I have been participating in a blog circle with some wonderful photographers who are also mothers of girls. Each month, we write a letter to our daughters to preserve thoughts and memories of this time in our lives. I treasure being able to do this for my girls and I love the chance to see the messages that my friends leave for their own daughters. Once you have read my letter, please follow continue on to see what the lovely Jennifer Vititoe wrote to her daughters by clicking HERE.
Dear Avery and Alexa,
Just a little over a week ago, we returned from a vacation in Switzerland and Italy. (Getting ready for this trip caused me to miss a month in this Letters to Our Daughters series!). We had an incredible time – it is truly one of the best vacations I have ever had – and you two were simply amazing traveling companions. I took a TON of photos (surprise, surprise) and it will take me some time to get through them all, so the ones in this post are only from the Swiss portion of our trip.
I want to tell you two (who will hopefully one day be parents yourselves) and any other parents out there – consider traveling with your kids. You guys are young, and the flights were long, and yes there is jet lag. It requires flexibility as a parent, which can be work. But truly, you rose to most every occasion, had a wonderful time wherever you went, and we were able to have an adventure as a family. Your world got a little bigger, a little more diverse and hopefully a little more familiar. And your dad and I got to see those things through your eyes, and even got to experience the infectious curiosity and excitement that only kids have. We also got to share our passion for travel, our passion for art and food and for experiencing the world, with you. There are many people who would pass on this opportunity because of fear of a few difficult hours on a plane or a few missed naps, but I am so glad that we did not. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
Ok, mama will step off her soapbox now! Here are a few highlights from our trip! The top photo is from the entrance to our hotel in Lausanne. The Swiss are big fans of their flag, even if the World Cup isn’t happening at the time. 😉
On our first full day in Lausanne, we went down to the waterfront, played on a playground, and then took a boat cruise in Lake Geneva to a castle (Chillon).
Avery, it was really amazing to see how interested you were in learning about the castle, history and art. You sat and watched various videos on this computer that showed what the place was like when people still lived in the castle. I was so impressed during our trip about how much I could discuss art with you, how you were willing to pay attention to such things. I know that you love learning and love stories, but I didn’t expect to be able to share these sorts of things with you just yet and I was so pleasantly surprised. Alexa, you weren’t quite ready for the history lessons, but you loved exploring and kept searching, room to room, hoping to find the princesses, which were surely around the next corner.
This image below is of another of the boat cruises traveling back from Chillon toward Lausanne. It was incredibly beautiful, and we were so lucky to have such gorgeous weather.
That evening, we had dinner with our friends Katie and Alexis, and you met their daughter Olivia. You were SO excited to play with her – you love babies – it was incredibly sweet. The next morning we left Lausanne and drove into the “pre-Alps” and the region of Fribourg. We visited the Cailler chocolate factory in Gruyere, where you were able to taste many, many types of chocolate. Then we played outside for a bit to run off that sugar energy.
Next we went to the town near the Chateau de Grueyers, where we explored a bit, took in the views and, of course, had an ice cream break.
You two were really interested in the cows, all of which had large bells so that you could hear them coming from quite far away. Avery, you really wanted to pet a cow, even though these were kind of dirty, with dung on them and flies all around.
For dinner, we met up with Katie, Alexis and Olivia and climbed up this gorgeous mountain, complete with views all the way to Lake Geneva, and plenty of cute cows. We ate in a restaurant in a little mountaintop building – one of the more memorable meals of my life – where we had more cheese fondue (your dad and I ate fondue all 4 days that we were in Switzerland and, yes, it was totally worth it, you guys don’t know what you are missing!). The views were just ridiculous!
On the way down, we found some more cows – cleaner looking ones – and you tried to get a chance to pet one, though it didn’t quite work out.
That night we went to Alexis’s family’s chateau in the Alps. Stunning! You had fun running around the yard and playing in the wildflowers. I really didn’t take enough pictures….
Then we went to the Grand Dixence Dam and hiked around. We were over 2000 meters and there was still snow on the ground! It is a beautiful place, and a little terrifying, and you had a lot of fun exploring. That evening we stayed home, ate dinner and stayed up chatting with our dear friends. It was a perfect last night in Switzerland.
You two are amazing little explorers and we cannot wait to take on more of the world with you! Keep having adventures, always.