Skiing the Swiss Alps

The prospect of the week to come took some of the sting out of the cancellation of Metallica’s show.  I found my airport transfer in Geneva and was soon off to the ski village of Verbier in the French speaking southwest of Switzerland.  It was raining and, as we got higher, snowing…a good sign.  My hotel was located on the steepest section of Route de Médran and I struggled in the ice and snow with my suitcase in my well-worn sneakers.  It was too late to ski, but I needed to pick up my rentals and look into the lift tickets.  It was clear my shoes were not only tread-less, but leaky too.  Add buying a pair of boots to the “to do list”.

The conditions on the mountain were terrific with the previous day’s foot of snow.  Verbier is known as one of the top “off-piste” resorts and I didn’t have to venture too far to get some fresh tracks.  I opted for the 4 Valley lift pass which encompasses the total skiable area.  That day, I toured all the way across the 4 Valleys and back again.

It snowed another 6 inches that night and the runs were fantastic on Wednesday.  I did some big “itinéraires” runs of Les Gentianes-Tortin, Mont-Gelé-Tortin, and Chassoure-Tortin that are high alpine tour routes and twice got to Verbier’s highest point, Mont Fort at 3330m.  Later, I checked out the one area I hadn’t seen yet, Nendaz.

Riding Les Fontaines pommel

The last day was a stark contrast to the 2 previous days, it was bright and sunny.  I spent as much time on the itinéraires as my legs could handle in the morning and the afternoon on some easy, high speed burners around Siviez.  I had been tracking my days with my new Garmin Montana 680 and put up over 10,000m elevation gain and 90 km distance each day.

Panoramic view of Mont Gelé at 3023 m

Top of Mont Gelé-Tortin itinéraire

On Thursday afternoon, I picked up a rental car and set out for Bern, Switzerland’s capital, to meet Rebecca.  I had a really tough time finding Bern’s airport as there were few signs and the final stretch of road was dark, bumpy, and skinny.  I bet it’s used more by farm vehicles than airport traffic.  But there she was, waiting at the door with 2 coffees to go.  Bec and I set off south and soon left the main highway for Kandersteg.  The road took us up and up into the clouds.  I was really beginning to doubt my navigating skills when we reached a toll gate (did I mention our regular GPS was on the fritz?).  The cost was 27 swiss francs.  “Wow.  That was a hefty toll!” I said to Bec.  We proceeded through the thick fog and a man in a reflective vest directed us on to a little laneway.  We stopped behind another car when Bec said, “I think we’re on a train!”  Sure enough, without much ado, the train started moving.  Unbeknownst to us, we were on the last car of a train on the Lötschberg Line, a 74 km car transport train which includes a 14.6 km tunnel providing passage through the Bernese Alps.  Out at the other side, we continued our drive to Täsch and dropped the rental car.  We walked across the street to the train that completes the ascent up the Matter Valley.  We had finally arrived in the famous ski village of Zermatt.

I’ll have to pay a little more attention to Google Maps in the future

We skied the Sunegga area on the first day and Bec soon got her ski legs under her.  The clouds blew off and we got our first glimpse of the iconic Matterhorn.  Bec turned me loose for a little while in the afternoon and I took the cable car up to Rothorn at 3103 m.  We had a well-deserved, late lunch at Findlerhof, an on-the-mountain restaurant Bec had on her list, before getting in the last runs of the day.  We enjoyed the outdoor jacuzzi, dry sauna, steam rooms, and the cold plunge pool at the hotel before heading into the centre of the village for dinner.  We each had a raclette dish and shared the bratwurst and rösti at Restaurant Du Pont.

Bec skiing through Findeln

One of many hot chocolates

Bratwurst and rösti

The next day was bright and sunny, much warmer than the day before.  We took the Gornergrat train from the village to the final stop at an amazing 3090 m (second highest train in Europe).  We skied the whole day on Gornergrat and Bec was tearing up Run 36 like nobody’s business.  Bec wanted to stop in for a mid-afternoon gluhwein before riding the train back down while I checked out the Hohtälli cable car at 3286 m and got in a few more runs back on Rothorn.

