Tuesday, 29 March 2011

I Guess I'll Start At The Part Where Dan Gets Old

I'm not sure how to recap our Week of Awesome.

Do I tell our stories chronologically? Numerically? Alphabetically? Or on a sliding scale starting with: "Holy shit, that was embarrassing," to: "Excuse me Earth, feel free to swallow me whole now." Because seriously Internet, I really am a disaster sometimes.

Especially when snow sports are involved.

But I suppose I shall start neither at the beginning nor the end, and will tell you all about Dan's 30th birthday, and how it will be inked in our history book as one of the best days we've ever had...ever...in the history of Ever.

It was that good.

On March 21st, Dan rolled out of bed and raised the shutters, then gave an involuntary shudder as he realized he was looking out at the morning world with the eyes of a 30 year old. I snuggled down further into bed and gave him his first birthday wish of the day: "Haha sucka, you gettin' old now. I'm still 29 and doin' fine!"

(I'm not sure why, but sometimes very early in the morning I channel the vocabulary of a suburban teenager who wants to be more badass than her surroundings actually warrant.)

Damn grown-ups though, because Dan ripped the covers off the bed and made me get up to eat breakfast so we could get on with our day's activities.

Talk about crampin' my style, yo.

Sledding was the only thing Dan wanted to do on his birthday, and so as we eagerly awaited the day, weather forecasts were obsessively consulted, sun dances were performed (or not) (or maybe) (or not), and on Sunday we burned down the telephone lines trying to locate a decent sledding track that not only still had snow, but one where it would take us more than three seconds to reach the bottom.

We had really wanted to take Marc and Wynter to Grindelwald for our day of sledding, but alas the hill was bald. When I found this out, I may or may not have been a bit panicked because OMG WHAT DO WE DO IF WE CAN'T GO SLEDDING? THERE'S NOTHING ELSE TO DO IN THE WHOLE OF SWITZERLAND. SLEDDING IS IT!

Could a sledding track of awesome still exist? In March? On the first day of spring?

Oh but it could.

But it does!

It was a birthday miracle!



Through the trees, can you spot the famous peak?

Or is my recent love of taking pictures of things through the trees getting really annoying, and you can't actually make out the famous peak?

Okay fine, here's an even clearer picture.



That's right Internet, we hit up the Matterhorn for a full day of sledding and hot damn if those sun dances didn't work. You may want to put on your shades for the rest of these pictures, because I feel like I'm getting snow blindness just looking at them again.

In order to reach the sledding track, we took a cute little mountain train up and up and up, until it dropped us off at the mountain stop of Rotenboden which is a very deceiving name, because if anyone has a 'Roten' time up there they must be dead inside. Luckily there are sleds up in Rotenboden so you can make a speedy getaway from any potential downers.

Our mountain train, disappearing 'round the bend.
The Rotenboden stop.

Once we got to Rotenboden and rented our sleds, I then proceeded to get all paparazzi on the Matterhorn's ass and would probably still be up there now taking pictures if Dan didn't snatch my camera away from me and force me down the track of doom.


Clearly you are looking at these pictures and wondering what I could possibly mean by a track of doom? Could anything so sinister be real on such a beautiful day?

The answer is yes.

Now when we went sledding in Grindelwald with my sisters, I ripped down that sledding track without a trace of fear. I was a speed demon. At the end of the day I was quite confident that I could challenge Bruce Willis to a sledding competition and I would totally kick his gun-toting ass all the way to the bottom where I would then point and laugh at him in truly congenial winner's fashion.

I expected my experience at the Matterhorn to be no different.

Oh, I was painfully mistaken.

The start of the track.

I'm even smiling.

The boys as they take off for 5km of fun.

How did I manage to be in a position to get such great action shots, you ask? Oh, really not a big deal. I just so happened to be riding the one sled that was powered by jet fuel so I went whipping past everyone at warp speed until I crashed down an embankment and needed a net to keep me from rolling even further down the mountain.

Luckily my camera wasn't harmed.

These Matterhorn sleds were not made of wood like their lighter Grindelwald counterparts, and bless Wynter's patient little heart, but no matter how many times she tried to teach me how to lean into my turns and transfer my weight on the sled, I just wasn't getting it. I would like to say that I continued to be sledding deficient because I'm still such a delicate young thing (only 29!) and not because of the fact that I'm so pathetically weak a fifteen pound sled proved to be too heavy for me.

Maybe if smile really big, it will make the pain go away.

So yes, for the entire day, on every single run, not only did I crash, but I completely bit it. It got to the point where everyone was earnestly trying to be first down the track just so they could watch Clumsy Caitie's epic crashes. The most humiliating one had to be when I had almost made it down to the bottom of the hill without crashing; with arrogant enthusiasm, I fist pumped the air over my marvelous achievement and promptly went sailing over the edge of the track where I then skidded down the hill on my face as the sled ran over my head.

That one hurt.

Everyone else was too busy rolling on the ground crying with laughter to ask me if I was okay.

But it's all cool, we broke for lunch.


The best part about these mountain resorts is that there are little restaurants scattered here, there, and everywhere, where a person can kick back in a sun chair on the patio, eat their lunch and work on their winter tanning.

Clearly I learned nothing from my morning crashes. I should have been eating a rack of ribs to quickly get some muscle building protein in me, instead of a girly salad-in-a-cup.
I just really like this picture of Dan.

After lunch we hit the trails again (of course I kept crashing but still smiling), and we did break to make snow angels on the side of the track.


After a full day, we went down into Zermatt where we had a Fondue Chinoise for supper and looked around the table and laughed at each other for the raging burns that were clearly starting to emerge.

That night we got home really late, and Dan blew out the tealight candle on his 30th birthday strawberry tart. And I'm only guessing here, but as he closed his eyes, smiled, and blew out the lone flame, I think he was probably realizing that with a day like the one we just had, there's no possible way that 30 is going to be anything other than a decade of fast thrills.
Happy birthday sweets.
But don't forget, I'm still 29 and doin' fine (for another five months, at least).


tongchen@seattle said...

Greetings from USA! Your blog is really cool.
Are you living in Switzerland?
You are welcomed to visit me at:

Ais said...

Good post Cait! And the pictures are awesome :) I wish I could have seen you get run over by your sled! Hahaha! Im glad that Dan had such a good birthday too :)

T said...

What a memorable way to spend Dan's 30th birthday! Awesome picture Caitie!

Meg said...

How amazing does this day look??!!! Freaking awesome! I feel like I was there with you guys just looking at all of your pictures and imagining all the fun you had :) Miss you guys lots!