange students who happened to be outside when this was taken.

We also took some country pride pictures.....yeah, America was not impressive. Here are the Canadians:
And here are the Americans. Only country which had no flags at all! Goooo America!!! I think we were the least patriotic group, but hey, how can you compare to Canadians or Argentinians? Those exchange students are weirdly partriotic...when I said I didnt like hockey, I think Patick got angry at me.

Here are the South Americans plus dark skinned people. (As you can tell by the addition of three Americans...haha)

To end a great weekend, some of us hung out afterwards in Zurich and made plans to meet again during break in 2 weeks. My new friends Hailey (a and Kelsey (weirdly enough, from Portland!) and I are planning on tracing the outline of Switzerland by trains, so we can get postcards from 6 different countries in one day! Yeah, strangly enough, from Switzerland, you can visit Italy, France,Germany, Austria and Lichtenstein in one day! I'm so excited! And Emily, Kim might come with us (more Canadians...double boo) to Ticino during break too. Ticino is the Southern most Kanton of Zurich, and the speak Itlalian there. We hear the gilatto and pizza is super good!

 Most popular game of the night: Ninja! We are such mature people.

You probably wont hear from me for 2 weeks or so. Next week is work week, and my class is preforming  music in the streets of Basel. Then, its vacation (and all my fun trips!) but I wont have acess to a school computer, and my computer crashes on this website. So until next time! Thanks for reading :) I'll try to update my last post tomorrow, sorry I have been so delayed--its just hard finding time to do this, Im a busy girl!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


Hey Everybody! I have been getting some questions about what are the main differences from my life now, to the one I had before, so I decided to devote an entire post to that. First, to catch up on everything that has happened since my last post.

Last weekend, we had our rotary innitiation. We met Rotarians, and I had my first Brotwust (as seen in the picture to the right). By the way, I am typing this during lunch because my laptop at home cant go on this website. So, if at some time I just randomly stop, its because the bell rang---but it will be updated 24 hours later! Haha...

Anyways, school is going well, and it is beginning to feel like a routine. Below, is a picture of me sitting with my exchange friends during lunch. We are all really close, and they make it so much easier to do this with. Last Wednesday we went on an hour or two long boat ride around the lake together (thanks Rotary!) and ate and talked. It was so much fun!
 Laura, Elle and Sienna and I also all took the train to Luzern this Saturday for another Rotary orrientation, and we got to check out the city, which was fun too.

Elle and I on the boat

Language camp officially ended last Friday, which was a good thing, and a bad thing. On one hand, I'm glad to spend the whole day with my normal class, and I was getting a little bored to be honest in language camp. On the other hand, we all kind of decided that we should stop hanging out with eachother, and try to make Swiss friends. Although I sat with some girls from my class on Monday, this whole week I sat by myself or in the library reading Time during lunch. Ergh...Im such a loser!! That has been really hard for me, because the exchange students have kind of been a barrier to all the homesickness people feel on exchange, and let me tell you, eating by yourself will bring that on like no other. (Especially when you stupidly decide to eat at Starbucks, and there is a huge painting of Pike Place)

Now, on to the main subject of this, the differences! (The bell is about to ring, so I'll make this snappy)

SCHOOL: School is WAY different here. As I said before, you pick a major, and are in a class of students with the same major. Your rotate your entire day with this class. School usually starts at 7:30, 8:25 or 9:15 and goes until 3:00, 4:00 or 4:45. Although the late start is nice, not getting home until 5:30 two days a week kind of sucks. Lunch is always at least and hour and a half, and on Thursdays for me it is two hours and fifteen minutes. In that time, you can walk downtown and buy food at Migros (kind of like a Swiss Thriftway) or go to a restaurant (though most people dont do this) or go home. A lot of people eat in downtown, or at the lake. The Migros is located in the Metali, which is kind of like a mall, which reminds me of Westlake center. There is an outside fountain at the Metali which is the most popular place to eat.

