Sorry. I couldn't help myself.
Reminiscent of the college kid walking around campus with his eyebrows shaved off after passing out at at a party.
Tim passed out in the doorway after a bike ride was too good to be true.

Choices

This weekend was the first day Tim had off since returning from Switzerland two weeks ago. As luck would have it we both had the WHOLE WEEKEND OFF. We were super excited for this weekend and wondered by the end of the weekend really how hard we could smash ourselves. Honestly, we really aren't in shape for a weekend off together. We wanted to go to Mammoth but the wind gusts were predicted to be up to 65 mph. I swear I rode my bike against these winds earlier this week but I doubt my training partner would be willing to exaggerate that much. Skiing would have been fun if it could have been like that though.

video video

We weren't psyched about leaving a blue bird San Diego weekend to drive 6 hours to get blown off the mountain. Plus, we might have become a little spoiled after skiing the above ski areas. Grimentz and Crans Montana. Oh, just a public service announcement....lift tickets at Grimentz and Crans are half the price of Mammoth.


We decided to stay in San Diego for the weekend and ride ourselves silly.

After hijacking Saturday's ride I let Tim pick Sunday's poison.

He chose Noble Canyon via Indian Creek. Below is me riding the last section of Indian Creek before heading over to Noble Canyon. That was the fun easy section that made scrambling up worthwhile.

video

It was so fun. After tricking Tim into a few extra miles on Saturday I was on my best mountain biking behavior. Must say this was the most exciting climb up Mt. Laguna ever for me. I must say myself I did a decent job keeping up with Tim. Wait a minute, maybe not so good. I have gears and duel suspension. He has a single speed and no suspension. Shucks, I really thought I had him.

Despite my self induced total body dolor (Spanish for pain) I floated through my run. I was tickled pink because yesterday after riding tricky sections Tim was surprised. At first I pretended to be humble. I said it was because I followed his line. Then, I said I was able due to the nature of my squishy bike. Finally, Tim said (my favorite line of all times)"But you are a girl!!!!!"
Hook. Line. Sinker. He took the bait. At which point I laughed so hard the water I was sucking in through my Camelback almost came out my nose.

Good thing my husband had as much fun as I did. He might even forgive me for that other picture I posted.

Last weekend Tim finished his rotation on spine. This was a good thing. Although he actually liked the work. Spine is backbreaking hours. No time for fun things like riding a bike, swimming, or running. (Except the week vacation, now that was fun). Anyway the end of spine was cause celeb.
This rotation comes with weekend off for the most part. I am happy about that so was Tim.
This is Tim at his happiest and healthiest.

As his wife I know this and honor this. So when Tim said "I can't ride 70 miles." I just smiled and suggested we go San Elijo and into San Marcos. We hadn't done it in such a long time. He asked if there could be a fro yo stop. I promised and smiled and off we went.

91 miles later and I honestly say...we didn't ride 70 miles.


I have to go to bed now and rest. Tomorrow is a mountain bike day and pay backs aren't so good. I might be in trouble. It's going to hurt.

More from Grimentz

It got stormy and windy at Crans. They kept shutting down the lifts.. A little snow and wind weren't enough from turning the three Americans off from a day of good skiing. We asked our inn keeper if there was a place sheltered from the wind so wouldn't have to worry about the telecabine stopping.
We pointed to across the valley and inquired about it.....there was no mention of this resort on our map. We were doubtful it was any good. The inn keeper responded "Ahhh Grimentz, it is very good. You will like"The skiing is good and the town is neat.

We thought the mountain would be smaller, with slow lifts and lines.
We thought we might be entertained for 1/2 day then a bored.
I love being wrong. It was AWESOME.


The views getting there.....spectacular.


I love the little village.
We met some others who spoke English. Brits. There question of us? How did YOU find out about Grimentz? Part of me wanted to smirk and the other part of me wanted to apologize and promise not to tell anybody.

It seems like it would be equally as fun in the summer time. The wheels in Tim's head our turning.


On the last day of skiing we skied until the very end and had to take a late bus back to our hotel. It gave us time to check out the village and play with the St. Bernard.



They say you can't build a house without a foundation.









This year we explored a new area called Grimentz
There are three other ski areas on that side of the valley.


I want to explore all of them someday.


Lots of good snow!



World Cup

The Women's World Cup was in town for a weekend race at Crans Montana. We had a great view of training runs from the lift above the course.

When I was young (and dumb) I so wanted to race Super G or Downhill on a big mountain. I guess you do change as you age because not for a million dollars would I want to race that course. Ok....for a million dollars I'd make a million slalom turns and collect the cash. It's always struck me as funny when people comment on triathlon is "Gee, your brave". Looking at what those athletes do in that course makes me shake in my boots.



I like how it is the duty of the Swiss Army to put on a good race!
National Pride.





One of those pairs of Head's won the race.....they would belong to American Lindsey Vonn.


She's now a resident of Vail but grew up skiing on a tow rope hill. Who doesn't love that? Rumor has it, after teammate Julia Mancuso dropped her on a bike ride she changed her training regime. Then Lindsey became the best in the world. So much for the notion "It's Not About The Bike" . I'd argue that. I hear Lindsey is riding the Vail pass this summer. Maybe we should invite her to San Diego to ride with us.



