Not Disneyland – Father and I

Hello from Switzerland!
Father’s next article, after the one on the snooty fashion lady, is on the Alps, and Father insisted I see the REAL Matterhorn. 

It took us about 6 hours on trains and buses to finally get there, but once we did I can say for sure, it’s not like Disney’s pretend mountain. For one thing, it’s not alone. There are probably thousands of mountains and with it! I mean it is THE ALPS, with an “s”, meaning plural, as in lots of alp.

We are staying in a very tourist-y town called Zermatt. Everything is in German here, and I don’t know German very well. Father and I don’t stay in German speaking places as much, because we don’t have family here, like we do in Milan with the Detti’s. 

We are staying in a tiny hotel room that is decorated in an old style, with lots of dark wood, and dark reds, and pretend oil lamps, and frilly curtains, and that kind of thing. It is all very nice though! There is a little eating-area-thing downstairs where we eat. There is even a balcony where we can sit out and look at the mountains and the town!

Zermatt lake sunnegga - website 800px w-0167

This is a postcard of the Matterhorn. I got in town (but I think the picture was taken somewhere else, not in the town).

The balcony is my favorite. 
Not only can you see all the mountains around, the old style buildings in town, breathe the outdoors-y mountain-y air, but also there are these boxes with flowers everywhere in all the windows! I wish I could take one with me and have a box full of flowers everywhere we went. It would make every place we stay in feel like home. Father and I have a home, but we aren’t there very much, so sometimes it’s hard to think of the-house-we-are-never-in as “home”.

Tomorrow Father and I are taking our cameras and going to climb mountains! I am so excited to get out there! I love hiking and climbing, and I’ll be with Father while he’s working, not like in Milan when I had to stay away from him. I like being with friends and little Camilla is super cute, but I like being with Father the most.

With the Detti's – Father and I

Yesterday, Father and I left Venice. We took the train from Venice to Milan, which was like 5 whole hours of train riding (it was exhausting). Father has to meet up with some fancy fashion lady. I can never remember her name, just what she looks like. She’s tall and skinny with a pinched up face. Her lips are constantly pushed together in what is supposed to be like kissing fish lips, but they are so thin that they just look wrinkled. She has huge eyes, and they peer down at you out of her equally huge glasses. Her hair is probably gray because she colors it all the time, so it’s always a different color whenever Father goes to see her. Father is seeing her today, he left early this morning, before I woke up.

We are staying with our friends, the Detti’s, who live just outside of Milan. I say friends, but I have known them pretty much my whole life. Father says he doesn’t like to just have friends wherever he travels, he likes to have family. Lorenzo Detti is a funny man, with thick, dark hair, glasses, and the loudest voice I have ever heard. Isabella, his wife, has happy, blue eyes, and her fingernails are always painted red. Their little girl’s name is Camilla, she’s almost two with her always in pigtails. She is adorable!

While Father interviews and photographs the pinched-faced fashion lady, I stay the day with the Detti’s. Father will be home tonight, late, way after dinner, just before I go to bed.

Camilla is napping right now, Lorenzo is at work, and Isabella is resting too, so I’m in “my room” writing here in my journal.

Father is staying in their guest bedroom, but I’m staying in the study. It’s a small room, but I love it. The sun comes in the room almost all day, keeping it warm and cheery. One whole wall is just books. A large, brown leather chair sits next to the wall of books. I’m sitting in it now, with my knees all curled up, and there is still plenty of room. It’s a huge chair. There is a nice lamp that comes up over the back of the chair, so in the evening, it’s a great reading spot too. Wall of books, comfy chair, and a lamp. Perfect!

The wall opposite the window is the single murphy bed. The sides of the bed just barely touches everything else in the room, so it’s pretty cozy.

Decided to add a little doodling to my journal entries.

Tomorrow, Father and I plan to spend the day at home with the Detti’s. It’s Saturday, so no work for Lorenzo. I love listening to Father talking with Lorenzo and Isabella. I’m hoping that in the afternoon, we can go downtown to see the sites. I know I’ve seen it before, but there is something about it that is so interesting. Milan almost looks like a big city in America, but the skyline (new vocabulary word this week) is filled with new things and old things. Skyscrapers and cathedrals. Apartment buildings and red tile roof buildings. Construction cranes and marble statues.

The day after tomorrow will be Sunday, which will be our last day with the Detti’s, but we will miss them in the morning. They go to church on Sunday mornings. Father and I don’t. I don’t know why we don’t go with them. I’ve been to church before, but I felt weird, like I didn’t belong there and everyone was looking at me.
Maybe we will do something fun Sunday afternoon before our train to Switzerland Sunday night!

