Swiss Shopping

And we’re back for Part Two of our day in Switzerland!

(Part one that includes our trip to the top of Mount Pilatus may be seen here.)

Lake Cruise + Lunch

After our time at the top of Mount Pilatus, my family and I boarded the coach bus and headed back into the heart of Lucerne, where we joined our tour group for a one-hour lake cruise on Lake Lucerne.

While on the boat, we gaped at the multi-million dollar houses, crystal clear water and snow-capped mountains.

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The white house in the above picture was once the home of Mr. Heineken, the man behind the beer!

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We also saw the old homes of Audrey Hepburn, Sophia Loren and Wagner, the famous composer of Wagner’s Bridal Chorus, the song that I chose to walk down the aisle to at our wedding.

Once our lake cruise concluded, my family and I walked around the streets in search of lunch.

As we walked along the water’s edge, we were shocked at the massive size of the swans. They were bigger than Sadie!

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If you think I look wildly uncomfortable in the above picture, it’s because I am. Those things wanted to eat my face.

Eventually we selected Grendel 19, a cute sidewalk café for lunch. 

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My sister took forever to snap the above picture of me and my dad, so I got her back by waiting a solid minute to snap a picture of her and my mom… just enough time to make their smiles look super awkward Winking smile 

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My dad, sister and I all ordered large salads for lunch, topped with marinated vegetables and tuna.

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The olive oil and seasonings on the vegetables were tasty! The onions were the best part.

My mom’s lunch included the beefsteak tartar, the restaurant’s specialty dish.

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Doesn’t it look like pizza sauce? The tartar was worth trying, but not something I’d ever order for myself. I did enjoy her toast with a little butter though! It tasted like freshly baked bread with a slight crunch and a super-soft middle. Yum!

Though we all enjoyed our meals, the highlight of lunch was our dessert.

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It was a three-scoop sundae that included Movenpick strachitella, vanilla dream and Swiss chocolate ice cream topped with whipped cream, chocolate sauce, a strawberry and an almond wafer.

When I say my family and I loved this, I mean it! My sister, mom and I agreed that the Swiss chocolate ice cream was the absolute best chocolate ice cream we’ve ever had in our life. No doubt about it!

Swiss Shopping

After lunch, my mom and dad were a bit sleepy, so while they went back to relax at the hotel for a bit, my sister and I hit the shops!

See what happens when they let us loose?

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I made sure to buy the suspenders and fanny pack I’m wearing for Ryan to sport with the stylin’ jorts I picked up for him earlier. My sister bought him the cow bag she’s wearing. He’s gonna love it!

We shopped for a couple of hours and each bought a dress from H&M (totally Swiss, I know!) before walking into a chocolate shop for an afternoon pick-me-up that included some Swiss chocolates.

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Our favorites were the double chocolate truffle and buttery caramel milk chocolate.

Jesuit Church

After eating our chocolates on a nearby bench, we walked across a covered wooden bridge on our way to the famous Jesuit Church.

lugano to lucerne 070On the other side of the bridge we spent quite a while laughing as we watched a couple of birds dive deep under the clear water and fetch stuff off the bottom to feed to their babies.

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They were so stinkin’ cute! It entertained us for quite a while!

After a short walk, we arrived at the entrance of the church.

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As we stepped inside we were both amazed at the calm beauty inside.

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We walked around and took a moment to light a candle and say a prayer in one of the alcoves of the church.

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It was such a neat place.


We arrived back at the hotel and spent some time in a little café before heading to dinner with our tour group.

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Check out my sister’s new H&M authentic Swiss dress! I love it and if I could squeeze my hips into it I’d wear it. It’s crazy because we can share many clothes, but pants and certain butt-hugging dresses are out because of my boo-tay! I have the smaller rib cage while Leslie has the cutie patootie. Smile

I definitely didn’t change my outfit for dinner. I’m saving all the clean clothes I can! We still have five days to go, baby!

