Beeps, Byron, and the Suckling Pigs.

Bonjour all! The Kenny’s, Ted and I are thrilled to announce our newest residency: Monthey, Switzerland! We are so happy to be continuing our overseas adventure together and hoooly cow, this place is stunning. I don’t know how you guys are at geography, but Monthey is located on the French side of the country, a little south of Lake Geneva, near the Rhone River. As you cannot escape the beauty of the Swiss Alps in this country, it provides such an incredible landscape to gaze and gawk at. We are so fortunate to get to live in such a beautiful place.

Check out our patio view.

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Chimney Mountain/ we don’t know the name

This is all rather new to us, as it is our first experience in a French speaking land. It certainly presents new, fun little challenges daily. Though, nothing that awkward forced laughter and Google Translate can’t handle.

We’ve only been here a month and 10 days and this place is already starting to feel like home. The team was very accommodating with our living situation. Many of you know that to be a source of great anxiety at the start of every season for me and it is safe to say we are very pleased! There is plenty of room for Beeps to run around like a maniac (and for visitors!) and even a little garden for the Tedster.

Anywho! To make a long story short, we are happy! Now, on to our adventures.

Montreux, Switzerland: 25 minutes away and absolutely breathtaking.

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We had visited Montreux a few weeks ago and with the intention of taking the train up to Rochers-de-Naye Mountain. The timing didn’t work out then so we made plans to come back and instead visited the city’s castle. So before our mountain scaling adventure, let me first show you the castle we toured; as it is also quite beautiful and merits a mention.

So! Chateau de Chillon.

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AKA… Chillon Castle. How cool is the word Chateau though, am I right? I mean I gotta say Deutschland… Chateau kicks Burg’s butt every time.

Chateau de Chillon is a medieval castle. Medieval. Meaning the first written mention of the castle appears in 1150. What? I mean to say: that its freaking nuts. Though it did take another century to become the imposing structure it is today and in its current form it is the result of several centuries of constant renovations and restoring… but still! 1150. Wowza.

It is quite a sight to behold. Standing strong on the banks of Lake Geneva with the Swiss Alps it’s majestic backdrop. The place has everything you’d look for in a castle: turrets, a moat, thick stone walls, a hole in the ground toilet, and even underground torture tunnels, really the whole nine yards. Kenny and I have seen many castles in our day and the first thing we both said was, this place ain’t defendable. Every other major castle we’ve seen has been up a mountaintop. Thus you can just pick intruders off one by one with your mad archery skills. Chillon though: lake one side, (hello ships!) and mountain side on the other, meaning the intruders have the high ground. So basically Kenny and I were walking in thinking these guys were idiots. Turns out… it was only taken over a handful of times. Largely due to the fact it was mostly used as a prison and nobody really gave a crap about it.

Enter: Lord Byron (Suuuuper famous poet, c’mon guys!)

He wrote a poem titled: The Prisoner of Chillonthus immortalizing the castle and its imposing dungeons. The poem was about Bonivard, a monk that was imprisoned there for years, basically just because he ticked off the Savoys, (main castle dudes from 1150-1536) and guys, the poem is long, but boy is it beautiful.

Lord Byron was so enamored with the castle that he carved his name into one of the pillars and can still be seen today!!!

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I was floored.

These tunnels were spectacular. They are cut right into the rock base of the castle. Thus, making them very narrow, uneven and believe it or not, difficult to navigate with a 28 pound squirming child in your arms (See horrible quality photo below.) So I was in and out, but you can really feel the history down there; it was truly amazing… in a dark and twisted sort of way.

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Possibly the worst photo I’ve ever posted, but you get the idea.

Though I did find something down there of immeasurable value…

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Gimme

Chillon, being a medieval castle and one mainly used for arms and prisoners, does not possess the lavish gaudiness of the Bavarian estates we are used to. It certainly has its own charm though, and we enjoyed it all the same.

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Kenny3 in a Where’s Waldo situation wielding his great sword.

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“So much space to run” – Beeps thoughts

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K4 tired after battle aka running from mom like a maniac

As you can see from the above photos our little guy got a souvenir from the castle gift shop. Oh my goodness did he love this sword, almost as much as he loved hitting mommy with it. Oddly enough, he did not hit his father once. Needless to say, he lost his sword privileges pretty early on.