I hear Camilla waking up from her nap! I’m going to go see if I can help Isabella with a snack. I love playing with little Camilla!

First Entry – Father and I

My name is Eleanor Marie Wiles, but don’t call me Eleanor, just Marie is fine. I’m just now nine years old. My birthday was yesterday and Father gave me this journal. Father and I visited Venice yesterday, which is where my journal came from.

Father says I should write in my journal once a week or maybe even more often than that. I’m quite a busy person, so we will have to see how often this journaling thing happens.

I think Father also gave me the journal so that he can talk to me about what I’m thinking and writing down. Father is trying to talk with me more, which is good I guess, but that means I have to think of things to say back to him. Sometimes what I’m feeling is not good for me to say out loud; it might hurt his feelings.

Father’s name is Basil Gregory Wiles (he has everyone call him Basil. I think he is more of a Greg). He’s a writer and photographer. We travel together so that he can find different things to write about for the magazine The Coffeetable. He writes the articles about other cultures and natural wonders, things that are interesting to have open on your coffee table. His articles are the most popular section of the magazine. He also has a fancy camera that I’m not supposed to touch. He takes pictures of the places we go to and the people we meet. Sometimes he even takes selfies of the two of us. I tell him that it’s weird that he uses his fancy camera for selfies. He laughs. 

Since I’m not supposed to touch his camera, last year in Seattle he bought me my own little camera. I like it because I can take pictures just like he does, and my camera is red. My favorite color is red.

Father is busy with all the writing he does, but he is also busy with me. We travel so much that I don’t really go to a “real” school, but Father teaches me. He has lots of books on his eReader, including textbooks. Textbooks aren’t as fun as real books, but I have to read them for school sometimes. Father loves real books, so we try to use those more than the textbooks. When he has to write for work, I do my school writing and projects. He says school is my work until I’m grown up, then I will have job-work. Real work seems like more fun than my school work.

Yesterday, in Venice, we had a day off of doing school and work for my birthday.
We arrived on the train that came to the city across this land-y bridge-y thing-y. It was kind of cool and scary all at the same time, because you can’t actually see what the train is on, all you see is water! 

Once we got there, we decided that the best thing to do was to go get lost in the city. 

We wandered and wandered all around the city, finding lots of random streets and buildings. Sometimes we went with the hoards (that’s one of my vocabulary words this week) of people, like when we bought my journal, and went inside the basilica (another vocabulary word), which is just a big cathedral: a big church-ish building, but old. It was big and fancy with lots of gold, and pictures of people, and decorations like that.

We were going to go ride in one of the boats, Father says they are called gondolas, along the canals, but instead we just watched them while we ate lunch. Father packed us some sandwiches (egg salad, my favorite).

Finally, we wandered right back to the train station. We noticed a little shop just before the station entrance with lots of masks all over the outside of it. We went inside and Father bought us both masks.

Father’s is white with silver and black detailing around the edges and had a long nose; he said it is in honor of a friend of his named Cyrano, but I think he is making that up. Mine is gold with lots of jewels sparkles and has a crown. I’m wearing it now and feel very mysterious and glamorous. 

Father says this year will be full of new and exciting things. I hope that means we are going to places as magical as Venice!

Father and I – reboot

A long while ago, I started a series of posts called “Father and I”. It was essentially a serial fiction series about a girl and her father, their travels, their relationship, and the people they meet.

Well, I decided to reboot that serial here.
Starting tomorrow, I will be posting these short stories, some with slight edits, some completely new, but all in their original format of a little girl’s journal entries.

It seemed an appropriate time to reboot this serial since the internet is full of fear, too many news updates, and not enough normal, good news.

Here is a sneak peek:

My name is Eleanor Marie Wiles, but don’t call me Eleanor, just Marie is fine. I’m just now nine years old. My birthday was yesterday and Father gave me this journal. Father and I visited Venice yesterday, which is where I wanted to visit for my birthday and is where this very nice journal came from.

Father’s name is Basil Gregory Wiles (he has everyone call him Basil. I think he is more of a Greg). He’s a writer and photographer. We travel together so that he can find different things to write about for the magazine he works for, The Coffeetable. He writes the articles about other cultures and natural wonders, things that are interesting to have open on your coffee table. His articles are the most popular section of the magazine. He also has a fancy camera that I’m not supposed to touch. He takes pictures of the places we go to and the people we meet. Sometimes he even takes selfies of the two of us. I tell him that it’s weird that he uses his fancy camera for selfies. He laughs.

I hope you find this serial to be uplifting, thought provoking, fun, and maybe a little escape.