We got back from Switzerland about three weeks ago. We had a fabulous summer touring Europe together, but we are glad to be back in Boston.
Peter’s work schedule at Novartis was pretty flexible and allowed us several opportunities to travel. We were able to visit Paris (here, here, and here), Amsterdam, Rome, Lucerne, London, Lörrach, Alsace, Prague, Barcelona, Normandy, Bern, Freiburg, Venice, Siena, Florence, Pisa, Cinque Terre, Milan, Bernese Oberland (including Interlaken, Lauterbrunnen, Mürren, Gimmelwald), and of course Basel.
There were two other LGOs in Basel (who are both doing on-cycle internships so we overlapped for three months), which was really fun. We got together for soccer games, weekend trips, and BBQs on the Rhine River.
Here are a few more Europe posts from my personal blog:
- The bebbi sagg
- Switzerland is hot
- Groceries in Germany
- Euros 2012
- Groceries in Switzerland
- Vatican Museum
- European Restaurants
Now that we’re home and done vacationing, Peter is back in class and already very busy. I’m spending my time getting ready for our new baby, because ready or not, he’s coming in seven weeks.
- We will live in a one-bedroom apartment about a 15 minute walk from Peter’s new office, and right around the corner from a little cafe. While Peter is at work, I’ll be brunching on fresh bread and cheese.
- No, we won’t have a car. Since I’ll be doing lots of walking, I bought a pedometer. I thought it would be really fun to keep track of how many miles I walk while car-less. Should be interesting.
- Our apartment is a few blocks from the Rhine River, and about two miles from France and Germany.
- Basel is in the German speaking part of Switzerland.
- Brown sugar and Crisco are not available in Switzerland. I will bring a my own supply.
- I will not be able to use my smart phone in Switzerland. I can’t even imagine this.
I was really excited at first, but not so much anymore. I wasn’t approved for a six-month visa. Peter will be there for six months, but I only get to go for three. Boo!
Last weekend Peter was involved in a case competition for GE. Luckily for me it was held in New York City at Columbia.
We were lucky enough to stay right off 5th Ave next to Bryant Park.
Friday night Peter went to a reception with the other participating teams (Cornell, Columbia, NYU). I’d had enough nerd-talk from the car ride down to New York, so I opted out of the reception. Instead I walked over to Times Square and ate one of the most amazing pieces of white pizza I’ve ever had. I’m pretty sure I had a better night than the students.
The next day was the case competition, held on Columbia’s campus. I spent the day shopping on 5th Avenue and enjoying a gorgeous day in the city, while Peter spent the day presenting his business plan to a panel of judges.
Peter’s team came in second place, and they each won a kindle!
SUCH a fun weekend away with Peter, and I’m very excited about MY new kindle. :)
(I swiped this photo off fb. Thanks Flora!)
I loooove Boston. I’m already starting to mourn the day I have to leave this wonderful place. Here are some of the fun things we’ve been doing lately:
The past three months could not have been any cooler.
We moved again! Luckily moving is easy when you don’t have much stuff.
We were subletting for our first few months here. We were in apt. #1 in Westage for 10 days, and apt. #2 in Eastgate for two months. We’ll be in this apartment (also in Eastgate) until we leave for Peter’s internship.
I’m pleased to announce that there were no crusty fish in the cupboard!
We still have a fantastic view (besides the filthy windows).
Here is our new home in all its 550 square feet of glory.
I ended up spending a small fortune on cleaning supplies.
The two worst parts were the bathroom floor and the kitchen drawer handles. I spent a fair amount of time researching the best ways to clean grout (see tips below).
TOTALLY gross. Can you believe the previous tenants touched these disgusting handles and put their bare feet on that bathroom floor? I SERIOUSLY judge them.
Other than these two things, the place looked ok. The walls had been freshly painted and the floor had been freshly shined.
When we first moved to Westgate I was doubting that living in campus housing was worth roughly $12,000/year savings. It TOTALLY is. Despite the grossness of this post, we really like it here (as evidenced here).
Grout cleaning tips:
- Do very small sections at a time or you will end up pushing dirt from one section into the next
- A toothbrush is useless, use a grout brush
- Zep grout cleaner is a very good solution
- For a more “natural” solution, a paste of baking soda and vinegar works best
- For the very stubborn spots I used a paint scrapper to chip away at it
- Once it’s all clean, use a Clorox Bleach Pen in the grout and leave it for several hours
Poor Eastgate gets a bad rap. When I say I live in Eastgate people usually give me a fake kind smile and say, “ohhhh, uh-huh” because they feel sorry for me. Like I’m a little kid living in the “dorms” and I haven’t figured out how to be a real adult yet.
Sure, the accommodations aren’t great. Not great at all. But the pros of living there DEFINITELY outweigh the cons. Hands down.
Here are the reasons I like Eastgate:
1. Location — How many other MIT students can get to school in under 2 minutes, walk into Boston in 10 minutes, walk to the T in 2 minutes?
2. The view — How many other MIT students live in a high-rise with a beautiful view of the Charles River and the Boston skyline? How many others can watch the rowers in the morning, the sailboats in the afternoon, the sun shine off the Boston buildings at twilight, and check the weather by looking at the Old Hancock building?
3. Parking — How many other MIT students have covered parking and a guaranteed spot?
4. Utilities are included — How many other MIT students have all their utilities included in their rent? Electricity, heat, internet, cable tv, etc.
5. Penthouse — How many other MIT students have access to the penthouse of one of the taller buildings in Cambridge with arguably one of the best views of Boston? Big screen tv, full kitchen, piano, and Wii included.
6. Neighbors — We have super awesome neighbors.
7. Laundry — How many other MIT students have laundry in their building? (Ok, most probably do, but I know lots have to use laundromats.) I never wait for a machine, there is a website to check availability of machines, and I get a text message when my load is complete.
8. Maintenance — How many other MIT students have an entire maintenance team at their beck and call?
9. Bike rental — How many other MIT students can pay $10/year to rent a bicycle? Including tandems, bike trailers, and kid seats.
10. Movie rental — How many other MIT students have free movie rental in their building?
11. Free printing — How many other MIT students have a laser printer and all the paper they want for free?
12. Rooftop garden — How many other MIT students can have a little “garden” and grow fresh herbs and veggies on their rooftop?
13. Storage in the basement — How many other MIT students can store oversized items (suitcases, boxes, etc) in a storage area of the building rather than in their bedroom closet.
14. Playground, Daycare, Toys — How many other MIT students have a playground in the yard of their building? Daycare? Three rooms filled with toys and other children to play with?
15. Grills — How many MIT students have bbq grills at their disposal any time? AND have them fired up for them once a week so all they have to do is bring their own food?
16. Activities — How many other MIT students have free social activities for the whole family almost monthly?
15. PRICE — How many other MIT students have all this for $1,430? NONE!!
I gave Ape House two stars on Goodreads. It wasn’t the worst book I’ve ever read, but it surely wasn’t the best. I definitely wouldn’t have finished it had I not been reading it for book club. I was bored most of the time and I don’t like books about animals. I think overall the group pretty much agreed that it wasn’t a great book.
Janet hosted book club this month. Among other thing, she made a delicious baked brie. We had a great time, and spent almost none of it actually talking about the book. :)