Sunday, June 25, 2017

A Birthday on Two Continents

The last two stops on our whirl around the world were so fun! After seeing our Hawaiian Family in Maui on the first stop and our London family in Moscow, we had such a great time with our Eyre family in Switzerland and then our Eyre family in New York City on our last lap! 

The Swiss Eyres are so lucky to have a working farm about five minutes’ walk from their home. The owners are happy to have their family enjoy it. Look at these cuties! 

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Their little daughter has taken up climbing every tree she sees and has become a little monkey! And it was such a delight to walk with her and her mom in their quiet, pastoral country town whether it was to her Kindergarten class or to her swimming lesson. 

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She also managed to ride her bike for a few seconds on her own for the first time while we were there. This was after wearing her mother out running beside her up and down this street many many times for multiple days. But the look on her face (and ours) was worth it! 

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We were also thrilled to watch this little cherub  being so brave and good at her swim lesson. She has come a long way since last summer at Bear Lake!   

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 Everywhere you look in Switzerland is breathtaking! Even the walk to the shops! 

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Anita is a fabulous cook and on the eve of my birthday, she made a scrumptious Tiramisu so we could celebrate before we left for our early morning flight. Mmmmm, makes m mouth water to think about it! 

 

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I must add that Tal is also a pretty amazing cook. His company sells a state-of-the-art machine that measures, stirs, cooks and completes the meal with the touch of a button. He cooked our favorite dishes in a blink! Sorry, you can only buy it in Europe! I might mention that he has a fascinating job the covers seven (or eight) countries and is also writing a book. Switzerland is positively “to die for” when it comes to scenery, but the “rules and regulations” take some getting used to! We are so proud of his abilities to not only survive, but thrive! 

I woke up on my birthday to a gorgeousl morning in Switzerland and we were swished to the airport by Tal. It was such a delight to catch up on the day-to-day life of our extraordinary Swiss family! 

About 10 hours later we arrived in New York City where it was about 1:30 in the afternoon. I got to have a once-in-a lifetime 32-hour birthday! Eli kindly picked us up in a zip car that he rented for the afternoon. When I got into the car, four-year-old Zara was there with her huge smile and darling purple glasses and about 8 big purple (my favorite color) balloons. We were so excited to see each other and she was especially excited that it was my birthday!  I must admit being just a bit tired from the flight but within minutes she had me laughing, almost hysterially because when we were snugging in the back seat she looked straight at my neck, pondered for a moment and then asked, “Why is your skin all squashed together?  Perfect for my 70th birthday! What a kick!  Every time I think of that it makes me either smile or burst out laughing. What a girl!  She says it like it is!  Gotta love that girl’s pizzaz!

 

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Zara adores her little brother with a deep purple (speaking of)  passion and has almost killed him with love every day of his short two years!  Her enthusiasm has moved to her toes(see below). Don’t you just those adorable purple glasses? 

 

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When we walked in the door of their cute NYC four story walk-up, the walls were covered with messages from children and grandchildren for my birthday! On the table were my favorite flowers (lilacs) and my favorite cookies (Levain). What a surprise and a special treat for a special birthday! 

 

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A tempting sight! 

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Wish you could see Eli’s extraordinary photography on the wall in the back,, but you can see all those great messages taped to the walls. Thanks everyone! 

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I love this picture. Right away Dean pulled out his favorite book!  Looks as though he’s reading it to Grandfather rather than visa versa! Oh the delight on both of heir faces! 

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Just before we closed my 32 hour birthday day, Eli disappeared for a while and came back with a very special video comprised  of clips from every family of Eyrealm including Josh’s family of kids at the elementary school wishing me a happy birthday. Each family had their own clever way of making their few minutes heartfelt and exciting, fun and funny! Could there be a happier birthday present? I was blown away and charmed! 

 

The following day was Sunday. Julie is the new Relief Society President so she leaves early for church meetings and Eli gets those kids ready, down all those stairs and then walks at a fast clip for about twenty minutes to join her at church…on time!  Hooray for Eli! What a guy!  After church we walked to Central Park, not far from the church  and had a delicious picnic lunch. Julie had to go back to the church before we got home so this was a lovely intermission! 

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Back at home, Zara and I got serious about reading a most amazing story…..

