Family Xmas in the Alps!

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December 29th 2007
Published: January 14th 2008
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Eating Sushi in Hamburg
Well, lots of changes happening around here. I am sorry it has taken me so long to catch up on the last month or so. I have accepted an internship offer with Accenture and will be moving to Karlsruhe in the next couple of weeks. Karlsruhe is in the SW of Germany inbetween Stuttgart and Mannheim. It is a fantastic internship and I am looking forward to beginning it and also doing some work travel around Europe. :-)

So in between finding an apartment, Xmas, New Years, my mid year seminar, etc. Here I am. I'll try to update you on each as I have time to write. Hopefully NYE will come soon. Rachel and I had a blast. But first...our fabulous Christmas in Lech, Austria.

My family flew into the Frankfurt Airport on the 20th of December and took a train to come up to Hamburg. I have been looking forward to their arrival for a long time now and was waiting at the train station eagerly for their train to show up. I noticed the first people to get off the car where a bunch of soccer fans, so I was quickly aware that they had not

Parks and I
slept at all. Mom woke up that morning very sick with a stomach bug and im thankful she was able to push through and get on the plane. They all needed a rest as soon as they arrived so I took Parks back to my apartment and sent my mom and dad to the hotel to clean up/take a nap. We had made reservations for dinner at H&H, my mom and I's favorite sushi restaurant in Hamburg for 6:30, so I managed to get them all going so we could take a cab down to the harbor after taking a quick walk through the Hamburger Weinachtsmakrt (Christmas Market). We enjoyed a fabulous dinner and then walked along the harbor and up to the Reeperbahn to check out the scene. The Reeperbahn is an interesting street full of everything from Bars to Musical Theatres to Strip Clubs. They were hosting a "St. Pauli's Naughty Xmas Market" so we all had a glass of Gluhwein and my brother and I met up with my friend Megan for a drink. We were fairly early to bed as everyone was tired.

The next morning we woke up and headed downtown to meet our parents. We had a fabulous lunch with an old friend of my dad's at a wonderful restaurant on the Alster. It was nice for my dad and Dr. von Samson to catch up and I think everyone enjoyed the conversation. After lunch we spent a short amount of time in the Weinachtsmarkt again to get a few small souvineers and then headed back to get our parents luggage so we could drop by my apartment and then head to the Airport. We managed to make it to the airport on time for our flight to Zurich and had a nice flight. When in Zurich we were all hungry so we managed to find a Fondue restaurant that my parents had visited a couple of years ago. It was a fabulous fondue dinner and good conversation and we headed back to the hotel to get some sleep.

We were up early the next morning to catch our shuttle to Lech from the Airport. We took the bus for about 3 hrs from Zurich through Switzerlandand into Austria. We arrived in beautiful Lech in the early afternoon and were promptly greeted by Michael from the Hotel Haldenhof. He drove us and our luggage back to our fabulous hotel and we settled ourselves in. With our reservation we had every nice a wonderful 5 course meal to enjoy and breakfast in the morning. We were very close to the ski slopes and everything in this perfect austrian town was very convenient.

The week consisted of fabulous skiing, wonderful meals, wine, and great conversation. We took advantage of the sauna most every day after a rough day of skiing with clear blue skies! It might have just been heaven. The skiing in Austria was very different from what I was used to in the states. There are no trees really on most of the slopes and most of the runs seem to be kind of cut out of the mountain. The one big difference was that in every direction was an absolutely UNBELIEVABLE view. The alps seemed to go on forever. We enjoyed a couple of days of skiing at Zuers and also St. Anton/St. Christoph as our pass was for the entire Arlberg ski area. At St. Anton we took the gondolas up to the very top to get some incredible views.

On Christmas Eve, the Hotel Haldenhof had a

with Dr. von Samson
special evening planned. We had a nice apertif in the bar/lounge area with some "christmas music" from the children that were staying at the hotel. We had a blessing in both German and English and then moved into the dining room for an absolutely perfect 7 course wine dinner. I think it was the most relaxed any of us had ever been on Christmas and we all took advantage to sit back and enjoy ourselves. After dinner we had a small family xmas up in my parents room. We all got a small gift for everyone else either in Lech or Hamburg and it was a really nice little exchange. Christmas Day was once again spent skiing the area.

We also met up with one of my dad's friends Dr. Hensel for a wonderful lunch on the mountain. That night we met up again and took a snow cat up to a tiny fondue restaurant in the mountains outside of Lech. The meal was fabulous and we had wonderful conversation. I enjoyed practicing my German with everyone at the table. Overall a fantastic evening.

Pars and I took advantage on the last night to go and try out

This is the Hotel Haldenhof, fabulous.
the Toboggan run that ran from Oberlech (the town only reachable by Gondola above Lech) down to Lech. Their concept of the Toboggan run was absolutely hilarious and would be a nighmare for any lawyer in the states, but also the dream of a Father who has to take care of the kids. You get a tiny sled that basically covers your butt to go down this "run" which is really just random carved out steep drops and sharp turns. The only way to steer is to use your arms in the snow and lean or put your feet down which throws ridiculous amounts of snow in your face. Other options include hitting trees or people or even just falling and rolling. :-) We had an absolute blast although i took a few intense falls. Its just a free-for-all and just tried my best to avoid people when I could see through the snow covering my face and goggles. Absolute ridiculous fun.

I headed out a day before the fam and took about every possible type of public transportation to get back in Hamburg to meet Rachel Ross for Silvester/NYE! :-) (taxi, train, plane, bus...) But more to come

Hitting the slopes
from the next days of adventure. We did have a fabulous time. Overall a wonderful week with the family, it was great to catch up with everyone and to relax all together away from the stresses of finding an internship, MBA decisions, etc. :-)

Additional photos below
Photos: 31, Displayed: 26


Mom and IMom and I
Mom and I

on the lift
My Lunch!My Lunch!
My Lunch!

Not a bad life
Christmas PhotoChristmas Photo
Christmas Photo

The Family in front of the Christmas Tree
Xmas DinnerXmas Dinner
Xmas Dinner

Mom and I
Dad and ParksDad and Parks
Dad and Parks

at Christmas Dinner
First NightFirst Night
First Night

View from our window
Fondue DinnerFondue Dinner
Fondue Dinner

Fabulous meal

Parks and I relaxing in the room

The river through town

14th January 2008

I was wondering if you had forgotten to send out your "journal entries". I have missed then. It looks like ya'll had a great time with the family. Love you Aunt Susie Mama
15th January 2008

So jealous of your sunny skiing trip! Went to Keystone for New Year's Eve weekend - it was -19 degrees!, white out snow (even the highway closed for a day and lots of flights to Denver were canceled) - they had to close the gondola and several lifts because of the wind - so didn't get to ski much - hoping to get back up there in March. Congrats on your internship! Looks like you had an amazing Christmas - can't wait to hear about New Year's Eve.

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