I’m totally sick. Well, not real bad, gross sick, but man cold sick. You know what I mean. My daughter woke up all stuffy and sneezy and cough-y mid week and we both feel like we’ve been hit by a bus. Luckily I didn’t have any imminent deadlines, so we were able to rest up and loaf around the house for a few days. Still, I hate feeling like I haven’t accomplished anything. I did, however, take Buddy the wonder dog to a new vet, and $380 later he’s feeling much better, thank you very much. He’s now on herbal anti-depressants. This is probably the first time I feel relieved both my parents have passed away. I can not imagine their reaction to this dog, whose care costs more than my child’s. It’s been one of those weeks. Bring on the weekend, I say!
Here are my Friday Faves
You know that feeling at the end of the day when you feel like you did nothing for you? Buy this book: The Fringe Hours.
No more rushing into the restroom! How to stop yourself from crying in public.
I guess nobody in France gets the frizzies. 7 Things French women never do to their hair.
Not a tankini in sight. Victoria Secret Angels reveal the most flattering swimsuit styles.
After a week sledding (or sledging as they call it in Switzerland), I can wholeheartedly endorse these types of sleds.
Enjoy your weekend. I promise to be less grumpy next week. Unless, of course, we transfer this cold to the huz, and then we really have to deal with a man cold…
Did you know winter tourism originated in Switzerland exactly 150 years ago? Back then, a Swiss hotelier named Badrutt made a bet with his summer guests. He promised them a dry climate, brilliant snow and sunny days if they returned in winter. If they didn’t find themselves tanned and relaxed at the end of their stay, he’d foot their entire trip. Several families took Mr. Badrutt up on his offer and the rest is history. The English flocked to Switzerland in winter, Swiss guides ventured into North America, and they started many of our ski hills in Canada in the US.
I just returned from a week in Switzerland experiencing for myself these winter activities that so captivated those early tourists. Here’s a look at what I got up to.
Town of Angels
We began our journey in Engelberg, a sweet mountain town in central Switzerland. Engel means angel in German and you’ll spot several angel monuments and knick knacks around town. (I didn’t make the connection at first and thought the citizens were slackers who hadn’t put away their holiday decorations yet.) You can do so many winter activities here from snowshoeing to electric snowmobiling to sledding, it’s not just about skiing on Titlis. My favourite was this walk across Europe’s highest suspension bridge. Slightly scary, but the views are spectacular.
Next, we trained it to Lucerne, to take part in their annual Carnival. Lucerne Carnival kicks off with a bang at 5 a.m. sharp and throngs of locals make their way to the Chapel Square, as do dozens of marching bands. Everyone is dressed up in full costumes and shredded phone books turned into confetti rain down on the crowd of thousands.
Here’s a shot of Lucerne before the Carnival madness. This is a city of bridges and it is laced with lovely medieval squares and a historic city center. (There are also a lot of confectionary shops, which is why I came home with 6 pounds of chocolate bars.)
You know you’re in a surreal landscape when you stop counting those wearing full length furs, because it’s more striking the odd gal who isn’t wearing one. Yes, friends, I made it to St. Moritz. Ever since I watched the mini-series Lace in the 80s, I’d fantasized about mingling with the jet set in the alps.
White Turf is one of those events that’s on the circuit, if you’re a gazillionaire. Lots of champagne tents, sponsors and old money swanning about with their non-hat-head hair and gorgeously groomed dogs.
As you can see, important research was conducted in the Laurent Perrier tent.
Surprisingly, bobsledding is full on in St. Moritz. Visitors can go on the real course complete with G-forces and all. I thought I would die! My heart was in my throat the whole time – especially when I was introduced to our pilot. This guy looked like your quintessential European playboy: good looking, incredibly charming, impeccable manners. You can see how thrilled I am when we met. You couldn’t wipe the grin off my face.
And I made sure we got a cute couple shot at the end of the ride.
Naturally, I ate my weight in cheese (and chocolate) the entire trip. Besides dunking cubes of bread and boiled potatoes into the cheese fondue, we also speared apple and pineapple. Gotta say pineapple and melted cheese is not a pairing I’d recommend, but the apple was a refreshing alternative to all the carbs. Not that I cared what I ate this trip.