Theodulgletscher from Gornergrat

Ski slope selfie

Bec stopping in at Iglu-dorf for a glühwein

Sunday being our last ski day we planned to ski over the border to Cervinia, Italy.  However, the weather had other ideas.  We took the cable car up to Trockener Steg at 2939 m, but that was the end of the line.  The lifts above that and on the Italian side were all closed.  A storm was blowing in from Italy and we could see why they might want to close the lifts.  It would have been nice to see the views on a clear day from the Klein Matterhorn at 3885 m.  I got in a few runs, but it was just too windy over there.  So we pulled the pin on our Italy plan and headed back to Gornergrat.  It was much less windy and we enjoyed a nice lunch at Vis-à-vis restaurant.

Garlic soup in bread bowl…great skiing food

We tried to make a reservation at the popular Whymperstube restaurant, but it was fully booked.  We wandered into town a bit later in the evening and thought we’d try for a table in Whymperstube and we luckily got one.  We couldn’t resist a cheese fondue for our last night in Switzerland.  Good thing we were burning a lot of calories on the mountain!

Fondue…who can resist?

On Monday, we had a well needed massage at the hotel and did a small walking tour of the famous mountaineering town before starting our train journey to Geneva.  I flew home to Abu Dhabi and Bec headed back to Berlin.  One of our best ski vacations yet!

Matterhorn from Zermatt

Posted in Europe, Switzerland | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

Concert in Copenhagen

For Christmas I bought Dan 2 tickets to see his favorite band, Metallica, performing in Copenhagen. The tickets were sold out for all 4 shows but I was lucky enough to get a couple of tickets for the show on Sunday, February 5th when a few extra tickets were released. Once I gave the tickets to Dan for Christmas, the planning began for our weekend in Copenhagen.

Dan flew from Abu Dhabi via Frankfurt on Friday, February 3rd. I took the 5:00 pm flight after work and we met at the Copenhagen airport at 7:00 pm. We took the train into town, checked into the Hotel Kong Arthur and then headed out to find a bite to eat. I had done a bit of foodie research beforehand so we made our way to Fætter Fætter across the Sortedams sø Pond to Nørrebro for some Toasts, aka grilled cheese. We went for the “toast experience” including The F’ing and the Cheesus Christ served with a dressed up avocado on the side. Delicious.

Skål with some local brew


Toasts and avocado

On Saturday morning, we enjoyed our full Danish breakfast buffet and set out on foot not sure of where the day would lead us. It was a cold and misty sort of morning. We wandered upon the Rosenborg Castle so we stopped in for a tour and a warm up from the cold. We also made our way to the Gernersgade district, through the Kastellet, or Citadel grounds, and over to the infamous Little Mermaid. By this time we were freezing and in need of some lunch so we had a bowl of soup and the Smørrebrød Danish open faced sandwiches in the Nyhavn habour. We finished the afternoon with some shopping on the world’s longest pedestrian street, Strøget, and then grabbed a cup of java from the Coffee Collective at the indoor food market, Torvelhallerne. We made it back just in time for cozy hour at the hotel before our booking at the ‘water temple’ hotel spa which included hot tub, sauna, steam, and cold water bucket. A great way to warm up from the cold. That evening, I had made an 8:30 pm dinner reservation at Höst, a Nordic cuisine restaurant, and we enjoyed a long, leisurely 3 course meal with wine pairings. After dinner we got back to the hotel to find out some bad news … the Metallica concert had been cancelled due to the lead singers throat. Quite the news to end our night with!

