Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Salut, Ciao, Hoi zsamme and Hallo!

Once again, for two great weeks, the Marcus family spent their summer vacation touring through Europe. David flew out a week early to enjoy a 400 mile bike trip starting in Switzerland through northwestern Italy then along the French Riviera to Le Lavandou, France. There he joined Kirsten's sister Astrid with her family camping.

Meanwhile, Kirsten was a single mom for a very, very long week. Working full time and taking care of a baby was not easy. But it all worked out. Zoey missed her dad, asking 'Papa, Papa?' a lot for the first few days. She then began to cling more and more to her mom, following her whereever she went and panicking if she thought she was left behind.

Kirsten and Zoey then flew out to Frankfurt, Germany for a stop-over with Opa Matthias and Omi Elisabeth. After a brief but sweet visit they flew on to Marseille, where -finally!- they got to see David again. Zoey was under complete shock when he showed up, and it took her quite a long time to warm up to him again and start smiling... after all, how come Papa was lost for a whole week and then he shows up again all the way in France???

Camping on the Riviera was great. The weather was beautiful, the air fresh and clean (what a change from home), the beach busy but with a great view of the bay, the water perfect, and the food French and delicious. Zoey fell in love with a certain kind of French sausage and would eat nothing else for breakfast. She was so obsessed with it that she tried to steal it from her cousins' breads! She also absolutely loved to play with Lynn (6 1/2) and Liona (4). They helped her discover sand toys and they dug holes in the sand for her to stick her feet in.

This is Zoey with her cousin Liona in the hammock:

Relaxed, healthy, tanned and good-looking, the Marcus family left this oasis via train along the beautful Riviera. A stop-over in Nice was interesting but stressful due to a melt-down of the youngest family member... travelling is hard for a toddler. At night we arrived in Milan and checked into an amazing AND affordable 4-star-hotel right by the train station! HEAVEN! This is Zoey taking a well deserved bath in the hotel room sink:

We still made it out at night to eat by a canal in 'Naviglio'. A band pulled up on a canal boat right by our restaurant and played great music. Meanwhile Zoey was eating huge amounts of shrimp, calamari and pasta. The evening was a great success.

The next day we headed to Milan's Parco Sempione and the Sforza Castle, where Zoey finally got to chase some pigeons! She made them run fast.

On we went through the pedestrian zone with a stop at a great cafe...

...finally to the Duomo and the famous Piazza Duomo shopping mall. Stylish Papa Marcus stopped at Massimo Dutti to purchase a fine suit, suitable for the CEO of a hip and successful internet business!

Zoey was dropped in the middle of the piazza amongst hundreds of pigeons and didn't know which ones to chase first!

The next day we went on to Lugano, Switzerland, an insanely expensive though beautiful lakeside town surrounded by impressive mountain scenery.

In the late evening, we made it to Zurich, the city of love... (this is where David and Kirsten met on a romantic summer evening on the rooftop patio of Bergstrasse 57 in 2000!) The city was fun and beautiful, the weather surprisingly bad for Kirsten and according to David typical for a Zurich summer day (this is a discussion we have been having for years).

Kirsten finally got to eat breakfast at the famous Cafe Odeon, where Albert Einstein and others have been before. David is convinced he ate the same Roesti, bacon and egg breakfast that Albert enjoyed.

A long train ride later we finally arrived back in Wiesbaden, close to Frankfurt, at Astrid's house. Zoey was in paradise there: Toys everywhere and 2 fun cousins to play with! The days were happy and relaxing and went by way too quickly... lucky for us they opened the Wiesbaden Weinfest (wine-festival) in the center of town on our last evening. It was crowded and fun, just like last year. -Can we make this a yearly routine, please?

A much happier family returned back to Connecticut, except that we already miss family, food and places from Europe!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Zoey's favorite things to do

We all know that you're really just interested in ONE of the Marcus family members...

Here is how she likes to spend her days:
David and Zoey usually get to sleep in, while Kirsten has to sneak off early to work. This means that her Papa gets her ready for the day -not an easy task, because once Zoey is awake, she wants to explore. She loves to surprise her dad in the shower:

After this, she is usually soaked and needs to be diapered and dressed, fed, and driven to daycare along with her milk and snacks. On the way David likes to blast NPR radio at her for early morning education.

Zoey LOVES her daycare. Here's a picture of Zoey and her friends:

When picked up in the evenings, Zoey likes to have her shoes put on and walk herself (with assistance) back to the car. We try to head to the playground with her as often as possible, where she loves to swing, slide, climb through tunnels, and sit on she seesaw with her friend Braelyn:

On the weekends, Zoey gets to do things like RIDE A BIKE WITH HER PAPA!

And one of her latest achievements, although not perfected (yet):

... and now you'll have to excuse me, some privacy please! See you next time.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Vegas, baby!

This post is from Kirsten! David has been too lazy to update the blog...

Lagging 2 months behind, we finally want to share some of our adventures, starting with our trip to Vegas when Zoey was almost 10 months old:

What's up? What is this place? Where are we going now?

Being non-stop excited and overwhelmed by all the lights and noises, Zoey quickly got the hang of this oasis in the desert. She loved having another person paying extra special attention to her throughout the trip: Omi Elisabeth from Germany!

Everyone made sure that Zoey always had the best of views.

She got so excited about the lions, flailing arms and legs, that the lion keepers started pointing and laughing at her!

I'm flying!

Look at me standing! This railing is perfect baby height.

Having fun relaxing in her baby float in the MGM pool.

Zoey discovered her love of exotic fish at the Mirage coral reef aquarium...

so much so that she suddenly started pointing! Once she had figured this out, she started pointing at everything, lights, people, slot machines...

Zoey snuck behind a class of 4th graders learning about rainforests at the Rainforest Cafe at MGM. Watching the other kids, she quickly figured out that they were raising their hands, joining in herself! (She didn't get called on, but I'm sure she would have impressed with her knowledge of the rainforests of the world.)

Every now and then her mama tried to sneak away to gamble- much to the despair of her dad: "There goes Zoey's college fund!"

Vegas was AWESOME, as always. The Marcus family will surely return in the future!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Caribbean escape

We're in Marcus vacation season.The winter was way too long and we're compensating with palm trees and sunshine as much as we can. Here are some pictures from our recent St. Martin trip. Vegas photos will follow soon...

The big thing Zoey learned to do was swim, surrounded by a comfortable safety ring. At the beginning of the vacation she was cautious around the water. By the end she was a swim fanatic.

We were happy just to have some relaxation time with our daughter. We brought no work, no laptops and focused only on having fun.

The food and drink were huge highlights of the trip. After days by the beach, every night we ate at Manhattan-quality restaurants.

Zoey was ecstatic to be out of the cold. We leave you with pictures of our happy vacation baby.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

zoey learns new tricks

By popular demand of relatives, here are some brand new Zoey videos! First, over the Presidents Day holiday, Zoey and her papa perfected synchronized bwurring.'s one small step for a baby, one giant leap for babykind! Zoey can crawl this case, to try to grab the camera.

Finally, this is Zoey and her mama enjoying our recent unseasonable warmth!

Monday, January 26, 2009

enduring winter

It's been cold cold cold in Connecticut for weeks now. This is the river in front of our apartment.

We're trying to figure out ways to enjoy the outdoors without strapping Zoey immobile into her stroller. This weekend we tried operation baby backpack. She seemed to like it, although I think it had a fun time limit of about half an hour.