Tag Archives: vacations

Suisse Family Ramos: We’ll Remember…

– Our long journey there and back

We were finally able to really use the “wallets” that Auntie Karen got for us…as passport covers!
Manu, our expert traveler and Ty, a rookie.  He did pretty well, considering.  🙂

– Our mode of transportation in Switzerland

– Playing

– Eating

– Driving to Milano, Italy


– Meeting new uncles, aunties, & friends at ASI

– Our hotel
                                           (shoe shiner/buffer)
                                               the final night

– And just being together.

What an incredible opportunity we were able to share together.  We are so grateful for our friends there for a wonderful experience and fellowship.  It is amazing how God has opened up so many doors even though we are so unworthy.  I believe it shows what a gracious God we serve.  We believe there is a special group of people there who God is going to use to do an amazing work.  We are thankful for the opportunity to work with them and hope we can strive together until the Last Day.

CH, we miss you already!

Suisse Family Ramos: A Culinary Journey

From day one, we were wowed by the quality and tastiness of the food there.  From the salads to the desserts and everything in between, they all carried amazing flavors that made the trip that much more enjoyable.  Here is just a taste:

At our hotel, the french restaurant, “Brasserie Geroldswil”, also provided us with free breakfast every morning.  Being vegetarians, we chose from a variety of fresh breads, cheeses, crackers, eggs, yogurt, cereal, and fruit salad. We ate there a couple times for lunch/dinner too.

Baguette with herb-seasoned butter

Tomato & mozzarella salad

Crispy sandwich

Pasta noodles with vegetables

Vegetarian risotto

Kids’ meal – pasta with marinara sauce

Real french onion soup!

We ate at a pizzaria within walking distance of the hotel called “Pizzaplausch”.

Lamb’s lettuce salad

Minestrone soup

Vegetable pizza

Stracciatella ice cream

There was a quaint, but elegant bakery down the street where we got some goodies.

Local pastries

In Italy, we went to a gelateria for some gelato and made a quick stop for some focaccia. 

The night before we left, we had dinner here with friends.

Italian bread

Spaghetti with pesto

Gnocchi with tomato sauce

Blood orange ice cream

We tried the famous seasonal dessert – “vermicelli” – which is made with chestnuts.  
We often shopped at “The Coop” which was a common grocery store there.  We tried some local snacks and fruit that didn’t need to be refrigerated.

Switzerland is known for their chocolate and cheese, which is quite impressive, but the food was great too.  There, we had italian, french, singaporean, adventist, and even cafeteria food and we were never let down.  Fresh, high quality ingredients, and talented, veggie-friendly chefs made for an unforgettable culinary experience. 

Suisse Family Ramos The Sequel: Trip to Zurich Zoo

On Tuesday afternoon, we drove the 13km or so from the hotel to the Zurich Zoo.  It was Ty’s first time to a zoo and Manu and Micah’s second.  The only other zoo they went to was the DeYoung Zoo which is more like a rescue/rehabilitation.  They were super-excited to see some animals in real life!

It was an exciting drive there until we stepped out of the car.  One great thing about this hotel is that it has a connected heated garage.  The downfall is that we have no idea what the weather is like outside.  It was CHILLY.  The boys had fleece jackets on, but that wasn’t enough.  So, we spent the first 15 minutes in the zoo gift shop where we proceeded to the hat/socks/sweater section.  The bill was a bit painful, but if we were going to enjoy the zoo without the expense of getting sick, we had no other option.  The boys came out with 2 fleece lion and penguin hats and we bought a pair of elephant socks for Ty’s feet.  We put the socks he was wearing on his hands.  Sometimes desperate times call for desperate measures. 

It was only expected that once we stepped foot outside of the gift shop, that it started raining.  So, headed to the indoor acquarium to see the fish and other water creatures.  The rain did stop, though, so we were able to see nearly all of the animals and overall have a fun time together!  Overall it was a very nice zoo with good facilities for the animals.  The elephant exhibit was not cool, but the others were quite spacious with lots of natural elements like real trees and live vegetation.  It was nice how most of the animals always had the option of going into an enclosed, hidden shelter if they wanted to.  They also fed the predators whole animal carcasses…which was a bit gruesome, but good I guess.  After seeing that, Manu looked at some of the oryx and hoped that the wolves wouldn’t get them too. 

Biggest disappoint?  No giraffes…Micah’s favorite animal.  Biggest perk?  Owls…Israel’s favorite bird.  Lots of different species of owls including a couple of magnificent Great Horned Owls!  We were able to take lots of video footage with the Flip.  After a few hours spent with the animals, we called it a day. 

