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January 14, 2012

Skiing in Colorado, New Year's 2011-2012

New Year's saw us with both sets of grandparents in Colorado, at our usual stomping grounds in Snowmass. What an unusual occurrence in life, that both sets of grandparents are similar enough, pleasant enough and flexible enough to spend holidays together a week at a time, on a repeated basis. Thank you to four amazing and generous-spirited people who love us. (Readers, do you know any other families who do this? Where both sets of in-laws spend holidays living together in the same house for 5 days and get along well?)

We love Colorado. Another gorgeous, stunning place God made.
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The scenery was, as always, nourishing to the soul.
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We can't say as much for the snow. This is the trail we take to get to the main slopes. It was officially closed (no-brainer), but open to those of us accessing the resort from that direction. Not much fun. Bushes, ice, dirt, and a few downed trees from a wind storm (higher up the slope). The regular slopes had more rocks than we've ever seen, but as long as we stuck to the recently groomed slopes, there was enough artificially-made snow to make it worth it.

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Thankful to Grandma, still skiing at 67, that she could take this family photo of us, skiing together again after Jason's first semester of college.
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Jason tried out snowboarding for the first time - he really liked it and ended up doing 4 days on the board, and only 3 days on skis. You can see the Maroon Bells in the background as he buckles in at the top of the Elk Camp area.
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Below are three generations of skiers - my mom, my husband, and my son. I'm there, too, just behind the camera :-) We also got some good shots of the three generations of directly-descended girls skiing together: my mom, me, my daughter (Facebook only). Fun.
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It's been so very lovely to have all this time with Jason, 5 weeks off after 4 months away. He goes back January 23rd. I'm enjoying each day. There - now the blog is caught up, no longer stuck forever at October 2011! I've brought it into 2012! This year will mark 8 years of extremely variable (but existent) blogging habits!

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January 14, 2012 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Rappahannock Beach

It's really so beautiful there on the Rappahannock River in Virginia. My mom finds it hard to leave and go anywhere else.

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Christmas 2011 in Virginia - Beach Walks, Canoeing, Grandparents

What a pleasure and privilege to be with Grandma and Grandpa William for Christmas, with walks on the river beach and mother-son canoeing on the tidal creek out to the tidal river of the Rappahannock, with grandparents supervising and dad taking the sunset action photos.

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Escalade Marmite Ceremony 2011

We got home from our road trip with our safely-carted chocolate marmite for Escalade, and then actually celebrated on the right day - December 11th. The battle took place on the night of the 11th to the 12th of December, 1602. So you could go with either day - but why wait? We were only missing Jason (for the first time), but he wasn't going to be back in Switzerland until January 6th, so there was no chance of him joining us for this. Sigh. So we sent him a picture and got on with it.

Notice the piece of chocolate in the air in the 3rd photo, and the still-intact Genevois shield at the end, unbroken after the battle... all so symbolic. "Struck down, but not destroyed." (2 Cor 4:9).

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Cathédrale St. Nicolas in the town of Fribourg, Switzerland

Ever since it was featured on a Migros domino (they came free with groceries at one point in the promotional cycle), I had wanted to visit the Cathédrale St. Nicolas in the town of Fribourg, Switzerland. I hadn't heard of it and was intrigued by what could sit alongside the Jet d'Eau and the Matterhorn in national importance. We had driven through the canton of Fribourg, but never stopped in the canton's capital city of the same name. My precious husband agreed we could stop by it on the way home from our Geneva road trip on December 10th. Finally my curiosity was quenched.

It's a Gothic cathedral from the 12-1400s. We got there in the darkening tendrils of evening. I prayed it would be open so we could go inside, even though it was past the opening hours I had spotted on my phone. Lo and behold, there were some kind of preparations going on for a special event, and we gained access through the open door. Thank You, our Provider.

At the altar, it was interesting to see a crucifix with four of the six francophone cantons' flags underneath, prominently displayed. Pour Your covering blood over our cantons to forgive us our sins and redeem us for Yourself, it says to me. But why Fribourg, Neuchâtel, Vaud and Geneva, and not the other two francophone cantons? I suppose Valais and Jura are the outliers to the south and north, but then Geneva is the outlier to the west. Also, Valais is bilingual with German, and Jura was the last canton to be added, as late as 1979. Potential reasons for their exclusion.

It seems that every impressive church we visit has something new to offer that we haven't seen before. I liked the distinctive black and gold motif on all the pillars (last photo).

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Escalade Weekend in Geneva, Dec 9-10, 2011

I continued my tradition of getting myself a Genevan Escalade marmite by hook or by crook every year since whenever it was back in California that I remembered how much I love them. 

So great that now instead of paying astronomical shipping prices, I can now pop down there myself and enjoy the host of other benefits of a visit to Geneva. 

Like seeing old friends from high school (meeting their newest baby) and my sister-in-law. And watching an Escalade parade in period costume, visiting the Salle de L'Alabama where the Geneva Conventions were signed (a room only open once a year to the public), eating a chocolate-banana crêpe cooked at a street stall, and taking Emily and David for their first trip through the Passage de Monetier - a very narrow passageway in the old town, also only open once a year on Escalade weekend. It was only my second time myself. Fun. The exit to the passageway (definitely one-way only) is in the last photo between the tan building and the white wall.

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