Thursday, April 18, 2013

Surprise Ski Holiday in France

So I know I said I was going to tell you about our safari...that we took way back in JANUARY. And I will, I will, but in the meantime, it might be nice to tell you about last weekend.

Wednesday, Felix got on the Skype from his office and chatted at me:

P: what are we doing this weekend?
A: we're supposed to have dinner with Anna on Friday. I'm supposed to sell some glass on Saturday.

And then nothing.

Then a phone call around 5pm:

P: hey, what's up?
A: not a lot


P: we're going to Switzerland tonight.
A: what?!
P: to go skiing. why not?
A: are you being serious right now? I can't even tell if you're being serious.
P: I'm serious. talk to you later. bye.
A: whatever. bye.

Pheer comes home around 6pm, sits on the couch and gets out his computer (what he does basically everyday after work), so I don't think anything is up. Then asks me if I have packed. I say of course not, because I think he's being a silly face and is not serious, but, as you might have guessed from the post title (way to give it all away, Angela), he was serious.  And we threw some stuff in a suitcase (luckily, I had all my gear from my trip to Sweden AND, as the gods (aka Phil's mom) would have it, even Phil's ski jacket in case I was seriously cold in Stockholm) and called a taxi and off we went.

We flew overnight to Geneva where we rented a car and then headed for the hills (or the mountains, in this case). We stopped for a fabulous French lunch in Chambery and were sitting mountainside on a pub patio in the sun by 3pm.  Phil called around for a place to stay and managed to find a chalet that had an open room.

Chalet skiing is common place in Europe, but I don't think it has yet hit the US. It is the best thing ever, so step it up 'murca and get some! Most chalet holidays are a week long and booked in advance. They might even include airfare and lift passes. The chalet we were in had 5 rooms and the 4 other couples were really great company and lots of laughs. There were two English chalet 'boys' in their 20s who spend the entire ski season at the chalet cooking and cleaning for tourist for a pittance in order to have access to the slopes at least 5 days a week. In the morning they cook your eggs and bacon to order and provide a wonderful spread of French pastries and baguettes.  When you come back in from the slopes, they have freshly baked cakes, more pastries and a hot tea waiting. Then its time for a dip in the hot tub, maybe a little time in the sauna before showering and preparing for the evening meal of four courses. It goes without saying that the final cheese course was big hit with us, but we were often too full to completely indulge.

The one downside to our chalet was that was not located directly on the slopes and we were forced to call a shuttle that would pick us and drop us off at the bottom of the mountain. At the end of the day, we would have to call again for the five-minute drive home. That part was pretty tough ;)

We had fresh snow Friday and tons on Saturday. Sunday it was a cool 65 degrees (18 C) so we managed without our jackets and hats but did have to tackle some slush at the bottom.  Meribel is part of Les Trois Vallees (the three valleys) which is one of the largest ski areas in the world - 183 lifts and many more runs, so we barely did any part twice.  Saturday we went to a closing party of one of the apre ski bars on the mountain, Les Folie Douce. There we drank all afternoon, enjoyed crazy cross dressers, belly dancers, and table dancing and then somehow managed to make it down rest of the mountain without killing ourselves.

Here are a few photos:

Mont Blanc is over my shoulder
so much champagne - most of it being sprayed on everyone
Phil spent a whole season skiing and working at this pub in Meribel when he was 21  -
one of the reasons he chose Meribel for our getaway
We had a blast. I hope we do it again. Maybe we'll even plan a little in advance and go for the whole week. Let us know if you want to share our chalet!


  1. So wonderful. Well done, Phil! :)

  2. Now that's why I urgently need a boyfriend. Well, also need to learn to ski, but I'm sure that's a minor detail only...

  3. Your blog's posts related to Surprise Ski Holiday in France are very awesome, i enjoyed the posts of your Blog while reading,Thanks for sharing such a wonderful blog..

    ski holiday france