Wednesday, February 29
Try new things: skiing
Last month I spent a week with Dave's family in Val d'isere, a lovely ski resort / village in France. Never having skied before, I slipped and slided through five days of lessons with a no-nonsense, middle-aged French instructor. Above you'll find the only photo of me on skis. On day four, Dave came down off the super hard scary black diamond slopes and patiently did a few baby runs with me. His presence made me really nervous and I fell over more that afternoon than all the other days combined... and soon I suggested we get hot chocolate and go for a swim instead. But overall, I wasn't too bad. At the end of the week my class went up the real ski lifts and tried a couple of proper slopes. Scary. But I survived!
There were several impressive snow sculptures scattered about Val d'isere, The nativity scene was my favorite. Even if the wise men look kind of creepy.
We stayed at the Hotel Val d'isere where we enjoyed all our meals, plus afternoon tea (hot soup and homemade cakes every single day... I go skiing for the food). Except on Thursday night when we went to a local restaurant for fondue. There were a couple of DJs, bands, and food stalls set up along the main street. Of course Dave and I busted some moves and found the free mulled wine stall on our way to dinner. How we roll.
After dinner each night, we'd read or hope for movies in English on TV or play board games. Here, Dave, Richard (his younger brother), and me were in the middle of an intense Articulate! round... so much shouting.
One afternoon, the whole gang went snowshoeing! This was more up my alley. It required no skill, just perseverance. I loved the exercise and seeing more of the valley. We even saw a couple goat / deer creatures! Certainly not as exciting as moose or bears but wildlife nonetheless.
In terms of actual skiing, the jury's still out. It wasn't love at first sight (ski boots are a pain to put on, for one thing). But I didn't hate it either. Time will tell if it becomes one of my things. But the holiday itself was beautiful (cold!) with plenty of good food and company :) Val d'isere is about a three hour drive from Geneva and close to Italy, too... maybe I can convince my newly relocated folks to meet me in France in the spring?
It's leap day! Make it count.