Dinner began with a big roll topped with freakin’ amazing butter.

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I don’t know if Switzerland does something to their butter, because I never really use much butter on my rolls and yet in Switzerland I wanted to bathe in it.

Next up was a salad topped with creamy balsamic vinaigrette.

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It was good and I ate every bite!

My entrée included fish topped with some kind of delicious cream sauce served with rice and broccoli.

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It was okay. I preferred the fondue and raclette from last night about 5,000 times more.

Dessert was a warm apple streudel served with vanilla cream sauce.

lucerne dinner 004 As a pastry lover, I enjoyed this dessert quite a bit and consider it a warm up for all the pastry-eating I plan to do in Paris.

After dinner, my sister and I were on a mission for a post-dessert dessert in the form of more of that delicious Swiss chocolate ice cream that we loved so much at lunch.

We once again walked across the beautifully lit wooden bridge into town in search of the ice cream.

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After about 15 minutes of walking around, we found it!

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They need to bring Movenpick Swiss chocolate ice cream to the United States. I’d pay good money for this!

Well friends, I’m currently blogging from the bus en route to Paris from Lucerne and we’ve just reached a rest stop. Gotta go!


  1. Ell says

    I hear you about the swans..they look cute and cuddly but you gotta watch out cause they can be really agressive. Enjoy Paris!!


  2. says

    More beautiful pictures! OMG those swans are scary huge – you’re brave for getting that pic! haha too funny about the “awkward” pics. Can’t wait to see the Paris pics!


  3. Brittany says

    That ice cream looks incredible. I’m so jealous. What HAS Ryan been doing without you?!? Hopefully he’s buying YOU some cool accessories too. With those stellar presents he’s gonna feel obligated to get you equally awesome things.


  4. Holly @ The Runny Egg says

    That apple strudel looks so amazing!!! I love fruit pie type desserts.

    Ryan is a lucky guy — jorts, suspenders and a cow bag!


  5. says

    It sucks that I have to wait until I get home to view your posts (I think it’s the images that’s “broken” when I view them… ahem, elsewhere). But I LOVE coming home to relax and reading these posts. I think Switzerland is definitely my favorite place yet as well, that you’ve shown.

    Also – the H&M dress on your sister = love it. I wish they didn’t get sold out so quickly in my size lol.

    YAYAYA!!!!! Love your OOTD’s too!


  6. Lauren says

    Glad to see you are having such a great time! The picture of you and the swan reminds me of a picture of me when I went to Venice, Italy and the crazy pigeons in St. Mark’s Square. They fly all over and even land on you!


  7. says

    I am glad you liked the Moevenpick ice cream! Must be quite a long drive to Paris…… so much to see there. Looking forward to see what you choose! Next post we’ll see you up on the Eiffeltower! 😉


  8. cait says

    Again so excited to go to Lucerne in a few short DAYS ahhh! I’ll be sure to visit the shops and eat all the amazing foods and blog about it too! xo


    • Anna says

      It is! I couldn’t tell if Julie was being sarcastic or not…haha 🙂

      I love how much you’re posting over there! I can pretend like I’m traveling Europe while looking at your pictures (much like how I pretend like I’m actually doing things at work while looking at your blog…..) 😉


  9. says

    It’s funny you mentioned wardrobe sharing with your sister – when I was reading one of you/your sister’s fashion posts the other day, I was wondering if you guys were maybe going to stretch your clothes a bit further on your trip by swapping. 🙂 I can’t imagine you’d want to share those suspenders though! 😉


  10. Brandi says

    So glad you are having a great time! I highly suggest Amsterdam and Vienna on your next trip back to Europe! You will LOVE Paris (as long as they don’t know you’re American). I’m sure you hear this all the time but you look JUST LIKE your dad and your sister looks like your mom! So cute!


  11. says

    Yep Swiss Ice cream can NOT be beat!! Promise.

