Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and Happy Birthday Andrea

Wow...what a couple of weeks we had. The kids have been off of school since the 19th. The first week we spent getting ready for the holiday, baking cookies and packing to go away to Switzerland. We spent Christmas Eve cleaning up the 3 inches of water in our garage from the overflowing pool tanks. Not exactly what we had planned but the garage is now clean. We woke up Christmas morning excited to see what Santa brought...

Then we took a quick trip to the park to run around with the pups. After lunch we decided to celebrate Andrea's birthday since we'd be away for it.

We had a great time opening all our presents and running around the park but soon it was time to finish packing for our trip to Switzerland the next day. We woke up early and packed up the car and headed to the airport. We landed in Geneva and then had to drive two hours to the mountain. To our surprise there was no snow...and it remained that way until about five minutes before we arrived at our hotel. The hotel was a small aparthotel that had room for all of us together. It's so much nicer that way then running around between rooms. Our first night we got settled and rented our ski equipment. Then went down to dinner where we met the two waiters who would stay with us throughout the week. One was young and looks remarkably like Taylor Lautner (Jacob from Twilight) Those of you who have teenage girls know how much fun that was. The other was like a french grandfather. He made sure the kids ate their meals before dessert, brought extra desserts and served the kids their sodas like he would serve us a bottle of wine..all without speaking a word of English.
The next morning we were up and on the mountain early...

It was an tough intermediate trail and it took Jess and I quite a few attempts at starting before we were able to do anything resembling skiing...although Jess managed much faster than I.

During our first break, 2 hours later Joe wasn't feeling well and I was ready to go back so, Nick and the girls headed back to the slopes and Joe and I went back to the hotel. The view from the back of the deck.

The mountain faces seemed to change from moment to moment, much like a sleeping baby's face. The light or clouds changing just enough to give it a new majesty. It was simply breathtaking to watch.
Monday Joe was still not feeling well and we stayed back and watched the snow fall across the mountain. Tuesday Jess decided to stay home with Joe and keep him company. They even made a few more friends to keep them company...

We decided to take a walk into town. This is the front of our hotel.
In town we ran into Nick, Andrea and Alexa returning from the mountain. We found these street entertainers while we were wandering too.

Wednesday it rained all day and we had a rather frustrating day trying to find something to do...the bowling alley was full, movies sold out. But by Wednesday night it was snowing again and with Joe feeling better we headed to the mountain on Thursday for some more skiing, snowboarding.

Thursday was also New Year's Eve. So after spending the day on the mountain we made it back to the room and got ready for our NYE dinner at the hotel.

They provided streamers and noise makers.
We provided the silliness... After we watched the fireworks exploding around the valley and up the mountain, then lit sparklers on the back deck.
New Year's Day Andrea decided to stay back with me at the hotel so Alexa, Joe, Jess and Nick headed back for one last day on the slopes.

New Year's Day is also known as Andrea's Birthday in our house. So, we couldn't finish dinner without a special order birthday cake being delivered by the fabulous staff of the restaurant while the whole restaurant sang.

The cake was delicious and provided the perfect lasts treat of the vacation. In the morning we woke up and packed up our belongings, enjoyed one last breakfast buffet of crepes and then went on our way back to the airport.

It was a memorable vacation in a beautiful, friendly country but it was still good to arrive home.
The mail on our table was waiting for us with many cards from our friends and family who had sent the cards overseas. Many thanks for thinking of us! It made us feel even more at home to have them waiting for us.
love you all and wishing you a healthy happy New Year!


making cookies...

I've gotten behind on my posting again. It's been busy here. The kids are home which always makes the days fly by.

Two weeks before Christmas we spent a day making cookies with our friends from California. She had a recipe from her great grandmother for sugar cookies, which had some spice to it. They invited us over to do some decorating.

We were there into the night and enjoyed the lights on the Passieg de Gracia on the way home.