S: The Huys - Snowy Neuchatel Bise & Warm Orlando Sun (F/W 2008)
BC: HAPPY NEW YEAR - 2009
FC: Snowy Neuchatel Bise and Warm Orlando Sun - Fall/Winter 2008
1: Nov 22nd - Neuchatel - Leo and Oscar woke up to their first snowfall ever! It was early for snow even in Switzerland. We had enchanting views of the freshly snow-covered city from our second floor windows. "Auntie" Daisy, our first visitor from Hong Kong, and Mommy stayed nice and warm in the house while the boys pelted each other with snowballs in the back garden.
2: Dec 5th - St. Cergue with the Gobets - frigid but gorgeous snow and sun! Leo and Oscar's first tobaggan aka luge experience. | Oscar took to luging like a fish takes to water! He eagerly dragged his sled up the steep hill over and over again. | Elise and Sofia observing Leo's frustrated reaction to his luge wipeout. Oscar (in light blue snowsuit) is oblivious as he prepares for his next luge run! | After getting the hang of staying on his sled, Leo is all joy and laughter after each run!
3: Mommy and "Auntie" Tania, dear friend and also ex-Hong Kong expat. She has a hilarious Swiss hubby and four beautiful girls - now settled in their custom built house in a village near Nyon. | We were ravenous after a whole morning of "intense" exercise - lunch was at a local fondue restaurant where we basked in the sun-filled conservatory and filled up with lots of starches and cheese! | Top: Oscar writing his name in the snow. Bottom: Daddy in a downhill luge race against Denis, Tania's husband, during which they just missed colliding into each other! Daddy covered in snow after a particularly rough luge run!
4: Dec 13th - Orlando - Leo, Oscar & Mommy arrive one week before Daddy. Went shopping everyday with Grandma. The boys enjoyed eating at different restaurants and feeding breadcrumbs to the seagulls at the mall parking lot. They did not enjoy so much the many hours spent inside the stores but they were excited to touch a real race car! We also stopped at a photo studio to take pictures - here, a collage of some of the boys' poses.
5: Downtown Disney Above and far right: Outside the Lego Imagination Center, a sea dragon and Santa built entirely out of Legos. Below: the boys and Mommy "looking for adventure" at Orlando Harley-Davidson. | Left: As it was Christmas season, there were festively decorated Xmas trees everywhere so of course we had to get a picture in front of every one!
6: SeaWorld Home of Shamu the killer whale - we went to the Shamu show at Leo's request each of the two days we were there. Not only did they pose on fiberglass Shamu, they also rode on the Shamu Express rollercoaster - here they are before and during the ride! Oscar also braved the Journey to Atlantis water coaster ride with Daddy (that's him under the green arrow). Evidently he enjoys stomach-dropping thrills. Leo and Mommy, however, watched with anticipation on terra firma!
7: Left: Excited to be at SeaWorld! Right: In front of the SeaWorld Xmas tree. Below left: Along with Xmas trees, we also made sure to get a picture with Santa everywhere we went! Below right: SeaWorld is owned by Anheuser-Busch, maker of Budweiser beer. There was a pavilion serving free beer - Daddy had a low alcohol beer and Mommy tasted the lime-flavored Bud.
9: Disney's Magic Kingdom That page: Top left, middle, right: Leo and Oscar with an alien tourist in Tomorrowland. Daddy and the boys at the end of Main Street, USA standing in front of the Cinderella Castle. Daddy and the boys relaxing on the pier of Tom Sawyer's Island in Frontierland. Bottom left, right: The boys at the entrance of Magic Kingdom with the Disney Railroad station behind them. The Christmas show with all the Disney characters. This page: Top: Daddy and Oscar on the Tomorrowland Transit Authority ride. Middle: On one of Oscar's favorite rides, Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin. He loves exciting rides that involve aliens and superheros. He also loves 3-D shows. Bottom: Mommy and Leo on one of his absolutely favorite rides, the Tomorrowland Indy Speedway. Leo loves rides that involve driving, racing and flying but no sudden falls or spinning!
10: Magic Kingdom con't Top left & middle: In front of Mickey's house in ToonTown Fair. Hanging out in the living room of Minnie's house. Left bottom: The boys on Dumbo The Flying Elephant ride plotting to scare Mommy by bouncing our vehicle around at the highest point! Top right & bottom: Daddy and the boys in front of the Main Street USA Xmas tree. Mommy and the boys with the nutcrackers at the top of Main Street USA.
11: Disney's Hollywood Studios - reminiscent of Old Hollywood and the Art Deco period. Top left: Daddy, Leo and Oscar in front of studio "entrance". Bottom left: Oscar's stroller and wheelchair rentals - big business for Disney! Top middle: Family Huy with the classic Mr. Potato Head toy. Top right: The boys in front of the Hollywood Studios Xmas tree.
13: Hollywood Studios con't Enjoyed a characters' lunch buffet at Hollywood & Vine restaurant where the boys met some of the characters from Playhouse Disney. That page: The beloved characters of Little Einsteins - Leo with Rocket, Leo with Leo, the boys with Leo and Annie and the boys and Mommy with June. This page: Left: The boys with Jojo of Jojo's Circus. Above: Oscar with Jojo's pet lion, Goliath.
