Friday, August 31, 2007

Small Car - 8 People - Geneva, Switzerland

This is the video of 8 people cramming themselves into a Colt Fashion.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Set Your TiVo....
ANTM Returns September 19th

Well September has always been a big month for me. First and foremost it's my birthday month (KC, Meghan & Todd, you guys know what I am talking about), and when I say month I mean month (right Todd?) Second it is the start of the school year, third it is Bruce & my 3rd wedding anniversary... And last but not least it's the return of good television. Yes, when I say good, I mean everyone's favorite America's Next Top Model. And all the rest of the fall television line-up. But back to ANTM, this season is Cycle 9 and I can't wait... I can already feel the plot lines. The drama is ready to spew over the airways of the new CW. I can only imagine what Tyra has in store for us this year.

Here are a few of the other shows I will be tuning in to this fall. (Correction: My TiVo will be diligently recording for me this fall.)

8pm - Desperate Housewives - I got back into this show last season, hopefully it continues to keep my attention. (September 30)
9pm - Brothers & Sisters - I kind of fell of this show as the end of the season approached, but I am hoping Calista & the gang can make a strong come back. (September 30)

9pm Heroes - This sci-fi action packed show has me hooked. I have to be honest, I am usually not into these type of shows, but this one is excellent. However, I have to be in the right mood because it is pretty intense, so I often watch it when I have time to pay attention. (New Shows Start September 24)

8pm - Beauty & the Geek returns to the New CW. Reality television at its finest. (September 18)

8pm -America's Next Top Model - Need I say more! (September 19)

9pm - Grey's Anatomy - You can't get enough of McSteamy & McDreamy. (September 27)

And then there are all the MTV & Bravo favorites: The Hills (MTV) and Kathy Griffin's My Life on the D-List (Bravo.) Project Runway doesn't return with its fourth season until November 14. Will Tim Gunn return? He currently has a new show with supermodel Veronica Webb. I have meet Veronica Webb once in person, during that meeting she talked about herself in the third person. I wasn't as impressed with her as she was with herself. Despite my love for Tim Gunn I am not sure its enough to "make it work" for me.

It looks like I will have my weekends free.

What new shows will I add, well none have really tickled my fancy. To be honest since I have been home I haven't really been paying attention to what's ntew I am trying catch up on what I missed, while enjoyng my new found passion - Sudoku. Oh yes, I am addicted to this number crossword puzzle. I have found myself going to bed early so I can complete these puzzles in bed. Yes, I am that lame, but really are you shocked?

Saturday, August 25, 2007

7:11 Reunites For Bobby Crim

This weekend the 7:11 club came together again for the another run. The Ohio delegate
s braved the storms of the mid-west to drive to Michigan and run. Now that is dedication. Of course as always the weekend was jam packed with activities. On Friday night we went to KC's apartment in Grand Blanc to carbo-load for the big run on Saturday.

The drive from Lapeer was well very exciting. The rain was coming down in sheets. We listened to the radio which by the way did not really warn us appropriately that that same storm was causing a tornado just miles in Fenton. I think Bruce enjoyed the drive in jeep. I however was
white knuckling the Oh Sh*t bar in the front seat.

We all had a delicious dinner prepared by KC. Everyone got their official Crim Packet and 7
:11 club t-shirt, especially made for the run, we also called the Florida delegate to tell her that she was missed and remind her to buy her plane ticket for the next event, before they get too expensive.

Then we headed back to the
Holladay Inn... Yes the Smith family Robear, wife and children came to Attica where they spent the evening with us. By the time we got their the two little ones were wiped out. However, Bruce, Robear and I managed to stay up for a little while and reminisce about good ole' Geneva!

We woke up early for the race, mainly because Robear needed his Tim Horton's coffee fix. Yes the man will drive 20 miles out of his way for a cup of Tim's java and Timbits. Thank God we only had to drive to Lapeer, which happens to be on the way.
We got to Flint and the weather was a little rainy, but not too hot so I didn't mind that.

We started
the 8K race in the pack but quickly went our own pace. Our motto "we'll wait for you" yes we may leave you behind, but we will wait for you at the finish. Well on this run, they all had to wait for me. I came in 20th in my age group 25-29 with a time of 50:38, just over 10 minute miles. Not great but not bad, considering this is the second time I have run 5 miles since breaking my foot in July of '05. Bruce took the lead for the club with a time of 45:25... You can go here for all the results.