(This is a picture Elle took of me during lunch)

Teachers also lecture A LOT more than in the states, and there is way less  homework! It is almost more like a college setting, because most of your grade is based on tests, so the teachers wont force you to just should. PLUS all colleges are almost free and you get accepted autimatically for passing high school. (Which by the way, they only accept the the top 20% of Middle School students. So getting in to high school says that you are really smart!) Ill add more to this catagory tomorrow after I have thought it over...Im kind getting a brain fart...haha

HOME: Ok, all homes are smalllll. And very clean. Housing is so expensive that it could cost a million dollars to have a house half the size of mine at home! Wowza.

Personally, I do not really care for Swiss homes, and it has actually been something that has made me homesick.Even Swiss people admit it; from the outside, there houses are not that attractive. They are kind of like grey boxes. I miss American architecture so much! Give me some white paint or some Victorian porches PLEASE. But dont get me wrong, it is a cultural difference, and I understand that. It is just not something they care a lot about, maybe it relates to being humble? Because a house that doesnt look that nice here usually is decked out in the inside. I reallly like my house, however. I think I posted some pictures, but it is on a cobblesotone road and is really sweet.

RANDOM OTHER DIFFERENT STUFF: (Warning--I will ramble)
  • The lights turn yellow before before they turn green to warn you that you will have to go soon
  • It is totally acceptable for a teenager to drink and smoke in public
  • Nudity is not an issue here--my Swiss friends acted like it was totally normal to have me go in their bathroom stall with them while they peed. (haha, I pretended to be suddenly very intrested in my phone the entire time. It was akward for me!)
oooppsies. Bell! I gotta go to Sports. Yucky...we playing soccer! (Last time, when the ball was kicked to me, I tried to catch it. oh my god.) At least I kick there booties at basketball! (You guys would think it was so funny watchint them try to dribble...) Ill finnish this tomorrow at lunch! Im sorry if it sounds like I am complainging to much, I really do love it here and am so thankful for this opportunity. I have had some of the best times of my life here, and some of the saddest. I gotta keep being postive! IM IN EUROPE!!!!

Until tomorrow ;)

Monday, September 12, 2011

Beginning of School

Hello everyone! Switzerland is so much fun, and I am having the time of my life. Sorry I have taken so long to update, but as you can immagine, I hardly have time, and our internet goes out really easily. Actaully, I'm typing this at my school! Lots of stuff has happened since I last wrote, so this is going to be a lengthy post: you have been warned.

So many people have been asking me, "So, how is it?", and honestly, there is no way I can explain. Life is beginning to feel normal over here, and things dont feel as foreign as they used to. Immagine having to explain to someone exactly what life on Vashon is like; sure, you can give some funny annecdotes, but they will never truly know. It is so weird to think that my life over here is completly unknown to my friends and family at home. They have never had Margrit's cooking, talked to Elle or Sienna or gone to Migros to buy lunch.  hope these pictures and my stories will help you to understand whats happening here as best as I can!

Last week, Rotary took the exchange students and I took underground caves formed at the bast of a river. They were made by rain water dripping down rocks for hundreds of years! We had to hike through a forest to get to them, (one of the few forests I have seen so far) and it really reminded me of home. Being by the river looked just like it would if you were hiking near the Columbia back in the States. The caves were very intricate, and exciting to look through. It was really damp and cold too, and it reminded me of something you would see in Scooby-Doo.

This is a close up of the weird rock formations--they're kind of gross, aren't they?

Then after that, I met my host mom Margrit to go on a boat to celebrate the 125th anniversay of their family's company. I took the bus and walked there, and snapped some prettz pictures of Zug on the way to the marina.

The boat was super nice, and was decked out (haha, no pun intended!) with tables with white table clothes and fancy wine glasses.It was almost more like a yacht, and I really enjoyed it.

Only down side was that everyone was smoking on the deck. I mean, EVERYONE smokes here...even teenagers at school, because it is legal when you are 16. Sorry to go on a mini-rant there, but that has been one of the biggest things that has been bugging me, it is really hard for me to watch kids my age smoke, when the probably don't know the after effects of it.

