Wednesday, May 11, 2011

We got punished...

Yep, that's right. We are bad. Bad to the bone!

Here's what happened.

Me ( Agi) : We're out of milk.

Aaron : (sigh) Fine, get your passport.

One hour later on the other side of the border in Germany . We enter the second awesomest store ever ( the first one is called Coffee and Pantyhose, I dare you to ask why...) and start loading stuff into the carts. Half an hour later rich in groceries but poor in money we get into the van. Now you have to know that in the protection of the swiss dairy farmers we aren't suppose to import more than 1 lb of beef per person and more than 10 liters of milk into Switzerland. But no one ever checks....until now. We are pulled aside by the border patrol and asked to open up the back. He leans in to take a look then steps back obviously puzzled by the sight of the avalanching food and stuff. He dives in to look for the contraband. I should be ashamed but I'm not. He declares that we have 8 lb more beef and 15 liters more milk than we should have. By now I feel like a drug dealer busted by the cops. Aaron has to follow the agent into the office to pay a fine. I know that, he knows that but the kids don't. They are watching their father disappearing into the office with the metal bars on the window. Now at this point I should've said something comforting to my children. But I did not. Instead here's what's coming out of my mouth.

" Now y'all have done it! Your father has to go to jail because you guys eat too much! "

I know. I'm awesome.

Aaron comes back and has to explain to the kids that mom isn't really mean, she just has a very warped sense of humor and/or had a temporary brainfart.

At this point I'm LMBOWPMPATST ( laughingmybuttoffwhilepeeingmypantsatthesametime ) all the way home.

I know. I'm also cool.


Saturday, December 25, 2010

Our first Swiss Christmas...

It's quiet now and our first Swiss Christmas is almost put to bed. Bittersweet, given the circumstances of the last three days. I don't think the words we read in Luke regarding Mary's travails and the Savior's birth ever seemed as rich or poignant as they did last night. Agi has been a study in stoic strength and resilience.

But a quiet, introspective, beautiful day, this 25th. It started snowing late last night, as it should on any Christmas Eve, and continued through mid-day today, leaving a thick fluffy blanket of snow on everything. Kids were up not-so-early, surprising me, since I didn't expect them to take my admonish to "sleep in" to heart. I know I never could. Up at the crack of dawn when I was their age. But they held out, and we all padded downstairs as a family in our new opened-on-Christmas-Eve PJ's.

Presents were a flurry of new clothes, most emblazoned with the BYU logos everyone had been asking for--a way I guess to do the two-birds-one-stone thing-- swaddle themselves with the comforting emblems of home, and set themselves apart at the new Swiss schools they attend. Never been prouder to see my kids so excited and anxious to set themselves apart as "BYU kids" among all their respective peers. Ali especially.

Everyone got a small HD video camera, either the FLIP version for easy uploading or an indestructible hand-held. All purchased weeks ago when documenting today seemed like it would be so much more enjoyable and forward looking--documenting the last Christmas with just the current team of 4, together for 10+ years. I guess this team will stay longer than we planned--probably forever.

In spite of the turmoil of this week, Agi still made hands down a fantastic Christmas feast--a homemade honey-baked ham that would put the usual suspects at "HoneyBaked Ham" to shame, and a delicious pot of her famous stuffed cabbage--a Hungarian Christmas staple in our family. Love this woman.

This late afternoon after the wrapping had been sizzled away in the hearth's fire, and the New Donkey Kong world had been fully explored, dinner eaten and the kitchen cleaned, we cleared the table and had two plus good solid hours of playing a family board game. Love these times with the kids. SO many great, funny conversations spring to life over haggling about roads and resources in the Cataan world or racing trains across Europe. Mental note to get the original "Ticket to Ride" --Zug am Zug", considering we're in the backyard of the original :-).

And now the day's over. Another Christmas down. Another year closer to whatever comes next.

Merry CHristmas to friends and family the world round. We appreciate so much the love and support we've felt from so many of your these past days.

Have a wonderful New Year....


Saturday, November 6, 2010

FInally, a night out on the town...

The wife and I finally decided to check out the Zug nightlife. Or lack thereof. WOW, for a Saturday night it was DEAD. But hey, we found a surprisingly decent Mexican restaurant. And after having sworn we'd never go to the movies in Switzerland (20 bucks a ticket will definitively change one's opinion of what passes as quality cinema these days), we decided to pop into the Seehof and watch 'R.E.D.'

