Random August Blog

While we’re taking a short break from traveling these days (we’re still doing daytrips whenever possible, but the big trips are done for the time being), there are still things worth putting on the blog every now and again. The past couple of weeks have been especially fun, so here are a couple anecdotes around that…

Many of you might be aware of the Montreux Jazz Festival; it’s considered one of the finest in the world, and while that is clearly up for debate (as is the fact it’s called a “jazz” festival instead of a “pop” festival), since Montreux is only an hour train ride from Geneva, Soph and I headed down there one Wednesday afternoon to check out the hype. The thought was that we would walk around, see some of the free musicians on the side pavilions, and if we’re lucky we might even be able to score some Asian food cooked in one of those 5-foot woks. Those things are awesome! So we arrived and started to do the whole walking around thing, and within about 30 minutes heard the pitter-patter of rain and headed under an awning. It got louder and louder, and sounded kind of like it was bouncing, which just seemed odd, until we realized it wasn’t rain at all, but hail! This is the middle of July, mind you. Anyway – the hail lasted a good twenty minutes, and it came down hard. Probably the biggest hailstorm I’ve ever witnessed, as the stones were about the size of large marbles, which is pretty big when they’re falling straight out of the sky. And while that was kind of fun to see, it ended up killing the festival for the night, and all the stands and musicians closed up, so a little bit of a buzzkill.

On a happier concert-going note, the next week brought with it the Paleo festival. Paleo is one of those European festivals where they get every band they can think of who is unable to sell out a concert on their own, invite them to a 5-day festival, and then sell tickets to an adoring public who’s just happy to get live music into their country. Nyon, Switzerland is clearly one of these venues, but in truth it’s a great way to spend an evening. Think Lollapalooza without all the jerks and hype, and with a bunch of bands you don’t care about, half of whom sing in French. Anyway – we actually saw a couple of good bands, one being The Prodigy, which was pretty freakin’ sweet. I mean, I’m too old to be seeing bands like The Prodigy, but there I was, flippin’ out like a champ. Of course, the highlight of this night wasn’t the music, it was the fact that Soph was able to get us backstage! As always, she did it in true Soph fashion – no, not by luring the security guards with her attractiveness. Rather, she stepped on a broken bottle and cut her foot. So as she was being pulled away on a stretcher, I followed her and ended up in the aforementioned back of the stage.

And for anyone who’s wondering, backstage is way better than being not backstage.

Lastly, we had a bit of a rollerblading adventure last weekend. I read on the internet that there’s a biking / rollerblading trail that goes from Vevey to Montreux along Lake Geneva, and it’s pretty and blah blah blah. “Ok”, I thought, “I can go rollerblade that while Sophia comes and jogs with me. It will be fun.” What the internet site didn’t say is that for, oh, about 85% of that trip, the “lakeside promenade” is actually a “highway”. At first I thought I maybe missed a sign, but I leaned over the guardrail and saw that, yes, clearly there was no lakeside promenade between the highway and the water. So that was kind of a disaster, as I’m not really at a point where I can either go fast, or slow down, or really even stay in a straight line. I guess that just goes to show that you can’t believe everything you read on the internet.

Next weekend: Weddings, more daytrips, and swimming!