Saturday, December 25, 2010

Farewell to Switzerland

I didn't think "Packing" day would ever arrive. There was so much to do in the last few weeks. The hardest part was organizing what was going with us in our 14 suitcases :), air shipment (takes 3 weeks), sea shipment (2 months) and stuff to send back to the states. We also cut our physical assets in half. We sold almost all the furniture and I cleaned closets. We had a 40 ft container when we moved to Switzerland but only needed a 20 ft for China. Amazingly, they were able to squeeze everything in. I can't believe we still have that much stuff! We were very lucky that we packed on the day we did because the very next day we woke up to 6 inches of snow!
Kate's playground at school was so pretty!
On Friday the 17th of December, it was time to head to Zurich after the kids finished school. It was a good 2 hour drive and it gave us time to unwind and think about our 2 years in Switzerland. It was funny, the driver that drove us to Zurich was the first person we met when we arrived 2 years ago. He drove us to Neuchatel. He remembered all the luggage we had when we arrived plus a dog. Some things don't change:)

Our time in Switzerland was an experience that we will never forget. It enriched our lives in so many ways. The landscape in Switzerland is one of the most spectacular we have ever seen. It is a beautiful country! Thank you for following along and sharing your comments.
I thought it would be appropriate to end our final Switzerland post with an "Exit" Sign.
We have started a new blog - "Marchiondo Shanghai Surprise" at We hope you join us on our adventures while living in China.


I think one of the hardest things about moving is saying "good bye" to our friends. We were very fortunate to have made some wonderful friendships during our time in Switzerland. We have come to realize that our world is actually small and that we will cross paths again someday!

Kate and I will miss our talks with Yolanda, Kate's phyical therapist. The Friends from England.
The Boehmers - our American Allies with a little bit of Swiss.
The Voillins - Our French Connection.
The Silvas - Conquering Switzerland.
Goodbye to all of our other friends that I forgot to take a picture of when they were treating us with wonderful hospitality - The Sparkes (England), The Schafhirts (Germany), The Hamoys (U.S.A & Phillipines), The Furlans (U.S.A & France), The Corti's (Switzerland), The Shepherds (Scotland & U.S.A), Marida (Italy), Marie-Antoinette(France), The Murphys (Ireland), The Lowes (England), The Beyers (U.S.A), The Dubuis (Switzerland) and all the wonderful families at St. George's and ISN. I can't forget the people from the business on the first floor of our building. They were always so nice and very helpful!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Something Pretty & Fun

SNOW!! Lucas, Katelyn and I have been having some fun and enjoying the snow!!!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Monday, November 22, 2010

Same location but 2 years later!

Our friend Christine, who took the first picture the day we arrived in Switzerland, was excited as we were to take another picture in the park.

I have to say there have been lots of changes. The first one was taken in October 2008 and the recent one in November.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Chateau de Chillon

We were very fortunate to have our friends, Rob & Lisa, come visit from Cincinatti. I was so happy that Lisa was able to tag along on Rob's business trip:)
The first day we walked them all over Neuchatel but the 2nd day we decided to head to Chateau de Chillon, a 13th Century castle on Lake Geneva in Montreux. The weather was so ugly and it was raining very hard that we thought a castle would be our best bet. We thought it was funny how little the door way was into "Bonivard's Prison.

It is said that Bonivard was chained to the 5th column for 7 years. His story inspired Lord Byron, the Romantic poet, to write "The Prisoner of Chillon".
Lisa and I in the center courtyard.

The wood columns and ceilings were beautiful.

I think the 700 year old toilet served its purpose.

The weather cleared up and I was happy that they were able to finally see something other than fog.

Our teenager - Devin.

It was cold and you can see where it was snowing.

Thank you Rob and Lisa for coming and all the wonderful and fun memories.

Are we moving to China?

Back in October, Jason was interviewing for a position in China. Since neither one of us had ever been to China, J&J thought we should go have a look to make sure we could live there. Dad offered to come over and stay with the kids. Thank you Dad!They all survived the holiday and the 6 days while I was gone. Jason had to stay another week.
We arrived in Shanghai and I felt like we were in Florida - maybe the Miami area but with skyscrapers everywhere.
We were able to get a day of sightseeing in before we went around to look at the schools and housing options. We first decided to walk around close to the hotel. I have to say that the smog was something and it took a while for the eyes to adjust.

We then took a $7 and 30 minute taxi ride to the "Old" Shanghai district.

The buildings were beautiful and there were tons of people.

We loved just walking the streets and were so surprised at all the American fast food chains - Starbucks, Pizza Hut, Dairy Queen, Subway, Cold Stone and of course McDonalds. It was so different from Switzerland but in a nice way.

We walked thru the Yuyuan Garden which was very peaceful for being in the middle of a shopping district.

We took a walk along the Huangpu River, the area known as the Bund. I wouldn't want to fall into that river but the skyline was beautiful.

The lights at night were beautiful too along one of the main shopping streets.

I was amazed when I saw the Poinsettia flowers in the medians of the streets.

We visited 6 international schools and many housing options. We were impressed with everything Shanghai has to offer. We ate quite a few "chinese" dinners and I stayed conservative. Jason ventured out the following week with coworkers and he was more brave. The driving is crazy and we will not be driving at all which I look forward to.
Jason sent these pictures after I left. The blue sky decided to show itself in Shanghai.
I think there are huge shopping malls on every corner. It is crazy.
I had to get a picture of this. This is a sign showing the instructions and all the functions of a toilet at the airport. I had never seen anything like it.

Overall, we had a good trip and a good experience. Jason came back home and told the company that we could do it "easily". Actually, I think it will be easier than Switzerland and soon we will find out. The kids are looking forward to being back in a bigger school environment and all the extra activities the schools have to offer. It looks like we will be moving there sometime around the 22nd of December.
We are all very excited for this next big adventure! We will start a brand new blog. We are taking suggestions on what the title of it should be. We would love to see your ideas in the comment section.