Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Pics From Chamonix

Jignesh's favorite type of ski! Unfortunately, this was not ours

What happened to the skiers?


A Sunday snow storm!

Enjoying the scenery


On top of the world!

Chamonix, France

Wanting to experience a true winter, we headed to the French Alps this past weekend for some skiing and relaxation. Chamonix is a scenic little ski town near the Swiss border. It is even possible to take a cable car to the very top of Mont Blanc, the highest point in Europe.

Our trip began with a late night Thursday flight (gotta love Swiss Air and chocolate!) from London, through Zurich, and finally into Geneva. We were very relieved to quickly find our shuttle that transported us across the French border and directly to our hotel. We actually stayed at a Best Western! This was not the Best Western that I remeber staying at when I was a kid. This hotel was newly renovated in a modern, trendy style. It had a wonderful outdoor heated pool and hottub. Although our room was small, it was comfortable and nicely fitted.

After a good night's rest, we got a bit of late start on Friday but still managed to hit the slopes. After bundling up in all our ski gear (check out my new bright pink ski coat...I love it!) and waddling out the door, we hopped on the Cham bus and attacked one of the for main ski areas in Chamonix. Le Tour was the perfect place to get our ski legs back as it is full of easier (blue) runs. Although Jignesh spent quite a bit of time on the ground rather than on his skis, we still a wonderful time. The were very lucky to have a sunny skies, warm temperatures, and great skiing conditions. We were one of the last skiers to make it off the mountain.

Day two on the slopes was another beautiful day with great weater. Getting an early start we headed to Brevent and spent then entire day on the mountain. Despite a few stumbles along the way and an irritable ski, Jignesh started to find his rhythm and was soon flying down the mountain. I was loving the atmosphere, the scenery, and the conditions. Once again we were one of the last to leave leave the mountain.

We could not leave Chamonix without checking out the local nightlife. After a Saturday evening dinner (ok and a bottle of wine), we stumbled into a British owned pub. There, we had a few more drinks and even made a few new friends! We woke up on Sunday with a slight headaches to look out the window and discover beautiful snowfall. Since our shuttled was collecting us mid-afternoon, we decided to explore the town with a relaxing stroll and a stop for some much needed good coffee. We headed home late in the day with slightly sore legs, red noses, and memories of great weekend. Thankfully, all our bones made it home intact as well!


Saturday, February 14, 2009

Some Good Friends and Good Crepes

Finally There!

Waiting in line for a crepe!

Jignesh, Anna, and Valentin in the Heath

Last weekend, we were lucky enough to meet up with some German friends that we originally met in Charlotte. We started the afternoon by exploring the Heath with Schlopy tagging along and then showed Anna and Valentin around the rest of our 'hood. Towards the end of the day we found ourselves at one of our favorite places in Hampstead. Tucked away on the High Street, La Creperie de Hampstead is a small crepe stand serves some of the best crepes in London. It is rare to pass the stand and not see at least 20 people in the queue. On this particular day, the weather was not even a deterrent as it was quite cold with flurries in the air! Since Jignesh and I had not eaten lunch, we both opted for savory crepes of ham, cheese, spinach, and various seasonings! Anna and Valentin decided to endulge in sweet crepes of chocolate, nuts, rum and bananas (my mouth is watering just writing about it!). Ok, so what do you do on a Sunday afternoon in London after you have stuffed yourself with crepes? Go to the pub, of course! And that is exactly what we did. The Holly Bush is a landmark on its own. One of the oldest pubs in London, the Holly Bush is known for its original features and cozy fireplace. Here, we all enjoyed a drink of our choice. It was great to see some old friends and we are looking forward to taking them up on the offer to visit them in Germany!


Sunday, February 8, 2009


The Royal Palace

The Buda Castle

An overall view of Budapest

The Royal Palace

Last week, Jignesh traveled to Budapest for work. Unfortunately, this was a solo trip as I had to work. Even though I have been to Budapest, I was still a bit jealous! Although he was confined to a conference room for the majority of his trip, he was able to get out and see a bit of the city directly after his arrival. Thanks to the conference, he had a wonderful 5 course dinner at the Buda Castle! Here are a few pics from his trip.


Monday, February 2, 2009

Let It Snow, Let It Snow!

Our garden

Our snowy Hampstead street

Schlopy loves the snow!

A snowman family constructed by some neighborhood kids

Over the last 24 hours, London has been experiencing its biggest snowfall in 18 years! The first of the snowflakes began to fall yesterday late afternoon and have continued throughout the day today. It is expected to continue throughout the night and finally come to a end early tomorrow morning. With a total of 8-12 inches forecasted, this snowfall is by no means comparable to the storms seen in the Midwestern or Northeastern United States. However, for a city that rarely sees more than a dusting, this is undoubtedly considered a blizzard. Ill-equipped for this amount of snow, London essentially shut down today. Most forms of public transportation were either completely or partially suspended, many stores and businesses failed to open their doors, and children enjoyed a rare snow day from school. I am sure the airports were complete chaos. Despite the masses of people who stayed home today, Jiggy and I both trudged to work. I am not sure if we are dedicated or crazy. At least I was rewarded with an extra vacation day for my efforts! I am looking forward to spending the remainder of the evening curled up in a warm blanket with a cup of hot chocoloate (or wine).