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Moments before thwacking mom on the head

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Dad?

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No… dad is safe.

We did not get a chance to tour the whole place but what we did see was pretty awesome. All the typical things you’d find in a fortress were present. Such as…

Thing #1: knight’s armor display. Again I ask, why were people so tiny back then?

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Might fit Beeps next year.

More on that… (and since it wouldn’t be a blog post if I didn’t make fun of Kenny)

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The life of a giant.

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Note the normal sized woman in background.

Making fun of him for this, as it always does, threw him into his, “I would’ve absolutely dominated back in those days” tangent. Clearly though, this cannot be disputed; just look at the Mountain (GOT ref #1)

Thing #2: Old cannon.

Fact: Castles looooove displaying their old cannons.

Thing #3: Cool arrow slits for slaughtering foes.

Thing #4: Strange toilet with on opening to the land beyond.

The heads up toilet room was complete with some rather excellent cartoons depicting medieval pooping practices but I foolishly did not snap any photos of them. One of the great failures of my life.

As you can imagine these castle commonplaces provided a sort of comfort for us… as only pooping and murdering holes could.

A new, fun thing we got to see was a medieval cookbook! I’ve never seen its equal.

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Way to utilize the whole page guys… not. So wasteful.

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Chillon Castle holds a cooking workshop inspired by the medieval cookbook. You solely use ingredients available during those times and even cook in a cauldron. They had a pretty primitive dining table set up to showcase how they would’ve dined back in the day. Not much to it really. Very simple, just a few wooden tables with a raised table at the head for the Lords and Ladies (think Winterfell… not King’s Landing… GOT #2)

The last castle photo I’ll post was something that, in it’s intricate design, was rather out of place in a castle that was, in itself, pretty rudimentary. My photos do not do the hall justice, unfortunately. It is quite impressive in person.

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As usual Beeps was unimpressed.

The castle was very cool to see but it was almost overshadowed by the beauty of the Montreux Riviera.

This place is stunning. Before I sign off I need to share some of my photos. Plus, the excellent Freddy Mercury statue.

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It was breathtaking. Again, Beeps was unimpressed.

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“bored”

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“lame”

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“don’t care”

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“no kisses ma”

Even when a giant boat went by… it even blew the foghorn… nothing.

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“Not turning around, don’t care”

Not even Freddy Mercury impressed him.

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“BIRDS. THERE ARE BIRDS OVER THERE.”

Kid is a tough critic. Only playing. Playing and birds.

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“I will give you a hint of a smile atop this slide, mother, no more”

Speaking of playing and smiling and also (mainly) because here, in real life, Kenny is still watching Beeps without complaint… let me share with you some photos from the festival we attended! Lots of happy baby time there! Where enchanting history and stunning scenery failed, carnival rides and farm animals triumphed.

Okay, so for the past month in Monthey we’ve been seeing these strange signs of an old British woman sipping tea and the words “It’s tea time!” with dates listed. This is literally it… no info about what we are supposed to go crazy at…

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What? Also where? Why even? When, I’ll give you. You’ve made When clear.

What am I supposed to get from that? Very strange and vague ad. Anyway, fast forward to the 9th when Kenny gets home and says there is a festival in the town over we should take Beeps to tomorrow. Super, I’m in. We get there and these are plastered all around. Mystery solved! but also what the heck! I could be been taking Beeps to this thing all along.

Because holy cow he was a big fan.

Sooooooo happy on this car ride.

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Such joy.

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Pure bliss.

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“Mom, I love it!”

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“Dad, this is so great!”

Until we had to pry him off it, then came the shrieks. Short lived though as we soon entered the random farm animal tent.

Mini horses! Cows! Goats! Sheep! Suckling baby pigs! It was a party!

Though looking back on my photos… I see, true to mom form, the majority of my photos are not of animals but are just pictures of Beeps looking at animals… Oops, but I mean, we’ve all seen a goat right?

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Keeping his distance from the cows

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Thinking this is cool but remembering when he got to pet and feed the goats in America, so…….

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Watching the baby pigs aggressively nurse with mild fear in his eyes and not thinking its funny when I say they remind me of him.

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There are 4 more pigs behind Mommy Pig and at one point they were all nursing/ravaging her and honestly it gave me anxiety.