I guess I could have pushed myself a little more because I had plenty of energy to dance at the party. But in away you could have called that my strategy. Unfortunately the only one who wanted to dance with me was the four year-old. I think that is just because they can't handle my moves. Yes I am killer at the robot. Those of you who have seen know what I am talking about. It was a grand time even in the rain.

I could have stayed longer but KC had a wedding and the out-of-towners needed to hit the road and I don't blame them. Because when I got home to Lapeer County I was exhausted, but that was quickly cured by a 4 hour nap. Yes, the joys of my life.

However if you are a runner, let me tell you how much I love the Bobby Crim race. It's a great time. I have always had fun and I have been going as long as I can remember. But if you go, make sure you stay for the party! Nothing is better than a bunch of sweaty runners cutting loose on the dance floor. Just watch out for my robot.

The next run - well we are thinking about the Detroit Marathon Relay in October. However we would need a couple more people to make up two teams... who's with us? I am serious.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Mmmm chicken....

The extended fam got together in Frankenmuth for a deluxe chicken dinner and for Courtney's 24th birthday. Thank you Aunt Janet & Uncle Jack. It was a good time as always. Plus Uncle Bert, Aunt Janet, Denise & Beth Ann were down from Calumet, dropping Beth Ann off to college at SVSU, so they were part of the reason for the celebration. This year is the first time that Uncle Bert has been south of the Mackinac in 18 years. The picture isn't the best because the girl who always carries her camera (me) unfortunately let it at home, so we improvised and used my cell phone.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Staying in Touch

I must be the first to admit, I am not the best when it comes to staying in touch. Now don't get me wrong, it's not that I once I leave I completely stop thinking about my friends. I just am horrible at keeping in touch. I left high school for Missouri and I did a poor if not awful job at staying in touch with my high school friends. Then our lives seemed to be so far apart and for the most part I didn't even know where to start looking for them. But the weird thing is, I still think about my friends a lot, like Jessica Collins, I wonder what she is up to, Andrew Shook, Debbie Walters, Mark Harris... I also sometimes think about my old cross country coach... Coach Vitale, I am not even sure of his first name. Funny. I just remembered it's Craig Vitale.

on In college, I had so many different groups of friends. My Maneater School Newspaper staff crowd, my Journalism School friends, and the KOMU crowd. I often think about my friend Liz Cafer, I have tried looking her up but never seem to find her. I recently found my friend GrinerMyspace and I know Ahmer (sp) writes for the Chicago Tribune. I wonder what J.T. is up to? Is Scott Schmidt still at KOMU? I wonder how my old roomates Jenny & Angela are doing as Moms. What Elizabeth did after Yale? I wonder where Kale & Elizabeth are, I know Aimee is in D.C. But I don't call her nearly as much as I should.

Then I moved to Kansas City and I had friends from work, my neighbors and my running crowd. And I think about them all a lot at different times. I wonder how my running partner Anne Marie is doing with her work in Africa. I actually got to see a lot of my KCTV friends in June. It was nice to touch base again, it really didn't seem like 6 years since I had left. Then there are my neighbors, like Ruthie, whose phone number is still in my phone, not sure why I haven't deleted it, but I will never call her again, because if I did she would be like ok, who are you? Or my friend Jason, who used to go shopping with me when I got off of my morning shift, who I think moved back to Texas but really I have no idea.

Even here in Michigan, I have my friends from WDIV. I do make an effort to see them, but it easier to see some than others. There is also The Henry Ford. When you work with people, I have found that you form such close relationships, because you see them almost more than you see your family, but eventually they leave or you leave and you get busy. The next thing you know, it's an email here and an email there.

But it's wierd, as I think about these people, I wonder am I the only one that does this? Do other people do it? Do I pop into any of my old friends heads at strange times? And if so what do they think about?

Every time I think of these people it's happy memories. I wonder what they are up to now, if I will ever see them again. I wonder if I ever pop into their minds or do I pop into other peoples minds, people I am not thinking about? Don't get me wrong, I think as life goes on your friends change, because there is no way to keep every intense friendships ongoing, with everyone you meet. I do admire my friends who seem to have a lot of long lasting friendships, with people from all different times in their lives. I do have friendships from childhood, college and my professional life and I do have many friends that I have had for a long time, most of these friends are friends that can tolerate my absence. That know that even thought I am not emailing or calling I am thinking about them. They are patient with me and usually when we get back together we pick up right where we left off.

