A blog where two married people complain about relationships and the world around us without being "politically correct". No bull here.
Off to Geneva
Posted April 7, 2014
I wish I could say I was more excited to visit the CERN Collider than I was Geneva, but that was just a lie. Don't get me wrong though, I am a traveler at heart and any new experience is a must in my book. I was baffled when researching CERN previously to our trip as the research they are conducting is changing the way we think about the world around us. I had heard Michael talk endlessly about visiting this amazing facility, but of course so is half the known world and that equates to a pretty packed schedule for visitors.
As we are nearing the end of our time living in Europe full-time I knew this was one trip we absolutely had to take before returning to the U.S.. After tirelessly searching through the schedules I found a weekend slot available in late February and snatched it up immediately! I didn't even check our schedules because I knew that no matter what we were going to make it happen. So at the end of February we drove the 5 hours or so to Geneva from our home in Germany. Little did I know just how eventful indeed this trip would be, and just how little it would have to do with Geneva or CERN.
First, and foremost, let me add that I am a planner at heart. I literally plan everything down to the most minute detail. I am not OCD or a control freak as most would believe, but rather am eternally living the Boy Scout motto to always be prepared. Secondly, if you haven't been to Switzerland I suggest you research extensively and plan accordingly before going because it is insanely expensive to do anything in the country! I am talking a sandwich and soda at the gas station costing the equivalent to $12 USD expensive. I wish I could tell you this was an over exaggeration, but rather it may actually be a little under the actual price depending on the current rate of exchange (which always sucks for American FYI!).
Taking into account our trips to Switzerland 2 times previously, I bought lots of snacks, packed a cooler, and made sandwiches for our journey to the great expensive place of wonder. We were literally going just to drive to Geneva Friday night, spend the night, see CERN and walk around a bit Geneva on Saturday, then drive back. Well despite my best laid plans, it did not go as planned at all because I forgot to factor in the human factor, otherwise known to me as the husband factor. If we ever have children I am sure I will need to expand this phrase because despite all my efforts I cannot ever control those external to my brain. *sigh*
So of course my husband comes home and is busy readying everything for our trip, packing up all the food I had gotten for the trip and as such. We hop in the car and begin our journey. I had made several sandwiches, two of which we intended to eat right away as it was about lunchtime on Friday when we departed. About 45 minutes into the drive I went in search of the sandwiches and he realized he had never packed them. The husband factor had struck fast and fierce. There we were with a cooler of drinks, a bag full of cookies and chips, and absolutely no sandwiches in sight. Needless to say I was quite upset. He had actually taken my apples and sandwiches out of the bag of snacks I had already packed because he was going to add them to the cooler once it was good to go. Well that just never happened. All the trouble I had gone through, wasted. My tasty turkey wrap, wasted. We sat in relative silence as I sulked for about 2 hours until we stopped for gas at the border.
Now don't write me off as some insane wife, I am sure there are many married individuals out there who have seen their efforts be wasted because their significant other's mind is not as thoughtful at times as their own. I was angry because I had discussed this with him, reminded him, and then reminded him again. Call it a dude thing, call it an oversight, call it whatever you may want, but in my book at that point it was just downright absurd and I was too pissed to think straight! Anyhow we made it to the gas station and he went in to pay and comes back with a large sack of apples to make up for the ones he had forgotten and all was forgiven. For as ridiculous it is to forget certain things, as ridiculous as it is to get so mad at them, it is even more ridiculous how fast one simple action can make it all go away. In the end all I want, and I'm sure I'm not alone here, is to feel appreciated. Now we managed to get in another big fight on the way back from Geneva that was just as ridiculous I'm sure, but I cannot even remember what it was about. We've been married for 7 years, together for 11, and I am happy to say that while some fights are explosive in the moment, they rarely imprint on the memory. That is the great paradox of the relationships I suppose, as well as a great indicator of your relationship's strength. When we were young and just married everything was explosive, everything a slight against the other. Now I can say that definitively most arguments are forgotten and let go just as quickly as they occur. We take great care with our relationship, we talk about anything and everything. Things have happened during the past decade plus that we have been together that bonded us in ways most will never understand and that is why we are as strong as we are, but also explains why we are as explosive as we are. You know what they, the line between love and hate is quite a blurry one indeed.
