Tuesday, November 13, 2012


In November, our family met up for a long weekend in Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland.  
Mom, Joe, Luc, Cassy, Alex, Britton.  It was awesome having almost everyone together...we missed Chance!

The town of Lauterbrunnen, in the Bernese Oberland region of Switzerland, can be summed up in 8 photos (in no particular order):

1. Lauterbrunnen is an awesome valley surrounded by huge walls

2. The Swiss stack their firewood even neater than the Italians

3. Cable cars make for super easy access to the high mountains

4. Magnificent waterfalls are the norm

5. Cowbells (and cows) are everywhere; traditionally, the bigger the bell, the richer the farmer

6. The Swiss invented milk chocolate (side note: you can buy mayo in a tube)

7. BASE jumping access doesn't get much better than this

8. There probably isn't a better afternoon via ferrata than this one:

That's the 8-photo summary.  

Let's take another look at that via ferrata.  
When I first saw this suspension bridge, I knew I had to cross it.  I approached the first time without gear and as soon as I put a foot on the bridge, the other end (200 feet away) swayed like crazy.  I backed off and Alex and I returned later in the day with rented gear.

The ferrata also had a "bridge" that consisted of a single wire for our feet.

Many Italian via ferratas are old supply routes for WWI soldiers that have been maintained by the Italian Alpine Club.  This ferrata, though, was built purely for tourists.  They purposely built a scary-as-hell route with easy lift access that could be done in a couple of hours.

The autumn leaves were spectacular.

The family in front of Staubbach Falls

Joe got his first taste of Switzerland when we crossed this pass just after leaving northern Italy.

Two perspectives of Staubbauch Falls from our apartment

Britton, Alex, Mom, and Cassy take the scenic ride to the summit of Schilthorn

The Eiger (3970 m), Mönch (4107 m), and Jungfrau (4158 m).  If I'm still in Europe next summer, I hope to climb an easy route on the Eiger.

The town of Mürren, only accessible by cable car

Monday, November 12, 2012

Pumpkin Festival - Venzone

This was our third trip to the annual Festa della Zucca (Pumpkin Festival) in the walled city of Venzone, Italy.

 Pumpkin muffins, doughnuts, liquor, pizza, ice cream, gnocchi, soup...pumpkin everything.

 Me and my pumpkins

 The crew: Kris, Brian, Tiffany, Jamie, Meghan, and Cassy

 "Can you hear me now?" The prototype SquashPhone5

After dark, we gathered around the fire for a show.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

The Girls' Greece Cruise

Cassy, Tiff, and Meghan went on a 7-day cruise that left out of Venice with stops in Italy, Greece, and Montenegro.  I served as editor-in-chief for this trip report.  After browsing over 1,000 photos from the trip, I've concluded that the girls had a pretty decent time.

Ancona, Italy

Santorini, Greece

5 euro to ride a donkey to the top of the town. A very unique experience. 

Athens, Greece

Winner winner chicken dinner!

Kefalonia, Greece

"Some of the most amazing beaches in the world!" 
This coming from three California girls!


Sisterhood bracelets

A few more blog worthy photos from the ship