I am pretty good with the cell phone, especially on my commute in the car on the way home, but that doesn't really work with people who are employed do to the fact that I commute home between 3:30 - 4:30 EST. I am also an ace with the instant messenger and of course now I have incorporated skyping into my evening regimen. I can do this all while watching ANTM and all my favorites on MTV. However my internet has been slower lately so I must stick with the chat option, I haven't had tons of luck with the internet phone calls.

Why not email: I love to get email, however, I rarely respond. Why not? Well usually when I check my email I am rushing around, or at work. So I say to myself, I am not going to write back now, I am going to wait until I have time to put the proper thought into the email, usually I will start to write the email but then I have to you know work. Well needless to say by the time I sit down with the proper thought it has been days, if not weeks and then everything is old, so I should start again but I don't have time and then the vicious cycle repeats itself.

How to end this blog? Well first I have to thank those who put up with me and my not so constant contact. And to my new friends, be fore warned if you haven't heard from me, it's not that I am not thinking about you. I am just not emailing you. Or better yet, you should just start a blog, I will read that and respond with a witty comment. Or at least one I think is witty.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Happy 300th!

TiVo Changed My Life blog hits another milestone: 300 posts. I want to first thank my loyal readers. I know most of you are related to me and therefore forced to read or you are my friend and read out of pity, but thank you anyway.

What to blog about on the historic 300th post, how about jet lag? Yes, I am getting reacquainted with the Eastern Standard Time Zone after nearly 4 weeks in Europe. What are the effects, well I wake up early. Bruce and I have been getting up without an alarm before 7 am. For those of you who know us (and as previously stated most of you are family or friends, so you know us) know that we are late sleepers, who given the chance will sleep long past 11 am if given the chance. On the flip side I get tired at about 7:30 pm, and I am in bed no later than 9:30 pm. This could be considered a good thing since I am going back to work on Monday. (Bruce doesn't go back for another two weeks, grrrrrr, but I am not bitter.)

Since I have been back I have been cleaning a lot trying to get things back in order before I get back to work. I am also getting ready for the 8K run at the Crim on August 25th. The running club with the exception of our Florida & New York delegates will be running. The New York delegate doesn't participate in many of our extra-curricular activities, but he is also probably the fastest runner among us. Hmmmm is there a connection here? Bruce got our shirt design to the printers today, so we will have our t-shirts in time for the Crim.

Today, I went to see the Bourne Identity with Megan, who's leaving for Chicago next week. We both are big Matt Damon fans, so it was a mutual appreciation for him, I mean his work. The movie gets two thumbs up! If you are a fan of the Bourne films, this is a definite must see. It was fun to watch after just being in Paris, because part of it was filmed there, just like the Bourne Supremacy was filmed in Berlin. But after the Bourne Ultimatum what comes next? Whatever the title, I am ready.

This weekend we are heading to Marine City for the annual Salisbury family reunion, then on Sunday we are heading to Ann Arbor to hit the Mac Store with my mom, who is about to cross-over from the darkside (PC's) into the happy land of Macs. And we welcome her with open arms.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

The 7:11 Running Club

Every morning in Geneva (with the exception of the days we were traveling together) you could find a group of 8 by the rock ready to run. I would not say we are the fastest running club out there (with some exceptions) but we did our best. The rule was "we'll wait for you." Now we may wait for you at the end, but we didn't head in until everyone had finished.

This club soon blossomed into great friendships. Very much like undergrad, however now we had skype. The name of the club evolved from the time we meet every morning and soon that is how we were referred to in class.

We had our adventures to Chamonix, the Geneva Festival (where we missed the last bus from downtown and had to hike back to the JKC,) the van trip on the autobahn to Heidelberg, the trip in the down pouring rain to get fondue and the hours and hours of enjoying classics like Nena's 99 Luftballoons and R. Kelly's Remix to Ignition (Helen: some of them know the words better than I do.) Oh and don't forget the trip for fondue in the pouring rain (see picture on the left,) so on the way home we all decided it would be a good idea to fit ourselves into a very tiny European Colt Fashion instead of walking back in the downpour to the bus. We managed to squeeze 8 people into the car meant for 5 (three of which should be very small children.) It resembled a clown car when we all got out safely at JKC. Don't worry dad we were all buckled in if you count a human as a seatbelt.