I returned home jeans much tighter, heart a little lighter. Europeans really know how to enjoy life. The week was a true tonic and covered such a wide range of activities, I didn’t for once wish I was at tropical resort. Because Switzerland is actually a sun destination, just without the beaches.
Do you go for winter holidays (in snowy destinations)? What’s your favourite spot or activity?
This wasn’t a sponsored post, but I feel the need to thank Switzerland Tourism for inviting me to explore this winter wonderland. It was one of those magical, unforgettable trips.
My very clever and talented husband landed himself a gig writing about the new one day heli-skiing package offered in Revelstoke, B.C. by CMH. Heli-skiing didn’t really exist until Hans Gmoser came on the scene and founded CHM in Canada 50 years ago. Anyway, Dan got an opp to heli-ski for the first time over the Christmas holidays and produced this AMAZING video. It’s the best. Can you tell I’m a proud mama bear?
Take a look:
And in case you missed it, here’s Dan’s article he wrote for the Calgary Herald. I’ve never gone heli-skiing and I didn’t think I ever would until I saw his video. I was worried I’m not good enough and as a boarder, I don’t know if I could handle that much powder. After seeing Dan’s experience, I really don’t care. I just want to have as much fun as he’s having. I’ve never seen so many face shots!
How about you? Have you ever gone heli-skiing? Would you like to?
Finally, she’s back! That’s what you were thinking, weren’t you? Apologies for not posting at all this week until now. I had every intention of getting a post up on Tuesday, but then my site got corrupted. And then I got tired. Real tired. Jet lag has kicked my ass this week and between starting my days at 2 a.m., having kiddo off school and getting sucked into Rob Lowe’s second autobiography, I haven’t been my usual powerhouse self. Still, I found some time to record my current faves between planes, trains and automobiles across Switzerland earlier this week (stay tuned for deets on that adventure). Hope you have a great weekend. Hope I sleep into 5:30 a.m. this weekend.
Brills! At home conveyor belt sushi.
Wish I bought these in time for Valentines Day. Scribble art sugar cookies.
I always track the fun stuff! 5 things worth measuring in 2015.
The best laugh you’ll have all day. Three brothers re-create old photos to make this epic calendar for mom.
Ever imagine what your job would be in the wild west. No? Me neither, but if you’re looking to kill five minutes consider this cute quiz.
This is good, eh? Reactions only Canadians could relate to.
Why kids play what they play. Kids, the Holocaust and inappropriate play.
Love this 3-day minimalist challenge.
One of the best life hacks out there. How to fix broken powders.
Ladies, set your alarms. 10 advantages to waking up early.
What are your plans for Valentines Day? I’ve got a pass this year, as I’ll be in Switzerland on the actual day. I’m totally stoked, as I’ll finally get to go to St. Moritz and I just know I’m going to bump into Valentino or somebody equally fabulous. But back to Valentines Day, it kind of sucks doesn’t it? It did when I was single and while it’s marginally better as a smug married gal, I wouldn’t call it my favourite holiday. That’s why I love these links. I’ve been saving them to share with you for awhile. They shed light on relationships of all types. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do. xo
For the crafty type. Six simple ways to say I love you.
Check out the science behind a smooch. How many bacteria in a single kiss.
I imagine this would be enlightening to some, even if you’re happily married. Why don’t the men I date ever truly love me?
Have a big wedding, but make sure it’s cheap. The divorce-proof marriage.
You can lick the spoon together. Jamie Oliver’s chocolate love cake.
I’m sorry, but you’re just not the man I hoped you’d become when we got married.
Things to remember if you love a person with ADD.
I wish I read this in University. I got dumped all the time! How to handle a break up.
You just never know….Can over-the-counter painkillers soothe your heartbreak?
Why do people ignore relationship deal breakers?
Finally! Wedding dress rentals are all the rage.
The voyeur in me really enjoyed this. Secret problems of other couples.
Happy Valentines Day!
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