There have been hundreds of times in my life when I've said, "What a day!". Or "I've had a big day today". Or "man, I'm pooped...I did a lot today". But yesterday takes the cake.
Yesterday Vreni and I hit the slopes by 9:30 am. It was a beautiful, clear day and we didn’t want to waste a minute. It was our first day skiing and aside from a half a day in Chamonix last year, I haven’t skied in a long time. Now that I live in the south, I haven't got anything useful for ski vacation but I didn't need to worry. I had to rent a pair of ski boots but aside from that, every thing I had on and all my equipment was borrowed from my friends Doreen and Vreni. Truly, the only thing I had on that was my own was my underwear.
We skied all day and arrived back at the house at about 3:20. Whew, I'm thinking..."I've had a full day". But no....Vreni is not done with me yet! A half an hour later, decked out in our winter gear, those metal thingies for our feet and our walking poles, we set out for dinner. Yes, dinner. Dinner was to be in what Vreni told me was a lovely little restaurant up in the mountains that in the winter can only be reached on foot. And it takes about 2 hour to get there! Okay, honey, I'm game. I’ll guess we’ll earn this meal.
And we did. We started up the mountain, the sun at our backs, following a gurgling mountain stream (I know that's cliché but it really was gurgling). The stream had the advantage of traveling down. We, however, were going UP!
We traveled through the woods, past an eerie yet breathtaking frozen waterfall....
finally burst out into the open snow covered meadow where we could see the cerfs grazing on the hillside...
and through an beautiful old village, abandoned for the winter.
And just as the sun abandoned the valley, our restaurant came into view. I could see it....it was within my reach.... but the final 300 meters to the restaurant was a bitch, I’m telling you. Steep enough (after a 2 hour hike UP) to make you want to slap your good friend who was so kind to bring you here!
Oh, but entering this little inn called Heimeli was the frosting on the cake.
Vreni and I feasted on a great big, bubbling pot of creamy fondue flavored with nutmeg and served with cubes of brown bread and little whole boiled potatoes served in a covered basket. Add to that a half a carafe of red, a traditional apple cake for dessert and the wonderful warmth of the room, and I was ready for bed. "Man, I'm pooped...I did a lot today".
Mais non! We weren’t done yet. We still had to get home. With our stomachs full of cheese, wine, and contentment, we're going to SLED HOME! Yep, I’m not kidding! Outside the restaurant , stuck upright in the snow and looking like a Swiss version of Stonehenge, are several dozen traditional alpine luges. Vreni and I had already spent a day playing with the these little wooden sleds so I was familiar with how to use them....but....it's pitch black and we've got a mountain trail with hairpin curves and sheer drop offs to traverse.
So we put on our headlamps, climbed aboard our little sleds, and with Vreni in the lead, we sped down the mountain, screaming and laughing and groaning and arrived at the finish of our day in 15 lightening minutes.
(Vreni on her luge...on a different day...when we actually had light!)
I felt like a child at the end of this fabulous day. I felt really OLD the next morning. But man oh man, "what a day!"