Swiss cheese! This is the region where they make it. While the rest of the group was inside learning about culturing and other cheese-related factoids, my mom and I dodged the sesh and took photos in the dwindling sunlight. You know the view is good if Sonya is willing to give up cheese to enjoy it.

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GUYS. I found my favorite city. Bern is so unique and charming and literally straight out of Nightmare Before Christmas. (I know in the title I said ‘fairytale city’ but it’s kind of haunted looking… sorry for lying but I gotta pull in the readers you know?) It’s crazy, the houses are SO crooked and look like they might plop over at any second.

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We explored so many Christmas markets! They always served gluhwein (hot spiced wine), raclette (Swiss cheese fondue), and so much marzipan (almond paste sweets). My grandparents and father are German/Austrian so we were traveling with them! We always celebrate Christmas on the evening of the 24th. It was so great to actually experience a traditional Christmas in Europe for once, although it probably wasn’t good for my health.

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…Off on our Rhine river adventure! We traveled with Grand Circle Cruiseline, and the ship was beautiful. I might give the false pretense that I carry myself with dignity, but I actually took quite the spill down the ship’s staircase in front of some of the workers. Within minutes, I think the majority of the passengers (mostly older folks) knew and chuckled at me. Ah gotta love this grace and dignity.

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Christmas vacation time! We started off in Basel, Switzerland, and from there we caught our river cruise ship that’s going to be sailing down the Rhine river through Germany and France. When I say “Bundled up in Basel” I really mean freezing my goosebumps off because it was SO COLD. And even though I layered like the best of ’em, I could not keep that body heat in.

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