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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 :)

15 comments:

  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.
    Bisous,
    Aidan

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  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!

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

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

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  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.

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  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!

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  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!

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

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  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 :)

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  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

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  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!

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

    Velva

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  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...

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  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! :)

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  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!!

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