We’re excited for the ASI convention to begin!  Until next time…Guten Tag!

Suisse Family Ramos Part I: Overcoming Jetlag

 As you will see, by Day One, it was a losing battle. 
At the airport in Amsterdam during our layover…

During dinner on the day we arrived – Monday.

We, all, somehow woke up in one accord at 11pm Swiss time, hung out for an hour or so and then struggled to fall back asleep.  When we finally did, no one wanted to wake up the next morning.


Even my blingin’ b-day hat wasn’t able to keep Ty from falling asleep!

Never before have our boys begged us to let them lay down to sleep during the day.  It was hard trying to keep them awake, especially since we were so tempted to go ahead and take a nap with them!  But, for the most part, we stuck to our guns.  And they were troopers…Ty included! 

Our travel game plan was showers first thing in the morning, minimal naps during the day, drink lots of water, avoid excess sugar, and plenty of outdoor play time.  The weather has been brisk, so breathing in the cool air has been quite invigorating.  The plan has worked fairly well and the boys have been sleeping through the night and ready for a guten morgen when they wake up!  

Oh, and did I mention that Switzerland is absolutely breathtaking?!  

Things We Are Learning

I’m glad that we are a boy family.  It’s a little crazy trying to handle everyone sometimes, but I don’t think I’d have it any other way.  I’m sure that God designed it so that everyone is happy with what they get.  The boys are starting to try to be men now.  They try to protect mommy (who is the house princess), they try to take charge — “like daddy” and even of daddy.  And they are starting to try to imitate things I do.  Manu has a “briefcase” that he “takes to work” (a Chuck-E-Cheese tool box); every time I go on visitations Micah says, “I want to go on visitations too, daddy!”; etc. 

During our vacation, I have been reminded again of the things about our family that I enjoy the most while also discovering the ONE thing that makes me most happy about the boys. 

Here are my two oldest boys — they grow too fast!  Micah gets into so much trouble and is the only person that can literally make me laugh while I’m still mad at him!  Manu reminds me of his sweet mommy.

Here we are making a fire.  The boys helped to stack the wood before we lit it on fire and then were so proud as they told their mom they didn’t get burned 🙂
After the fire was started, they threw “wood chips” into the fireplace.

It was  a warm day in DC, but there was still enough snow to go sledding.  Here are the three of us about to go down the hill (Micah is throwing “Wood Chips” into the (no) fire as I write this post.  The window to the fireplace is closed — hahahahaha). 

Brought to you by The North Face — never stop exploring.  Thanks to Aileen for the awesome hats (all 3)!

This is a shot of the bay’s Blue Ice. 

The love of my life.

Since we didn’t get to go ice-skating (PTL) because the weather was too warm, we did a family tubby in the huge bathtub.  Here is Manu practicing putting his “head underwater” as Micah is watching closely.  Micah did it too, a couple of times.  And Manu floated on his own (for like two seconds) for the first time in his life.  He’s starting to get it down, though. 

Ty gets to stay up until midnight with us.  As you can see, he just chills. 

Out of all the things that I enjoy in life, there is one thing that is at the top.  I’m sure every parent understands what I mean when I say this:
I love it when my kids come running to me and yelling “daddy, daddy!” as though there is something urgent to say.  And when they reach me, all they do is smile at me with ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO SAY!  It cracks me up!

Sunday – Day 4 : Jingle Bells!

Since the boys have been waking up so ridiculously early, we’ve had pretty packed days.  Granted, we’ve switched over to central time, but even still, it’s earlier than usual!  It’s the first time that Micah is sleeping in a real bed and not confined to a crib.  He’s done very well, (meaning he’s stayed in bed from the time we put him down until he wakes up in the morning and he hasn’t fallen off the bed), but when Manu and Micah wake up in the morning, they are tearing through the villa like it’s Christmas.  So, after a long introduction, I just wanted to say that it’s been a long day.

The boys woke up at 6am and started running around and playing.  Israel came down and put them back to bed.  I came down at 7am after Ty woke up and peeked into the boys’ room.  Israel was sleeping on Micah’s bed and both of the boys were wide awake.  I released the boys and Israel kept muttering that we’re on vacation and he doesn’t understand why the boys wouldn’t want to sleep in.  

