Thursday, March 15, 2012

Brady's Snowy Day - Swiss Alps

Sunday was our last day in Switzerland and it also happened to be my 26th birthday that day.  Those who know me well know that I particularly dislike (stating it mildly) snow.  This probably stems from the fact that I've had numerous blizzards strike on my birthday and have had to cancel more birthday parties than I can count.  Even when there isn't a blizzard, 9 times out of 10 there is snow.  Last year, I was in South Carolina, far away from snow, so of course there was a monumental tsunami in Japan.  I can't catch a break no matter where I am.  So with this great dislike of snow, it really says something that I would voluntarily spend my birthday in the snow.

Brady was born into a blizzard, but by the time we left the hospital the snow was almost all melted and he didn't encounter snow again until he was about 10 or 11 months old and at that point we were headed to South Carolina.  He's never really had any interactions with snow and probably doesn't even really comprehend what it is.  He never even wore a winter jacket until this past Christmas.

Brady's routine was greatly impacted while we were away to the point where he was napping less than 30 minutes each day and was getting up way too early.  Of course, this day he was getting a slight cold and woke up at 5AM!!!  Andy got up with him and that meant he was awake to see the sunrise.  The pictures he took were beautiful.  Above you can just see the tiniest bit of light peeking from the right side of the mountains.

A little bit more sun . . .

Beautiful shadows across the tops of the mountain peaks with the sun mostly up.

Brady playing on the floor with the Swiss Alps as a backdrop.  He's totally unaware ;)

Our little monkey eating a banana and watching a movie on the iPad.

This is the view I woke up to on my birthday.  There were some clouds so it was much easier to take pictures of the beautiful mountains.

That morning, Nadia had laid out a traditional Swiss breakfast for us.  It consisted of bread with an assortment of cold cut meats, cheese, jams, and butter.  It was really delicious and we were excited to have someone to share with us these cultural traditions.  After breakfast, we all packed up our bags and prepared to go sledding.  Due to our limited air freight space, we didn't even bother bringing any type of boots or snow pants because the need for them was very low.  Fortunately, Nadia had several pairs of boots there in different sizes that we were able to borrow for the day.

Brady is wearing several layers, including a long sleeve oneise, long sleeve shirt, and sweatshirt.  He got stuffed like that into his snowsuit and boots before we headed out.  Nadia told me that this was a light amount of layering compared to what she deals with while getting her kindergarteners ready to play outside during the winter.

Brady hanging with puppy.

We drove about five minutes from the house to the bottom of a mountain, with ski slopes at the top.  We all got lift tickets and rented a sled for Brady to ride when we got to the top.  I've skied in PA and seen the Rocky Mountains, but neither have anything on the beauty and height of the Alps.  We took only the initial ski lift and it seemed like it would go on forever.  When we reached the top there were even more ski lifts to go higher!

Riding the ski lift

A great family pic up at the top with more mountains in the background

This was Brady's first time sledding, so we weren't sure what to expect from him.  Andy took him up part of the slopes with sled in hand to try it out, while I stayed at the bottom with both the still shot camera and the video camera to catch his reaction.

Up at the top

On the way down.  You can't tell from this pic, but Brady was all smiles the whole way down.

Once he was off the sled at the bottom of the slopes, Brady would come running back to where the rest of us were standing, with a great big smile on his face.

When it was time to go up for a second run, Andy had the idea to pull Brady up on the sled.  Brady was not at all shy about laying down on the sled and holding onto the straps so he wouldn't have to walk up.

Andrew taking Brady up for a run.

On the way down with Andrew.  You can see the smile in this one.

Running back.

As I mentioned before, I'm not the greatest fan of snow, but I did get talked into riding with Brady on a half run.  I had absolutely no control and was very glad I didn't plow into anyone else or fall off.

Outside the small restaurant up by the ski lift.

Nadia, Andrew, and baby Leila.  It was Leila's first time on the ski lift and on the slopes as well.

None of us had actually ridden a ski lift down before and we were really high up, so it was a little nerve-wracking because it felt like we were going so fast.

After we made it down the mountain, we all packed into the car and headed back towards Zurich.  We were about a two hour drive away and had dinner reservations before our train back to Stuttgart.  When we got back to Nadia's apartment, we got everything else we needed packed up and put Brady down for a short nap.  We felt so bad when we had to wake him up half an hour later.  He was so crabby and fell asleep on the stroller ride to the tram stop, but as soon as we stopped walking, he woke up and started screaming.  There was very little we could do to console him.  

The restaurant we went to was one of Nadia's favorites and they usually only go to it when they have guests in town.  She recommended a dish that's famous there and of course we all ordered it.  Everything Nadia had either made or recommended that was Swiss was delicious, so we figured this dish would be as well.  It was a dish with veal strips in gravy and mushrooms (Nadia and I both got ours without mushrooms), and a side of rosti, which is a little like a flat hash brown cake.  It was amazing and we were all satisfied.  After dinner, we got on another tram headed for the hauptbahnhof (main station), and headed towards the track where our train was waiting.  

Nadia and Andrew surprised me with a truffle cake when we were getting on the train to go home.  We got some vanilla ice cream to go with it when we got home and it was sooooo good!  The top pyramid part is a straight chocolate truffle and the bottom rectangle part is chocolate cake.  We have such amazing friends and were so grateful to them for hosting us in their city!  We can't wait until they come back to Stuttgart to visit us this spring!

1 comment:

  1. Wow - beautiful!! What a way to spend your birthday. I'm glad you were able to be with friends and enjoy the day with family ... even in the snow. :-)