Rosenborg Castle


Gernersgade district


Nyhavn harbour

On Sunday morning we hit the cold and damp streets of Copenhagen once again. Our first stop was the Amalienborg Palace. Our visit there just finished as the changing of the guard was starting. We then made our way over to Vinterbad Bryggen with our swimsuits and towels in hand. We had learned about this exclusive members only club that opens their doors to the public on the first Sunday of every month for winter swimming. We arrived a little unsure of what to expect but we found some helpful staff willing to explain the process of getting into the freezing water and then hopping into one of the sauna on wheels to warm up. We got changed into our suits and Dan was brave enough to hop in straight away. We warmed up in the dry sauna and then Dan went for another dip before we hit up the other sauna for the “Aufguss” ritual. This method pours water, enriched with natural essential oils, on the heated stones and then the Aufguss master uses a large towel to agitate the air. Near the end of our visit and after watching so many people hop in the water I decided I would at least be brave enough for one quick dip. I hung onto the rail and dipped in as quick as I could up to my neck and jumped right out. The sensation is hard to describe – my feet were in the longest and they had a strong tingly sensation almost to the point of pain. However, I quickly warmed up as my internal body temperature from the sauna was still very high. We got changed back into our clothes and said goodbye to vinterbad. This was our first experience with winter swimming but it wouldn’t be our last.

Rainy day in the square


Dan taking his first winter swim


Sauna on wheels

We grabbed a late lunch at a brewery near the closed Tivoli gardens and then wandered back to our hotel for cozy hour. We were pretty upset about the cancelled concert and it seems so were some of the other patrons in the hotel. To drown our sorrows we headed back to Nørrebro to a local cocktail pub I had researched called the Barking Dog. Dan went for the Mexican 8 ball and I went for the Aviation. We were really enjoying the atmosphere and the delicious cocktails so we decided to stay for one more. I do not remember what Dan ordered but I went for the Hipster and have been dreaming about it ever since. We both flew out bright and early the next morning – I was heading straight to work in Berlin and Dan was off to Switzerland for some skiing.

Barking Dog cocktails


The delicious hipster

Posted in Europe, Scandanavia | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Rendezvous in Varanasi

My buddy Zack dropped me a line over Christmas, “Did you ever travel through India or Bangladesh?”  From there, it didn’t take long for us to firm up some plans.  I would be meeting him in India in late January.

On the evening of Thursday, January 26th, I flew to New Delhi and connected to Varanasi, the spiritual capital of India.  I caught a taxi and headed into town as it started to rain.  The rain quit as the cab let me out.  The driver said he could take me no further and pointed in the general direction of my hotel.  I immediately found myself navigating the muddy and narrow laneways of Varanasi occasionally asking the locals how to get to Munshi Ghat.  My persistence paid off and I found the Ganges Inn which lacks any sort of sign indicating that it is, indeed, a hotel.  The man at the desk greeted me and I inquired about my friend’s whereabouts.  He said he checked in yesterday along with Mr. Scott.  I knew right away it could be none other than Scott from Brisbane.  The 3 of us traveled to S.E. Asia together in 2005 along with some other friends.  I got settled in the room and rested my eyes for a few minutes before I heard the guys coming up the stairs.  What Zack had planned as a surprise was ruined by the deskman, but it was great to see Zack and Scott standing at my door.

Learning Zack was suffering from Delhi belly, likely from his street meat experiment in the capital city the day before, Scott and I hit the ghats while Zack retired to his room.  Walking the ghats of Varanasi is like no other experience I’ve had.  The bathing, the sadhus, the pilgrims, the filth, the smells, the list goes on.  Scott and I made an attempt to enter the Kashi Vishwanath Temple, one of the 12 jyotirlinga Shiva temples, but were turned away because we didn’t have our passports.  We came so close and were not about to be defeated so we went back to the hotel and got the necessary ID.  The temple experience was very cool.  Barefoot with sacrificial marigolds and milk in hand, we entered the temple and had a quick moment in front of the lingam before we were shooed away.  We made it back to the hotel and found that Lucky, night-man of the hotel, had come through with the previous day’s pre-order of a dozen strong Kingfisher tallboys.  We had a few beers on the rooftop overlooking Varanasi before Zack rallied and joined us.  That night, we attended the puja at the nearby Dashashwanedh Ghat and had a thali dinner.

