I’ve never skied before. This is something I can’t say any more. This weekend, I FINALLY took my first ever ski lesson. How I made it this long without skiing is beyond me. We’ll just chalk it up to growing up in the midwest with a family who took vacations to beaches and cities vs. the mountains in the winter.
When I found out I was moving to Switzerland, I knew I had to learn to ski. I didn’t even consider it an option. But, I knew I needed help. I mean, I know NOTHING about the sport, and I typically hibernate when it’s snowy and cold outside vs. spending an entire day out in the elements. So, when two of my very good friends from college came to visit me in St. Louis prior to my move, I put them to work. We went to a couple of different stores around town in an attempt to outfit me for skiing. The only problem was that we were about a month too early. Most places hadn’t received shipments of ski gear yet. This news was cause for meltdown on my part. Didn’t the store understand that I was moving to Europe in a month and these were the friends who knew exactly what I needed to buy? AND didn’t they understand that EVERYTHING would be remarkably cheaper stateside?
Thankfully, this meltdown (and probably the fact that I almost shed tears) caused one store to come up with a creative solution. While none of their ski gear was displayed on the sales floor, they had the remainder of last season’s gear in the back room – along with a few miscellaneous shipments already received for this year. With the help of a sales woman, the four of us scoured the back room for all of the items I needed in my size. This solution also allowed me to find a few items at amazing sale prices.
[Posing with all of our findings at the end of our shopping spree! Thanks to these friends, I am completely ready to learn to ski!]
Fast forward a couple of months, and it’s ski season in Switzerland. Due to a visit from my mom and the trip to the US, I had to wait until late January to plan my first ski outing. One of the first things I did upon my arrival was to join the Ski Club at work. From what I heard, this club makes it very easy and inexpensive to learn. They take a bus to a different ski resort in the area every Saturday. If you are interested in taking a ski lesson, you can sign up through the club, and an instructor is there to meet you when you get off the bus. Perfect for someone like me who has no idea what is going on!
This weekend, I coordinated to go with several other friends. One took a class with me while others skiied or snowshoed on their own. We went to Let Gets – a ski resort in France. The ride was about 1 hour, 40 minutes from Vevey.
I’ll show you a couple of photos from the day, but my thoughts about skiing after one day are the following:
- I can’t believe how much work it is for what it is. What I mean is that it is hard work to carry around your skis and poles and equally, if not more difficult, to walk in them in between slopes.
- I never thought I could sweat so much when playing in the snow. My friends outfitted me well, and I actually probably had one layer too many yesterday.
- It is SO hard to walk in ski boots. I actually think it’s being generous to say that I walked. It’s probably more accurate to say that I waddled.
- Eating lunch outside in the snow surrounded by mountains is pretty incredible.
- Ski instructors must be among the most patient people on the planet.
- It’s humbling to watch little kids ski so much better than me.
- Ski lifts are terrifying.
I’m happy to report that I didn’t fall at all until the very end of day when attempting to use a new kind of ski lift. (For you skiers out there, the one with the round disc that goes between your legs.) I wiped out and decided that it was too late in the day to attempt to brave it again. I think it’s one that I need to tackle early in the day when I have more energy.
[On the gondola ready for our ski class]
[Two thumbs up for learning to ski – even if it’s right alongside this four year old!]
[One of the highlights of the day…lunch outside!]
[I wish I counted how many times I went up this mini ski lift during the day…]
[Incredible scenery – all. day. long.]
[Can’t leave home without my Barnacle! She spent the day snow shoeing with some of our new friends.]
After a full day of skiing, I spent the night in the nearby town of Morzine, France with some friends. One of the guys in my department is moving on to another assignment in a different country and wanted to spend a ski weekend away prior to leaving Switzerland. Five of us rented a small apartment in town. We went out to dinner and then came back to the apartment to play games and eat cookies for the rest of the night. I baked a whole batch of chocolate chip cookies (roughly 5.5 dozen), and as of the car ride home this morning, all of them were gone. 🙂 It was a super chill evening after a very active day. And as always, it felt really good to laugh so hard. Catch Phrase basically guarantees insane laughter.