Friday, February 24, 2012

The "Bise" Winds 2!!

Here are a couple of extra pictures of the ice in Versoix. We were able to go back with David and some other friends It was still really cold, but thankfully, not quite as cold as before!















We have had a couple of beautiful days here lately. It is so nice to see the sun shining. Here is the view from our balcony.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

The "Bise" Winds!

Up until last week I really thought the weather had been pretty mild for what I thought it would be like. After all, we did live through two winters in Minnesota so I really thought I was prepared for just about anything. The end of last week we woke up to freezing cold temperatures and our first snow fall! I L.O.V.E the snow! Something about it is just so magical so I was thrilled.



I got a day of excitement, I think, before the winds came in, dropping the temperatures into the negatives. It was always pretty windy in MN, so when people had told us about these so called winds I was thinking...ahh no big deal!! Well, I was wrong. They call the winds the "bise" winds. They I have never experienced anything like it to be honest. If they hit you the wrong way it will just about knock you off your feet and I am not exaggerating!! It terrifies the dogs cause a strong wind like that could just about pick them up and carry them off. Between the freezing cold temperatures, wind, and snow the poor dogs start shaking and sit on their behind with paws up in the air because their little paws are freezing making it almost impossible for them to use the bathroom. They won't wear little booties, but I did manage to buy them these little shoes over Christmas called Pawz. They look a lot like little balloons and they are supposed to protect their feet without all the bulkiness of a shoe. Unfortunately, we got the wrong size so they were too small. Eventually I realized we could cut them and could slide them on that way. Then we had to hold them on with my hair ties haha!! They are still freezing, as are we, but at least their little paws are protected. We have a friend bringing us some more next week so hopefully we will have the right size because right now it is definitely a process trying to take them out.

Anyway, when the "bise" winds come in off the Alps and the Jura and blows the lake waters up onto land. It really is something to see. The pictures honestly don't do it justice! It is one of those things that you really have to see in person. So, Miriam called me up this morning and said let's go take some pictures today...dress warm. We dressed in layers and I have never been so cold in my whole life. Like I said before, we lived through -40 degree temps in MN, but with the wind blowing at 30-40mph and the drops of water hitting you from the water from the lake, it was unbelievably cold. Since we were pretty much standing on a sheet of ice, it was hard trying to get pictures with the water hitting us and the wind blowing!!

You will also see some cars that have been completely covered in ice from the lake. Apparently these have been on national news so you may have seen them....it's just crazy!!



This is the ground...it was hard walking on this without the proper boots!






Windy!!


This was a manikin and a little dog that someone stuck out here!!

This is the front of a wooden park bench!

The back of the bench not covered by ice.


Here is one of the cars that is stuck!!







You can see the wind blowing up the water in the right hand corner of this picture!!

A drop of water that immediately turned to ice.


This is a light and I thought the way the ice formed behind it was so cool!!





And here are just a couple of pictures of the mountains on the way back home.

I'm hoping I can take David back this weekend so he can see it in person. Maybe the winds will die down by then.

Skiing in the French Alpes

One of the things that we wanted to experience while we were here was skiing/snowboarding. Neither of us had ever been before. I'm not sure if that's crazy or smart to go skiing for the first time in the Alps; but nonetheless, that's what we did. We went to Megeve in France which is near the Mont Blanc. It only takes about an hour to get there. (Side note: I also had heard that this is where some of the old movie Charade was filmed with Audrey Hepburn and Carey Grant). We couldn't have asked for a more beautiful day either. The view from the top of the mountain was unbelievable. I had to keep reminding myself to stop staring at my feet and remember to look out and enjoy it!!

Since it was our first time we decided it would be smart to take lessons. I wanted to learn to ski and David wanted to learn to snowboard. So we each took a two hour private lesson and after that we were so exhausted we were done!! It was really fun and such a great experience for our first time out. I was completely terrified and even told my instructor so. Here were the thoughts running through my head: What happens if i get hurt? I really don't want to end up in the hospital again here. Who would take care of me if i get hurt because David works long hours. Since our fridge is so small and we have no car how would I make the daily trip to the grocery and how would I lug the groceries home? We live in an Apartment, how would I take the dogs out? The list goes on and on!! I know God is up there going "Brooke, I got this...seriously" but still I didn't want to do anything too crazy. I made it down the bunny slope a couple of times and then I went to the bigger slope. I'm sure I was quite the site to see when I lost control and couldn't stop and went into the woods all while arms were flailing about and screaming at the top of my lungs "stop me, stop me!!" Seriously, i'm pretty aware that it wasn't my instructors job to stop me, but thankfully he eventually caught up with me and did stop me. Bless his heart...I'm sure he was thinking what is this girl doing?! Luckily I made it through my first trip out without any accidents.

David did great for his first time snow boarding. We were told it takes longer to catch onto snowboarding but that once you do, it's easier to advance in it than skiing. He was incredibly sore the next day though!!

I will say one of the things that just baffled me was the amount of children on the slopes!! I couldn't believe how many little kids were out there 4-5 years old going down the big slopes and just flying past both me and David. It was amazing to watch them!

Here are some pictures from our day!!


















This was David's snowboarding instructor!!





Our Swiss family!!



The Real Housewife of Geneve

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