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February, 2010:

Winter Wandering

Last week I had spent one entire afternoon writing a witty commentary to Ozlem’s last post… and between previewing and saving… an entire afternoon’s work was gone!! Needless to say, I was all blogged-out and frustrated (and my coffee had started to lose its effects) …. and only just today am I feeling blog-ready!!

So, I have taken a seat at the back of the cafe…. I have my coffee on my right, I have Ozlem across the table (ready for spelling and grammar checks, she is hesitantly-ready to answer questions that are not immediately found on the screen right in front of me), a big screen TV on my far right (the Olympics are on and they are showing anything Lindsey Vonn – all day long!) , an unopened bottle of Pellegrino (next to my coffee), and some smooth Latin style elevator jazz music soothing the sounds of rattling coffee cups and tea spoons …. hey, that’s what inspires the blogger in me!

Yes… snow!!! We have seen all the snow that we missed while living in LA…

So there have been some amazing moments to write about…. Ozlem has covered most of them… one that she left out and that I wanted to write about was my shopping experience in Zurich….

Since we don’t own or carry much anymore… when it comes time to renew something like a pair of boots, it becomes an event that should not be wasted by just walking into a store and buying the first pair that you see! As Ozlem or anyone that knows me will tell you… that was never my style even before we gave up everything:))

I like to take my time, view all the options (often times in multiple cities); I like to build a relationship with the sales person; I like to know a little about the company that has made the boots…. then I try them on, take them off…. walk around… put them back on, walk around (sometimes outside), take them back off… go for lunch… discuss the pros and cons for the rest of the day…. go back the next day, if they are not gone… I try them on once more…. and depending on the vibe I get from the sales person… I either buy them or I wait until next time!!! Yes, I know… it’s crazy… but boots stay with you for a long time…they get scanned with me at the airport…. it’s an intimate thing! You want to be sure!!!

Finally… I found my store!!! Bruno e’ Moritz!!!!

It was recommended as a hip men’s clothing store that “may have boots”… it was close to the hotel so we decided to check it out before my afternoon nap (yes, I nap:)

As we approached the front of the store, I saw a few pairs of funky shoes and not much else…. the main part of the store was hidden behind the shelves that set the backdrop for the window display.

Once we walked in, I knew I was home (in the fashionable sense:) Bruno, a tall half-Italian guy with bad posture and a warm grin, walked over and said, “hey… you want to have an espresso… come in, sit down, where are you from?” He was AWESOME! While I browsed for boots and wool hats, several guys (all fashionably hip) popped in for coffees or just to say hello…. it was a mix between a neighborhood cafe and fashion central! It was great!

For everything I tried on he would say,”AH! That’s a really funny piece!!!” It took me awhile to understand that what he meant was, “that’s a great piece!” At first I was thinking… why would I buy anything that looks funny?? Especially if it looks REALLY funny!?

For each pair of shoes that I tried on, Bruno could tell me about the designer, how many people worked at the company, and how they were made – amazing!

After two hours and many espressos later, I walked out with my new boots!!!

We promised to return the next day for a coffee, which we did, and then we promised to return the day before we were leaving, which we also did!

On our last visit, we were met at the door by Bruno and his business partner Moritz… beers in hand and hugs’a’plenty!! It was GREAT! Bruno immediately asked, “can I get you a beer?!” I glanced at Ozlem for a brief second (it was early on a Saturday afternoon… it seemed early to me) and Bruno quickly turned me around so that I couldn’t see Ozlem’s expression and he asked again, laughing hysterically… “I’m asking you! Do you want a beer?!”He quickly ran to the back and brought out a cold one for me!

There was cool music playing, lots of guys (all fashionably rockin’) hanging out sipping on Swiss suds (although I think the beer was Belgian)…. it was an unbelievable scene!

As an American, the first thought that went through my mind was… “this can’t be legal!”:))

Here’s a photo of Bruno e’ Moritz in action, beers in hand and having a blast!!! It was great to be treated as a friend and not just a customer… they have something really special there…they obviously love what they do and they love connecting with people… and it shows!