We had morning worship, played charades again, ate breakfast, and then started our day’s activities.  Israel booked a sleigh ride for us at 11:30am so we got dressed and headed over to the Orchard Country Winery & Market.  We arrived there early (shockingly) and so we checked out the market.  They had a lot of free samples of their grape/cherry/apple products.  We tried their juices & ciders and also some unique cherry products such as cherry salsa and cherry spread.  Then it was time for our ride.  We got the one horse open sleigh which was nice since the boys like the song “Jingle Bells”.  The horse did have lots of jingle bells too.  It was a very fun ride through the orchards, vineyards, and woods! 

We came home, had lunch, then was nap time.  A very long nap time.  When we woke up the boys really wanted to go ice skating since I had been talking about that with them.  It is one of the nice, free amenities here where we’re staying.  So, Manu and Micah ice-skated for the first time.  They did surprisingly well!  I’m sure we’ll be going several more times.  We ate dinner at a Mexican place in Egg Harbor called Mojo Rosa’s.  We met the owner who was also our waitress and she was super-cool.  Very veggie-friendly.  She owns a couple other restaurants in the area and we want to check them out later this week. 

Back at home again, the boys spent some time jumping on our bed and burning off some calories from dinner, then we had worship and got ready for bed.  It was a very long day.  Israel knocked out by 10pm. 

I’ll be going to bed with Ty once I feed him his last meal at midnight, but wanted to write down our experiences from the day so we can remember.  Israel and I were talking about how sad it is that our vacation has to come to an end so soon (-we have until Thursday but it still seems too short).  It really made me long for Heaven.  It’s going to be a perpetual, glorified “vacation” – spending time with loved ones in a beautiful, relaxing environment with plenty of exciting activities to do.  No stress, no worries, and no need for sleep!  Jesus Himself will be there and the angels will worship with us.  Who would not want that?  The unbelieveable part is that it will never end!

Until then, here’s to our limited vacation time while it lasts!  I pray that they will help our family long for Heaven even more.  And more so, I pray that we all will be there.

At the vineyard waiting for our sleigh ride

We bought some salsa and other yummy food at the market.

Our one-horse open sleigh

Ty is behind me in his car seat.  He didn’t even wake up to see the horse! 

Sabbath in Door County

This Sabbath was truly a blessed experience. It started with eating our traditional Sabbath rolls and mango juice. After eating, we relaxed by the fireplace and had worship. This morning, we were able to visit the Fish Creek Seventh-day Adventist Church and then spent some time outside. We ended it with BBQ tofu wraps with slaw. We’ve been trying to make this vacation extra-special and to center it around our boys. It’s been all about quality time together and special treats that they normally don’t get at home. They are loving it and so are we.

This evening, we had a little game night with the boys while watching the winter olympics. We checked out the games Hi Ho Cherry-O and Charades for Kids from the office. They were both super-fun and we had a great time together. Now all of the boys are sound asleep in their room. The place we’re staying at is so awesome. I think it comes second only to our honeymoon. We never want to leave!

At the dinner table – we light the candles for dinner. The boys enjoy blowing them out when we’re done.

fireplace boys
Friday evening by the fire

Sabbath morning on our way out to church

fish creek
In front of the historic Fish Creek Seventh-day Adventist Church – founded 1876

Playing in the snow in the afternoon – building Elijah’s altar ( – it “rained” snow afterwards 🙂 Ty sleeping in the car behind


Manu watching skiing for the first time (and bobsledding). He was quite enthralled.


Looking forward to exciting plans for the rest of the week!

August 2009

Summer months are usually the busiest of the year for us: Camp Meeting, Sagola Summer Camp, VBS at L’Anse and Greenland, UP Camp Meeting, the canvassers, worker’s meetings, and ASI.  This year, instead of taking our vacation in the winter time, we decided to take it in summer so that our nephew Jacob would be out of school to join us.  Our little Ramos Family Reunion was held in Orlando.

Just a month shy of it’s thrid birthday, our Ford Freestyle hit 100k miles.  Add 300k airmiles in travel to the equation and you’ll come up with how busy the travel schedule for the Ramoses has been!  We’re looking forward to a break from all of that.

When we have nice, warm days in the UP, it becomes a huge thing.  We think to ourselves that we better enjoy the weather, because the snow will fall by tomorrow.  Somehow, Manu really got into waterballoons this summer.  So we went to Wallmart to get some.  We also got “water squirters”, but we returned them due to their horrible quality.

With the busy-ness of this summer’s schedule, we were only able to really take one day off at home.  Uncle Daniel joined the party.  It looks like he’s enjoyng himself 🙂

For VBS at L’Anse, we had a creation theme.  The messages were focused on animals in the Bible and other lessons were given on animals that defy evolution.  At Greenland, the theme was: Rome and the Underground Church.

