sunday solo

Up with the sunrise, a beautiful start to the day that faded to the usual gray. I jogged to the market, bought some olives and flowers, and walked back home. Only a few more Sundays on my own.


ski: les contamines

Another beautiful sunny day in the Alps. It's been an incredible season for fresh snow.

Reviewing ski videos over lunch.


soggy sunday

Today brought more winter fog. I'm on my own for the day, so after a long morning cuddled with Pinot and coffee, I decided to face the damp, grey, gloomy Sunday, and head out to the woods on my snowshoes. This was a pretty good idea, except for the drizzle. Not so bad at first, but by the time I finished my walk, I was pretty well soaked, and rain turned the snow to sludge. I saw a few birds- firecrests, nuthatch, a creeper, and followed boar tracks along a stream. It was still nice to be out, although, I heard it was a sunny day in the (invisible) mountains.


ski: saint gervais

Today was the second outing with the CERN ski club this season. A few inches of snow fell overnight, but unlike accumulation during the week, the snow was plowed before our pre-dawn departure. The slopes were empty, the snow was fresh, and we had another fun day in the Alps. 

Derek carries the camera on the ski trips, so when we spend the day in our different levels, I don't really know what type of pics we'll have from the outing. Today's photos: fun with cows during lunch break... Besides great instruction and fantastic skiing, meeting new people and having fun are more reasons to be a part of the club. No vast mountain views today, just some guys and a flowered cow.


winter santé

To offset my winter hibernation tendencies, I try to go out for a few runs each week. This winter has brought more snow than usual, making it easier...or at least more fun...to be out in the colder temperatures, even on the slick days. Around the house, we've been starting to make our race plans for the upcoming seasons. I think the Tour du Canton de Geneve weekly 10Ks will be on the list again this spring, the Lausanne half was a a great course and would be beautiful in better weather, maybe another Jungfrau marathon...I have some unfinished business on that mountain. It would also be fun to run the Geneva half and Annecy, both close to home, and to travel somewhere new to run. {Any recommendations?} I also have dreams of trying an ultra mountain marathon...maybe a bit crazy...but probably awesome. 

After the Jungfrau marathon last September, I started running with a partner twice a week. That has been a good push for me to cut my pace, and keeps us both motivated through the grey days. Now that the sun is making a few appearances, I'm finding incentive to add more mileage, getting excited about the next races, and looking forward to some challenging training.


white winter trees

I've gotten this song stuck in my head nearly every time I've been out walking in the past couple months, surrounded by all the winter trees covered in snow. The video is super cool and really beautiful. Hope it warms your day too: The Staves, Winter Trees. J'adore!!!


la frontière

We got a decent snow Monday night, but by today, the ice has mostly melted from the roads and we've lost a little depth across the fields. After a few days of hibernation, I needed some sunshine and fresh air, so I went for a wander along the French/Swiss border in the woods and through the vineyards.

There's one of the boundary markers, the stone in the middle of the trail/stream.


parsnip soup with apples and sage

Today I made a parsnip soup with apples and sage. Yum. I'm trying to use a few different ingredients and flavors to add some variety to our usual favorites. It's a good time for nice root veggies, so I thought I'd try a new soup. Unfortunately, like most yummy things, it didn't last long enough in our house to get a picture of the finished and garnished product. I veganized and made a few changes to the original recipe here.

2 Tbs Vegan butter 
1 medium onion
2 Apples
4 Parsnips (about 1.5 lbs)
4 Cups vegetable stock (one veggie bullion and 4 cups water)
4-5 Sage leaves, plus extra to garnish
2 Whole cloves or a few pinches of ground
1/2-2/3 Cup almond cream
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Sauté chopped onion, parsnips, and 1 apple until edges have started to brown, stirring occationally.
2. Add stock, sage, cloves, salt and pepper. Bring to boil, cover, and let simmer for 30-40 minutes, until the parsnip is softened.
3. Remove cloves if whole, then puree. I use an immersion blender. Season to taste, and reheat gently with the cream. 
4. In a small pan, sauté the second apple with a bit of butter and cinnamon until lightly browned.
5. Serve hot, garnished with the sautéd apple slices and sage leaves. Serve with grainy bread slices.


ski club starts

Yesterday was our first outing of the season with the CERN ski club. For the start of our fourth season of lessons with the club, we went back to Les Gets, where the slopes have now been abandoned by all the holiday travelers and freshly covered in powder. The conditions were absolutely wonderful. Warm sun, new snow, but oops, we forgot the camera. The morning was a bit of chaos, with getting settled into a small parking lot and onto the buses with piles of gear, but once we arrived, the empty slopes were nothing short of perfect. Derek is skiing off-piste again this year, and I moved up to level 3, which is a good challenge. Today we practiced un-groomed blacks and some moguls. I'll be working hard to keep up  for the next four Saturdays, but what a great way to enjoy the winter months. Bon ski!

(Above picture is from a drive to Chamonix today, just to walk around a while out of reach of the valley fog and drizzle).


ski: les gets

Despite getting home late and making a late dinner last night, we decided to wake ourselves up early to join our ski pals on the slopes at Les Gets. It's been a week already since we returned from our holiday trip, and our happy reunion gave us a sunny day in the mountains after the morning fog cleared, and much deserved pizzas after lifts stopped operating in the evening.


city break

Today, Derek and I took the train into Geneva, for a holiday get-a-way, just an 18 minute ride from the station. (above: view of Challex from near the train stop) We walked, wandered, meandered, through Eaux-Vives, and until and found ourselves in Cologny. We visited the Bodmer Foundation's book collection on exhibition, and grabbed a ring of bread to eat on the walk back down to the lake. Although he was a little surprised to bit down on something hard, Derek was the lucky one to find two feves (little plastic trinkets baked into the bread) in his first bites. We were both so hungry, we didn't notice we had bought a king cake (gâteau des Rois), traditionally eaten to celebrate Epiphany - the one who fines la feve in his bread gets to become king for the day, but since there were two crowns in the bread bag we figured we could both be king for the rest of the day. 

Our final stop was Le Verre à Monique, an recently opened speakeasy near Plainpalais, to sample specialty martinis, margaritas, and a new twist on the old fashioned. A nice vintage setting, despite the era-inappropriate music, and if you've got money to spend, they can smuggle your beverages to your table in a teapot. 


winter sun

It's unusual to have such a blue-sky day in January, so today, we went for a walk for a few hours on the Salève. The hiking trail we aimed for was closed, so we headed up along the winding road at the southern edge of the mountain from Saint-Blaise.

Soon, the spring-ish looking green fields were covered in snow, and the branches and road in glistening ice.

Looking toward the Alps.

After a wintery afternoon, we descended back to the rolling valley in magical golden light that I've only ever seen in paintings of the French countyside.