In the end CERN was amazing, Geneva beautiful, and everything was absurdly priced. We saw the facility that is literally changing the world with their research, but more importantly we saw just how much our personal world has changed over the years, and even more so how much we have changed. We are half way around the world from where we grew up, have visited over 25 countries, made amazing friends, and are ready to return to reality later this year. These past 4 years have been our cocoon so to speak and just as is the natural order of things, it is time for us to flex our newly sprouted proverbial wings and evolve.
Posted March 7, 2014
So two weekends ago Dominique and I took a trip over to Geneva Switzerland. We were on our way to see the CERN super collider! We were both super excited and really didn't have much of idea of what to expect. I always see these giant magnets looking things on the internet and hear about how they found the Higgs Boson particle and I knew I had to see this before I left Europe. With the weekend tours being books months in advance, when my wife found an opening in February, she knew she had to get it. I was completely on board and on the 21st of February 2014. We hop in our ford focus and off we went.
Dominique was nice enough to make us sandwiches and I packed a cooler full of drinks. About 30 minutes into the trip Dominique suddenly said, "Did you pack the sandwiches?" I pause and say, "Uh oh". She had seen me organizing the cooler with ice and drinks and I put the sandwiches as well as a bag of apples on the table outside and I forgot to put them in the cooler.
We are never usually this prepared to take trips and we just stop at gas stations and get snacks on the way. This time a lot of planning had gone into making sure we got ice and drinks and made sandwiches. This was all ruined by me being a dumbass. Dominique made sure I knew that she knew I was a dumbass. I understood how she felt because I knew how I felt. Our perfectly planned trip was already falling off the tracks because of stupid mistake. The worst part about this was the fact that I had taken the apples she had packed in her bag out of her bag and was going to put it in the cooler. Woops.
We pressed on with the 5 plus hour drive and stopped for gas. On the way out of the pay station I was that the gas station was selling apples. I quickly grab a bag, run back inside, and pay for the apples. Upon returning to the car I hand her the bag of apples and she laughs, kisses me and says she loves me. That's right, I'm awesome. I don't even think we ate a single apple. After finishing the drive and checking into the hotel for the night. I start to look up things about the LHC. I disappointingly find out that we will not be able to go underground and see the collider because they don't usually tour down there. I was extremely disappointed but decided not to through a fit until I find out what we do get to see.
The next morning I was up excited to see what CERN had in store for us. Everything on the campus was free which was a pleasant surprise because most of our trips together cost us an arm and a leg. The scientists that do the tours were awesome and I learned more than I ever thought I would about CERN, the LHC, and the Collision detectors. So everyone understands what each of these things is (I definitely was thinking of things wrong), I'll explain really quickly. CERN is the European Organization for Nuclear Research. The LHC stands for Large Hadron Collider and is actually a 26km tunnel underground that accelerates hadron particles to 99.99% percent the speed of light (a hadron is a proton or a neutron). The particle moves so fast that they circle the tunnel over 11 thousand times a second before they collide.
The collision detectors are usually what you see in pictures.
This is the area where the particles collide and the detectors measure what is created. This is where the Higgs Boson was found. These particles collide with so much energy that they actually create mass. Pretty awesome I say.
Over all I think the trip was awesome! The learning experience at CERN was unlike anything I've ever seen. Since I'm hyped up like a little girl, I'll try to calm down and say that everything I learned and saw there could have been done from home. While it was neat to see the interactive exhibits unless you're a serious scientist, traveling from the US to CERN is probably not worth it. If you get a chance to tour underground and see the LHC tunnel and giant collision detectors, it might be a different story.