Brutus Flavius Marco — the prison guard that needs to be converted. 

And Paul — the prisoner of Jesus Christ unto those that are at Rome, peace be unto you.  As you can see, I had the ability to escape, but I chose not to.  Brutus even let me borrow his sword — hahahaha. 

Notice how Brutus is “gettin down” (as CD Brooks says) on the right. 

After the VBS programs, camp meetings, and worker’s retreat, we paid a visit to Orlando, home of the world’s most famous mouse. 

Me paying tribute to Mickey… Manu, trying to be cool like daddy.

Walking in downtown Disney (they own a whole city) with the Disney theme park behind us. 

One of our favorite places to visit is Gatorland. 

Many people don’t know that they house Gators AND Crocs.  They have a bunch of them!

They also have a “waterpark”
At first, Manu was afraid to run through these jets, but after watching cousin Jacob, he got the courage to stand (wanted to encorporate Oshkosh into this, somehow).

Abuelo teaching the boys how to swim.  Micah trying to recover from Cayman’s water nightmares. 

Underwater photography provided, in part, by world famous photographer: Israel Ramos

Tio and Cousin Jacob at “the largest pool in Central Florida”

Manu learning how to go swimming on his own, thanks to Tio. 

Cousin Jacob is teaching Manu how to go underwater. 

More awesome photography by the IR.

My dad.



Manu sporting the goggles.  (this picture is sponsored by Speedo)

Talented mommy holding a baby IN THE WATER while taking care of other “personal” items. 

My mom is not teaching Micah how to swim, she’s holding on to the life preserver.  

Playing Old Maid.  Manu keeps on thinking that you win by trying to find and keep the OM. 

We met this friend of a friend of a friend that we’ll call Ray-Ray.  He used to work for Disney but is retired now.  He got us in at majorly discounted prices.  Here we are at the Animal Kingdom. 

The animal kingdom is like a wannabe safari/zoo.  Really nice.  We got pretty close to the animals. 

The hippo site. 

The mom was on the other side.  But here is her baby. 

At one of the exhibits, they had a 3D video on bugs.  This is Manu with his bug glasses on.  He took them off during the movie because he thought the bugs were going to eat him.

When we ate at a restuarant.  Some balloon guy came and made a race car for Manu.

The shark from finding Nemo.

Hahaha.  This is my brother holding up the ball.  Don’t post comments about his hand not “touching” the ball.  The “Hahaha” means that we recognize that. 

By the end of our vacation, Manu could go under the water without plugging his nose.  This is a such a cool pic.

Peace.  Love.  Harmony. 

– I’m o.u.t.


This year marked five years of marriage for Judy and me.  And it is so satisfying to see our love for each other and happiness together grow to this point.  Strongly believing that God has brought us together brings a sense of blessing during our happy times and faith during the challenges.

For our fifth anniversary, we were able to take advantage of needing to go downstate and we spent some time at the Great Wolf Lodge.  We wanted to take our kids to the water park.  We were thankful that we were able to also enjoy a day of fun with close friends Steph and the Shins.  Justin couldn’t make it and Jeff almost made it but needed a long nap to recover after his church business meeting.

Great Wolf Lodge is located in Traverse City, MI.  Judy and I fell in love with that city.  I think it’s the best city that I’ve been to in Michigan (and Ann Arbor is tough to beat, for me).  We got there just in time for the Cherry Festival (cherries are among my favorite fruits).

When we got to the hotel/water park, I asked for a room upgrade and they gave it to us at no extra charge! 

The kids had their own “Wolf Den” — that’s where Manu slept. 

This is how the inside looked.  They had a few slides that we were able to go on and a jungle-gym type thing, with a lazy pool, and a lot of cool kids things.  The kids, unfortunately, were afraid of the kid’s slides (even though they like slides at parks, etc.)

I know that this looks like we’re playing video games.  But we’re not.  I’m teaching Many how to ride a motorcycle.  It just so happens that this motorcycle simulator is in an arcade.

Micah riding with his friend Alvin (from Alvin and the Chipmunks)

Me and the boys getting ready to hit the pools. 

Amazing how two little boys can change the lives of two grown adults.  We love you, Manu and Micah, more than you’ll ever know. 

I knew that you were the best spouse anyone could ask for, Judy.  But I didn’t know you would be so much better than I ever could have imagined.  Thanks for giving me the happiest years of my life!  I love you.