So I hope this blog entry does justice to my new friendships. It certainly made our studying abroad more fun. And it also helped me insure that I didn't come home weighing 100+ pounds more than when I left because let me tell you that I ate my fair share of chocolate. Some people (not me) even lost weight on the trip.

Our last run in Geneva was from the JKC to the city center to see Geneva's famed water fountain that is in Lake Geneva. Well it turns out that the fountain doesn't start until 9 am. So we made our long run, with our bus passes only to find out that there was no fountain running, as you can clearly see in the photograph on the left. If the fountain were on we would be very very wet. We had to take the bus back because even though we got up early to run we weren't going to get up that early are you crazy. Plus we had bus passes and we had to use them one last time. To top it off we thought we would surprise the class with croissants for breakfast on our last day courtesy of all of us. Then we get back to the JKC with our bag of croissants in hand only to find out that on the last day the kitchen gave everyone croissants for breakfast. Oh well, we had fun anyway.

I loved running with all my friends and I will miss waking up to run with them, however, I will not miss the gi-normous hill that we had to run up at the end of our run, everyday.
Despite the end of our official meetings for the year we do have some extra-curricular activities. For example most of the club will be running the Bobby Crim on August 25th. There has also been talk of running the Detroit Marathon as a relay team.

And I forgot to mention, as we all know every great club has a t-shirt. Hence our global program t-shirts you see us wearing in these pictures. (Don't ask me to explain what it says, becuase I am not sure I know exactly, just know that it is computer code: ruby on rails to be exact.) So Bruce has been busy making our very own t-shirts which we will sport on crim day. The colors will be simple, like the Swiss flag. Red with white writing.

Monday, August 13, 2007

The Cohort Departs

Well I have written about our rough departure from the Geneva airport, but I haven't written about our last days with the UM Global Cohort (in Geneva we called it program, because they word cohort is interpreted as an invading force.) We wrapped up our program with a busy week of classes, buying last minute souvenirs and of course running with the club. (ok, we might have had a little fun too.)

As far as the learning goes we were given time to develop our websites with our groups. Bruce and I are working together with Tony & Angi on a website called FlikNews. The goal of our site is to develop a cross between a journalism and a social networking site, a site that gives students an outlet to share their journalism and an outlet to get direct feedback from around the world. We are working with the International Baccalaureate Organization, which can help us link up with schools all across the world. We want to integrate video, audio and photojournalism. Right now we are in the middle of developing everything for the site coding, design and content. We will work on the site throughout the rest of our graduate program.

Ok now that the learning is out of the way, we did have a lot of fun especially the running group. I was going to write all about the group in this entry, but after looking at the pictures, I have decided that it the group needs its on blog entry. The picture is a sneak peak above.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

EasyJet - Not So Easy
Things I Learned About Budget European Travel

Well here is a few things that I have learned in my recent travels in Europe. Europe has all these low cost airlines that you can fly and get around relatively inexpensively. However, what they don't tell you online is that when you book a flight to say Paris or Stockholm you may not really be flying into Paris or Stockholm.

Let's use Paris as an example, because that is where my travel disaster began. It actually began in Geneva when our 6:45 EasyJet Flight to Paris (Orly) was late, 4 hours late. Which meant that our 7 hours layover in Paris was not enough to get us to the other airport that was about an hour north of town to make our flight to Stockholm. However, I learned as I sat in the airport in Geneva waiting for our flight that our flight wasn't actually to Stockholm it was to an airport 100km south of Stockholm and we would have to take a bus from that airport to the city which would cost us almost as much as the plane ticket from Paris to not quite Stockholm.

Needless to say when we arrived to Paris we had to make a decision, do we bust our tails with all our luggage (that would be luggage for a three week stay, with two cameras, a camcorder, two computers - we needed all this for our class) across town spending money on buses and taxis just to either just make this flight to not quite Stockholm or just miss this flight. So we said ok, let's try to regroup and see if we can spend one night in Paris and head there tomorrow. Well that didn't happen because we could not get a hold of the Ryan Airlines because they only have office hours Monday-Friday (this was Saturday.) We tried to change our flight online but because it was the day of the flight that was impossible. So we checked other airlines and nothing was under well $1000. So that was out. Then we said ok, let's skip Stockholm. So I had to cancel our hotel which was difficult because I booked it online.

