Hang on a second, let me just grab that bottle of wine over there. Ahhh, there we go....come to mama.
So where was I. Switzerland.
Wiesen is a tiny, tiny town in the middle of the Alps. It has approximately twenty buildings and eleven residents, most of them farm animals. But from that first handshake at the train station with Phillip, cheerful hotel owner, we had found our new happy place.
Here it is -- the promised land for tired parents. The Kinderhotel Muchetta in Wiesen, Switzerland. It's a hotel where you get to vacation with your kids because you love them but you don't really have to take care of them. Brilliant.
I want to go to there
The Kinderhotel is family mecca. Rooms stocked with cribs, baby monitors, baby bathtubs, and cute little pint-sized bathrobes. Kids laughing and running together through the dining room like a pack of foreign-language speaking wild animals. Parents sitting in the library reading books for the first time in years. Parents having no idea where their kids are and liking it that way.
Immediately after check-in, Alex headed to the "Wellness Area" where he saw a naked lady in the sauna. (No hangups about nudity in Switzerland, either. Good to know for my future public nudity needs.) After that, Alex spent a lot of time in the sauna.
Me: Gosh, I can't find Coco's sock.
Al: I'll go look in the sauna.
Me: Where the heck did I put my lens cap?
Al: You may have left it in the sauna. I'll go check because I have an earnest desire to help you.
Me: Hey Al, let's go for a hike in the beautiful mountains.
Al: Hey, MJ, let's go sit in front of the sauna and look for boobies.
Don't worry, ladies -- mama got her share of eye candy, too. Mainly German speaking men in Speedos playing with their kids in the heated wading pool. Meh -- you take what you can get.
The childcare program was too good to be true except it was TRUE. They kept the Loosh busy for up to twelve hours a day. (Is worshiping a hotel a religion? I'm gonna make it one. Kinderhotelology. There will be lots of drinking of Kool-Aid but not in the bad way.)
They would accompany the children at lunch and dinner so you could eat alone with your spouse and have something called "an intelligent conversation" without being interrupted by a four-year-old with a whoopee cushion. (I admit, I bought it for him. In my defense, whoopee cushions are highly amusing.) They took the kids sledding on snowy days and visiting local farms on sunny ones. They had a playroom with ball pits and a playground with a huge slide that threw kids off violently at the bottom.
The Loosh fell off the slide onto his head once but it didn't faze him for long. He also hurt his back doing I-dunno-what and had a door slammed on his foot. He came back bleeding twice. He's never been so happy.
He would drag himself back into our room in the evening and pass out exhausted in his bed as Alex and I danced around crowing, "We GOT him! We finally GOT him!"
Coco, when we decided to ditch her for a bit, too, went into the babycare room. They did different activities there, lest you're concerned Coco got strapped into a sled or pushed down a violent slide. I think they just dangled things in front of her face and carried her around a lot.
She also learned how to be an effective executive:
Buzz off, woman. I'm learning over here
The vast majority of my time was spent on our deck, on this chair right here, looking at this --
AND THIS OOPS CAPS LOCK sorry I'm not really yelling
(The vast majority of Alex's time was spent in the sauna but that's neither here nor there)
The downside to the deck chairs was their plastic composition. When you coupled that with the dry mountain air, the static shocks we gave each other were unreal. A few of them darn near blasted Lucien across the deck. Alex would say to me, "Come sit with me. Let us speak of love." He'd reach out for me lovingly but I'd yell, "Discharge your static! Discharge your static!" and bat at his hands with my book. Then Alex would sigh and feel alone. Stupid staticky chair killing our love.
I grew up in Ohio but in a mountain-obsessed skifreak family. Because of all the happy memories of our ski vacations over the years (such as the time we nearly burnt down our rental condo in Vail -- our family friend had to throw a flaming fireplace log off the balcony into the snow) I'm a mountain person.
Mountains are one of the things I miss most about living in Seattle. I mean, sure, some of the "mountains" around Seattle are actually "volcanos" that are going to erupt one day and kill us all but gosh, they're pretty.
So I sat and stared at the Alps and grinned. I stared and stared. I don't think I even blinked and I'm pretty sure my mouth was hanging open. I probably looked like a real idiot. I stared at those mountains for so many hours, I'm sure I could draw their peaks from memory.
not bad.....not bad...
That's all I got this time around, folks. I hope I feel like writing about Switzerland next time, too, because we encountered some characters worthy of remembrance. My personal favorites are "anxious T" and "neon green tracksuit wearing neighbor with a Blackberry addiction."
And hey! Good news. I don't have to wear a costume for the parade at Lucien's school. Alex clarified with Saint Teacher. She said some parents have gotten festive in the past but there's no requirement to do so. Therefore I say NO to being festive. My only goal is to return with as many kids as I'm responsible for. The patterned sheet with no eyeholes would just get in the way and probably cause me to wander into traffic.
Daddy's in the sauna again, mes choux,