After catching the first chopter out of Fairy Meadows, Merica and I made a bee line to a hotel in Vancouver to do laundry and repack for our flight the next day.I found us a nice petite chambre for our first night in Paris: Ok, not that nice. But a VRBO apartment in the 14th arrondisement felt like a palace after a week in a hut with E$, Dave B, Eric Noll, Kam, Jessie, Gregg, Johnny, and others. We arrived in the AM and spent the next few days driving around Paris in terror, seeing some sights, and eating. We tried to get cultural one night and bought tickets to an after hours evening of medieval chanting in Notre Dame. When I woke up about 20 minutes into the music and looked over to see Merica playing backgammon on her phone, we sheepishly snuck out the back to drink wine and eat cheese along the left bank.
Next was Strassbourg and Ramstein Germany to visit an old friend of Merica whom she hasn’t seen in years. I never get tired of the food at European gas stations:
On the way to Chamonix we detoured to the Aoste valley in Italy and found a nice hotel several hundred meters up Gressoney-St-Jean-Weissmatten for a true ski-in/ski out experience. No road access, only snomos.
Francesco picking us up:
We stayed in the cabin off to the left. The buiding in the foreground is a bar, and the large building is a restaurant with more rooms. Stafal is in the clouds in the background:
Weissmatten is an independent lift system about 15 km down valley from Monterosa. Monterosa is a massive web of access that connects Champoluc, Stafal, and Alagna. Merica and I skied Stafal and Alagna one day and toured around Weismatten the other two. In between we feasted on Italien delicacies, went to a castle, and enjoyed a moonlit skin when we stayed out late enough to miss our snowmobile shuttle home.
What felt like a private stash behind our place, above the Weissmatten:
Merica enjoying late spring conditions at Monterosa
We even managed to run into Davide while we were there. And just like the full blown version, this little guy ripped.
Merica trying to skin straight after several glasses of Prosecco:
Next up was Chamonix. Patti, Phillipe and Romy were nice enough to let us stay at their place while we crammed what we could into only 3 days of not very good weather. The Grand Montets was closed our first day there due to wind, so Merica and I enjoyed 3000’ runs on the Bochard. We went up the Aiguille the next day to ski, but mid level clouds and a deteriorating forecast kept us from venturing out. So we made lemonade with what the Aiguille has to offer
Weather turned to shite our last day there, so we drove to Courmayeur with Patti and Phillipe to walk around in the rain and eat pizza and cheese.
Our last bit on excitement came when we arrived at the airport for our flight home only to learn that the airlines had decided to change our flight to a day earlier. They said they had emailed me. Turned 10 hours of travel into about 25 after the changes and layovers. Kind of refreshing to know so clearly when the honeymoon is over.
Still, pretty nice when something turns out better than expected. Merica, if you read this, thank you for being you you, sweet adorable killer!
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