The next plan was to skip Sweden and try to fly to Oslo from Paris on Monday or Tuesday. Well, that proved to be challenging. The airline that I booked the flight from Stockholm to Oslo, would not allow us to use the money from that flight and apply it to a new one. Although the internet said we could adjust the flight, they claimed that was only the date and time, not where you were taking off. I still claim that they need to be more specific, damn you Scandinavian Airlines.

After nearly an hour of Skyping (thank you skype) from our computer in the baggage claim of the Orly airport. We said, "Screw Scandinavia, we are staying Paris." We booked a very nice hotel on Expedia, which actually gave us a pretty steep, yet welcome discount. We called our good friends at Continental Airlines, who after two tries (the first was disrupted because we ran out of prepaid airport internet minutes) was able to change our flight from Oslo to Newark to Paris to Newark three days earlier. I have never been so thankful to great US customer service. I know what you are all thinking: What airline customer service, you have to be kidding me. Trust me I am not. After an hour of trying to deal with European Airlines and Hotels and getting little to no where, the ladies we spoke with at Continental were a welcome change. I think they could sense the frustration of our day in our voices and they were just NICE. It was so refreshing.

To be honest this was the first time this trip I seriously missed the US. Don't get me wrong I missed my family, my dog and cats, our friends and our house, but I think having Bruce over here made it just a lot of fun. But after this horrifying travel day, I just wanted to through my hands up and cry, it was comforting to just have someone on the other end of the phone who was empathetic.

So the last two days have been spent in Paris. I have really fallen in love with the city! It is beautiful in the summer. The last time I was hear was Spring Break '99 with 'Julie Foster' and my friend Griner. It was cold and it was March, I left liking the city but not loving it. But this time, I fell in love. We went up the Eiffel Tower, went to the Louvre, shopped on the Champs Elysees, drank Cafe' ole and just had a great time. We come home tomorrow, a couple days sooner than expected, but I am excited to come home and get a head start on getting things settled before school starts next Monday.

In summation of our disastrous trip to Norway and Sweden that didn't happen. What I have learned is if you are going to go budget, be ready for things to go wrong. When they do, be flexible and be ready for back-up plans one, two and three. Skype is essential for any computer, it made making phone calls in the airport a breeze and at .02 a minute it was easy to call the airlines, without an armload of Euros. And I would have to say that Bruce said it best, you can either go cheap, but when you do that you have to be a backpacker with one bag. Trying to jet around Europe with three-weeks of clothes in very heavy suitcases is nearly impossible, as we discovered from the Metro trip from the airport to our hotel. So tomorrow we have learned and we will be taking a cab to the airport, which the hotel will call for us.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Deustchland war Wunderbar!
Translation: Germany was wonderful!

This past weekend we (the 7:11 running club) headed to Heidelberg, Germany for the weekend. The trip evolved since we first arrived in Switzerland, initially it was just going to be Bruce and I going to visit Harald & Barbara NiederstraBer. Then we were all going to go by train, then the train was too expensive so I was going on my own, without Bruce. Then we got a van, a 9 passenger van name Margot.

On Friday at 2:45, we were supposed to leave at 2:30 but we were waiting on our perpetually late friend Joe. When we finally hit the road, we realized that the map we just bought ended virtually five miles outside of Geneva (ok, it ended at the Swiss border, but we like to pick on Bruce.) As for seating arrangements, in the front seat we had Bruce (our pilot,) me (our co-pilot,) and our co-co-pilot (Robert.) Yes we were squeezed in close. In the back everyone else had an empty seat between them, but we were Bruce's amusement for the 5 hour + trek to Heidelberg.

When we got to Heidelberg, we got lost immediately. Why? Well first off we had no map. Then secondly there were no street signs in this city. And when there was a sign Bruce was driving at top speeds through all the intersections. Needless to say we got lost. We ended up on the wrong side of town, which needless to say was not that far from the right the other side of town. But we called the hotel and needless to say they did not have the patience for my bad German, we eventually decided to quit trying to find it on our own and we called in reinforcements: Harald. It was wonderful, I mentioned one landmark and he was like I know where you are pull over and I will be there in 5 minutes. And he was.

He and Barbara were at the train station. It was so great to see them again. I love them so much! Harald is so wonderful and so is his mom. We had a great little reunion while everyone in the van waited for us. Then Barbara hopped back on the train to go to an outlying city where she was spending the night with family. Harald hopped back in the car with us and we found the hotel within minutes. Funny how it works when you have someone who knows where you are going.

