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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.

(more…)

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I dashed out for a quick walk and was lucky enough to capture some gorgeous pictures of the sun setting over the water. We live on a such a beautiful lake in Sweden. Gratitude overwhelms me everyday. I am truly blessed.

……………………………………….

Day 8 on the master cleanse brings feelings of determination.

There are only 2 1/2 days left and there is no question if I can execute to the original plan.

I can and I will. No hesitation.

The question darting around my tiny biscuit is this: since I’m already through the most challenging part of this fast (which for me was those pesky little days called one, two & three) why not persist for just an itty bitty bit longer…? Maybe 12 days? Maybe 15 days? Why stop at 10?

Amazing. Day two into this fast I wasn’t sure how I was going to manage through the next ten minutes and six days later I’m feeling like I could swallow this peppery lemon mixture for another week. Oh, yeah, of course I have cravings of Fattie and I sitting down to the table with a giant dish of chorizo & sun dried tomato laced penne pasta loaded with Parmesan cheese, a fresh pear, walnut & Gorgonzola salad and bottle of Châteauneuf-du-Pape…….But those silly cravings will just have to wait……

More lemonade please!

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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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Jump!

I’m not sure why, but I like this photo…..At first glance this leaping dog kinda looks like a cow.

Jumping Dog

I can’t take credit for this photo……www.flickr.com/photos/mylerdude/71034227/

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It’s been a busy busy weekend here. Yesterday was fathers day in Sweden.

Mothers day is celebrated the same month as in the states but I have yet to find out why Fathers day is celebrated in November. Something I’ll have to Google I guess.

We woke Sunday to a gorgeous and chilly day.

I was looking forward to helping prepare, serve, and host 40 guests for our 3 course Sunday dinner honoring Fathers. Of course, we did spend most of Saturday accomplishing all the tasks that we could of ahead of time; table settings & flower arrangements created, china, flatware & stemware shined, vanilla bean creme brulee baked and chilled, Gorgonzola walnut butter prepared – I could go on & on but you get the point.

The dinners were absolutely delicious and the guests were very pleased. My fave? The perfectly cooked filet mignon with red wine mushroom sauce aside creamy pommes ducheese. You can’t do all this without help – it was certainly a group effort. Thanks to my honey, his brother, and my sister-in-law for another successful dinner party.

 

And to top it all off we were blessed with another gorgeous sunset over the lake. If you look closely you can see the frost on the practice green. Brrrr.

Dad, we miss you! Happy Fathers Day from Sweden.

sunset2

sunset

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