Not much to report today. We had a leisurely breakfast of Meusli, fruit, yogurt, and coffee here at the house. Then Duncan showed up and carted us off to Chamonix. Mont Blanc and the craggy mountains that hem in the city of Chamonix are amazingly impressive. But the town is sort of like a big Vail (although it is authentically French, rather than a fake French like Vail, it is too expensive with too many frou frou people wandering around). However, we had a delicious lunch at Chambre Neuf, a restaurant full of British people right across from the train station. Then we just wandered in and out of all the ski shops ... Billabong (technically a surf shop), Patagonia (technically an outdoor shop), Helly Hansen (technically a sailing shop). Willy bought some snowshoes, I bought some postcards, and everyone else just browsed.
After a couple hours, we headed back to Samoens. Duncan dropped us off in the village while he picked up his kids from school. We ran into Katherine and her daughters in town and stopped for a hot chocolate. They had been skiing and said it was lousy. Half the mountain ended up shutting down because of the high winds. So although we didn't have a stellar day in Chamonix, at least we didn't freeze our buns off while sitting on a lift that was being tossed around by high winds.
Christine and I walked back to Katherine's while the rest caught a lift with Katherine. Although it's overcast and gray, it is still surprisingly warm. Katherine told us of some paths to follow that pass through old farm properties and between newer chalets. Just what you imagine country life in France to look like ... even down to the old French lady peeking from behind her lace curtains to see who was walking by.
After another delicious meal at home, Christine and I visited with Katherine and Duncan while Mark and Willy drove Katherine's ex-husband to the place where he is staying (he's in town to spend his birthday with his three daughters). I think I lost track of the bottles of wine and chocolate consumed. By the time Mark and Willy got back, we were all pretty much comatose.
This morning we woke up to big fluffy snowflakes and reports of up to 3 feet of new powder on the mountain. Willy, Christine, and Mark wolfed down their breakfast and took off. When I heard that there are also 30+ mph winds on the top of the mountain and that the best skiing is off piste and the on piste stuff is kind of messy, I decided to let them have their fun.
I plan to read, go for a hike, clean up a bit, and then meet them in town to watch the first of the Six Nations Rugby matches in town tonight.
A bien tot.
Tara and Mark
6 days ago