Related Posts with Thumbnails

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Skiing in the Alps of Haute Provence

We're quite simple folk. Really, we are. Well, at least I like to think I am...I mean I did splurge on a bottle of Chanel nail polish when I was home in the States but, in my defense, it was a pretty rockin' color (#481 Fantastic...& yes, it surely is).

So what I'm really getting at is this...when you tell someone that you're going skiing in the Alpes de Haute Provence it sounds pretty fancy-schmancy or dare we say even... highfalutin.  But trust me dear readers, that's one of the coolest things about the French - they do things like ski-weekends (or mini-breaks for you Bridget Jones fans) like it was a trip to the supermarket. Ok, well it is about 4 hours away by car, and I don't really know a whole lot of supermarkets outfitted with a fondue bar, but I think you get the picture.

Enter this past weekend when the lovely folks who run my boyfriend's work (les bigwigs) organized a trip to the slopes at the ski station of Les Orres. And I did indeed feel somewhat like Ms. B. Jones on her mini-break with Mark Darcy - complete with a few aptly-timed falls & run-ins with French fashionistas with legs that did reach, well, way up to there *holding my hands up very, very high*.

Actually, it was all very, very lovely after I got over the fear of breaking my anything. We skied both Saturday & Sunday and I gained quite a bit of confidence as the station was quite large with ample space for all levels of skiers.  

There were also several activities, such as snow-shoeing, outings on a snow moto, & a man-made "luge" (a total steal at 4 euro plus a chance to go through 2 tunnels filled with flashing lights & dance music on your descent...score!).

And of course the fun didn't stop during the day. Thankfully, I have my own personal French "guide" (& no I don't pay him...well, only in peanut butter cookies - those rare & exotic biscuits from les US), otherwise I don't think I could keep up with the French-vacay etiquette - 1. ski slopes 2. lunch & wine 3. apero & dinner 4. nightclub (repeat as needed...or until your American girlfriend can't stand up anymore).

Thankfully, we ditched the nightclub goers for a beer at the local "pub" & some juicy late-night, mountain gossip. Pretty interesting what you can learn from a pack of locals...and their somewhat less-perfumed dogs.

My only question is...when can we go back!?

ps. It's my birthday today - I'm 37 (oh le shock & horror!) So far, I've dropped about 90 Euro at the French sales, eaten a le bacon salade (from Paul's) followed by English toffee ice cream, & bought blue nail polish at Sephora.  All harmless fun...or a pending mid-life crisis? I'll let you be the judge :)


  1. Ah, happy happy birthday Tuula!
    The skiing looks wonderful, so pretty, and so close too.
    And you look adorable in your ski gear. Love it!
    I wish you the happiest 37th year and for all your wishes to come true.

  2. OH My gosh! Your weekend sounds fabulous! I've been wanted to go skiing since I've moved to France - but I've only gone a few times and worried that the bunny slopes are too big over here. It's true I can't keep up with the nightlife sometimes either. Happy Birthday!! Sounds like the perfect day so far!

  3. That sky! What a blue.Glad you had fun!

  4. Fabulous photos. Glad you had a great time and nothing was broken. Happy Happy Birthday! Have a wonderful birthday!

  5. Happy happy birthday Tuula. You look very cute and youthful in your ski gear. Sounds like a fabulous weekend. The weather looked perfect from the pictures. I hope you spoil yourself and have a wonderful birthday and coming year.

  6. I could handle the French-vacay etiquette... minus the ski slopes!

    Hope you had a wonderful birthday, ma belle de France :) And that vernis looks sexay!

  7. Ohh, thank you SO much for all the lovely birthday comments, honestly I had a wonderful day! Really warms the heart...

    My day was: shopping, lovely well-wishes "partout" ..from everywhere, and a wonderful dinner at a new resto (for us) in Toulon.

    We shared a salmon carpaccio, & then I had a leek, scallop, & shrimp gratin - sinfully good! Plus a creme brulee for dessert..of course :)
    Really a wonderful birthday & thanks for helping me feel so special!

  8. Joyeux Anniversaire!
    Yes, I want to be a simple folk with a simple life just like yours!

  9. Bonjour Tuula!
    This is my first visit to your blog (found you on Twitter!) and I think it's fabulous! I'm a girl with French roots nursing a serious love-affaire with Italy and all things French, bien sur! Look forward to reading you. Hope you had a lovely birthday :)

  10. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TUULA!!!! I hope all your birthday wishes come true :-)
    And 481 Fantastic is a gorgeous color! Chanel nailpolish always makes me feel fabulously decadent (and much less expensive than the 2.5 handbag). x

  11. Happy Birthday, Tuula! Skiing is FABulous - and your day looks like one of the most fabulous of fabulous ski days! It's definitely a full sensory experience - the food and beverages throughout the day (and evening) are part of it. Incidentally, I learned to ski on your birthday exactly 10 years ago in Lake Tahoe!

  12. Happy Birthday Tuula! Skiing in the alps is fabulous. Enjoy it!!


  13. A thousand thanks...& one "grazie" for Rosa Bella (aka Scintilla :) !

    Welcome "Green" - really happy you like the blog & thanks for stopping by!

    Valerie, skiing at Lake Tahoe sounds fabulous - I imagine you are quite good then...still getting the hang of it myself!

    Merci Velva, we did have a great time - hope all's well in your corner of the world :) Looking forward to more delicious recipes...

  14. Your mini break sounds perfect! I grew up in Colorado and haven't skied since high school but my kids started lessons recently in the Pacific NW where we live now, and I couldn't believe it was pouring rain on the mountain! I only remember skiing under blue skies (like you had!) or in snowstorms. And happiest birthday wishes to you! :)

  15. One of my favorite blog posts of all time, Tuula! I am so glad that the French are not too proud to wear an elephant ski hat. (One of my many favorite things about Nic.) Great pics!!