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And Dean showed us his favorite spot in the world…the window ledge in his parent’s bedroom where he spends a lot of time watching for “Trash Trucks” his favorite thing in the work right at the moment!  If he doesn’t see one right away, he resorts to playing with his trucks on the window ledge until one comes by. 

 

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One of he most fun parts of being there right then was that two days after my birthday was Dean’s birthday so we got to celebrate his birthday with him too! Note the excitement of his opening his “big” present: 

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Wish you could see the joy on this little boy’s face when he saw his very own scooter!  He was already experienced rider on this thing, thanks to a neighbor who let him borrow theirs. Who knew that a two year old could scoot down the streets of New York and all through Central Park with his mom and dad yelling “slow down” as he speeds up with a great big grin on his face. He is a pro I tell you! 

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That day I was treated to a post-birthday lunch at our favorite place in Central Park…The Boat House Restaurant!  Somehow we have managed to be in NYC for my birthday for the last three years and this has become a tradition! 

 

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Thanks heaven for electronics for two and four year olds at a linen-clad table and a gourmet lunch!  

 

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I’m not sure there are more spectacular cherry blossoms in all the world, including Japan and Washington DC, than the ones in Central Park. We hit the height of the season and had the most glorious walk through the most beautiful sea of pink blossoms imaginable! 

 

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This awesome picture was taken on Eli’s professional camera by a friend who was with us! Joy Joy Joy! In fact all the photos with really great quality on this post came out of Eli’s camera! 

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Grandfather found his favorite thing…a duck egg...at Zabar’s around the corner from Eli and Julie's while Julie made a special birthday cake for a party with friends whose little girl was born on the same day as Dean. Is this a cute “Trash Truck” cake or what?  Dean seemed was filled with glee while his birthday buddy just wants a bite! 

 

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What a great way to celebrate a two-year-old’s birthday in such a dazzling place! 

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Eli always does a photo shoot of the kids on their birthdays, in this same room, on this same chair in their apartment. I”ll just share a few of at least 50 spectacular shots, starting with the ones with his “dearly beloved” sister! 

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Gotta love those knees (above). He made them “fashionable" all by himself! 

 

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Love this boy, named after his grandfather who died when Richard was 15. Grandpa Dean must be looking down from heaven with pure delight to see his little namesake! 

 

On the day we left, while Zara was at Joy School, Eli, Julie, Dean and I walked over to the astonishing Guggenheim Museum, where the building is as spectacular as the art! Art museums are one of my favorite things in the world and it’s a special treat to go with the “artsy” Eli and Julie! Dean didn’t think it was as fun as we did so Julie pushed him on home while Eli and I finished. Julie, you are a such a heroine!
  

 

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There was a huge Kandinsky exhibit….which we loved! 

 

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A glorious gaggle of the great Impressionists were so elegantly displayed! At then end of the tour,  Eli and I were lucky enough to get tickets to the museum's special exhibit which consisted of entering a small private room on the top floor and  sitting in a staging area with two other people, surrounded by elegant foam cones. We sat there meditating in total silence for fifteen minutes. You had to be there to appreciate it! It was incredible! 

 

Well all great things must come to an end and this one did as well. We left NYC for our last four-hour flight after our whirl around the world with six stops, three days each, with so many new perspectives. We  made new friends, saw sights that we had longed to see all our lives and enjoyed four of our families who are splashed across the world. Still we were ready to go back to the real world of our day-to-day work with a special appreciation for….home! 

And our last surprise?  A blizzard. Such is life!  

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6 comments:

charity said...

i loved reading this, mom! it made me so excited to see zara and dean soon. and i loved hearing more details about your special birthday! so glad it was a good one. kind of jealous that e&j keep getting to celebrate with you! love you sooo much and can't wait to see you sooo soon!

Jenny (also) said...

Dean, who clearly loves books and garbage trucks, might really love the children's picture called TRASHY TOWN. It's adorable, features a trash truck and driver, is well written, and has the additional benefit of featuring the satisfaction that comes from a job well done

Shauna said...

Check out the book "I Stink". It is about a New York City garbage truck. My kids adore it and I have read it so much I can recite the book.

Michael Boulos said...

Very nice post
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Kris M. said...

New blog post please!!!

And do you have a cookbook coming out??