Sunday, December 28, 2008

Christmas in der Schweiz

Christmas day arrived, and it seemed fitting that we get our little European selves to church, if for no other reason than to pray that I not break my lovely little neck on the slopes, so off to Cathedral de Lausanne it was. It's the town's central place of worship, which would imply an onus on them to put on a good show but for the fact that they are Calvinists. What we were greeted with instead was a rather empty church, sparsely decorated, and the most "huh, it is Christmas...we should probably do something" service ever. It was truly only saved by its brevity and the prettiness of the gutted cathedral. all through the sermon (a reading of a roman letter requesting the census mentioned in the Christmas story) i couldn't help but think that that pastor needed a little Lutheran-ing up, a little back-and-forth with the audience (we didn't even do the and also with you bit, just sat there). It was nice to be there with Philippe though, and his voice is a really great bass that can read the harmonies, so doff of the cap to him as well!

After that we ran back to the house and threw on our ski clothes for a short day of skiing at a place called Les Pleiades (check out their webcam!) reachable by train from Lausanne.

The view from Les Pleiades...innit great?

I am going to say right now that it was not my most impressive day of skiing. The snow was icier than the previous day, and I was in no place to go particularly fast or do anything impressive, but I did only fall three times, and two of those I atrribute to the ski lift, which was just a metal seat attached to a wire that pulled you along. Of course, at my most spazz-tastic moment, when I was having my initial freakout about the size of the hill, after my first and only fall on the slope of the day, we look over, and who do we see out for a pleasant little stroll on the snow? Phil's parents! I am kind of insisting he show them the vids of me skiing that day to prove to them that I'm not a complete spazz. The slope was relatively empty, just a big Italian family kind of falling all over the place, and a few baby snowboarders and their instructors that we had to steer away from.

Me taking a break with Phil on the slope
(the sun makes it so warm that you don't
really need your jacket all the time...I'm
sitting on mine in this picture)

Philippe taking a tea break
(tea is apparently one of the better things you can drink on the slopes because it is warm and water based...and awesome)

My skills were developing, no question. The focus of the day was speed control and turning, things that are actually pretty darned hard when you purposefully have no traction and are just kind of keeping your fingers crossed that you don't mess up too badly. The day ended, however, with me wanting to ski even more!

That night, as a way of marking Christmas Day, which is usually not a big deal on the Continent (the big hurrah is saved for Christmas Eve), we made gingerbread cookies, decorated them, had a home cooked meal from Chef Philippe and watched some Christmas movies. On that note, I hereby declaire the 1947 version of Miracle on 34th Street to be THE ONLY version. There was NO remake, and we shall never speak of that technicolor fiasco ever again.

Can't touch this, Dylan McDermott!

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