so so much beauty in the engadin valley


first of all, can you believe that (^^) is real?! switzerland is outrageous.

secondly, this post has a lot of pictures in it. i’m trying to get our sisters’ trip documented in not too many posts, and there’s just so many good photos to share! so, just a fair warning here at the top :)

after our time in anita’s hometown, she guided us in our two cars towards germany through the magical engadin valley. the scenery on the drive was breathtaking, and it was fun to switch around who was in what car and we had some fantastic conversations. i have so much to learn from each of my sisters and sister-in-laws and of course my mom. i am so incredibly grateful for their examples and perspectives.

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we stopped to see the roman tracks at julier pass. this was where carts crossed over the mountains way back when. the scenery was so stunning!


aja did a little roman-cart-mountain-crossing reenactment for us. you can always count on aja to do something like that.


a phrase one very often hears when adventuring with saydi and shawni, both of whom are self-employed photographers, is this light is so pretty! we caught some gorgeous light at julier pass so we had to stay a while to snap pictures.

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^^ i just love my mom so much. ^^
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^^ saydi calls this our band album cover photo. i like it. ^^
^^ trying to mix it up from jumping pictures to hair flipping pictures – ha! ^^
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^^ we love our dean-o boy! ^^

our next stop was at this delightful little cheese factory, nestled into the trees at the foot of huge snowcapped mountains. we lucked out and got there just in time for a cheese-making demonstration, which was fascinating. we got to go in the cellar and see hundreds of rounds of cheese! and then we enjoyed devouring the most beautiful cheese and meat plate anyone has ever beheld in the history of the world … with some rivella (tastiest swiss soda) on a red-checkered-tableclothed picnic table under the sunny sky. it was heavenly!

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then, we took a gondola ride up to diavolezza. the panaroma of snow-covered alps was unreal

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^^ ^^ some views from the gondola on the way up. that color of the water is naturally occurring – what?! ^^ ^^
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^^ we scrambled around a bit at the top. i love that this picture makes it look like saren is about to summit some gnarly mountain! ^^
^^ julie found the perfect spot to ponder! ^^
^^ and a picture with a fake mountain lion in the gondola ticket office, because why not?! ^^

that evening we had a traditional fondue and raclette dinner (so much cheese that day, and i’m not complaining!!). we ate inside an old gondola car that had been converted into a restaurant! oh man, that cheese was soooo delicious!

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and that night we stayed at the most darling airbnb place in the outlandishly charming village of zouz. this apartment felt like the seven dwarfs’ cottage or something like that. it was so adorable!

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and when i saw the views outside the bedroom windows when we woke up, i had to get outside immediately to explore! shawni, saydi and i took a little morning stroll through the enchanting streets, and my heart was positively bursting with love for switzerland.

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^^ the blue building above is where our apartment was – on the top floor! ^^
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^^ one of the best things about switzerland is the omnipresent fountains running with crystal clear water. we filled up a lot of water bottles in those things, and that alpine water tasted so so good! ^^
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before too late that morning, we got in the cars and headed for germany, but we made one more swiss stop on the way. a couple of us (especially shawni!) really, really wanted to buy an authentic cowbell – not a chintzy souvenir one, but a real one - to bring home. it’s kind of hilarious how much the buying of a cowbell dictated some parts of our itinerary :) the cheesemaker we met at the cheese factory suggested we go see a farmer in the village of guarda, who might be able to see us a cowbell. we’re so glad we did, because guarda was soooooo lovely – my favourite spot in switzerland so far.

pictures really can’t do this place justice. the town is sitting right on the side of a huge mountain, surrounded by pretty peaks, cobblestoned and bursting with flowers. i adored it so so much! i know this is dramatic, but when the bells in the church tower started ringing while we were walking back to the cars, i felt so in love with switzerland that my heart actually hurt.

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^^ authentic cowbells, at last. ^^
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on to germany!

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  1. But did she get a cowbell?!?

  2. I think I would LOVE Switzerland. So gorgeous and charming.

  3. You Ladies,
    I think you all need to work for a living and stop expecting your Parents to pay for your extravagante holidays .All you people do is brag, brag and boost. Charity where is the money coming from Ian sure does not have the money to pay for this trip. Do you not think that Ian is a little feminine. You call him the boy. Charity are you pregnant yet? Why aren't you pregnant with your spirit-child yet?

    1. That is so rude & unkind.

      I don't think Ian is feminine at all. He seems a great bloke.

      Also, I'm sure when Charity is pregnant that she'll happily tell us on the blog.

      I don't understand what you mean by spirit-child. Everyone is a child of God, no matter who they are.

  4. Nice comment there A/MQ/MS or whoever you are! Just FYI, the money for this trip came from my deceased Mother who was a school teacher all her life and saved her money year after year...and my dad who was a farmer all his life. She and my dad left my sister and I her little house and dad's small farm (he had died many years before she did) after she died and luckily I put my share in a good stock many years ago, which has been growing all these years. So thanks to my wise and frugal mom and dad, we all enjoyed this joyous trip together. Hoorah for Grandma Hazel! and Grandpa Roy! Everyone paid for their own food and all the extras they wanted to experience like the paragliding and rides up the gondolas etc.. I think those two beaming smiles down from heaven. Nothing would make them happier than to see that they provided this magnificent way of bonding some stellar women who will be together forever! For me, the best part was having everyone fall in love with Switzerland, the home of my ancestors and now the home of Tal and Anita. Such fun to know and love where they now reside and soak in Anita's home where her heart is! Sorry about your judgmental feelings toward us! Your comments seem to be getting a little more caustic. Are you okay?

    1. Eyrealm - I am the former MQ. (Not sure who MS is..) I have deleted that profile and don't comment any more on your family's blogs. Seems I couldn't do so without insulting you so I decided to just stop by and read once in a while.

      I am "coming out" just for this one comment to say that the above Anonymous commenter is NOT me.

    2. This probably seems over-the-top, but watching you deal with critical comments has actually changed the way I deal with conflict in my family and in my life. I always used to either leave or escalate the situation, but now I'm learning that there's a better way -- to deal with the problem without disrespecting the other person OR lowering your own self worth.

      I usually ended up leaving a situation feeling like I was a terrible person (either because of what they said or because I retaliated), and it would just eat at me for days. But your consistent examples have shown how I can maintain my own dignity without belittling them.

      So I just wanted to thank you for that.

  5. To L3, yes we did find a perfect bell in that cute town and Shawni gave it to me. What a woman! I'll treasure it until I give it back someday!