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The Boy, 2 Muttleys and I have finally realized our dream of living 1 mile from the Lindt Chocolate Factory. Leaving Atlanta (the World of Coke) for Zurich (the World of Chocolate) hasn't come without challenges, incredible fun or giggles. Follow along as I chronicle our adventures as we acclimate to this new Swiss lifestyle.
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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Tales from the ATL

Dirty Old Men on the Plane -  I am not a "chatter" and I especially don't like to chat when I am on a plane.  I want to sort of sit back, sort of relax, sort of sleep and choke down the awful food they give us peons in coach. On a recent flight from Zurich to Atlanta, I was a bit unlucky.

My neighbor was a 60 year old Swiss man who seemed harmless enough.  We spoke for about an hour and a half about our respective trips and families.  He became progressively more chatty as he guzzled down 3 "Thirsty Man" sized glasses of wine. Then dinner was served and afterwards I took about a two hour nap. I was tired from all the forced chit-chat.

When I woke up, I noticed his movements were a bit slower and could tell he was drunk.  He of course wanted to talk again and introduced me to a brand new Swiss dialect - a mix of German and English words, with a sprinkle of the hiccups and a side of slur.  I had to really focus and listen intently as he was speaking Swisserbish so imagine my surprise when he suddenly said the following in perfectly clear English: "Do you want company at your cabin?  I am serious, I will borrow my brother's car and join you for a couple of days.  I promise I will sleep in the car in your driveway".

At this very moment I wished there were snakes on the plane instead of a dirty old man.  I would have happily shared my space with a 20 foot hungry Anaconda vs. a slurring, hiccuping, 60 year old horny toad of a man.  As I tried desperately to come up with a reply that didn't consist of a slap, a call button, a shriek, a spew; another 60 something year old man came to the rescue  - Captain John "Hannibal" Smith.  The movie the "A-Team" had just popped up on the overhead screens and I replied "Um...thanks but no thanks.  LOOK! The A-Team is playing!  I love me some B.A. Baracus".  I turned to the screen, inserted the painful complimentary ear-buds from Delta and was more thankful than you can imagine that an ill-advised remake of the A-Team came to fruition.

Moonshine Mountain - The one place from my old home that sort of reminds me of my new home, is our cabin in Blue Ridge, GA on Moonshine Mountain Road.

Here we sort of have mountains:

And we have low lying cloud cover:

And we have rivers:

And we have beautiful blue skies and lakes and fresh air...SQUIRREL!

Sorry about that.  Those little buggers are just so gosh darned cute and whenever I see one, I can't help but stop what I am doing to admire their twitchy tails and over-the-top fear of everything that isn't a nut.  OK, back to what Blue Ridge and Switzerland shares in common...wait, what the fudge?

I have seen some pretty awful truck art in my day, with Truck Nutz being the most vile, but this was too much.  Then I saw whose truck it was and things became decidedly more clear:

Apparently for Picky Ron there is no separation between God and job. Picky Ron trusts two things to help him cut your lawn: God and a motorcycle-lawnmower contraption. I have to say, as God is my witness, a two wheel motorcycle-lawnmower can trim a pretty tight hedge.     

I Need a Guitar Hero - The morning of the big surprise, the one that was going to consist of me jumping out of something, preferably a closet, to scare the crap out of my brother in celebration of his 40th birthday, the whole reason why I was in Atlanta, I found out some bad news.  My brother already knew I was in town.  It sort of went down like this:

Setting: adorable pre-teen niece enters room.  Also in room are my brother and sister-in-law. 

Pre-teen niece asks "So where is Kristi sleeping?" 

Quick on her feet sister-in-law responds "You mean Chrissy???"

Focused and determined pre-teen niece replies "Noooooo, Kristi!"

Awesome sister-in-law who is getting more desperate by the second answers "You mean CHRISSY???" 

Quite stubborn yet still adorable pre-teen niece wails "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO....KRISTI!"

And the jig was up.  I remember being a pre-teen and I remember worrying that I may lose my bedroom to a visitor for a couple days.  I can't really blame her but I was admittedly disappointed that I couldn't surprise (scare the crap) out of my brother.  I needed a little pick me up...I needed a Guitar Hero.

My brother gets a little obsessed with video games and his newest obsession during my visit was with Guitar Hero.  Watching my 40 year old brother play a plastic guitar with plastic buttons, while bobbing his head and smacking his lips, was the perfect pick-me-up. He really believed he was playing the guitar and he really believed he was a hero.  At that moment in time he was also my hero.  He was proof that even though we get older every single day, you can act progressively younger to compensate for it.  Who needs Botox when you have Guitar Hero?