After Italy we drove across the Alps to visit Karen Galindo in Sera Plana, at the holiday house of her parents-in-law, Laurie and Rueddy. Here is Amy walking with Karen’s daughter Lily; Rueddy and Karen (carrying the new-born Violet) are visible in the background. Karen had warned us that Lily can be an awful walking companion once she has decided she doesn’t want to be there anymore, so Amy and I jollied her along for the entire walk, singing songs, playing games with the “ant highways” (gutters across the path). It brought back such memories of doing the same for our own kids.
Laurie and Rueddy were wonderful. Laurie has all sorts of food allergies which mean she can barely eat anything, and is very small and thin, but has a lovely smile in an apple-cheeked face. Rueddy was a traffic engineer and invented traffic light systems used in Portland, Oregon, among other places. He rode the boom in cars in the late 20th century to a healthy retirement, including the lovely holiday house we were staying in, which was modern but blended well with the old houses there. Every window has a view of spectacular alps. He helps the locals with their haymaking (which we watched on the walk, small trucks on alarmingly steep slopes).
I worked on my talk for the AMS-PMS meeting in Poland, and left the next day, on a spectacular train ride down to Zurich. Amy stayed on to enjoy Swiss national day on August 1, when they lit bonfires on the surrounding trees, like the scene in Return of the King.