Lucky, Dan, and Scott on the roof of the Ganges Inn

Lucky, Dan, and Scott on the roof of the Ganges Inn

Scott, Dan, and Zack

Scott, Dan, and Zack enjoying some Kingfishers

Little girl selling supplies for the puja

Little girl selling floating flower offerings at the puja

Thali dinner

Thali dinner

We were up at 5:45 am the next morning and made our way to the river.  A young oarsman took us for a morning ride down the Ganges and back.  We saw the Manikarnika burning ghat where funeral pyres burn around the clock.  Back on shore, Zack and I skinned down to our bathing suits and got in the Ganges.  A man beside us offered the use of his soap bar so we indulged and lathered up.  It was a chilly morning so we bee-lined back to the hotel after a quick dip.

Early morning boat ride

Early morning boat ride

Sunrise on the Ganges

Sunrise on the Ganges

Washing away our sins

Washing away our sins

I was off to the airport with the fellas having spent less than 24 hours in Varanasi.  We caught our flight to New Delhi and took the metro into New Delhi station.  From there, we had to cross over the Delhi train station and then hop in a tuk tuk to get to our hotel.  Incredibly, this guy shouted out Zack’s name as we went by…it was Zack’s guide from 3 days prior.  You’re in a city of 20 million people for about 3 hours and meet 2 people.  You return 3 days later and run into 1 of the 2 people you know.  What are the chances?

A.J. and Raj met us at our hotel an hour later and we piled into the back seat of their tuk tuk.  Scott wanted to go to the Gurudwara Bangla Sahib Sikh Temple so we made our way there and had a good look around.  After a couple street beers with our guides, we headed back to the hotel to freshen up for dinner.  We found a great restaurant in Connaught Place, then, being Saturday night, tried to find some nightlife.  Our attempts weren’t bearing much fruit so Zack bailed early and Scott and I weren’t far behind him.

Guys at the Sikh temple

Guys at the Sikh temple

Dan and Scott at the club

Dan and Scott at the club

The next morning, we had a driver lined up to take us to Old Delhi.  The driver parked and told us to hire 2 rickshaws.  We went into the Red Fort, saw the street markets of Chandni Chowk, visited Jama Masjid, pedaled the rickshaws, hung out with a cobra charmer, bargained for pashminas, and Zack even helped a crew of guys dig a hole.  We stopped by the hotel so I could grab my things and we returned to the same restaurant from the night before.  We had a quick meal before I started my journey home.  Scott would head back to Brisbane the next day.  Zack traveled to Amristar in Punjab before heading back to California.  I’m sure the 3 of us will have more great adventures in the future.

Food festival at the Red Fort

Food festival at the Red Fort

Nice fit but tough sell

Nice fit but tough sell

Delhi has it all!

Delhi has it all!

Posted in Asia, India | Tagged , | 4 Comments

Girls Spa Weekend

When Jen was visiting me last year in Berlin, we decided we should start 2017 off right with some R&R. After getting back into the swing of things after Christmas, I was off to London on Friday, January 20th. I arrived into London city airport where I was greeted by Jen. We met up with Steven, Szcepan, and Cam at the Hilton on Park Lane. We popped a bottle of bubbly and soon Debbi, our friend and ex-flatmate from London, joined us for a cheers. We had a nice visit with Debbi before the 5 of us were heading to our late dinner at Barshu, a spicy Sichuan restaurant in Soho. After dinner, Jen, Steven and I rode the bus back to their place before having a nightcap and heading off to bed.

Visit with Debbi in London

Visit with Debbi in London

The next morning Jen and I picked up the zip car rental and were off to meet Shazar and her friend Nureen, who was visiting from Canada. We grabbed a coffee and were on the road to our vineyard hotel in Newbury. We arrived just in time to get checked in and Jen and I were off for our facials. Post treatment, we enjoyed a traditional afternoon tea beside the fireplace and then met the sommelier for a tour of their impressive cellars. We had a few hours to kill before dinner so we relaxed at the pool, sauna and steam. At 8:30 pm, we met up with the girls for dinner at the hotel restaurant. We each had an amazing 3 course dinner with wine pairings. I went for the crayfish ravioli, squab pigeon, and seasonal farmhouse cheese platter for dessert. A perfect way to end a relaxing day.

