Saturday, December 13, 2008

My favorite chocolate place

I highly recommend the the chocolate shop Chocolathé if you are in Nyon. It's a little tiny shop in La Combe, the shopping center in Nyon, and it's a little expensive, but completely worth it, because the people that work there are incredible. Ivana and I went there Thursday; she buys a lot of tea there. I decided to go back there today because of how generous and sweet the man (the owner? not sure) is who works there. When Ivana and I were there, she commented on a certain chocolate, because it's now being made in dark chocolate, not just milk. She asked if it was any good, and he said, "yes! you must taste it!" So, he pulls a bar down from the shelf, opens it right on the counter, grabs a knife, and cuts off two huge slabs for me and Ivana to taste. And yes, it was delicious. The thing that struck me was how kind and generous that was - this bar of chocolate was on sale for about 4 CHF - not that cheap. But he didn't care. He was so excited for us to try it. It was the nicest customer service I have ever received in Europe. Today I went there because I was buying some Christmas gifts (I'm not saying for who, because I'm not sure who's reading this), and again, he was so kind, to me and the other five people in front of me. He asked if he could wrap up the gifts for me, and then gave me a little piece of chocolate. Maybe because I spent 50CHF, but still, he's definitely earned me as a customer. I also found some chocolate there I haven't found anywhere else. It's a great little store. My spoils. I found a Christmas chocolate, from Lindt, with cinnamon and coriander mousse, and a Camille (hey! that's my name!) Bloch caramel mousse bar... I'll let you know if they're any good. Oh, and the little red bar is one he tossed in my bag with my receipt. Nice, huh?

brief update

I am enjoying a really nice, quiet evening right now. This week has been a little strange, schedules have been a little different, and I've been a little cranky. Something I learned about myself while in university is if I don't get enough alone time, I get cranky and not fun to be around. So I've learned to cherish my alone moments, and really take advantage of my alone time - that's when my batteries are recharged.

This week I haven't had much alone time, and it really took its toll. Tonight, I'm babysitting, and I am very thankful that I am. At first, I was crabby about babysitting, because two of my friends are having a joint birthday party tonight, and the au pairs I hang out with Monday nights are having a special get together tonight. But I'm thankful I'm alone, enjoying some stillness and quiet. I'm drinking a nice glass of red wine (the family had a big Christmas party for their neighbors today, so there is a lot of wine and food about the house right now), and munching on some chocolate.

Today I went to Geneva with some of the au pair girls and celebrated L'Escalade, which is a holiday unique to Geneva. I won't go into too much detail, because I feel a little lazy and don't want to type everything out, but the link above is to the Wikipedia page. It's a neat if you like history, and it was fun to learn a bit more about Old Town in Geneva. The big parade is tomorrow, but the secret passage was open today, and we all got to go through it. I love learning and seeing history first-hand.

Anyway, here are a bunch of pictures I haven't shared with you yet. From Thanksgiving to today.
The Thanksgiving table (lots of wine, cause we're in Swissland)Friends at Thanksgiving
It snowed! Yea!
Gun demonstration today during Escalade - really LOUDMilena and Heather traversing through the secret passageOur cats have gotten really fat.

Well, that's all for now. I'll try and post again before I head off to England and Ireland! Bon week-end!

Sunday, December 7, 2008


I can't believe Christmas is so close! The decorations are up, cookie parties and caroling are in full swing... but it just doesn't feel quite like Christmas. I think some snow would help. We're just a little too close to the lake. There is snow a little further up the mountains, but I want it here. I was talking to a friend last night who spent a lot of his childhood in Wisconsin, and we talked about how we missed waking up to a blanket of fresh snow.

My Swiss family did a lovely job of decorating the house for Christmas, there are twinkle lights and little Santas everywhere. The tree is up, fully trimmed, but it's a "theme tree". Ugh. My mother will be laughing and saying "ha ha" like Nelson from The Simpsons as she reads this. I really, really don't like theme trees. And while I know a lot of people love having all the same colors, all matching ornaments - a general theme, if you will - I just don't like it. I love Christmas trees that are full of crazy ornaments that have been passed down through generations, ornaments made by children with popsicle sticks and copious amounts of glue, and not perfect and matchy-matchy, but rather reflective of the family's personality. My mom is probably laughing, because one year she put up a theme tree, and it was very, very pretty, but when I walked through the door after coming home from university, I threw a fit, and pouted about it like the mature adult that I am. I guess I deserve a theme tree. Sorry Mom.

Is it silly to say I miss my Christmas stuff? Last year, I worked at a Christmas store, and amassed huge amounts of Old World Christmas ornaments, Clothtique Santas, and even a Jim Shore Santa. Actually, go check out my former employer's webpage, and buy something from them, because it's a family business, run by three amazing, incredible sisters. Go here to check it out. Anyway, I miss my Christmas stuff, as silly as it sounds.

Do I need to mention I will miss my family? Can't that go without saying? This will be my first Christmas spent away from my parents in my entire 26 years of life. I will be with family, so it will be wonderful, but I'm still a little sad that I will be away from my parents, my brother and sis-in-law, and especially my cousin Sarah, because she's my best friend/sister/heart and I love her.

It's a year of changes, I guess. But change is healthy, and while not always welcome, it's important.