2015 08 Family Letter – Swiss Bliss

Family,

August has been mad! Awesome, relaxing, amazing, wonderful, superdeedooper, and THEBESTMONTHEVER.

We packed up all of our stuff, shipped it away, and took off from DC. Mozzi in tow, we stuffed a poor Uber full of about 7 suitcases and boxes, and arrived in cool, beautiful Switzerland about 7 hours later. OH MY GOODNESS. I have half a mind to start a 5 year plan which would involve stealthily convincing Oliver to learn French and work in some international business nearby so we can live here too!

My family lives right on the side of the mountain, with a billion dollar view of Lake Geneva and what we call the “Swiss Rivera”. It’s a 10 minute drive on switchbacks down the mountain, through vineyards, to my Dad’s office at Nestle headquarters on the edge of an enormous, bright blue lake so clear and clean there are swimming parks all along the shore! I love all of the chalets, with red flower boxes in every window, the most delicious Swiss chocolate and fresh baguettes, all of the dogs that accompany their owners everywhere, the beautiful old towns, the cleanliness, the happy, well dressed people strolling along the streets, the little babies speaking French, the fresh milk produced by cows in the city, how everyone’s countenances look so happy and healthy, and how safe it is!

Family, of course, is the real thing that makes any place special. After OVER two years, we finally got our whole Bradshaw pack (+ O) together! Michael arrived home the day before we did and is SUCH a missionary! Hah! I hardly recognize this tall, mature man! Well, mature other than the wrestling matches with Christopher (who has gotten much bigger himself! It’s an equal toss, now ;)) I so appreciated my parents letting us come and stay! We took lots of day trips as a family and just as the kids to places like Murren, a mountaintop village inaccessible by car, a chocolate factory, Turin (Italy), Barcelona, Geneva, Aosta (Italy), the parks and pools in Montraux, Evian, Gruyere, France, etc etc. Of course, there were the obligatory movie nights, endless games of Settlers, the lake parties, laying out in sunny parks, and taking Mozzi on adventures!

Things I’ve learned about my siblings this month:

Michael is a super gymnast, can do dozens of pull-ups, is a major prankster (we spent an evening laughing to the point of tears hearing more about his detailed exploits), and came home with like ZERO items of clothing. He would make a great doctor, the little charmer. He also, arguably, likes history and old buildings a little more than we do, because he planned the whole Barcelona trip on his own, and it was great! He also knows how to crochet better than most grandmothers and has been making man-bags for all of this companions! Ha!

Christopher is a master hacker (better keep details of that off the record, but let’s just say that we had the whole Barcelona hotel Wifi network to ourselves when we wanted it;)), a fan of rare meat burgers, a total lady magnet (A random Spanish girl kissed him after Sacrament meeting!), and would eat either bread/chocolate or churros/chocolate for every single meal if he could. He also loves Theo more than any of us (and we LOVE Theo!) and was frequently caught cuddling and taking care of the fluffy panther. He also is a ridiculously dedicated worker and not only got through almost a whole calculus class before the semester even started, but also built a website for me. In like a few hours.

Sarah is SO GROWN UP and so beautiful! She is also tolerant of the crazy pup and didn’t complain once about being kicked out of her upstairs loft (room) for the month! She shares O’s endless enthusiasm for settlers and beats him at it frequently 🙂 She also makes sure Theo gets attention when we are all fussing over Mozzi. We each have a running list of baby names that we compare frequently. Sisters, eh? 😉 And on a final note, she absolutely ROCKS her adorable school uniform.

Oliver and I celebrated our first anniversary in Paris! I was happy to show him my old stomping grounds, and lucky for us, the weather was ideal! No small miracle for August in Europe! He has spent the month sunbathing, studying his brains out for school next week, and doing LOTS of sightseeing. I spent the month letting Mozzi sneak into bed with me in the mornings (!!!! Forbidden!!!), working on my project (www.sollue.com), teaching myself how to code and build websites (with Christopher’s help), spending time with Maman and Papa, and, of course, tagging along on all of Oliver’s sightseeing extravaganzas.

Theo and Mozzi are now, I am happy to report, mutually tolerant of each other (for the most part). Theo occasionally gets annoyed by the energetic puppy and will whack him on the top on his head. Mozzi, in return, steals his cat food, and runs circles (literally) around him outside. I am pleased that Mozzi now has a whole huge family to love and snuggle him, a cat to annoy, and a beautiful backyard to play in! I will miss the nugget but can’t wait to get him back in my arms this December – the perfect Christmas present! 🙂

I could go on and on about the places we visited, but there should be pictures up on Facebook soon enough.

Well, here we go! Off to Stanford! We have already started orchestrating events and groups and can’t wait to get to know people 🙂 I’m not sure who is more excited about living smack in the middle of Silicon Valley with all of those startup nuts and entrepreneurs 😉 Justtttt my kind of people!

Bisous,

Rebecca + Oliver

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