It was still a beautiful night, and we went swimming in the lake and watched the sun set, and ate a LOT of food. I tried my first cherry kirsch, which Zug is famous for. I had no idea that it was alcoholic, so when I took a bite, it surprised me and I spit it out on the plate. All the adults were laughing, but I was reallz embaressed. Well, at least I know now that even cakes can be spiked!

That weekend, I also went with my host mom to a farmtown in Bern, her hometown, to see her family. It was VERY rural out there! We took a hike (have you noticed a trend in my weekends? Hiking basically every one? So Swiss.) and at a great brunch on top of a mountain; cheese, bread, yogurt and hash browns. That is a typical Swiss breakfast, lots of lights appetizers like cheese and bread, because lunch is there most important meal of the day. There were even yodelers there! And we went to here sister's house to celebrate her birthday.

The next week, Rotary took us to hike the Wildspitz. Very very hard hike for us Americans! Well, except Laura who was booking it up with the Swiss people...haha. It wasn't that hard I guess, but our guides were going really quickly, so it was hard to keep up with them. It wasn't that bad at the end, and the view was great! We had a 4 course meal afterwards (consuming twice the calories we burned I'd assume) and met a lot of Rotarians, who were all so kind and nice. Fun night!

Me and my friend Sienna have an ongoing rivalry about whether Hilo or Seattle is better, so I was very happy when one of the Rotarians said they knew what the space needle was! First one! My exchange friends always jokingly say that all we have is vampires. Pshh.  Sienna just though it was funny that I had only met one person who had heard of it, when everyone here drinks Starbucks.

This weekend, I went to Einsedeln with my host family. It is a beautiful BEAUTIFUL monistary (how do you spell that? Spell check wont work in English grrrr) in Schwyz. I couldn't take pictures, but found some on Google!

It is probably the most beautiful thing I have seen in my whole life. No joke. The building itself if gorgeous, but inside is even more spectacular. Just for reference, those benches in the picture below are about up to my shoulder in height. This picture doesnt even do the buidling justice.

The ceilings are huge, and covered with a painting worthy of Michaelangelo (again, how do you spell that?!?) of angels and clouds, and Jesus and humans and EVERYTHING. It looked like something from Anastazia or the Davinci Code. There was even a secret morgue underneath for monks who have died! Definitely Davinci Code worthy.

I could have stared at the ceiling for days. I kept hearing Viva la Vida in my head, because the giant picture of people and angles jumping to the sky seemed like a mural of all human existance, sorry if that sounds to corny. It in all seriousness was...for no better word...EPIC.

Some other things I have been up to but havent gotten pictures of are going to Lucerne and eating on the lake, going to an art museum in Zurich with my class and going to musical theater rehearsals for Aida. Life is so much fun over here, and so relaxed. When I was late to class yesterday, my teacher just told me it was fine, and to go outside and read! I love being an exchange student. Every night I go somewhere else, and every day is a new adventure of trying new foods, taking trains, and visiting some of the most beautiful places I have ever seen.

Its not all fun and games, however. It is hard never being in your old home, where you could not worry about dressing up for dinner or where everything goes, or even being able to fight with your parents when you have a bad day (is that weird I miss that mom? It was a good stress releiever!) and to top that all off, you are in a constant state of confusion, because you never know whats happening, and it is hard never knowing what people are talking about. I used to be good at speaking, and now I have the skill level of a 4 year old.

I havent gotten to homesick (yet). I will get pangs of it when I see something and think "Oh! Anna Rose would love this!" or something only someone from Vashon would understnad.And as I said before, it is so hard for me feeling stupid all the time, especially in school. Its ironic how Switzerland is the land of mountains, because here I have had some of my highest highs, and some dropping lows.

I still love it though, and do not regret coming one bit. Until next time!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

More Swiss Times!

Hey! Sorry it has taken me a while to blog again, I have just been so busy! I will try to write the highlights of my week though!