I enjoyed watching from the lift but I plead guilty to not standing around watching. On the actual race day I fled to the other side of the valley to avoid the crowds. I am not a fair weather skier. I am a fair weather fan I guess.


To the skiers right below that cliff is a nice gully where all the snow blows in to. You can find fresh powder days after a snowfall.



We got to meet some of the World Cup contestants. I never thought I would feel sorry for a professional athlete. I sort of did though. They had to stand around in spandex waiting for their turn to risk life and limb. I, on the contrary, got to spend all day playing in the powder.

I don't think they minded too much. They have lots of days on snow and love what they do.



The Swedish Women's ski team stayed at our hotel. Of course the joke when identifying any of the ladies was " you know she's the blond one"

That is us with Jessica Lindell Vikarby. Since my mother in law didn't join us we thought it would be funny to get a picture of Bruce with the entire Swedish women's team. Then we thought there might not be a return trip.
Arguably the best perk of having the ski team at our hotel was that breakfast began an hour earlier. If I lived in a ski town I might be different. Only having one week to ski, it feel slightly shameful for me to allow the lifts to run without me. The earlier the breakfast the better.

That's Frau
The staff at Hotel Du Lak were so amazing and helpful except Frau. Frau is probably one of the hardest workers there is but she did not like me coming to breakfast early and scolded me. Two minutes later Tim and Bruce showed up and they were scolded too. Frau was not happy with the over eager Americans. We managed to win her over though.

This Much I Know Is True.

This much I know is true. Those tracks are mine.
A skier (in the midwest or on the east coast) skies a lifetime for a run like that.
Tracks like that are only a dream.
I smile because they are my tracks.
I had to hike up to ski down that chute and I am glad I did.
(It was Tim's idead of course).
See if you can spot Tim...it's like where is Waldo?

Be the First.
Leave your mark.
(Even if it's your husbands idea :)

Apres Ski Fun

We didn't just ski. After skiing there was more fun to be had. The Swiss are very classy. While on a ski holiday one could select his or her spring wardrobe from Hermes. One could probably purchase a fur coat as well without worrying about getting paint splashed on it.

The visiting Americans didn't seem to be interested in such mature and sophisticated things.


An American girl out for a run may or may not have detoured in to the "Centre De Congresse" in search of La salle de bain. She may or may not have interrupted a gallery showing and been offered champagne when they misunderstood her French. Not sure if she was a representative of the U.P. or Southern California at the time. Instead of sipping champagne while clad in a Lycra fleece ensemble she may have taken the pace "up tempo" all the way home.


Wonder if this is what the Swiss call "cross training" ? Maybe it's their version of C90X.


There is lots of great shopping if one would rather do that than ski. If I wasn't skiing I would hang out here all day.

There he is "Bernie the St. Bernard"
The official shop dog of Grimentz Mtn.
Bernie did not disappoint me. I thought he would be cute with a side of scratchy fur and slobber . Not this Bernie. He was soft as could be, no slobber or smell.

Note that Bernie is not wearing anything around his neck to bring you in case you get stuck in an avalanche or stuck on the mountain in a squall. Bernie, is a gentle giant but he isn't going to move too fast.That's about the most movement I could get out of Bernie. That was after a kid ( not me) flopped on him.
I tried to bribe Bernie to leave the store with me. There were other dogs on the bus. It would be so normal. He was not interested in what I had to offer: A "Kashi Go Lean Crunch" bar. He probably knew how hard those bars get in the cold and didn't want to break his teeth. A Kashi bar what was I thinking....the Swiss don't eat Kashi bars. He would never fall for that. Now some Polenta with cheese, he might have budged.
Live and learn.



Wine and Cheese

No matter how I try to slice it, it's been a really hard year for Tim work wise. Work , work , work, and with very little play. Play, that is tied to a beeper. The beeper may or may not have been thrown off a telecabine by the character below.

The daily breakfast bread selection at Hotel Du Lac.


We try to be positive but I've changed my tune. I used to say "You can't polish a meat ball." Now I have digressed to "You can't make chicken soup from chicken shit". That being said it was definitely time to go far, far away and have cheese to go with our w(h)ine......





The Valais region of Switzerland grows great wine. Amazing actually. It's inexpensive too. However, as I mentioned the Swiss are clever. The don't export the wine from that region. The region is to small so and they keep it all and drink it themselves.




Say cheese!


Raclette


Yum!











and don't forget the Swiss chocolate.







Double Yum!






Going Places

They say getting there is half the fun.
With a mountain like this it seems a little hard to believe.

We traveled all night by plane.

The next morning in Zurich we hopped on a train.



I like the train.
Room to move about and lots to see out the windows.
Unless you are going through a tunnel under a mountain or you can't keep your eyes open.


Then we arrived in Sierre where it was a 1/2 mile walk from the train station to the funicular.
Don't worry we couldn't get lost. The Swiss are so clever they painted a line to follow from point A to point B. Even touristas like us seemed to know where we were going.


What's a funicular?
According to Wikipedia : is a cable railway in which a cable attached to a pair of tram-like vehicles on rails moves them up and down a steep slope, the ascending and descending vehicles counterbalancing each other. Remember it's "Win with Wikipedia"
It was much faster than driving as there are no switch backs. We thought it was really cool.




Tim is smiling.
We have arrived in Crans Montana and the real fun is about to begin






Switzerland 2010


Switzerland 2010




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