We got to the hotel which ended up being a bed and breakfast. Yes I booked my five rowdy running club buddies in a bed and breakfast. It is hard to pick a hotel on the Internet that doesn't look to crappy but doesn't cost a million dollars a night. We got in and the inn keepers knew well ZERO English. In fact the woman said to Harald when he came in to clear things up, "Is there anyone in this group who can speak better German than this one." That is where she pointed at me. Funny thing is the girl who could not speak it could surely understand the insult. Harald later told me she was a "crazy old southern woman." He and Barbara lied to me all weekend and told me that my German was wonderful. I know they weren't telling me the truth, but it surely made me feel good.

On Saturday morning, Barbara returned to Heidelberg and we meet up with her for Breakfast. Then the rest of the group arrived. Bruce (who ends up sitting there smiling while I try to speak German and Barbara and Harald try to help me) went off with the 7:11 crew to the Schloss (the castle.) I spent the day with Harald and Barbara and got my own personal tour of the city. I also got a Heidelberg College t-shirt. That is the school Harald is currently attending. It was a lot of fun hanging out with them again. We did some shopping had a couple Berliner WeiBers.

We met up with the rest of the group at the bar after a hard day of climbing up to the SchloB. There we learned that Robert had fallen in love with the Man Bag aka the Man Purse or the Murse (he actually confiscated Meghan's bag and converted it to the man bag.) Since then Robert has been obsessed with finding his own Man Bag and Man Capris. He is determined to bring high fashion back to Ohio.

Barbara went back to her family's home around dinner time. It was tough to say goodbye, but they are planning on another visit next year. They might even come to our graduation in Geneva, which will be 8/8/08.

Harald however took us to dinner at a tradition German restaurant. Karyn & Bruce had sauerkraut, I ate a German Pretzel with butter and a beer. It was delicious. We ate well in Germany. Unfortunately Harald had a wedding he had to go to, he felt bad because he was leaving me, but after hanging out with the gang, he was wishing that he could totally blow off the wedding.

But Harald hooked us up with the skinny on the nightlife of Heidelberg. We had a great time hitting the town as a crazy group of Americans. Then we made the 5+ hour trip back to Geneva. I must say we had a soundtrack for the trip: Blame Canada from the South Park movie, R. Kelly - Remix to Ignition and of course 99 Luftballoons from Nena. We listened to 99 Luftballoons probably 10 times each way.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Celebrating Swiss Day

Yesterday was Swiss Day. The day they celebrate their independence. The running folks headed downtown for the late night festivities. (Needless to say we canceled r
unning for Thursday morning before we left for downtown.) But it turns out on holidays the bus schedule is lighter, which means of course we missed the last bus home. So after a night of fun, lead to a long walk home. Yes we could have stopped at the train station and hailed a cab, but now becuase we are the running club we ended up hoofing it back to the John Knox Center.

The big events at the Swiss Carnival besides the long walk home where the spontaneous parade that we ran into on our way down.
And of course the huge carnival ride that the rest of the group besides Joachim and I went on. It went straight up and spun around. I opted out. Go figure.

Needless to say today was a rough morning - as we all made our way to the classroom. It's 10:30 pm and we are finishing up on our video projects and our assignments. It was a cold wet day today, so it wasn't bad to be in the classroom. However, I have one last assignment to do, but I am tired and the TiVo Changed My Life blog is calling.

On another note, I am not taking the train to Heidelberg after buying my ticket today. I am still going to Heidelberg, but the train ticket was 323 chf (swiss francs) that's about $270. And that was a cash, which meant the rest of the group didn't want to come, which was fine, but I really wanted Bruce to come. Then we found out we could rent a van, so I was able to return my ticket with only an 18 chf penalty and we are heading tomorrow on the Autobahn. Now where will park a 9 passenger van when we get there, that I do not know. But I think it will be fun. I will spend most of my time with my host family, but I am sure we will all meet up for dinner and such. And we all the very long and what I can only imagine will be an interesting trip. I really have to thank Marc the director here at the Jon Knox Centre. He drove me to the train station, not once but twice today. He also spared me from struggling through trying to speak French and get a cheaper train ticket, then returning my train ticket!

Well now it's time that I need to finish my homework. I am really excited about seeing my host family tomorrow. They are such wonderful people.

In the meantime if you haven't yet, get skype - NOW! Just search my name and let the fun begin!