Monday, January 14, 2013

How is it already January 14?

     Wasn't is just Christmas?  I cannot believe that we are almost mid-way through January.  Goodness, I just took down the decorations last week.  Why is time speeding past me at lightening speed?

     The holidays were incredible and it felt that we were celebrating for weeks and weeks.  The days had a nice pace to them...some filled with wonderful adventures, while we snuggled at home on others.  For the past several years, we have spent New Year's week skiing in Colorado.  It has become a favorite tradition and we were desperate to recreate it this year.  In the past, this one particular trip provided some much needed family time as well as down-time - an escape from the hustle and bustle of our lives in the DC area.  Our formula was simple:  ski hard in the mornings; break mid-day; easy skiing in the afternoons and "chilling" in the apartment in the evenings.  Many an afternoon, we would arrive back at the apartment, get comfortable in our PJs and watch movies together.  We rarely went out to dinner, preferring to cook "fun" meals at home.  It was just what we needed...

     We decided months ago to go to Austria during the New Year's week.  Given that it is the most expensive week to ski, we knew that we would have to "pack in" as we call it - meaning that we would need to eat most of our meals at "home" which was fine with us.  Knowing the crowds and the likelihood of finding only mediocre dining options, eating in was perfect.  We rented a very comfortable two bedroom apartment in Obertauern, a ski area only an hour from Salzburg.  From our lounge area, we had windows on two sides, which provided us fantastic views of the town and the surrounding mountains.  We were also located on the edge of the village - in a more secluded area.  We delved head-on into our daily routine.  After a hearty breakfast, we headed to the slopes for a morning of hard skiing.  The weather was perfect - sunny skies and moderate temperatures.  We quickly realized that given the crowds, we would have to get to the pistes early in order to enjoy less crowded runs.  The plan worked and each morning we had an hour to ninety minutes virtually by ourselves.  We stopped shortly before noon, again beating the lunch crowds and made sure that Dear Daughter had enough in her belly to strengthen her for the afternoon.  We skied hard in the afternoon but normally ended by 2pm.  Back at the apartment, we all relaxed for an hour or so.  A short walk into the village provided our afternoon's entertainment.  Then we cooked dinner, watched a movie and went to bed.  It was perfect...or so we wanted it to be.  But unfortunately, our neighbors were not so accommodating.  By the fifth day, we could no longer block out the noise of slamming doors, children playing in the stairway, boots stomping in the hallways just as we fell asleep.  So two days early, we packed up our bags and headed back home.

     I do not think that any of us were overly disappointed with the way the trip ended.  Our time there was very nice and we enjoyed the skiing and each others' company.  We had travelled a lot during the holiday and I think that we wanted to come home, sleep in our own beds, wake up late and just have a few lazy days before "life" started again.  So that is exactly what we did...and it was just as fun!  But it feels that this all happened months ago instead of less than two weeks ago.  Good has to slow down!

     So, I have to mention Dear Daughter's eating habits while on the trip.  First of all, she is a fairly adverturous eater...when she wants to be and when it can be on her terms.  Get her in the right frame of mind (and make sure her stomach is empty) and she will gobble down an oyster.  Of course, you have to be prepared that the next time oysters are served, she will crinkle up her nose and adamently refuse to try.  We've learned to live with it.  Second of all, at home, she is not much of a breakfast eater and there are many days when I open her lunch box only to find that she has taken a few bites.  I am not sure how she can go the whole day without eating.  In the car ride home, she will devour her lunch and promptly ask for a snack when we reach the house!  It is incredible.

     Well on the trip, she would typically eat one egg and one to two brotchens a morning - slathered with Nutella or jam.  By 11:00 a.m., she would consume hot chocolate heaped with whipped cream before devouring a large bowl of soup.  When we returned from skiing at 2 pm, her afternoon snack would consist of leftovers from the previous night's dinner.  So, one afternoon, she had sausage and spatzle while on another, she had refried beans and guacamole.  Around 5 pm, we would all have some sort of small appetizer followed by dinner AND dessert around 7 pm.  It was amazing...and perhaps we were just a bit jealous.  Of course, now we are back home and I had to coax a protein shake down her throat this morning and I know that her lunch box will be nearly full this afternoon.  Perhaps she can only eat when she is travelling!

     No recipes today...we haven't much time lately for cooking and in fact, our freezer and cupboards are almost bare.  We are consuming the leftovers and getting ready for our next round of cooking.  So when I decide on what we will be making, I will let you know.

Happy New Year!