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Mini horse! Yes! I got another one.

After the farm tour, Kenny had to win his son a prize. This time, said prize, came in the form of a tiny beige turtle. That of which was thrown to the ground instantly and it might’ve just been me but I definitely sensed a bit of mockery coming from the kid. One more turn on the merry-go-round car ride and we were off for home. Another excellent day for the Frease’s:)

I hope you enjoyed my photos and ramblings. More to come from our trip to Rochers-de-Naye!

Here’s a sneak peak and also because it fits with my sign-off…

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Cheers!

Baby Jetlag: A look into self-inflicted parental torture

Buongiorno, from Lugano, Switzerland! After a long hiatus, “Emily&Kenny” returns with the vigor of a baby going after an unattended iPhone (i.e.: with unbounded enthusiasm.) Folks, we are very excited over here; as many of you may know, it has … Continue reading

Big Bockedra and the Mediaeval Hamster Wheel

Hi guys! New city, new team, new adventure! This year Ken and I are located in Großbockedra, Germany. Don’t ask me how to pronounce it, I haven’t really gotten a straight answer on that… I do know that groß means … Continue reading

OK, I’ll just chop off my toe then…?

So, guys! Believe it or not, Kenny and I have friends! Kenny’s teammate, Nico, and his fiancee, Dominique, joined us on our Lapland adventure. Said adventure started off a bit rocky. Ironically, the most annoying part was the fact that Kenny and I … Continue reading

Kenny loves bikes and pictures. Except not pictures, at all.

Giraffes are my kin.

Hello fellow babies! Big things have happened for the Frease clan! As the majority of my readers are our close friends and family you are probably aware of the fact that we moved… countries. If you aren’t aware… surprise! I am currently writing … Continue reading

Turkey in Turkey! Well okay, maybe just pancakes…

Ladies and Gentleman, after a hiatus of a year we are back. There is no legitimate excuse… we did plenty of cool stuff last year. Although, I will attribute it to that, cool stuff, cool friends, and just overall goof-offery … Continue reading

Prague: Uncensored

FINALLY, it is here. This is a big week for the Frease’s of Germany. A day we have been anticipating since it was made official. COREY AND RACHEL ARE COMING TOMORROW. I know that you are all super jealous of the two of them; we would be as well. These honeymooning lovebirds get to spend a glorious week in our company. Worry not blog-readers, I will try and do our time together justice.

Also, I would like to take this time to reflect on another countdown of ours. Currently, we have 49 days until our tentative flight home for the summer. Can you guys believe it? Time really flies! Also, to keep the theme alive, we have 141 days until our wedding. Naturally, this fun little fact incites equal parts excitement and panic.

Moving forward, not much has happened since my last post. Except, OH YEAH, we went to PRAGUE! A couple of weeks ago Kenny got four days off of practice; obviously, we took full advantage. Unbeknownst to us, Prague was less than a five-hour drive away. Also, bonus, our friend Brendan Coleman from Xavier is living in Prague at the moment. He’s on a program called “TEFL Worldwide” where he helps Czechs learn English. (BTW he sent me a link… definitely looking into this for next year.) So, Kenny booked our hotel that Thursday and we left Sunday morning. We got an incredible deal on an amazing hotel right in Old Town. We felt super fancy when we walked into our room and saw this:

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Also, I have to post photos of the chandelier from the lobby. Each crystal is suspended from a separate string = coolest chandelier I’ve ever seen.

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Anyway, after we toasted to our unconditional love and downed the bottle of champagne, we made plans to meet up with our friend Brendan. Brendan took us to a little restaurant he likes that serves genuine Czech cuisine. It was very good! And the beer was very, very good! Speaking of that sweet nectar, after dinner he took us to a charming little bar with an impressive array of beers on tap. My deepest regret is that I did not get a picture of him and Kenny together. C’est la vie, next time! After we said our goodbyes we were anxious to get back to the hotel. There was a king-sized bubble bath calling my name. Also, there was a casino in the hotel for Kenny, need I say more?

