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December 31, 2010

La Plagne Day Two

[Written yesterday on Dec 30th; have been having severely limited internet access...]


About 300 little kids with multi-colored glow-sticks just skied by below our balcony in the dark (it's 5:45pm), in one enormously long file snaking down the mountain. They just kept coming, screaming and laughing (and some of them crashing into each other and disrupting the S-curve snake, like ants losing track of their companions' trail in front of them). Wow, I've never seen anything like that! Very cool. I am rubbish at taking photos that actually require any skill or savvy, so I handed my camera to David and he came up with this, in the dark:


The hotel wifi is still not working, even though someone supposedly came to try to fix it. Jason helped me to use the hotel reception's spare PC to send stuff and check my mail on gmail. The French keyboard is a riot. The A, the M, the Z, the W, the comma, the period, the @, the Q, and the colon, at least, are all in different places than on the U.S. keyboard. This slows down one's typing to a crawl. Or results in some very strange words! So I've been typing on my mac laptop, putting files on my camera USB card, and then transferring it, so I don't have to spend any more time than necessary at the hotel reception desk. Jason is a real techincal star, my hero, my excellent helper. I really don't do PCs, but he is comfortable with any kind of computer (he uses PCs at school, and a mac at home).


So here is David, Jason, Emily, and my ski trajectory from today, for the interest of myself, and my mom and brothers, with some photos from the day below that:


From Lower Belle Plagne:
DOWN to Plagne Bellecôte
UP Roche de Mio Gondola to Roche de Mio
DOWN Le Mio (black - steep, off-piste was easier than on piste)
to Levasset (blue)
UP Carella TS (= Télésiege / chairlift) to Roche de Mio
DOWN Levasset 2nd time (blue all the way this time)
ACROSS to Champagny area
UP Les Borselliers TS
UP Rossa TS
Down Le Sérac (blue)
EARLY LUNCH to beat the crowd at Le Restaurant du Roc des Blanchets on the Champagny side. 
I am quite sure this is the restaurant I have such fond memories of from about 22 years ago, with the excellent dark chocolate mousse with chocolate flakes, in the exact same tall, fancy parfait glasses, with the buffet line going along the same corner, the same balcony terrace with the gorgeous view... A delicious childhood memory relived. Before the mousse, I had tagliatelle aux girolles (wild mushroom sauce). Yum! Praising God for His kindness and generosity.

UP Rossa TS (Emily lost her pole)

DOWN Le Sérac (Jason retrieved E's pole)
UP Rossa again 
DOWN Levasset
UP Carella TS to Roche de Mio
UP Bellecôte Gondola to the Glacier de la Chiaupe
UP Glacier TS (now at 3000m / 9840 feet)
DOWN the glacier on Col I (red)
UP Glacier TS 2nd time
DOWN La Chiaupe (top of a black; more like red)
UP Glacier TS 3rd time
DOWN Le Déversoir (blue)
UP Traversée TS
DOWN La Combe (red)
UP Bellecôte gondola to Glacier de la Chiaupe
DOWN La Combe 2nd time (red)
UP Bellecôte Gondola to Roche de Mio
DOWN Le Tunnel (blue; through a tunnel, true to its name)
DOWN Les Laines (blue) to Belle Plagne
HOME 4:30pm

See and download the full gallery on posterous


Posted via email from K's Café

December 31, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (2)

December 29, 2010

La Plagne: Day One

It's wonderful to be back with my husband and children in the ski resort my family visited annually when I was a child. We had the most beautiful first day of skiing - sunny, clear, but not too cold, and some runs and lifts that were not choked with people (but others that were). Beautiful scenery, good French food at lunch...and great company. The hotel's wifi is not working, but maybe it will get fixed...or I'll figure out another way to post (trying with the help of my techie son...on a French keyboqrd...). 


For my own records, and perhaps for my brothers and mother to enjoy, here is what we skied today:


START: Lower Belle Plagne

            DOWN to Plagne Bellecôte

UP gondola to Upper Belle Plagne

UP Belle Plagne TS (Télésiège = Chairlift)

            DOWN Les Ours (blue; means the Bears)

UP Col de Forcle Poma lift (= button tow)

            DOWN Geisha (blue) towards Champagny

25 minute wait for...

UP Verdons Sud TS (

            DOWN Les Verdons to Marie Chantal (both blue)

UP Verdons Nord TS (no wait at all, such a relief!)

            DOWN Mercedes (black) to Marie Chantal (blue)

UP Funiplagne La Grande Rochette (from Plagne Centre)


LUNCH at Le Chalet de la Grande Rochette (delicious tartiflette & salad de chèvre; 2505 metres in altitude; 8218 feet)


            DOWN Carlina (red)

UP Verdons Nord TS

            ACROSS very steep off-piste area & DOWN off-piste to Mercedes (black)

UP Becoin TS (from Plagne Centre, towards Aime 2000)

            DOWN Java (red, but seemed more black; steep moguls)

UP Funiplagne Grande Rochette

            DOWN Petite Rochette (blue)

            to Les Leitchoums (blue)

            to Les Ours (blue)

UP Les Blanchets TS

            DOWN Les Blanchets (blue)

            to Belle Plagne (blue)


See and download the full gallery on posterous

Posted via email from K's Café

December 29, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (2)

December 14, 2010

Oreo Cream Cheese Balls with White Chocolate Drizzle

Oreo-cream-cheese balls with white chocolate drizzle

We approximately followed http://www.bakespace.com/recipes/detail/Yummy-Oreo-Balls/13375/ 
Except we drizzled the white chocolate instead of dipping into it (prettier) - but this used a lot less white chocolate (which we melted in the microwave), so then we used the rest of the white choc by coating pecans and walnuts with it. And we used white chocolate bars instead of chips.

