Monday, January 23, 2012

All the best in 2012!

I'd like to wish all my friends out there all the best in 2012!  I hope you achieve your goals & dreams, wish you lots of love and health as well as peace....  enjoy the little things, be in the moment, don't be too hard on yourself and don't forget to visit us ;D (soon!).

We've had a superb white Christmas this year in Sankt Johann in Tirol, visiting our friend Tim, his wife Eva and their little boy Daniel.  Jakub knows Tim from BC (paddling of course), and since Tim happens to live en route to Czech Republic,  it is rather convenient for us to visit, drink some wine and chat in fluent English!  Tim rents his upstairs suite to visitors so we booked ourselves in for a week.

Pre-Christmas was rather hectic as I was baking all those Czech goodies, buying and wrapping presents, buying skis/boots, doing lots of laundry and packing all our stuff for the trip.  But it was all well worth it because we did not have to worry about any of these preparations starting on December 17th or so.

Marzipan coated with chocolate - Anna was helping me make and eat these "bon bons".

Traditional Czech Christmas goodies.

When we left Grenoble it started snowing in the Alps so driving was a bit slower at times.  The drive is approx. 8 hours, so it was a long day and when we finally arrived, Tim came down with his skidoo to pick us up.  The location of Tim's house is perfect for skiing as it is midway up the mountain and one can only reach it by gondola or skidoo in the winter.  So off we went up the hill, the ride was rather exhilirating and I was amazed that Anna did so well - it was a fast and crazy ride up!

Sunset viewed from Tim's place.

The next day my dad and Jana arrived, so we had to transport more items up to Tim's place.  My dad brought about twice as much stuff than the four of us brought so it was rather challenging (beer, presents, food).  We had to ensure that no beer froze in the car because that is something a Czech man would not allow :)  My dad even brought food for a whole week, so transporting eggs and flour in a backpack did not go so well! 

Skiing was pretty good at the beginning but the snow guns were still on, making skiing rather unpredictable.  The artificial snow patches were much slower so hitting one of those at great speed meant a wipe out.  My dad did just exactly that and sprained his knee.  Luckily it wasn't too serious and he recovered fast enough.  Few days later we had a huge dump of fresh powder (about 1/2 meter), so Jakub did some free riding and I attempted to do some off-piste skiing as well.  It was not graceful and my legs were jello after one run.

Powder baby!

We took turns skiing with the kids and within that one week, Anna went from zero skiing to decent skiing down an easy run by herself.  Tommy really enjoys skiing off route too, doing little jumps on the side as he goes.  Aside from skiing we had fun in the snow and of course we built some snow men too.

First time building her own snow man.

This year we had a very peaceful Christmas.  It involved skiing, eating, drinking some nice wines and beer, hanging out with family and friends and enjoying the beautiful white snow flakes outside.  No stress, shopping, masses of people, line-ups, etc. etc.  This is what Christmas should be like and I hope we keep that tradition from now on.  Jakub and I went to town one evening, when the snow was falling, and it was so pretty.  There were barely any people or traffic and it was so quiet in the snow.  We visited the cute little Christmas market and then headed for some tasty Austrian food and beer.  A perfect evening out without kids!  Then Tim drove us back up with his skidoo - we did have a small accident where the skidoo slowed down, then leaned, so that Jakub and I gently slid into the cushion of snow head first.  Quite hilarious actually - two buzzed people trying to get out of the deep snow...

For Christmas eve, we did the typical Czech traditional dinner with fish soup, potato salad and deep fried carp.  Then sang some carols and finally opened up the presents.  

The next day, we packed and drove to Brno, Czech Republic to celebrate Christmas with Jakub's family.