Wednesday, December 25, 2013

An "Orphan Christmas" + Photos!

This was my 3rd Christmas spent in Europe and this year I was lucky enough to have Rob join me - special thanks to my Aunt Karen who helped out with miles to avoid the crazy expensive last minute ticket! (#lifesaver!)  

I titled the post "Orphan Christmas"because many of us spend the holidays without our families. We do the best we can with skype, navigating bad Internet connections and wild time differences. There are certainly novel things about spending the holidays in Europe but it doesn't make missing my family any easier. The nice thing about this year is that Rob and I had an apartment so we could cook what we wanted (Mexican!) and eat breakfast in our PJs.  Sometimes its the small, silly things that make you feel good - like doing dishes? Funny the things you miss when your life revolves around a hotel and their schedule. 

Davos isn't a bad place to spend the Holidays.... even if it's a low snow year and it rains on Christmas! 

My best Christmas Present 

Drink with Rob at the Klatsch - a Davos must if you ever come... 

 Classic L4 intervals 

 Celine (Norway), me, Jessie & Sadie 

 Watching two different winter sports LIVE in Europe! 

 Dasha with her bro Lenny and his girlfriend Sabrina showing off their Asiago cheese upon their return from the World Cup races in Asiago, Italy. 

 One of my highlights was making a God Jul (Merry Christmas in Norwegian) commercial with many of the other World Cup skiers from different countries. We filmed it up at the top of Sertig, a dead end valley in Davos. I'm in the black coat sandwiched between Therese Johaug & Marit Bjorgen!  In this photo we're actually huddled around the producer's computer watching a "draft" of the commercial! 

 95 Swiss Francs for this piece of meat at the grocery store!  While Davos is nice my bank account is glad we're leaving. Even groceries and cooking at home will break the bank! 

 Out best attempt at a Holiday Card! 

 The Grubers! (Friends & Swiss Skiers)  Bettina trained with us in AK this past summer. 

 When given access to a kitchen Jessie is a baking fiend! Here she is with a Christmas Cookie spread for gift exchange #2 in Davos. This time we invited other "Orphans" who were spending Christmas in Davos away from home. This included Canadians Deven Kershaw & Alex Harvey plus 3 Norwegians who were spending their first-ever Christmas away from home. Here is Finn Hagen Krogh with his white elephant gift - a USA shirt! 

Group Pic with our gifts: 

 Looking for a fun Christmas Breakfast? Try making Bircher Museli, a Swiss tradition! 

It's easy..... Mix together raw oats (whole oat flakes, cornflakes, barley flakes - really any cereal products) Milk, yogurt, banana, raisins. Use a large scale grater for apple (this is a traditional must) then add spices, nuts and/or sugar to taste. Mix all ingredients together the night before and let the museli sit in the fridge. Eat cold and enjoy! Merry Christmas from Davos, Switzerland!

 We were also lucky enough to be invited to Jurg Capol's house for Christmas Eve dinner. Jurg is an ex-Swiss skier and currently the head of FIS Marketing for all Nordic Sports. It was REALLY nice to have a home-cooked meal in a house. Thanks to the Capols for inviting us! 

 Kikkan, Noah, Jessie, Jeff & Ida at dinner 

They cooked Turkey (because they read online that's what Americans eat for Xmas dinner) as well as an assortment of local dishes.  For dessert they surprised us with a slew of Ben & Jerrys ice cream!  

 Not much snow here! Thank goodness for artificial snow because without it I'm not sure we would have been skiing the past two weeks! 

 Strength in the ever-so-small Davos weight room (Hoff pic) ..... me & Liz getting our balance on! 

Davos Xmas market (another Hoff picture) 

What's next? The team departs shortly after noon for Oberhof, Germany and the first two stage of the Tour de Ski - at least we think.  The races were borderline as there is NO snow in Oberhof and it's too warm to make it.  But, apparently they are going to make some modification to the course and hold the races. The OC (organizing committee) has collected snow from all over Germany and they're storing it in the indoor ski tunnel?  Stay tuned as I'm sure this will be entertaining.  I'm just glad they didn't cancel the races because my change of plans (staying in Europe for the holidays) was for the purpose of racing the first half of the Tour. Wish us luck! 

Thanks for reading & Happy (early) New Years! 


  1. Hey, not fair! While I will not dispute that the overall price level (especially meat) is higher in Switzerland than in the States, you can't just go and pick the most expensive (between 2-5 times the normal price) piece of meat available and offer it as an example. It's easy enough to cook a two person pasta dish for around $5 at home ;).

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  3. I just found your Europe Series a few days ago. It inspired me to also pursue my dream of going to Europe someday. I might also do it solo like what you did. I really enjoy reading all your entries. Thank you so much for sharing your experiences.
    Europe travel planner