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Joanne Roczniak
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What is your favorite place in Europe so far?
London, Oxford and York (can't really choose) This just in: Bern!!!
Where would you most like to go next?
We are toying with the idea of either Prague or Krakow in 2009, though the extended family is trying to come up with a way to get back to Switzerland as well.

I'd like to take the kids to Scandinavia, especially Norway, which is where my mother's family comes from. Ireland and Scotland have been on the list for a while. We'd also really like to go to Italy and Spain. I've never been anywhere in the southern part of Europe.
Tell us about one of your favorite places to stay on an Untour. Do you have a favorite host? Apartment? Village?
We stayed at Kunzler 2 in Hasliberg Hohfluh. My parents and sister stayed at Kunzler 1 (the lower half of the same building). The best way to get there is a bus from the train station. The road is mostly through forest on either side and I was getting terribly annoyed as there were only quick glimpses to be had of an absolutely fabulous view and I couldn't take the picture fast enough. What a shock and a pleasure to discover that the elusive picture was best to be taken from the balcony running the length of our apartment, completely unobstructed and to be enjoyed at leisure! My younger son discovered that there were little fold-up tables attached to the front wall of the balcony, so we had convenient access to snacks (thoughtfully provided by our hosts) as we sat outside and watched the fireworks coming up from the valley below (we arrived on August 1, the Swiss National Day).
Do you have any special interests or hobbies that you follow when you travel?
Photography and videography.
When you upload photos to Untours Cafe, you are also giving Untours permission to use the photos in their promotional material (with credit to you)
I feel bad about sharing this... no, not really. My sons are not as familiar with the operation of old-fashioned "skeleton" type key as are we of earlier generations. My oldest managed to lock himself into the bathroom of our apartment right off the bat. After several minutes of shouted instructions (all enthusiastically filmed by his little brother), we gave up and had him drop the key out the window to his dad so we could unlock the door from the outside. Crisis over. We instructed him to practice on the lock with the door open before trying it again. Sure enough, after we'd gotten unpacked and were relaxing at the dining table, we heard him practicing diligently on that lock, and then the lock to the other bathroom. It took us a while to realize that he wasn't actually practicing -- he'd managed to lock himself into the other bathroom! Fortunately, he managed to extricate himself this time. Even so, after that little adventure we decided that no one was to be allowed to lock the bathroom doors.
Which Untours have you already done?
We've just come back from our first, to the Swiss Heartland.
What advice would you give others considering an Untour?
By all means, go!

One bit of advice I'd give to anyone who is leaving home for more than a few days is to take an hour or so to adjust your email settings. Most email clients, including some webmail, will allow you to set up email "rules" that will automatically sort all your incoming mail into folders (not just spam). Personally, I find it a lot easier to return home to an inbox that's organized than one that's got a few hundred emails for me to sift through. I tackle "Friends and Family" and "School" first, and then when I get around to it, I might take a quick glance at "Stores" and delete almost all of it.

Check under "tools", "preferences", "options" or "settings" for the "set email rules" function.

Eventually I'll post some more concrete advice -- one of the things we did with our travel diary is keep a running list of "coulda shoulda woulda" items, with a few "glad we did" items on the side.
What is your favorite Untour? (so far)
Swiss Heartland : )
Me and my sister Linda in Zermatt.


One of the few pictures taken by Justin that has
no evidence of trains in it whatsoever!

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Joanne Roczniak's Blog

One Family, Four Points of View

I must say, the latest version of iPhoto has made my job as family archivist MUCH easier. I was able to split up all our photos into groups (or "Events", as they're now called) and then merge them into groups for each day of our trip. It took me all of an hour and a half -- not bad, considering there were well over 1,000 photos and I was on the phone most of the time as well. Now all I have to do is put each group into exact order, add some music to each (that's the hardest part), and voila - a… Continue

Posted on October 22, 2007 at 10:05am — 2 Comments

Best laid plans

Post once every three months, whether I need to or not, that's my motto!

I could go into the details of our rather involved autumn, but suffice it to say that last night we darkened the door of our local public access channel for the first time since we got back. Normally, we're there at least one day a week, usually more. That gives you a bit of an idea of just how busy it's been around here!



It was really good to see everyone at the TV station again, and it helped re-kindle my… Continue

Posted on October 21, 2007 at 6:13pm — 1 Comment

So, we're back

Eight hours of video, four full or nearly-full SmartCards of still photos and a travel diary that's remarkably thick (considering it breaks off at Day 10), we have returned from Switzerland (with a few days in Germany). We'd go back in a heartbeat.

For one thing, the list of things we'd like to do only increased exponentially with every item we crossed off the list. For another, we really liked the place. Two weeks in Switzerland isn't nearly enough, even when it's raining most of the… Continue

Posted on August 22, 2007 at 1:01pm — 2 Comments

Comment Wall (8 comments)

At 7:48am on July 25, 2007, Hal Taussig said…
Welcome to the cafe. Can you tell us a little more about yourself and your Untour interests?
At 2:11pm on July 25, 2007, Bill Kover said…
Welcome aboard Joanne! Do you have any travel stories?
At 12:54am on July 31, 2007, Joanne Roczniak said…
Hey all! We're in the midst of preparations for a multi-generational Swiss Heartland tour. Although this is not our first trip to Europe, this will the first Untour for me and my husband and kids and we're really excited! My parents, who are enthusiastic Untours veterans, will also be going. I hope to post some photos and video as soon as I get everything reasonably sorted, but it may take a while: I've got a hard drive full of images and boxes and boxes of slides to digitize!
At 9:23pm on July 31, 2007, Pete and Maggie Haggart said…
You will love the Heartland - we have been there three times and can't wait to return again.

Pete
At 4:31pm on August 24, 2007, Marilee Taussig said…
Ok, Joanne, you have GOT to post some of that video....I feel like me and Sallyimp are out here all by our lonesomes with the video bug....well that isn't true, but I would really like some buddies in telling the story of an Untour with video...
At 1:09pm on October 28, 2007, John DeVogt said…
Wasn't sure I wanted to put a picture on the web. Just finished burning my DVD today. Enjoyed your pictures. I plan to post dome of the video soon.
At 4:18pm on November 8, 2007, Jean and Fred Agneta said…
We enjoyed the video your son took while in Switzerland,
We also love Meiringen, have been there on 3 Untours, and going back in 2008--- we can't wait!!! Welcome to the Cafe.
Keep the photos coming!!!
At 6:57pm on January 24, 2008, Jane said…
We've had four Untours in CH and are going back to Meiringen this summer, this time with our kids and grandkids. Your video has made me want to start packing already!

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