Baby, Baby, Baby, Oh

Our friends are having a baby so a bunch of us got together for a baby shower.

Baby showers in Europe are not like in the US in that, well, they don’t have them. People may send or give a gift after the baby is born, but don’t get together to celebrate of give presents before the baby.  Since you can’t go to the stores here and purchase baby shower invitations, I made the invitations.

It was a couples shower so we focused less on games, decorations and incredible cuteness.  Instead, we had food and drinks.  I made and individually wrapped Rice Krispie Treats for favors.  Some of our European guests had never tasted them before.  We were proud to introduce them to a new guilty pleasure.

Since we are American and can only adapt so much, we had one anyway.  In deference to the multicultural nature of this shower, we did not play any of the following games:

  • Guessing the circumference of the expectant mother’s tummy
  • Smearing melted candy bars in diapers and have people sniff to guess the brand
  • Tasting jars of baby food to guess the flavors
  • Collecting baby pictures of guests, putting them in a slide show and have guests guess whose picture it is
  • Making guess drink from baby bottles. Yes, I realize this is technically not a game.  They may have drunk from other types of bottles.
  • Have guests guess how much an assortment of baby supplies costs.  In Switzerland, I think this would only scare the parents to be…and everyone else.

In fact, we didn’t play any games (unless you count the impromptu Chartreuse tasting as a game).

The parents-to-be opened presents, many of which had an adorable Swiss theme.

Congratulations and best wishes guys.  We can’t wait to meet her.

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Fete de Geneve – Aka It’s Summer in Geneva, Let’s Party

Switzerland is not exactly known for its warm, sunny weather.  As a result, they celebrate the few minutes of summer they have with the Fete (Party) de Geneve. They have not one, not two, but three different evenings of fireworks over the lake. They have three different stages with live music and other free entertainment. They have lots of food vendors selling food from all over the world. Last, but not least, they have carnival rides (he says Europe has way classier carnies). 

The last set of fireworks will take place tonight. It is supposed to be the best in Europe. It will be an hour long, take place over the lake and be coreographed to music. After the fireworks, on one of the stages will be, gasp, Johnny Hallyday. Some Americans may ask “who is Johnny Hallyday?” Not me. He is my host dad’s favorite singer so I have been a fan for almost 20 years. I can even sing some of his songs. Tonight, I am going to try to make him go with me to see Johny Hallyday.

Johnny Hallyday drank an 'incredible' amount of alcohol doctors said.
Photo from Getty Images*
Photo taken by Ed Alcock for the New York Times**

Johnny Hallyday is a French icon, but some things do not translate easily. For example, Americans have difficulty understanding the French love of Jerry Lewis. It was explained to me that he was, he is, the French version of Elvis. I only became a fan when he was older. He has been around so long I think of him more as the Wayne Newton or Tom Jones (with way more hits) of France (he now is worth so much that he has obtained Swiss citizenship). That could have something to do with the fact that he looks like he as had a bit of plastic surgery. In any case, he is very talented and it is probably my one and only chance to see him perform.  I must go.

see http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/france/7768014/Johnny-Hallyday-put-in-coma-because-of-incredible-alcohol-intake-report.html
** see http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/16/world/europe/16hallyday.html?pagewanted=all