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December 14, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (1)

Bacher Garten Center, Langnau am Albis, Zurich - Christmas Display

December 14, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (1)

December 06, 2010

Hypothetical Senders in the USA Hypothetically Sending to Hypothetical Receivers in Switzerland

For any hypothetical senders in the USA hypothetically sending Christmas presents to hypothetical receivers in Switzerland...

If you send from amazon.com, the receivers in Switzerland might have to pay import tax. And the shipping will cost you a bunch.

BUT if you order from amazon.de (the German branch of the company), there is a deal with ZERO import tax AND ZERO shipping cost to Switzerland (for most items, notably books). Of course the goods cost more to begin with (since they've already paid import tax), but this is likely offset by the lack of international shipping fees.

AND if you download and use Chrome as your web browser program (for free), you can opt to translate the whole page into English (not super well, but probably helpfully enough to those who don't speak any German). A bar pops up at the top of the screen asking if you want it translated.

AND amazon.de sells most English-language books, so you can just type the name of the book into the search box in English, and presto, it comes up with it (usually).

ALSO, amazon.com now has this cool feature that you can tell them you're buying an item off someone's wishlist from some other store, so that the item doesn't get bought twice for the same person by two gift-givers. Nice of them, I have to say!

I am using this system myself and just had to share the coolness.

Posted via email from K's Café

December 6, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (0)

December 04, 2010

Schneeketten and Train Languages

Schneeketten - pronounced SHNAY-kettun - are chains to put on the tires of your car in extremely icy/snowy road conditions.

Yesterday I bought our first set, as we plan to do a lot of skiing this year, and are going on a five-day ski trip five hours away in the French Alps (to a specific resort where I remember my dad having to put chains on when I was a child). I'd rather be able to get up the hill than be turned away by the police for not having chains.

Anyway, the mechanic at the garage saw I had an iPhone and told me the chains company had a free App for me to download, which I did on the spot. It included a video of a lady driving in the snow and stopping to put her chains on! :-) And the mechanic said to me in German, "See, it's a lady...I mean, excuse me, but..." It was funny.

And now on the other topic of the title of this post, Train Languages

When one rides a train from the German-speaking area of Switzerland to the French-speaking area, the language order of the PA announcements changes. Starting out in Zürich, one hears everything first in German, then in French, then in English. By the time one arrives in Geneva, the announcements are presented first in French, then in German, then in English. I didn't quite notice where along the way they made the switch.

The kids are in full show preparation mode - Jason's had rehearsals all day Saturday and Sunday twice in the past three weekends (in addition to 2-3 mid-week practices until 7pm), and Emily's been having extra rehearsals as well. Shows start Wednesday - 5 performances of Les Misérables (Jason singing Marius), and one of the nativity show for which Emily is stage manager for younger kids. Exciting! And the grandparents arriving Monday to join the fun!

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December 4, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (0)

December 01, 2010

Ice, Frost, and Snow

There are only four references to ICE in the Bible. The most interesting to me:
"The breath of God produces ice." Job 37:10
"...an expanse, sparkling like ice, and awesome." Ezekiel 1:22

And five references to FROST, among them: 
"Thin flakes like frost on the ground appeared on the desert floor." Exodus 16:14 (describing manna!)
"He...scatters the frost like ashes." Psalm 147:16
"On that day there will be no light, no cold or frost." Zechariah 14:6

There are 23 references to SNOW. Notably:
"leprous, like snow" (Exodus 4:6, Numbers 12:10)
"He also went down into a pit on a snowy day and killed a lion." 2 Samuel 23:20
"swollen with melting snow" Job 6:16
"He says to the snow, ‘Fall on the earth,’" Job 37:6
“Have you entered the storehouses of the snow or seen the storehouses of the hail?" Job 38:22
"He spreads the snow like wool" Psalm 147:16
"lightning and hail, 
snow and clouds, stormy winds that do his bidding" Psalm 148:8
"Like the coolness of 
snow at harvest time is a trustworthy messenger to those who send him" Proverbs 25:13
snow in summer... honor is not fitting for a fool." Proverbs 26:1
"Does the snow of Lebanon ever vanish from its rocky slopes? " Jeremiah 18:"14
"The Ancient of Days took his seat. His clothing was as white as snow." Daniel 7:9
"His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow" Revelation 1:14

And the best ones:

"Wash me, and I will be whiter than snow." Psalm 51:7

“Come now, let us reason together,” says the LORD. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow." Isaiah 1:18

Last year, someone sent us a Christmas card with a snowman on the front, and Psalm 51:7 quoted - I think it might have been my favorite card! :-) Nice choice, Linda & Jeff.

Posted via email from K's Café

December 1, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (2)