The Vineyard Hotel

The Vineyard Hotel

Afternoon Tea

Afternoon Tea

Squab pigeon, salt baked celeriac and parmesan

Squab pigeon, salt baked celeriac and parmesan

The next morning we met up for breakfast and then Jen and I were back at the spa for our massage appointments. We enjoyed our hour long relaxation massages before having to check out of the hotel but our girls weekend wasn’t over quite yet. We had booked a tour at the nearby Bombay Sapphire Gin Distillery in rural Hampshire. We had a bite of lunch at the on-site Bus Cafe and then started our self-guided tour of the factory. We completed the tour, including a scent station where you select what smells you like the most. Then at the end of the tour you select which gin cocktail you want to try based on your flavour profile. I went for the Laverstoke Winter Edition. Unfortunately we soon had to get on the road though as I had a flight to catch from Heathrow back to Berlin. It was a great way to end our girls spa weekend in the U.K. countryside.

Girls at the Bombay Sapphire Distillery

Girls at the Bombay Sapphire Distillery

The Laverstoke Winter Edition

The Laverstoke Winter Edition

Posted in England, Europe | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

2016 Blogging in Review

Unfortunately we recently learned that wordpress would not be creating our annual “year in review” report. Therefore, we decided we would pull some stats together and create our own review to share with our readers.

Blog views – 4330 views in 2016. This may seem impressive however this number is down from the past 2 years. 2014 has been our best year yet but we hope to increase our numbers for 2017 so keep on viewing and sharing.

Comments – 97 for 2016. Great to see so many comments this year. This was our top year for comments so keep your comments coming!

Our most popular day for viewing seems to be Wednesday and most popular viewing time is 5:00 pm (a little reading right around quitting time it looks like).

We published 30 posts in 2016 bringing our total posts to 193 since 2011.

Our Albanian related posts are still going strong at our top 5 views overall. I guess there were a lot of people cooking up some Albanian feasts last year as two recipes made the top 5. If you haven’t tried them yet this might be a good time.

  1. Tave Kosi – Recipe #1
  2. Dasma Shqiptare
  3. Trekking in Leshan and Emeishan
  4. Albania
  5. Tave me Presh – Recipe #4

Our most viewed posts in relation to activities from 2016 were as follows:

  1. Champagne, Chablis and Burgundy
  2. New Year on the Pacific Coast
  3. Springtime in AD with Scott and Jenelle
  4. Aurangabad
  5. On the move in July

These top 5 posts reflect some of our favourite memories with visitors, friends and family in 2016.

Our top viewing countries were the US, Canada and Germany.

5 most active commenters – The top commenter award goes to Uncle Dale, followed by Judy and Carole. Jenn and Jami are tied at 4th place. Thanks for being active commenters guys. Keep it up and maybe we can reach an all time high next year.

We also think this is a good opportunity to thank you, our readers. We enjoy blogging about our adventures but it doesn’t mean much if we don’t have an audience. Keep on reading!

Posted in Germany, United Arab Emirates | Tagged , | 8 Comments

Trekking with the Trekkers

I recently did a couple hikes with the UAE Trekkers.  Both of the hikes were ones that Bec and I did together and have blogged about so I’ll try to keep it short.

On the evening of Thursday, Dec 8th, I met our driver and a few others at Spinney’s.  We set out and picked up a few others in Khalifa City before making our way to Al Ain.  The Dubai crew arrived and we crossed the border into Oman on foot.  We got on a different bus and made our way to the Wadi Sharm Resort just outside Mahdah.

The next morning, we made a 5:00 am assault on the nearby Jebel Qatar.  I’m not sure if I’m in better shape these days or if it was because if was the first hike Bec and I did in the rugged Hajar Mountains, but it seemed much easier this time around.  Once again, the views were fantastic and the company of the Trekkers was top notch.  We had a chilly dip in the pool back at the resort before crossing the border and heading home.

