(This is another picture-heavy post. For the TL;DR of you, there’s a Google-made video at the end with pictures from the whole weekend.)
Our first official, pre-planned visitors were Andy’s aunt and uncle, Jane and Eric. They live on the coast in North Carolina and have been gracious enough to host us at their house twice, so we were more than happy to have them in our (admittedly much smaller) apartment.
They flew into Zurich and rented a car so that they could drive up to Basel and then spend some time touring around our little corner of Europe. Then they drove back to Basel on Thanksgiving morning so we could spend the holiday and weekend together. It was a great few days!
On Thanksgiving morning, I took G to preschool while Andy prepped the turkey for roasting. He chose an Ina Garten recipe and it was so delicious! We had ordered a farm-fresh turkey from a farm in France. It arrived at our apartment ready to go and I’m so impressed with Andy for the way he handled that bird, from start to finish. Never would I ever be able to do that, but he prepped it for cooking well and then carved it like a pro!
Then I came home and made some cranberry sauce. I’ve made this recipe several times before, but it was a bit too tart this time. I think the British brown sugar I got wasn’t as sweet as the brown sugar I buy in America. (I have no idea, but that’s what I’m choosing to blame it on, haha.)
True to form, all I made for dinner was the cranberry sauce. Everything else, Andy made or prepped. I’m the worst.
Dinner wasn’t the worst, though.
Jane immediately became G’s favorite person during this visit. She wanted to hold Jane’s hand, sit next to Jane on the tram or bus, and play with Jane. I only felt marginally rejected.
Friday morning we headed to SBB, grabbed breakfast from Sutter Begg, and took a train to Lucerne.
Our plan for Lucerne had been to go up Mount Pilatus, but the visibility was really poor that day and we didn’t want to spend the money to go up the mountain and not be able to see anything. So we just walked around town instead.
We had lunch in Lucerne and walked though a good portion of the city, along the city wall and the water. Then we decided it was time to head back to Basel for dinner at the Christmas market.
While Andy and Eric got glühwein for us all, G tried to make friends with a Santa Claus.
We went from Barfüsserplatz to Münsterplatz, looking at the wares for sale and heading for the ferry. (I told you it was something every tourist in Basel needs to do.)
We walked along the Rhein on the Kleinbasel side towards the middle bridge to head back to Marktplatz.
Saturday morning, G had ballet class and then we loaded into the rental car to head to the Château du Haut-Kœnigsbourg castle in Orschwiller, which is in the Alsace region of France.
G was really excited about going to castle, of course. The only castle she’d seen in real life so far was Sleeping Beauty’s castle in Disneyland Paris, so her expectations might have been a little high. It was lucky that we had bundled up that morning, as it was really chilly and occasionally spitting snow down on us.
The castle was still really impressive, though.
This was THE weirdest part of the castle experience. There were modern art installations inspired by Christmas (which were strange), but then there were also performance artists who were kind of dressed in period clothing but they were also just creepy. Dude in the foreground scared the hell out of Genevieve. I mean, he was jangling a saw blade around! #latergram #waylatergram #canonrebelsl1
It was so, so cold that day. It was snowing on us on the way up the mountain. Fireplaces in every room but no fires lit anywhere. Then you get to the lookout rooms at the top of the castle and the wind whips through the windows and just cuts you. This view, though. #latergram #waylatergram #canonrebelsl1 #nofilter
We drove back to Birsfelden and walked to Pizzeria Feldschlösschen, our favorite restaurant here in town, for dinner. There was live music there that night and G and the guitar player really hit it off.
Jane and Eric had to pack up their rental car and head for Zurich early on Sunday morning. We absolutely loved hosting them!
And as promised, here’s the video Google made for me with the pictures I took that weekend. It sums things up pretty well: