Have you ever ……. felt that you experience in weeks more than usually in a year? I definitely feel that way as I’m looking back since we got back from our holiday vacation from Germany / Switzerland to visit family and friends for Christmas and New Year.
The year started off on a sad note, our good friend Beatrice passed away in mid January after being in the hospital for the last few months. We have shared so many beautiful moments and we hope we brightened her life as much as she did ours. We could not thank her enough to take us in when our boat was not ready and travelled with us in her home country Colombia.
Many of you know I started sailing as well. Of course not the fancy boat racing as Jolanda does, but with a sunfish which also has a sail and a rudder. As I turned up on most Saturdays asking for a rental boat, I decided after a little while to buy my own sunfish. With the help of our friends Ken, Eric and little Tyler to inspect the boat, I bought the sunfish:
We were invited to an anniversary party on the 24th of January in Zurich Switzerland, Jolanda was very excited to be a bridesmaid. Because of crazy Swiss tax reasons our friends Susanne and Davide had to decide not to get “officially” married, nevertheless they anyway went ahead with a beautiful party. We had a blast.
The same weekend we visited our friends Simone, Konstantin and Juergen at her weekend house in the Swiss Alps Lenzerheide to go skiing. They invited us to stay at their cool place and we spend two days with them. We are so lucky.
We liked the area of Lenzerheide so much that we decided go spend the week there. Working remotely and still enjoying the beauty of the snow covered Alps.
Jolanda’s moms birthday was on the 29th of January so we decided to visit her as a surprise. She did not expect that we would show up. I think she had a great evening.
On January 31st I celebrated my 50th birthday. Jolanda told me that she want to take me on a surprise trip for the occasion. She did not tell me where we are going. Initially everyone joked around that we will be going to Jamaica to visit our friend Vicki and her new hotel. Even Jolanda’s sisters seem to be excited to go to Jamaica. So the day started with us getting a ride to Zurich airport from Jolanda’s sister Priska. They told me that we have to do a stop at Starbucks before the flight. I got greeted by a group of people totally unexpected:
I was overwhelmed – friends from California (Vicky), New York (Roe) and London (Clara) showed up (I thought it was just a coincidence that they were at the airport traveling through). I did not know what is going on. Are they all going with me on the surprise trip? Out of a sudden we left the airport again and drove to Altdorf (the town where Wilhelm Tell lived). When we arrived even more familiar faces turned up, including my ex-girlfriend Simone (we are still in frequent contact – we even went to her wedding). We all went up to the mountain for a sledge tour. The snow was a bit soft but the view was amazing.
In the evening I was expecting that we are going with our friends out for a nice dinner, but then suddenly Jolanda told me to wear black pants a white shirt black tie, hat and sunglasses. So I was expecting that we might go to a theme party. As we went down to the restaurant there were some tables food and drinks were served. Now even more friends turned up (all dressed like me). After one hour two guys did a Blues Bothers show and then …… MY FAMILY FROM GERMANY turned up (they went with the train 7 hours to the party), I was speechless. After everyone was there they opened another room where a sit down dinner with DJ was served. People who could not attend send videos with greetings which were shown on a screen. There are not too many moments in my life where I’m emotional and speechless this was defiantly one of them.
The next day everyone suffered a bit after the long party but nevertheless we went on a snowshoe hike in the mountains. After a amazing hike in the mountain we meet for a nice fondue with a little party afterwards.
The following day it was time to say goodbye to our friends and family, after all I was still getting my surprise vacation – so back to Jamaica :-). We took the ferry boat back to Luzern and then the train to Zurich airport.
As we arrived at the airport I was told that the first stop will be Helsinki / Finland, but there will be another connecting flight in the morning. So it seemed that Jamaica was a different direction, but who knows.
After a night at the airport hotel Hilton (we even had our own sauna) we continued our trip to Kuusamo / Lapland. After we arrived at the small airport we rented a car and drove to a cottage house in the middle of the snow covered Finnish country side. As we were getting cozy in the cottage at the fire place and sauna of course, our friends Arben and Patricia turned up. I nearly got a heart attack as I was sitting only dressed in a towel on the couch (no pictures from that moment of course). Another surprise, we had so many adventure the following days that I just include some pictures what we experienced:
Fat tire bike tour
Cross country skiing
We even slept one night in an Igloo, that was always a dream of me (unfortunately Jolanda had to join me 🙂 ).
As I’m writing that we will have our last night in the cottage (Arben and Patricia left already yesterday). I can’t thank enough the friends and family to make that birthday party and surprise trip happen. Above everything else I’m so lucky to have a wife who organized everything and kept it as a secret until the very end. I never dreamed experienced something like that and Jolanda made it happen.
Maybe next year Jamaica 🙂