I got back to New Orleans on Sunday night. I always hate leaving Murren, but there's nothing like a flight across the Atlantic Ocean to make you really happy to be home! I never mind the flight to Europe because I sleep through most of it, since we get to Switzerland in the morning. But since we arrive in the US in the evening, I try to stay awake during the flight home in order to minimize my jet lag. So of course, after a few hours all I can think about is how much I want to be home!
Of course, Murren was wonderful. Skiing was great. I skiied during both the mornings and afternoons on all but two of the days (due to afternoon rain- boo!), and I think I really improved. I am particularly proud of my parallel turns.
A lot of my improvement is due to another year of ski school. I loved my instructor this year- she was a grandmother in her 60's who used to be on the Swiss Ski Team named Vreni (pronounced "Frannie") and she was so much fun! Vreni was incredibly cheerful and upbeat, and she had a million metaphors to describe what we should be doing. (As best I can tell, I'm supposed to be a snowflake-bird with Ibex horns and heavy luggage- which is a summation of all of the different metaphors she used.) She also liked to exclaim "It's a feeling!" while side slipping down a hill.
When I skiied with my darling fiance and his family, we did a bunch of off piste skiing, which is pretty much my favorite thing in the world. :) I also tried a few new things- I skiied at Birg, which is a lot higher in the mountains that I normally ski. You have to take a cable car to get there, and it's so high up that there are no trees. I also learned how to take a T-bar lift (the secret is not to sit down on the bar).
We brought a flip video camera with us this year, so we have a lot of videos up on you tube. Here is one of me taken on our second to last day of skiing (I'm in a red and white jacket). You can compare that to my skiing earlier in the week to see how much I improved. I'll link one more of a little off piste run in Winteregg that we really loved, but feel free to check out the other videos that my darling fiance uploaded (he and his brother recorded videos while talking in California accents and calling each other "ski bro" that were absolutely hillarious). I will also be putting photos online soon. :)
In other news, last night we finally introduced Homer to Pancake. We put Pancake in a cat cage and let Homer sniff around him for about an hour, then we let Pancake out. The meeting was mercifully anticlimatic. Homer occasionally hisses at Pancake and has tried to smack him once or twice, but there have been no serious cat fights. I am thrilled! Pancake is pretty thrilled too- he's making himself right at home. He even slept in the bed last night! Of course, he's also been meowing excitedly pretty much non-stop, which is less thrilling, especially at 5am. :P
Before I go, I should also write a packing recap. I get better at packing every year, but my bag was still a shameful 51 lbs. The mistakes I made were packing a bag of self heating glove warmers (that we keep bringing but never use, actually- I really wasn't thinking when I packed it) and letting my darling fiance put a very heavy power converted in my bag at the last minute. (I can't complain too much about that though b/c it allowed me to use my flat iron.) I also could have packed 3 books instead of 4, I really could have gotten by with 2 instead of 3 pairs of pants, and 2 pairs of PJ's. I also took a couple extra shirts that I didn't need and too many pairs of underwear and socks (which I will probably do again b/c I still like to have extras). I was worried that my new boots wouldn't be warm or waterproof enough (I put waterproofing wax on them before the trip), but they were fine- even when it was raining and snowing. My new ski pants worked out perfectly, which makes me so happy. $30 ski pants rule! I actually didn't use my new black sweater as much as I thought I would (I didn't really feel very cold this year), but it was very comfortable and cozy when I did wear it. I think next year the only thing I will add to my packing list is a pair of slippers. My darling fiance brought his and I was totally jealous.
Anyway, I'm sure I had a million other things that I meant to write, but I can't seem to recall them right now. Blame the jet lag!