15: That page: Hollywood Studios con't Top left: Leo channeling Guitar Hero to Sheryl Crow's "Real Gone" from the "Cars" movie. Top right: Leo and Oscar with Lightning McQueen and Mater. Bottom: "Light, Motors, Action!" stunt show with French stunt drivers from Disneyland Resort Paris. This page: Disney's Animal Kingdom Top: Leo and Oscar checking the park map and deciding on the next destination. Middle: Oscar wearing the pin he traded with yet another Disney staff. Also big business for Disney! Bottom: Oscar donning 3-D glasses for the "It's Tough to be a Bug" show. The effects can be quite scary in the 3-D shows but they fascinate Oscar - he only gets nervous when fanged spiders hiss or humongous snakes strike out right in front of him!
16: Animal Kingdom con't This page: Top left: In front of the Animal Kingdom Xmas tree. Bottom left: Oscar with a baby dinosaur bird. Top right: Leo and Oscar with Timon and Rafiki from "Lion King". Middle right: Leo and Oscar with Farmer Goofy in DinoLand USA. Bottom right: Photo taken during the wild expedition DINOSAUR ride - all of us are hiding from the savage dinosaur except Oscar! That page: Top left: Leo took this picture of Daddy, Mommy and Oscar. Middle left: The brilliantly performed "Finding Nemo" musical. Bottom left: Chasing poachers on the Kilimanjaro Safaris ride where we saw many African animals, reptiles and birds roaming around freely. Top right: Family Huy with Christmas Mickey. Bottom right: Family Huy with Santa Goofy.
18: Christmas Day - EPCOT This page: Daddy, Leo and Oscar in front of the iconic EPCOT geosphere; the boys in front of the Test Track ride; the boys wearing the Sorcerer's Magic Hat; Mommy, Leo and Oscar in front of the EPCOT Xmas tree which is hung with Xmas greetings in every language including Chinese (see red arrow). That page: Family Huy at the EPCOT entrance; Mommy and the boys modelling Santa and Mexican hats and Mickey Mouse ears.
20: Universal Studios Top left: Rotating globe at the park entrance just like the one that appears at the beginning of every Universal Studios movie. Top right: Universal CityWalk offers restaurants and shops before the park entrance. Here, the boys are in front of the NASCAR restaurant (see the globe behind). Left and above: Eating lunch at Mel's Drive-In. Leo and Oscar enjoyed drinking refills all day long from their big blue souvenir sipper cups. Oscar enjoyed smushing cake onto his big brother's face!
21: Above: At Woody Woodpecker's KidZone, the boys met Curious George, the Man in the Yellow Hat, Scooby-Doo and Shaggy. Below: At the World Expo, the new Simpsons Ride was very impressive and taking a family photo with them was fun too. Mommy was hoping to hold baby Maggie but she was nowhere to be seen! The boys also enjoyed the "Animal Actors on Location" show, trained cats, dogs, pigs, orangutang and birds.
22: This page: Top left: Family Huy with the Cat in the Hat. Middle left: Daddy, Leo and Oscar with Captain America. Bottom two left: Oscar and Leo each getting their hair nibbled on by a baby Triceratops "genetically engineered and hatched" inside the Jurassic Park Discovery Center. Top right: Oscar holding Cat in the Hat and Leo holding Things 1 & 2 after going on the Cat in the Hat ride. Bottom right: The boys with Wolverine. That page: Top left: The boys with the Grinch. Top right: Family Huy with Spiderman. Bottom left: "The Grinch Who Stole Christmas" show. Bottom right: Family Huy in front of the Universal Studios Xmas tree. | Universal Studios Islands of Adventure
24: Dec 31st - Neuchatel After 2.5 weeks in the warm Orlando sun, we arrived home in a heavy snowstorm! Bundled up in down coats bought in Orlando, we stood in the back garden amazed by the thickness of the snowflakes! The boys were so excited, especially Oscar who even ate the snow, and they could not wait to make their first snowman ever with Daddy in the garden the very next morning!
25: Jan 2009 Left: Welcoming the Year of the Ox in our red Dr. Seuss tees from Universal Studios. Below: Bugnenets - Leo and Oscar taking ski lessons. The boys learning to bend their knees to snowplow. Mommy proudly posing with the boys who are wearing their medals for successfully completing their first ski course!
26: Sept 2008 - Bye-bye Hong Kong, Bonjour Neuchatel - Left: Farewell dinner with select friends. Below: Mommy and the boys outside the Beau Rivage. Daddy and the boys in downtown Neuchatel. Celebrating the city's annual Fete des Vendanges - Oscar wearing his school-made grape harvest crown with a handful of confetti he collected from the street!
27: Left: The boys joined by the Gobet girls for the Fete. Watching the parade and being showered all over with confetti! Above and below: Alimentarium, Vevey Food Museum - founded by Nestle and fronted by a giant fork in Lake of Leman. We took a sauerkraut-making class and for a few weeks indulged in Toulouse sausages along with our own sauerkraut!
28: Signal de Bougy - Migros' Pre Vert Parc with tree climbing and mini-Formula 1 track | La Vue des Alpes - Tobaggan Geant