In my opinion, one of the greatest parts about staying in a hotel is the complimentary breakfast. My attempts to rouse my husband were futile. His late night in the casino turned him into an angry morning bear so I gave up and dined solo. I felt badly because; let me tell you, this was a breakfast fit for a king. Though, forgiveness came easily when he saw the big pile of pastries I brought back for him! We had a big day ahead of us so we set out to feed the hangry (hungry + angry. Go ahead and use it) bear. The Palladium, Prague’s giant shopping center, was directly across from our hotel. When I say giant…

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I mean giant! Naturally Kenny beelined for the fried chicken. After Kenny consumed mass quantities of KFC we set out for our adventure! That is until, I saw it: Starbucks, in all her glory.

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Morning = made.

Now, finally, we were off! We stopped back at the hotel to confirm our route. The concierge drew us up a foolproof map and sent us on our merry way. We were first to take bus #8 and get off at specified location and then take bus #24. This is where it all went wrong. I would like to preface this journey by reminding you people that Kenny and I are not city-folk. We have no idea how to use the public transportation system. We were like two newborn baby turtle hatchlings trying to find the ocean for the first time. The funny thing is that we were completely unaware of our blinding incompetence until we got to the tram stop and the doors opened in front of us. There were people with tickets, some people didn’t have tickets, there was pushing and staring and babies crying. It was a mess. We ran away confused. I said we should go back and ask the concierge how to do it; Kenny said that was too awkward. Kenny offered a cab; I said it would get too expensive. We were really in a pickle here, guys. Finally we came to the conclusion that we should just jump on the #8 bus. I mean, what could go wrong?

The answer to that question is: a lot. A lot went wrong. We ended up on bus #8 for a good 45 minutes to an hour. Let it be known that I wanted to get off the bus  when we first started to realize these we not the correct tram stop names. But Kenny just kept saying, “It’ll loop around,” “It’s gotta loop around,” “It’s going to loop around soon.” It became his mantra for the day.

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“It’ll loop around”

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“It will for sure loop around”

Long story short it did not loop around. No looping happened at all. We were dying laughing; it was so hilarious. We were in the middle of nowhere next to a strip joint and XXX video store.

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“I thought it would loop around”

We did get to see some beautiful local artwork…

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???

This poor woman was lost with us…

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Bye-bye bus from hell.

Apparently, we went in the exact opposite direction. There was nothing left to do but hop on another bus and head back to where we started. The tram took us about 20 minutes down the way when decided to cut our losses and grab the first cab we saw.

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“I can’t believe it didn’t loop around”

Finally we made it to Prague Castle! We were so relieved to be back on the map we almost didn’t notice the lack of people in the courtyard…

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The castle was closed for the day. Imagine that! So we just snapped some pictures of the stone cold guardsmen underneath some brutal statues.

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Also there was an awesome view to the right of the castle, but I will post that next time in order to do it justice.

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Anyway, back to our trip from hell. After we saw as much as we could, we began our trek home. Our path lead us down the side streets of Prague. Ken and I must be spoiled in the pristinely clean and always salted streets of Germany, because this place was awful. It was nothing but brown slush and garbage. We had three maps, two more maps than you need really, and they all turned out to be completely useless in these side streets. However, we did see this little gem drawn on a fence outside of the vast courtyard.

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Greatest number in the whole wide world!!

To make a long story short, about 30 minutes and a pair of boots later we located the river and got a cab (R.I.P. Tan Leather Boots.)

We got to the hotel and headed straight to the hot tub to melt away our troubles. In order to use the hotel “spa” you are supposed to the wear the “spa slippers.” Needless to say they fit Kenny like a glove.

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After our hot tub dip and a surprise sauna visit we headed back to our room to get cleaned up. Due to the failure that was our day Kenny and I decided we would treat ourselves to a lovely dinner. Let me tell you, lovely doesn’t even begin to describe the perfection of the meal we consumed. We went to a restaurant called “La Dégustation.” The menu was in a fancy shmancy envelope.

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There was a choice between a six or an eleven course meal. After a great debate I convinced Kenny that a six course meal would be sufficient.

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This meal was art. It definitely made up for the day’s shortcomings. Here is Kenny looking super excited about the fourth course in front of us.IMG_3516

Here is Kenny looking extra classy and philosophical.

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That about concludes our fantastic first day in Prague! Despite all of the setbacks I still had a wonderful time with my husband. It really made for a great memory. Cheers!