Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Starting the year 2012

       In less than one month my passport had arrived in the mail.  I opened it and saw a full page of my passport filled up with my visa.  It was granting me a one year stay in France from January 20, 2012- January 20, 2013!  For a solid year I will be with my love without having to do the long distance thing we have been doing on and off since we got together.  This was a great feeling, and the timing couldn't have been better!  I'll arrive just before my 24th birthday and also just in time to join him and 6 of his friends on a ski trip to Thomas's family's home in the Alps!  As a matter of fact, I arrived the same week that we departed for our ski vacation, just leaving me time to do some shopping for some ski wear and get rested for a whole week of skiing!  I haven't skied in years, and only on mountains in North-eastern Pennsylvania!  Granted I have been skiing since I was 3 years old, but I'm not sure if I could hang with these guys who grew up skiing the Alps!  Only one way to find out!  After a 6 hour car ride, with stops, we made it!  This area was so different from the other places I have traveled to so far in France.  First off the mountains were HUGE and there was lots of snow, even the style homes were different.  When we walked into the house you notice everything is made of wood rather than stone here, different than Paris, and very welcoming and cozy.  We arrived at night so we got to sleep, with hopes to wake up early and hit the slopes.  
      The house was only a 10 minute walk to the rental shop and there you could catch the lift up the mountain (how convenient)!  So before leaving the house you prepare.  Thermals under pants, under snow pants, layers and layers from head to toe.  After those of us who needed to rent skis had done so, it was all up hill from here!  I have never seen anything like this before, at the top of one ski lift was another ski lift, and another ski lift. They just kept going higher and higher up.  At each lift connecting dozens of slopes.  I made a request that we start small to see if I could keep up, and I see if I still remembered how to ski.  Turns out......I STILLLLLL GOT IT!  Keeping right up with everyone else, I felt as if I was skiing better than I have ever skied in my whole life (and at age 6 I was convinced I wanted to be a pro skier)!  The mountain was never-ending, and the snow was perfect!  We just skied for hours and hours with only a few stops mid-mountain to have a drink or eat a snack that we had we packed.  Now normally when I would go skiing (in PA) I would do a couple runs then go into the lodge to get warmed up and have some hot cocoa, then go back out.  Not here though, we went from morning til dusk!  I was content with that though, on this mountain who would be anything less!  After skiing all day we would come back and prepare a feast.  Each night was something different and big enough to feed 8!  We even had a Birthday cake for my birthday which made the trip even more special!  
      There was a few moments during this trip where I had to pinch myself to be sure I wasn't dreaming.  Here I am back in France, with the love of my life, skiing the Alps (is this real life?).  How did I get so blessed?  While I was out there on the slopes I would think back of my father (the one who taught me how to ski) and I knew he was up there smiling down on me.  After 7 days of straight skiing the fun was over, but by that point I wasn't sure if my body could handle another full day of skiing!  We headed back to Paris, and it was time for me to start my classes!
Ohh and time for me to learn how to ride the train and metros in Paris........ALONE! Eeeekkkk!!
  "I feel so alive, for the very first time, and I think I can fly!" The song that kept playing in my head as I skied down the Alps!

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