The perfect winter vacation

Trip Start Sep 26, 2011
Trip End May 06, 2012

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Flag of France  , Rhône-Alpes,
Wednesday, February 22, 2012

If you were able to take a winter vacation, what would you do? Fly to the Bahamas and lay-out on the beach? Or vacation out in the mountains to soak in all the winter delights you can? In these past few days, I have experienced the latter. However, instead of vacationing out of town, I stayed right here in home sweet home Grenoble, France and toured the city and all it has to offer with a friend from my hometown of Peoria, IL.  

A friend offered my friend and I some space at an apartment she was renting at a local ski resort. Therefore, we took up the opportunity to stay overnight right next to the slopes, how cool is that! Now I've been skiing only 3 times since this past weekend, and slowly my confidence is growing, however for my friend, it is a whole other story. She skied at a young age, but hasn't since middle school. But with a whole lot of confidence is her abilities, we took a cable car straight up the mountain without even testing her skills on the bunny slopes. Note to self and others with "over-confidence" in themselves, maybe you should consider the baby slopes first. Just a little test run. 

I've gotten to the point where I can finally turn with control and not fly out of control down the slopes. However, my poor friend spent several trips down the slopes, flying at top speed, yelling past me "ooohhhh noooooo! Not again!" I'm surprised she never broke a leg. And I spent a lot of my time following her down the slopes and picking up fallen ski poles or yelling at her "pizza pie" to get her to slow down. What a whirlwind. 

On top of that, the weather was unbelievable. Ever experienced a "white-out" while driving or walking around outside during the winter? Now imagine skiing on top of a mountain with a few clouds in the sky, to a complete white-out in 15 seconds. My friend and I were stuck on a slope, unable to see anything in front of us, literally, and couldn't move, in the fear that; one, we would run into someone; two, someone would ski into us; and three, we would accidentally ski-off a mountain side because we couldn't see where the slopes start and stop. Let's just say, I never want to experience that again. 

One downside though to a full two days of skiing...sunglasses tan lines. Note to self: pack sunscreen or suffer from rudolph nose syndrome for the next three days. 
To continue our winter vacation in Grenoble, my friend and I, along with several other teaching assistants and their boyfriends attended a Grenoble hockey match versus Caen (as many of you may know is the city closest to the famous Normandy D-Day beaches). After living the past four years in Minnesota, the state that treasures hockey the most, I'm seen a fair share of matches and know the game and it's theatrics quite well. However, this game was surprisingly different than those I saw in America. Yes, there were a few checks, head bashing and other nasty moves on the ice, but nothing compared to a bunch of Americans. It was almost as if when French players are learning to play hockey, their coaches told them to be aggressive, but within reason...or just play like a bunch of pansies...

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