As we left, we had to promise to return on our next visit; they followed us all the way to the street, waving goodbye and multiple hugs were exchanged before we hit the road, heading for the hotel!

It was a “really funny” experience!!!:))

Lausanne, Zürich, Paris…

As you guys know, we lived in LA for about 8 years, and the only snow we saw while we lived there was either far away on top of the mountains (in the rare days when the air was clear enough you could see them from Topanga), or at the park across from our house. And yes, the one across from our house was human-made snow. It was the cutest thing to see little kids playing in their snow gear while their parents hung out watching them in tank tops… I know what you’re thinking, “only in America,” right?

Needless to say, I missed snow in those 8 years. When we were in Vancouver last December it started snowing and I was beside myself happy. Now the thing is, it’s been snowing in every single city we’ve been in since then! Istanbul, Ankara, Lausanne, Zürich, Paris… So you need to be careful with what you wish for because you might actually get it!

Lausanne was simply amazing. Neither of us had ever been there before, so it was a new experience for both of us. Our hotel was right by Lake Geneva and we could step out to see the beautiful mountains across, as well as all the cities around the lake; including Evian, yes where Evian water comes from. Lausanne is a pretty small city (120-130,000 people), so Chris doesn’t understand why all Turks know so much about it. I had to lecture him on the Lausanne Treaty signed in 1923, which led to the recognition of Turkish Republic as a successor to the Ottoman Empire. So we all know it…

We took a great class with Christine on Friday night and then taught workshops over the weekend at her studio. What an amazing community! They welcomed us with open hearts and Chris made sure they worked their a**es off! With an open heart of course. =) It was great pleasure to see our friend Muriel come all the way from Paris to join the workshop. We will also get to see some of our new friends from Lausanne in Paris this weekend.

On Sunday, we took a two hour train to Zürich, and for the whole week Chris subbed for Olive at Yogalives while she was doing a yoga retreat in Thailand. The community there is also very dedicated and strong. We got to see some of our friends from previous visits and also met lots of new people. Our dear friends Stefanie and Eli from Vancouver just moved back there, so we got to spend some time with them as well. Stefanie’s brother Claus even welcomed us with an evening of fondue and rocklets the night we got there. Yummmm…

While we were in Zürich, we even got to meet an old friend of mine from high school!

We then hopped back on the train for Paris. So far we took classes with Rajeev and Anne (she just got her Anusara Certification this week! YAY!), did a teachers’ practice yesterday, went to Versailles, had fabulous dinners with friends and tried to stay warm the entire time.

We have workshops coming up this weekend, and then we head back out to Istanbul. I now need to figure out how I’m going to fit all the fondue I bought in my suitcase without making it go over the weight limit! :\

By the way, I don’t think I had share this pic with you guys. It is from the window of lululemon Beverly Hills (we miss you!!!!!!):

January 2010

Yes, we really should update our blog more often. I agree…

Well, let’s get to it then.

We started 2010 with a “Chris Chavez Challenge” at Cihangir Yoga in Istanbul. It was a week-long challenge with 1.5-2 hour classes with Chris everyday. You can imagine Chris made sure it was challenging. I got to practice as well and it was a real treat. With so much time on the road it is difficult to get a practice in regularly, so I loved the challenge. So did 30+ other people…

Then we went to Yoga Darsan in Ankara for a weekend workshop. Özlem and her kula were simply amazing. The studio was beautiful, the host wonderful and the community just lovely. We practiced, went out for lunches and dinners, and planned many trips together for the future. Stay tuned for the details on that one; there will be some cool surprises…

We then went back to Istanbul and spent another week and a half just enjoying the city.

Last couple of days of the month we went to Lausanne for workshops with Christine Jaccoud at her studio. What a treat! We had students coming all the way from Paris to join us in the fun. And Christine is coming to the Paris workshop to see us again in a couple of weeks.

We are now in snow-covered Zurich, teaching Olive’s classes at Yogalives. Going wonderful so far.

I do have lots of photos to share with you from all these workshops and classes, but unfortunately I left the cable to the camera in Istanbul. I will upload them in a couple of weeks.

Until next time… Stay warm.