Climb Every Mountain

I awoke to a view of the French Alps. The foot of freshly fallen snow sparkled as the rising sun cast hues of pink, orange, purple, and blue across the white canvas. The sight was breathtaking. Was I really here???

The idea of skiing the Alps had been a dream of mine. It was right up there with the fantasy of being being wooed by Prince Charming. You know what I’m talking about, right? It was one of those “it could happen” notions, but with incredibly low odds of coming true. The Alps, after all, was believed to be (by me) a playground of the “Rich and Famous,” jet-setting-type of crowd. A club in which I hold no membership. And so, I never even bothered to waste time entering the jaunt on my bucket list.

And yet, through mere circumstance…

My husband was scheduled to attend a high-tech conference in Barcelona. I was to spend time in my office in Tel Aviv. We wanted to meet up somewhere in Europe. On a whim, I asked, “Wanna go skiing in the Alps?” The next thing I knew, we decided to meet up in Geneva, drive down to Les Trois Vallees (The Three Vallees) in France for a four-day getaway.

When the conference was cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak, my hopes were dashed. I was sure my husband would just stay home and cancel his entire trip. But, NO! Much to my surprise and excitement, he declared our rendezvous a go. And so, my dream became a reality.

Interestingly, the three main towns in the valley — Courchevel, Meribel, and Val Thorens — attract many families. And though we ended up being there during some sort of school holiday period, the crowds were manageable, the accommodations and restaurants affordable (by vacation standards), and the location low key and quaint. I didn’t encounter anyone who made me feel I didn’t belong.

Since Atlanta doesn’t have snow, I’ve been spoiled by many years of skiing in Utah and Colorado. Those resorts — Park City, Canyons, Deer Valley, Vail, Beaver Creek, Keystone, Breckenridge, etc. — set my expectations for a certain level of quality of equipment rentals, lifts, trails, apres ski activities, etc. I was sure that Europe could not compete with the standards we experience in America.

Well, I was wrong. And I feel badly for having been prejudiced. The French Alps offered everything we wanted and needed….and then some. A dinner at a Michelin star restaurant was frosting on the cake!

Oh…and about Prince Charming…well, he doesn’t only exist in fairy tales. As it turns out, he galloped away with me long ago. It just took me a while to believe he was for real. Now we explore new kingdoms to conquer together. I look forward to whatever is next!

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