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Posts Tagged ‘nature’

One of the benefits of having an address in the sticks is the sticks.

After spending the evening hitting a round of golf (or in this case Fattie playing well and me gouging ginormous divots out of the earth while he patiently and ever so kindly waited for my three – four strokes to his every one) I walked over and cut two gigantic armfuls of budding branches to use as arrangements.

Living in the city you’ll need to get off your wallet for fresh cut twigs like this – over 3-4 feet in length with gorgeous green buds starting to poke their heads out. It feels so much better when you can pick as many as you want, whenever you like and they’re free.

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The air here is filled with the aroma of spring and the landscape is diligently following right along as it loyally does each and every season.

green flower

Apparently, the trusted Swedes inform me, it’s rare to see these gorgeous sights of spring cropping up in these parts of Sweden so early in the year.

In March of most previous years, the lake would still be completely frozen over (as in frozen solid – thick enough to drive your car on – oh, you can probably only imagine the fun Fattie and his brothers have skidding around the lake with their ‘ice cars’ – can’t wait for that adventure), it would be minus some stinking temperature that is synonymous with ‘bitterly freakin’ bone chilling cold’, and there could easily be a meter plus (that’s 3.28 feet for my friends in the US or those of us challenged with the metric system) of snow packed high outside.

So, what’s the deal this season?

We barely had a winter at all here; just a touch of snow 2 or 3 times that melted within days of falling. I mean – don’t get me wrong – I’m certainly not complaining. Whatever the reason – I love it. Spring is coming and I can almost taste it.

Out on my walk this morning, I snapped a few photos.

boat

 

forest trees

It’s almost as if it’s teasing us – just peaking out around the corner to give us a glimpse of what delights are heading our way.

flowers

Even the golf course is looking green green-ish.

stream

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Wow….What an amazing trip!

Italy for Valentines Day? Yup. A ski holiday I would have only dreamt about last year. Truly a one of a kind gift. Thanks Fattie!

Obviously, one of the great benefits of living in Europe is how easily you can hop from country to country. So a quick flight to Milan along with a 2 hour drive and we were sipping Italian wine in the snowy Alps. We stayed in the small quaint village of Champoluc, close to the Swiss and French borders. Spending most of our time up in those gorgeous mountains with the sun shining down on us was….D-I-V-I-N-E.

Everyone knows I’m a beginning skier and don’t particularly like to be out in the cold so initially I was just jacked to be ‘going away’ for holiday – spending my birthday and Valentines in Italy sounded perfect. But after a week of hitting the slopes every stinking day, bruises and all, I was equally excited about the skiing. The snow was perfect for a newbie like me, the pistes were all trimmed and fresh, and gazing at the Matterhorn everyday was incredible.

The main chair lift is conveniently located smack dab in the middle of town. Every morning after downing an espresso we sauntered 10 minutes over to the gondolas and were off. We skied the majority of the day and by 5 in the afternoon, beer in hand, we were firmly planted on our bums warming up in one of the after ski joints watching the mountains turn pink from the setting sun.

Words fail me. I’m at a loss on how to convey the pure beauty of the scene.

I would highly recommend Italy’s largest skiing region Monterosa Ski to those looking for an Italian winter ski/snow board holiday. Beautiful, low key, family friendly, and affordable. You can hit the lifts (38 of them!) and manage to ski several valleys throughout the day before making your way back into town. Fantastic and surprisingly undiscovered. At times, it felt as if we were the only ones there.

We even mustered up the guts to tackle an adventure course high up in the trees. Cable walks, zip lines, and suspension bridges – 22 courses in all. It was a little nerve racking but a grip of fun. Parco Avventura is definitely a must do if you make it to Champoluc, Italy.

I can’t wait for Valentines 2009.

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How lucky am I? A trip to Italy!

Italy 1

It was supposed to be a surprise combo Valentines/birthday gift from Fattie but he just couldn’t keep his lips sealed. He spilled it. And I’m thrilled. What a good boy.

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It snowed a few days ago and in my optimism I thought it would melt by the days end.

Well, can someone be so kind as to gently remind me I’m in Sweden now?

The beautiful snow didn’t melt as I had planned; in fact, it kept coming down. And now 4 days later it’s still here.

Unfortunately, we haven’t put our winter tires on the cars yet; and since it’s the law here, going too far away without them is a little risky. So, I’ve been holed up at home these last few days making every effort and excuse for a jaunt out of the house.

Oh, what have I been doing to keep busy? Rearranging the junk drawers, doing laundry, scanning cookbooks, listening to music, relaxing, changing all the linens, scrubbing the bathrooms, creating a photo book online, vacuuming, surfing the web, chatting with friends, dusting, shopping online, organizing my closet, trying new recipes, skimming through all the magazines my mom sent me from the states, and getting all snuggled up, grabbing my iPod and going for long reflective walks in the snow.

A few things I saw on my chilly 2 hour walk today (in no particular order):

  • Fresh moose tracks in the snow
  • 2 gorgeous lakes
  • A cow patty
  • Icicles dripping from the tree branches
  • Not another human soul

A few things I wish I had seen:

  • The running tracks/trails around Forest Park
  • Lake Oswego
  • A beef patty with all the fixings from Giant Burger
  • Drip coffee from Starbucks
  • Shiiki



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Yup. It’s not even Thanksgiving yet but it snowed here last night. Back home we may get a sprinkling of snow once or twice during the entire winter but certainly not this early. So I bundled up, grabbed my in-laws dog and went for a little stroll this morning. Here are a couple pics I snapped of the golf course and the lake. The sun is trying to sneak out so I’m sure the melting will begin soon.SnowSnowSnowSnowSnowSnow

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It’s fall here.

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