Summit of Jebel Qatar

Summit of Jebel Qatar

Wadi Sharm Resort...a true oasis

Wadi Sharm Resort…a true oasis

The next meetup with the Trekkers was the beast known as Jebel Shams, Oman’s tallest peak at 2997m.  On Thursday, Jan 19th, I set out for Oman straight after work.  It’s a 6 hour drive to the resort on Jebel Shams including the border festivities so I arrived around 9:30pm.  I thought to stay up until the others arrived, but instead had my dinner and hit the sack.  I left the door to my room open expecting a fellow Trekker to take the other double bed.

With sleep mask and ear plugs in place I didn’t hear anyone come in.  I woke to a knock on the door at 4:45 am.  It was Amy, founder of the UAE Trekkers.  I had 10 minutes to pack up.  I wondered who the man in the next bed was and Amy told me it was Yahia, my friend and bus driver from the November Wadi Shabb/Tiwi weekend in November.  He was showing no signs of life so I walked out the front door of the villa with my pack.  I was greeted by a mob from Bahrain.  They had flown in the night before and arrived at the resort around 11:30 pm.  They were a couple from England, two US naval officers one of which was with his wife, and two friends from the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland in Bahrain.  The Irish gal, Lesley, seemed to be the ringleader and she rode with me to the nearby trailhead while the others were piled into a Landcruiser.

We set out at 5:00 am with the help of our headtorches.  We reached the canyon rim at sunrise but the low-pressure system passing through the Gulf that weekend ensured the typically spectacular views were hidden in a shroud of thick fog.  Onwards and upwards as I say and so we did.  I could tell that we weren’t keeping the kind of pace needed to summit and return before nightfall but Team Bahrain insisted we not split the group and that everyone would summit.  We reached the campsite and caught some lucky unobstructed views to the east.  We pressed forward for the 3 h round trip to the summit from there.  The summit visibility was 100m at best, hardly comparable to my previous summit.

Dan at the campsite

Dan at the campsite

2nd time summiter of Jebel Shams

2nd time summitter of Jebel Shams

Dan with Team Bahrain

Dan with Team Bahrain

I'm not the only one on the trail

I’m not the only one on the trail

We started down just before 2:00 pm, we were behind schedule.  I led the first group down as the sky started to drop some serious ice pellets on us.  With Amy on the radio behind, I knew they would not reach the trailhead by nightfall.  I pushed forward on my own and dropped my pack at the Jeep, had a bite, some water, and headed back up the trail.  I found the lagging group with Amy around the 6:30 pm sunset.  Together, we landmarked/waypoint-marked our way out with some exhausted trekkers.  We reached the cars around 8:00pm.  After dinner, I burned the bundle of wood I had in front of the villa and played some Canadian tunes for Team Bahrain.

The next morning all of our bones, tendons, and joints creaked (I did mention she’s a beast right?).  We met our local guiding company led by Abdulrahman and the rope expert/army advisor Nasir.  They drove us to a nearby wadi where we repelled (abseiled for the British) down a 50m cliff.  I was voted first to go over the edge and managed to take a good layer off my knee on the first ledge.  The cloud blew off and we were rewarded with the first real glimpse of Oman’s Grand Canyon.

See ya!

See ya!

C'mon down

C’mon down

What a view!

What a view!

Spidey-senses firing!

Spidey-senses firing!

jj

No need for words

There were only 2 ways out of the wadi.  Another 150m repel (for which we didn’t have long enough ropes) or the via ferrata (Italian for iron road).  I led us up the via ferrata and thought it was great.  You are clipped in all the time, but it definitely got the palms sweaty!!!

Back at the resort, I finally got to catch up with my habibi Yahia and loaded up the Jeep to the eyeballs with UAE Trekker gear.  I had a road trip to AD and Team Bahrain were off to the Muscat airport.