    Oh, and the reason Swiss butter tastes so amazing is because of the cows, where they feed, and the natural mountain air and grass. Something the U.S. totally FAILS in. I too don’t love butter, but Swiss butter is TO DIE for 🙂 It is called “anke” <–Swiss German for Alpen butter (or Mountain butter).

    LOVE choc ice cream in SWitzerland!!!


  12. says

    Oh how lucky you are to be able to say… “Well friends, I’m currently blogging from the bus en route to Paris from Lucerne and we’ve just reached a rest stop. Gotta go!”…. ahhhhhhh i want your life!!!!!! Seriously, you are so blessed! Glad you are enjoying the trip and family time so much 🙂 Love the suspenders for Ryan 😛


  13. says

    The food! The food! Love the food pics AND the others as well 🙂
    Paris! Another of my faves 🙂 We just got back 2 weeks ago… from a very different sort of trip… 4 kids in tow! lol

    It is so fun to see your “grown-up” trip to Europe. I get to fantasize about what it would be like without my kids!


  14. Marie-Sophie says

    The next time I am going to eat Mövenpick chocolate ice-cream I will make sure to eat one or two scoops for you, Julie! 🙂 (we have it in Germany!!)


  15. says

    You all look like you’re having such a great time! 🙂 & that chocolate shop looks amazing!!

    Looking forward to seeing what you think of Paris, I went about 5 years ago but would love to go back again sometime… will be good to see the places you discover 🙂


  16. Jayme @ runner and spice says

    I love reading your posts each day – you are doing an awesome job in making your readers feel like they’re there too!!

    Oh…how I would LOVE to be over in europe right now 🙂

    Safe travels! Take care.


  17. Erin says

    ummmm, so….CAN WE TRADE LIVES? mine may not be too special, but you’ll get to go back to college again!
    really glamorous and tempting, I know 😉 clearly on par with traveling through Europe


  18. says

    You’ll love this – those small diving birds are called “coots”. Always imagine them bitterly complaining about the old days when I see them…


  19. says

    All of this food looks delicious! I love the picture of you and your sister in the store! So funny! I am really loving reading about your family vacation. 🙂 Have fun in France next!!


  20. Ally says

    OMG I would not have nearly had that much courage to stand next to those swans! Those things have been known to kill people! …not to freak you out even more… 😉

    I’m so jealous you’re en route to Paris. It’s my favorite city aside from London! I adore it. And I bet the butter in Switzerland isn’t salted, so it’s got a sweeter taste…a friend of mine is from Europe and when she tried the butter here she nearly gagged from all the salt!!!


  21. Heather says

    Julie, you’re bringing back so many wonderful memories of my trip to Switzerland when I was 16. We stayed in Zurich where my uncle lived, but visited Lucerne, hiked the alps, and went up to the Jungfrau Joch (highest observatory in Europe).

    I totally remember Movenpick, the yummy rosti, and the random whiffs of raclette as you walk on the streets. I’m also pretty certain I ate a chocolate croissant every single day I was there. YUM!


  22. Taylor @ Delish World says

    a) I ADORE baby animals. b) That water is ridic! c) I love European churches.

    I like your Switzerland pics the best so far. You look like you are in a post card. The scenery is so beautiful.

    Have fun in France!!!


  23. says

    I am LOVING your posts. Thank you so much for documenting you trip so well! But I think my husband is getting annoyed with me becuase every time I read one of your posts I remind him that we need to travel to Europe.

    If you ever get the chance, see on a menu or hear someone talking about spaghetti ice – get it!!! I had it when I was young and my family lived in Germany so I don’t know if they have it anywhere else…but it sure is tasty. So, get it. You can’t find anything like it here in the states. Well…maybe you can but I think it’s super hard to find. And who wants to eat it here when you can get the real deal.

    Okay, I will leave you alone now. 🙂


  24. Tara says

    I loved all the posts from your trip, I’m considering staying in Lucern for a day or two on my way from Heidelburg to Geneva for a work trip. Would you recommend a good location for a hotel? Not sure how big the area is.



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