Top Ten Thursday - Summer of 2018

Welcome back to Top Ten Thursday!

Today is already our last Thursday this summer break. Let's share our top ten things we did, enjoyed, read, ate, experienced,... this summer!

I picked this picture to kick off this post even though we didn't really go on a pedalo ride. We've been riding a heat wave for several weeks now, which makes me cranky. Residential buildings in Switzerland don't have air conditioning, so our bedroom never really cools down, and I can't sleep. To add insult to injury there are mosquitos driving me crazy. Can't wait for fall...

Preparing for July's photo blog challenge themed keep cool was a bit of a mockery for that reason.

Cool, however, doesn't have to refer to temperatures, so I just went for the fabulous stuff. Like our youth festival in Lenzburg, the town I attended high school at, celebrates an old traditional maneuver, called Freischarenmanöver every other year:

Meet the line-up: (note the imbalance in numbers!)
  • Student cadets = about 260 high school girls and boys - ha, yes, in the year 2000 it was decided that the youth festival maneuver should in fact be open to both sexes. In 2000!!! Meaning of course that back then, my girlfriends and I were on flower collecting duty while the guys played with their rifles. Participation is voluntary, but frankly, I think they look at you funny if you're not game. Back in the 1980s they made you pick up waste paper while your friends trained for combat.
  • Irregular voluntary corps, "Freischaren" = over 700 grown-up members of local associations like sports clubs, authorities and the likes, dressed up as Bedouins, sailors, pirates, etc. Participation is a huge honor, and you'll have to get on a loooong waiting list and basically wait for someone to retire until you get a spot.  
There is a parade through the old town, it's very colorful and entertaining:

At some point my phone stopped recording and told me it was too hot, it needed a break to cool down. Boo.

When the troops arrive on the battlefield they basically fight, bang away, shoot, fire, and then some more. Of course they are not using real ammunition, but it sure feels like it. 

The cadets manage to ignite the (cardboard) castle, but the Freischaren won't surrender just yet. More shooting and canon fire, it is awfully loud. Good thing that they distributed foam ear plugs. 

Load, aim, fire, repeat. 

Until, finally, the General hands the cadet captain his saber and the treasure box filled with gold and jewelry as a sign of their capitulation. 

The cadets cheer. The Freischaren take it easy - after all they are used to it. It's the same procedure and outcome every other year.

At this year's soccer world championship the outcome - or at least the opponents in the finals - were a surprise. Croatia fought so bravely, and they would have deserved to win for sure. Either way they can be so proud. Colin followed the games and the teams closely.

On our first Monday of summer break we spent the day in Zurich. The city felt pretty deserted. All the locals went on vacation, but not many tourists came to visit?

When in Zurich, check out the Luxi of the month. Luxi = Luxemburgerli, macaroons, and the seasonal specialties are strawberry/rhubarb and elderberry.

Summertime - purging time. As our summer break is really short - four weeks off school only - we have to make good use of our time, especially since Colin leaves for hockey camp for one of the fours weeks. So before packing we usually take the opportunity to empty our closets, donate and throw away what we don't wear.

There will be an entire post about my keep - donate - toss buckets next Monday, keep your eyes open!

With that out of the way let's move on to more pleasant activities like celebrating our wedding anniversary. 14 years, not bad. This year for the first time we let Colin join us, and he thoroughly enjoyed going through the cocktail - in his case, mocktail - menu and pick a drink. 

We ate at Torre, our favorite panorama restaurant on the 10th floor of a downtown building in the city of Baden.

We didn't do anything for my Dad's birthday in June. He spent a long weekend away, and things got busy. It's not too late to set up a treasure hunt for him and his brother in July, though. They had to answer questions and complete tasks that took them to half a dozen locations where new assignments were waiting for them.

The final spot was the urban park I discovered a few weeks ago. You may recognize the colorful drawer / stairs! 

Time for Colin and his hockey teammates to spend the week in Engelberg, a mountain resort with a spacious ice arena, where they trained twice a day.

Hubby and I were working that week. The thing is you can't go away because you're on call in case your kid is injured or sent home for disciplinary reasons. Or, as it happened last year, one of his friends had to be picked up mid-week because he was too homesick.

Anyway, I used the week to schedule part two of my dental surgery adventure. If I was gonna be miserable because my boy was away, it could just as well be with an ice pack on my cheek and a pain killer for dinner.

It was also the week with temps consistently around 35°C (95°F) every day. Uuuggghhh! When hubby suggested we'd spend the night from Friday to Saturday in Engelberg so we would be ready to pick up Colin the first thing I did was checking the weather. The app said it was only 25° (77°F) - I was so packing my bags!!!

Did you notice the size of hubby's burger? Suffice it to say we needed a walk to kick-start digestion of this dinner... And what a gorgeous sunset we've encountered!

The next morning we got to witness the fabulous progress the guys made during that week!

Last week of summer break. Still in the mid 30sC (90sF) we spent the day at the air conditioned mall,  it was heavenly. Sushi train is always a request of Colin's.

Another spot that provides shadow and a cool-ish breeze is the lake not far from home where we spent a relaxing after-work weekday dinner while Colin had a sleepover at his hockey buddy's.

And with that I am officially done with summer and this terrible heat. Bring on crisp air.

How about you, would you like to go on? What where your highlights this summer? Let me know down below or better yet, link up your own post.

August 16 let's assume President Trump is out. Impeachment and removal from office, boom. For some reason Mr Pence doesn't automatically take over - it's you who's in charge now. List the top ten priorities you're tackling first. Sign up here!

Let's use August 23 to brainstorm an upcoming project: top ten ideas on how to remodel your terrace, to fit in more exercise into your days or to pimp your blog,...? Sign up here.