This weekend was a fabulous trip to Luzern, where neither Katie nor I had ever been. More than just a quick trip, though, this was also our first experience traveling together with a dog--especially someone else's dog! I was a little anxious that something might go wrong and we would be far away from home but, as it turns out, Acacia is an amazing traveler.
Saturday morning we hopped on the train to Luzern and she was a perfect angel. I love being in a country where dogs are just considered part of the family and are let in basically everywhere. They ride trains and buses as easily and naturally as humans; you just buy a half-price ticket for them. Acacia just plopped down next to us and snoozed for most of the train ride.
When we arrived in Luzern we met up with Katie's mom and two aunts, who had just come in from Heidelberg, where one of them lives. We spent the afternoon catching up then went out to an early dinner at Schuetzengarten, a "vegetarian restaurant . . . with meat!" Their food was great with many vegetarian and vegan options--plus plenty of meat and fish options for those in our group who were not so inclined. However, all the recent factoids Katie recently unearthed about the energy and water chains in the [US] meat industry (e.g. eliminating 1 lb of meat from your diet reduces your water consumption more than not showering for an entire year!) motivated me to go the veggie route.
We were joined by two IMD classmates from Zurich/Zug at dinner and it was a real pleasure catching up with them. After dinner they dropped us off at the KKL concert hall for a Morcheeba concert. I discovered Morcheeba almost 10 years ago while I was living in Florence but had never seen them live. For the last several years I haven't had much interest in seeing them live without Skye Edwards, their original vocalist. However, they reunited for their most recent album so the timing was just perfect.
After a really subpar warmup act (One redeeming factor: he led a Bohemian Rhapsody sing-a-long before finishing.), Morcheeba took the stage and ROCKED OUT! Their live songs bear enough resemblance to the studio originals that they are still awesome, but their showmanship definitely adds a significant "can't get this on the album" element too. They played a great mix of of their older favorites and new additions; Skye Edwards has just as an awesome voice live as she does on recordings so I'm so glad she's back.
The one downside was that the crowd was very . . . Swiss. Almost no one was dancing or singing and it was tough for the rest of us to get down without bumping into people. Oh well, the music got Katie and me so pumped up that we just had to let loose anyway. When the concert finally ended we were sweaty and satisfied after a great performance.
Sunday we spent just walking around Luzern, including a traipse around the lake to Wagner's house. We met up with another IMD classmate and his wife for a late lunch and had dinner along the river with Katie's family. No agenda, just walking around a beautiful place and enjoying good food with good people.
Acacia caused a stir wherever she went. She's a very big girl (Not sure exactly how big--maybe 100 pounds?) and tourists are either scared by her or enchanted by her. Many tourists, especially Asians, timidly requested to have their picture taken with her. She's so sweet and good natured that this was no problem at all. And each restaurant we frequented brought her out a bowl of water--again, it's so nice to be in a place that supports dogs and their owners!
Monday morning we ascended Mount Pilatus, which offered gorgeous 360-degree views of . . . mostly clouds since there was a lot of cloud cover that day. Oh well, it was still a fun trip and there was some good mini-hiking at the top. Again, Acacia was so good on multiple modes of transportation: train, funicular, cable car, and bus. It was a nice excursion to wrap up a quick-but-excellent weekend with family and friends in a new place.
Now we are back in Lutry! Katie is on vacation and I'm trying to sneak in work during her naps and reading sessions. As I've known since her first visit during my IMD year, Switzerland is so, so much better with her here!