July 28, 2014

Switzerland, Jungfrau.

We finally made it to Jungfrau from Zurich!!!!  After our first train ride into the Alps, we got on a second train (this time a cog train) that pulled us up into higher altitude on a steep incline through a dark tunnel in the mountain... i.e. no carefree sticking my head out the window/Heidi-esque photos on this leg!  ;)  We ascended quickly and arrived at Jungfrau which is also known as "the top of Europe."  The view from above was nothing short of breathtaking (both literally and figuratively- that altitude will get you)!  Our first stop was the Sphinx and its outdoor observation deck with sweeping views of Alpine goodness...


^My face is uneasy due to my difficultly adjusting to the altitude (people were literally laying down inside trying to acclimate!) and maybe because I made the mistake of looking down through the see-through grates we were standing on to see the deep and snowy ravines beneath my feet.  That'll do it!  This photo pretty much sums up the overwhelming experience of Jungfrau!  Humans really aren't meant to be suspended this high in the Alps, a fact I didn't take for granted!

The air was crisp and chapped my face, but I couldn't get over standing in such a regal place, with nature at its extreme all around me.  I felt like I got to peek into a new world.  The weather changed very quickly, sweeping clouds across me in the blink of an eye and constantly changing the vista!  Thankfully the day was clear and we could see for miles. That was a stroke of luck!

^This is the Sphinx of the Alps.  My second Sphinx! :)

We made it around the various exhibits inside the complex and enjoyed exploring the ice museum.  There were some great displays, but you couldn't really beat the views outside!


My 'what I really remember' from this day was sitting in the Jungfrau cafeteria.  We had finished exploring the site and I got a window seat (with a killer view) while Charles brought us hot chocolate.  I was definitely ready to get off the mountain and take a deep breath once more, but it was nice to have a few moments to take it all in.  The nicest older English lady with a thick accent turned to me and asked, "are you feeling as badly as me?"  I nodded and we instantly bonded and laughed at ourselves!  Obviously I would have been a terrible explorer, trekking the pathway through the Alps, but I was just fine with sipping hot chocolate and taking in the view! ;)

 
^I wasn't lying when I mentioned the cafeteria had a view!

Jungfrau was quite the experience and I am ultimately really glad we visited the famous peak.  The entire Bernese Oberland is a dream within a dream, and you can bet we will be back.  Sigh.  Switzerland is for just lovers.

July 25, 2014

San Diego, Unconditional Surrender.

A few years ago I posted about our wonderful first trip to the USS Midway. I recently rediscovered these photos from when we visited the same site later that year when my Aunt was in town.  I caught these as the sun was setting, and I just love the light.  You can also spot the "Unconditional Surrender" statue.  I hope you enjoy this little flashback on a Friday. :)



July 19, 2014

Switzerland, Train into the Alps.



After our introduction to the Bernese Oberland (and subsequent head over heels love), we took the first of two trains up and into the Alps.  Charles was jealous of all the skiers and we both agreed it would be wonderful to stay in this area longer and enjoy some snow sports while staying in a little chalet.  The views from the train were breathtaking and as soon as I realized the windows opened, I took full advantage of sticking my head right on out and embracing the crisp Alpine air!!!  You better believe I did.  What a rush!


^Oh just the view from the window.



From this train we stopped and transferred to a super steep cog train up to Jungfrau.  I can honestly say that this experience was not overrated.  The journey was quite long from Zurich, but completely worth it!

July 14, 2014

Switzerland, the Bernese Oberland.

I truly cannot sing Switzerland's praises enough.  It is such a graceful and charming country.  The Bernese Oberland is easily one of the most beautiful areas I've experienced while traveling and would be my top recommendation if you are visiting Switzerland.  I want to go back and hide out here for a few weeks someday.  The fresh air and transcendent vistas are nothing short of healing for your mind and soul.

After driving from Zurich through Lucerne and Interlaken, we finally arrived at the base of the Alps where we took the first of two trains through the towns of Grindewald and Klein Scheidegg.  I'll get to the train ride soon, but first I want to pay tribute to the stunning valleys through the Bernese Alps.

 
 

On our way back down from the Alps, we took an alternate route through the Lauterbrunnen Valley, equally as mesmerizing.


The first and last photos in this post are some of my favorites from this trip.  That waterfall, right?  Like I said, good for your soul, all of it!

July 13, 2014

Venice Beach, California.



Our favorite moment from our anniversary weekend in Santa Monica would have to be when we rented bikes and biked to Venice Beach.  It may be one of my favorite memories period.  Wind in my air, Charles by my side, cruising down the beach.  I highly recommend it!  I felt so free, as cheesy as that sounds.







We stopped at the Venice Ale house for a break and enjoyed a great selection of craft beer.  It was crazy inside, definitely the spot to be on a warm Saturday afternoon!

 
 

Then we headed to the famous Venice canals.  They are adorable, and all the houses lining them are so unique!




The bikes were a surprising hit, and I would do it again in a heartbeat.  It was a great anniversary weekend in Southern California!