An unexpected trip to Geneva

It was comforting to see food from home while shopping for groceries this morning.

Yesterday felt like any other Friday, with Stephane and I looking forward to the weekend and our cycling trip along the Marne River with Bruce, the owner of French Mystique Tours. But our lives took an unexpected left turn when Stephane's brother called to tell us that their mother had been medivacked to the hospital and that we needed to get to Geneva as quickly possible.

The intervening hours are a bit of a blur - we packed, sent some quick emails to family and friends, watered the plants and set off for Geneva. In our haste, my foot was a bit heavy on the gas pedal when we whizzed past a 30 kilometer per hour sign, so there's a good chance that I'll receive a present from the Swiss government in the mail. I can't think of any other reason why they would have taken our picture!

But even in the midst of tragedy, people need to eat. So, I headed off to the closest grocery store which is just over the border in France. Wandering through the unfamiliar aisles, I was comforted to see food from home. Food that I used to eat when I was a kid who didn't have a care in the world...except if I should twist off the top of the Oreo to eat the creamy filling first or eat it whole.

Another soothing sight was the chateau shown in the photo below. It stands at the entrance to the village where my parents-in-law live and we always pass it on our way to their house, whether it be for Sunday lunch or for an extended visit. It's solid and eternal.

Sitting in the hospital and watching all of the families gathered around a loved one, I'm reminded that life is a blessing to be enjoyed. Have a wonderful day and savor every minute of it!

Stephane's mother is in stable condition. We'll know more as the days pass.

Vineyards and a small Swiss-sized castle near Geneva


  1. Best to you all.

    The Macaroni and Cheese box is funny to me, one, because it's not Kraft; and two, on a recent assignment, the chef had to prepare it for the grandkids--not his own homemade mac and cheese, but the box kind. It hurt him (almost) to do so.

  2. Thanks, Joseph.

    The different brand of Mac and Cheese caught my eye, too. The chef story made me laugh because the same thing happened when I made my really good mac and cheese for an American kid when we lived in Switzerland. He took one bite and refused to eat it because it tasted funny.It wasn't Krafts and it wasn't an unnatural shade of yellow. Talk about a blow to my ego.

  3. Mary Kay,
    Take good care of yourself and Stephane. Is there any way you can contest the speeding ticket -- i.e., show them the hospital receipt?? :-0

    That could have been any grocery aisle in America! Is that a specialty store or a regular market?

    You will enjoy your bike ride at a better time...


  4. quelle dommage & Bon Chance!
    The chateau is truly beautiful.
    The fast food is not IMHO :)

  5. Maddie, As much as I love the Swiss, they're a law abiding society -- and I broke the law. In other words, "fish would fly" before they would ever waive the speeding ticket. My lawlessness turned out to be a good momentary distraction for Stephane so I'm not too bothered...but I haven't seen the price of the ticket yet!

    All of that American food was right next to the English food in a regular French grocery store. Even though Geneva and the surrounding area has a very high concentration of expats, I was still surprised by how many products are available. With all of the good mustard in France, I'm always surprised to see that French's mustard is a necessity. I'll take Maille over French's any day!

    Carol, Merci! Even though those Oreos aren't nearly as appealing as a Parisian pastry, I bet that you could do a painting that would make them look appetizing! Maybe an Oreo with a glass of milk...

  6. Best regards for your Mother-in Laws recovery. Please keep us posted. nancyb


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