And it was freakin' AWESOME. And I don't think that was just because I hadn't been to a movie is Switzerland since last April. Seriously great movie. A little 'by the numbers', but it hit every number perfectly. I hope they make more.

Natch, I still HATE that in Switzerland there is some unwritten codified LAW that every theater must break the movie in two and practically blare at you from the screen to go buy popcorn and ice cream during the completely inappropriate "intermission". Come on! This ain't 5-act Shakespeare in-the-round! Its a freaking 100 minute movie. We don't need a break. And you ruin what little enjoyment is left after taking out a mortgage for tickets by cutting off mid-scene, turning the lights on, and flashing popcorn and coke like a psychedelic flick from a 60's interrogation camp. Come on Switzerland.

Much as I am dying to go see Paranormal Activity 2, I won't (at least here) because what better way to massively screw up a tense edge-of-your-seat scary flick than by turning up the lights halfway through the second reel. Idiots.

Although I guess that for every 100 things that Switzerland gets completely right, natural law dictates that they have to spectacularly ruin one thing. And that one thing would be the movie-going experience.

Tells you how great the movie R.E.D. was, that even after all that, we loved it. I see myself watching this one twice a year. That good.

17th Anniversary...

The weekend is finally here. Looking forward to celebrating our 17th Anniversary tonight. 17 years from Nov 6, 1993.

Naturally I am sweeping Agi away to a romantic day at the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France. And by Paris I mean Mulhouse and by Eiffel Tower I mean that "Walmart of France", Carrefour. Yep--we have some food shopping to do, and the Mulhouse Carrefour is our cheapest bet! 90 minutes away, across the border from Basel.

Tonight we'll go somewhere hopefully a little more romantic. BUt at least I can say in 25 years, when everyone has forgotten the particulars, that I took my wife to France on our 17th wedding anniversary! :-)

So in 25 years, this:

Will hopefully be remembered as this:


Saturday, October 30, 2010


That's the sound of me shaking the rust off this blog. As my last post from 700 years ago stated, we were looking at moving to Switzerland. then we did. 3 months ago!

SO I guess my blog needs a new title. Somehow Budapest Palmers doesn't quite cut it anymore, though we still consider the "Pearl of the East" our adopted hometown (having lived there longer than any other city in my life...).

New titles... Maybe "Swiss Family Palmer"? KInda cheesy, and a little on the nose, but maybe. I'll chew on it...

BUt we are LOVING Switzerland. My job as Managing Director of Sisel International's Europe operations has planted us firmly here, in Central Switzerland, about 35 minutes south of Zurich.

We arrived on August 4th, really deja-vu-ing the same experience from Budapest in 2003. 6 Palmers de-camping at the Zurich airport looking like refugees with 16 pieces of luggage. DIfferences were pretty clear, though--now older, taller kids, more jaded about the international travel experience. And we had a cat with us. One that has now traveled the globe with us. Picked her up as a newborn kitten our first month in Budapest. So she's been killing mice in three countries & two continents now. Now I'm picking up dead Swiss mice off the back porch every morning. Still as cool and as gross as ever. Particularly with the heads missing. Serial killer, this one... A grumpy, middle-aged serial killer...

So here we are--three months in, and fully embarked on this new adventure with a great company, very scenic backdrop, and new adventures piling up every day.

I'll try and do a better job of documenting them...


Monday, February 15, 2010

Time for my bi-annual post...

I'm getting better at this! Only 7 months since the last post. Yawn. Where was I?

Oh yeah. The Budapest Palmers became the Nephi Palmers and may very well become the Bern or Zurich or Lucern Palmers by this summer... Jury is still out, but is looking promising. DOn't ask the kids if they are excited about going back to Europe. All of the yowling and screaming and pain I heard from them when we came home from Budapest pales to what I hear now at the possibility we might move to frickin' SWITZERLAND. These kids are nuts. This would be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for us, in a lifetime where we've had some cool opportunities already. Switzerland. UMMMMMM. The hallowed place where chocolate gets it's own grocery aisle.

I'll be headed to see the lay of the land next month for a few days, and I'm lucky to have my brother join me for a few days...

So if all goes well in the next few days (company budget-wise) this might be our next view from the living room:

Thursday, July 23, 2009

The ONE movie I am most-est looking forward to!

BOW before the almighty disaster movie to end all disaster movies!