The sun was out today.
That shouldn’t be such a notable occurrence, but we have had weeks of endless fog, gray skies and no snow and it gets a bit depressing after awhile. So a sunny day definitely comes as a pleasant surprise.
On the train this morning I could actually see the mountains beyond the lake, and for the first time in a long time I had to adjust my position at my desk because the sun was in my eyes. People seemed more cheerful today, and even the trees with their lack of leaves seem prettier.
Of course, if you go up in the mountains you can escape the fog anytime you want and enjoy the beautiful snowiness. Last weekend a number of people took a trip up to Wengen for a weekend of skiing (and it also happened to be Australia day, so of course we celebrated).
It was my first time on skiis in 13 or 14 years. I’m pretty sure that the last time I was on skiis (before switching to ski blades and then a snowboard) was the time that I was still living in New Jersey and I went with my friends Jamie and Amanda. Amanda had never been skiing before, and during the course of the day I managed to accidentally cut her off and she went flying off the side of the slope. She said then that I scarred her for life and she would never get back on skiis again. I wonder if that's still true...
Regardless, I managed to remember most of what I used to know. On my first trip down the mountain I somehow missed the blue markers and wound up on a steep red (the levels are slightly different here, blue-red-black). It starts as a gentle blue and then suddenly you find yourself flying down a steep hill, with various mogul-type things and a lot of people in your way. After a stressful first descent, I managed to pull it together to go down again. And again and again.
Being up on the mountain here has a different feel than being at a ski resort in the states (at least the ones I’ve been to). Everything seems more open. People are skiing off piste, and it is definitely easier to get lost. Skis lifts are going every which way. There isn't a single lodge where you get your skis and your lunch, but at the bottom of many of the slopes you find small cafes where you can sit and relax. And since this is Switzerland, everyone sits outside. I also really enjoyed that they were playing "La Bamba" at the place I stopped for lunch.
And the view is just breathtaking.
On the ski lift you reach a point where all noise is deadened by the snow and everything just goes silent. Such a great weekend.
Also, a very happy 2nd birthday to my adorable nephew Nathan! Nathan celebrated his birthday this weekend with an unintentionally extended road trip, 2 dead car batteries, and of course, cake! Read more about it on Valerie’s blog.
I first found out that there was another baby on the way on a very eventful moving day in 2011. Natalie jumped out of the car as soon as they arrived and said, “I’m going to be a big sister!” My eyes got big as I looked at Val for confirmation, and then, of course, when I got it I screamed. Typical.
A few months later, this little cutie arrived, and he's been smiling ever since. :-D
Happy birthday, Nathan!
Kelly is an American teacher living in Switzerland and enjoying everything the country has to offer.