For better or worse, here I am—trapped in paradise. As long as I continue to live in this vital, inimitable spot on the globe,

I will continue to seek out the unique…the delicious…the innovative products, services and traditions of San Luis Obispo County.

Stay posted for a few of my favorite things.

About Me...

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A wanderlust at heart... captivated by the California Central Coast. Join me on my culinary and vino-infused adventures as I explore and discover the regional novelties of San Luis Obispo County that make living here...easy to stay...and hard to leave.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Day 1 in Switzerland

From my travelogue...

It’s Day 2, actually—around 4:00am—and the only noise I hear is the sound of a clock ticking away tirelessly in the night. The nearby hills are silent; the plump grapes are finishing their final days of ripening in the cool night, soon to be plucked for the annual harvest. Yesterday’s long, arduous journey from California rewards me with this idealic setting—smack in the heart of gorgeous Swiss wine country. My current locale is the ville of Rolle, nestled in the canton of Vaud, a French-speaking region of glorious Switzerland. Huddled in the major wine-producing terrain of the La Côte Region, Rolle is bordered by the blue swell of Lac Léman (Lake Geneva) to one side, and the lush green Jura Mountains to the other. Varietals such as Pinot Noir, Chasseslas, and Gamay thrive. Lucky me.

Yesterday my sister-in-law and nephew greeted me at the Geneva airport on a drizzly, rainy day, their bright smiles welcoming. My adventure begins. Driving to Rolle, the landscape is flanked by rising green landscapes and misty air, the symmetrical vineyards cover the intriguing majestic hills as far as I can see. We drive a bit closer and I am delighted to see the rich dark grapes fattening on the vines. Overcome with travel fatigue and not yet able to explore my new surroundings, I settle into my brother’s apartment and find enchantment in watching my nephew explore his home and toys. Now a toddler, a little cherub with curly blond-reddish locks and plump dimpled cheeks, he is ever the curiosity seeker. He warms up to me—his American aunt whom I hope he will see often over the years. I gladly pick him up whenever he throws up his arms.

Two naps later in the day, the clouds have cleared enough for me to revel in the stunning view of the lake and the sparkling French Alps from the patio. I am again reminded where I am: in a different kind of paradise. My brother comes home from work and I am ecstatic to seem him. I bring out gifts from the States. A monkey Halloween costume for my nephew, American candy, shirts from Pismo Beach, and other reminders from home.

We order pizza for dinner—authentic Italian-style according to my brother. It is delicious and satisfying. They present me with an unexpected gift for my upcoming 40th birthday, a generous gift certificate for a spa treatment at the luxurious Beau-Rivage Palace in Lausanne (a posh hotel that sits near the shores of Lac Léman). How lovely to travel halfway across the world and be pampered in style. I have no idea what’s in store for me over the next few weeks. Novel experiences. Unusual wines and cuisine. Remarkable sites.

I am in a new place…with familiar family…ready for unfamiliar adventure.

All Text and Photos Copyright © 2010 by Elizabeth in SLO. All Rights Reserved.

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