Dan and Yahia

Dan and Yahia

 

Posted in Oman, The Middle East | Tagged , , , , , , | 8 Comments

2016 Christmas Vacation

Our 2016 Christmas vacation started off with a bit of a hiccup this year as Dan missed his flight from Abu Dhabi. He had a really busy week and made the fatal mistake of taking a nap prior to his 3:00 am flight. In the end, Dan got on a flight to NYC, then standby to Calgary via Toronto, and he arrived only 12 hours later than planned. I flew from Berlin, via Chicago, and we both arrived on the evening of the 23rd. The next few days were spent eating some great food, drinking some wonderful wines from the cellar, and spending quality time with our families. We spent Christmas Eve at Doug and Jeri Lynne’s, Christmas morning at Scott and Jenelle’s and then the rest of Christmas Day with Bev and Paige. We made sure to get a few games of crib in with Grandma Margaret, Barry, and Carole. We also met up with Kevin, Jordyn and baby Ada for a sushi lunch before they made their way back to Red Deer. We were really excited to meet our new little niece.

Dan and Pa Erickson

Dan and Pa Erickson

Rettenmier Sisters Betting on the Horses

Rettenmier Sisters Betting on the Horses

Gumbo dinner at Barry and Margaret's

Flapper pie dessert at Barry & Margaret’s

Barry, Bec, and Dan

Barry, Bec, and Dan having some laughs

Sushi lunch with Kev, Jordyn, and Ada

Sushi lunch with Kev, Jordyn, and Ada

After Christmas, I met up with a few close friends out in Airdrie. Kim and Megan met me for breakfast and then later Dan and I popped by for a glass of wine at The Fothergills.

Kim and Bec meet for Breaky

Kim and Bec at Breaky

Laurie, Jen, and Bec in Airdrie

Laurie, Jen, and Bec in Airdrie

We were lucky enough to be invited to stay at Blaine and Jasmine’s beautiful cabin for New Year’s. We drove up to Panorama on the 30th and spent the next 2 days skiing, hot tubbing, and relaxing. We spent NYE up on the hill for a cheese and chocolate fondue dinner and then rang the New Year in with a champagne cheers at midnight. It was great spending some time up in the mountains. We drove back to Calgary on the 1st and Dan made a trip up to Red Deer to see Kev and Jordyn on the 2nd.

View from Blaine and Jasmine's patio

View from Blaine and Jasmine’s patio

Scott and Dan ready for a day on the slopes

Scott and Dan ready for a day on the slopes

Wyatt ready for skiing

Wyatt suited up

Emery and Jenelle out for a walk in Panorama

Emery and Jenelle out for a walk in Panorama

We said our last goodbyes before flying down to Phoenix on January 3rd to visit Judy and Vern for a few days at the Gold Canyon RV and Golf Resort. Dan and Vern took out the side by side one day while Judy and I did a bit of shopping. Vern even let Dan do a little driving. The second day we did a road trip along Apache Trail from Tortilla Flat to Roosevelt Dam, down to Globe and back through Queen Valley. On our last day, I met up with Jami, who was down south visiting her dad, for a hike while the others played a round of golf. Jami and I spent the morning doing a short trail hike on Silly Mountain and then we enjoyed a nice Mexican lunch before heading back to the Resort to meet up with Dan, Judy and Vern. We all then went over to Jami’s dads for cocktail hour and enjoyed catching up.

Vern's side-by-side, Betsy

Vern’s side-by-side, Peggy

Dinner in Gold Canyon

Steak dinner in Gold Canyon

Vern and Mom in Tortilla Flat

Vern and Mom in Tortilla Flat

Bridge over Theodore Roosevelt Reservoir

Bridge over Theodore Roosevelt Reservoir

Jami, Bec, and Dan

Jami, Bec, and Dan hanging in Phoenix

Before we knew it, we were on a plane to LAX, where I was flying back to Berlin and Dan was off to Abu Dhabi. Another great holiday season spent back in Canada and the US!

Posted in Canada, USA | Tagged , , | 4 Comments