Monday, December 17, 2007

Skinny tree, busy weekend!

Another tree detail
Originally uploaded by hellomizk
I posted a couple pictures of our funny little Christmas tree to my Flickr account. Our choice of trees was somewhat hampered by size and weight, since Chris was going to have to carry it back to our apartment. I thought a tall skinny tree was a nice change from a short fat tree. An added bonus was the tree only needed one strand of lights so I got to pick out some super swanky lights rather than having to stick to the less expensive little bitty ones. You can't see them in this picture, but the fancy one look like frosted flowers - very pretty!

We had a busy weekend! On Saturday night we had yet another amazingly tasty dinner at Kasia and Peter's house. Kasia made pirogi in soup and a poppy seed cake that made Chris swoon. This wasn't the poppy seed cake my American buddies are familiar with - the one with a smattering of seeds more for color than for flavor. This was a seed-based cake! Kasia said it took over a pound of seeds to make it. Unfortunately we have no pictures, but trust me - amazing stuff!

We got up early on Sunday morning to meet Dani and Steph and go the thermal baths in Charmey. We arrived around 11 in the morning and, after purchasing a swimming suit for Chris, we headed into the changing rooms to shed our hats, coats, scarves, gloves, shoes, socks, pants, shirts, and the rest and climb into our swimming suits. After depositing our pounds of winter clothing in lockers, we took quick showers and walked into the thermal bath area. We had never been to anything like this before and it was amazing! There were two large swimming pools filled with water hovering around 90 degrees. One pool was indoors and one was outdoors. It was 19 degrees outside and there was snow everywhere. One whole wall of the baths was glass overlooking the mountain side and the air was crisp and cold cold cold. If you wanted to play in the outdoor pool, you could go out the door - brrrrr! - or you could walk into the water up to your neck and then go through a doorway hung with strips of plastic to keep most of the cold air out. Through the outdoor pool you could get to multiple saunas and the Turkish baths.

We were unfamiliar with the differences between saunas and baths, so allow me to explain. The Turkish bath was around 113 degrees with 100% humidity. A small hose on the wall would allow you to spray yourself down with ice water if you got too hot and after about five minutes, it felt wonderful to rinse off your legs and feet and splash your face with the cold, fresh water. The sauna was closer to 185 degrees with 0% humidity, so we only stayed in 10 to 12 minutes. When we exited the sauna, there was a huge bucket mounted high up on the wall with a rope hanging down. While sitting in the sauna, we would hear a whoosh followed by a gasp or small scream every couple minutes. Closer examination of the bucket cast a light on these weird sounds - it was full of ice water and when people would come out of the sauna, they would stand below it and pull the fat rope hanging down from it at which point the barrel would upend and dump several gallons of ice water over the person fresh from the sauna. Our Swiss friends swore it was "good for the heart and circulation"... I planned to skip the bucket but after everyone - including Chris - dowsed themselves, the peer pressure kicked in and that's how I ended up paying for the privilege of dumping a bucket of ice water over my head while standing outside in a bikini in December. To be fair, once the initial shock wore off, they were right - it felt great... but that doesn't mean I was brave enough for the bucket after the second trip to the sauna!

After a light lunch, we changed out of our suits and back into pants, shirts, socks, shoes, hats, scarves, gloves, and coats. We went back to Dani and Steph's house for dinner - Fondu Chinois. Because this post is getting a bit long-winded, I'll leave a description of that for my next post!


Kasia said...

Lol! You guys indeed had a busy weekend! Thermalbads and fondue chinoise! Two birds with one stone! I'm happy to hear that you had a great time on Sunday!

FillyFolly said...

Hope there is no drug test at work too soon after the poppy seed cake :)

Dad said...

Hi Honey
Any of the boxes arrive yet?
Surprise delivery to your apartment on Friday so stick around

Dad said...

Christmas funny (VERY American)


Miz K said...

Hi dad! Our tiny tree overfloweth! I'll be home on Friday for a delivery from IKEA, too.... I HOPE!

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