Hm..where do I start? Ok, last Friday I left school early to go with the exchange students to hike to Zugerberg, the closest mountain to Zug. They really are like my family, since only they know exactly what I am going though.

We rode up this tram to the top of the mountain, then hiked around with Rolf, and saw some cow pies! haha. From left to right that is Carlos (Columbia), Bianca (Mexico), Me, Sienna (Hawaii), Elle (Colorado), Laura (NY), Pavel (Russia) and Pusit (Thailand).
Then we went for some homemade Swiss ice cream! Delicious! And took some pictures of the lovely view over looking Zug. These are my friends Laura and Elle in the picture below, who are from New York and Colorado.

The next day I went to Schwyz with my host sister to meet her brother and sister at the summer festival, where they were serving beer at a booth. We sat down in the beautiful old town, listened to music and yes, drank some good 'ol Swiss beer and Rivella.

Then on Sunday, my host mom took me to hike the Rigi. It was a pretty hard hike at the end, but well worth it for the view!

We took a REALLY high gondolla type thing to the top of the mountain, where I took this picture from. I almost got a little dizzy, so it is good I don't get scared of hights, like the Chinese tourists next to me. On the top of the mountain, it plateaus, and that is where I took this picture of the farmhouses who raise cows. They were so lonesome up there, just them and the cowbells! But I guess some people love the solitude of being alone in the mountains, which I can kind of understand in a way, it is just so beautiful!

We hiked for two and a half hours, on the flat section, overlooking Lake Lucerne. The final bit was definitely hard, but I was very proud of myself that I could keep up with my super-human host mom, who was like booking it the whole way up no-stop!  The next picture is not one I took, but it shows where we hiked too--the tippy top! You can't see it from this picture, but the Rigi is one of the foothills of the Alps!

This is the lovely view of the Alps from the top of the Rigi! It is not as pretty in the picture as it was in real life...which I guess is true for everything, but I think you will get the jist of what it looked like.

Here is a picture from the top of the Rigi, looking to the Alps. I can't imagine how high we were when I took this picture, and the Alps still look huge! 

School is going pretty well, and I am making Swiss friends instead of just hanging out with exchange students (told you so Dad!).  School is pretty excruciatingly boring though, because I can't understand a word the teachers are saying, except for yesterday, when I think they were asking when World War I started, and I couldn't answer because I can't speak German! Grrr. It is so hard not being able to be the smarty pants I normally am in school, especially in English, which I thought I'd be good in! Haha, it was a ton of grammer I never learned, like, "what is the second singular present perfect", and my German friends had to help me! Eeek. What is wrong with American schools? Well, at least I could help them when they said "I drankst the tea,"

I made some new friends today in Gym, and we talked about music together, which is great, because my class is a music major, meaning we all chose it because music is our favorite subject. Actually, Gym is even fun over, we jumped on trampolines the whole period! I was pretty skilled at it, you know me and my trampolining skills...haha.

And also, my host mom signed me up for a ballet class which I went to last night, and a Glee Club which I just came home from! Glee Club was so much fun! The teacher said we were going to sing an "unknown song" at the end of the class, and it was Seasons of Love! Everyone was so surprised I already knew it!

I love Switzerland so much. I love the transportation system, which makes it so easy to get ANYWHERE. I love how friendly and nice everyone is here. I love how people dress very fashionably for school, and try interesting clothes instead of just wearing North Faces and Uggs (haha, I know I do that too at home). I love the food, how beautiful the lake is, and how the Old Town looks like something from a story book. I love how people bike everywhere, and you have a 2 hour lunch, where you can walk to downtown or the lake or the market. C'mon, only in Switzerland could rock climbing be your PE class.

I feel like I am living a dream, and never want to leave. I just wish I could see my friends and family, who I miss so much. I wish there was some way to bring them to this new adventure with me! Oh yeah, and I wish I could actually speak German :) haha

Love and miss you Vashon and all the people on it. So much. Don't change to much while I'm gone! I LOVE YOU! You have no idea how much I miss hearing "Welcome aboard the Washington State Ferries..."