It was a long two days of travel before we arrived in the mountain village of Tignes, France. We had a van full of rambunctious boys and a coach driving. Thankfully the van was an automatic to make for a smoother ride. Since we had quite the luggage cluster, I went ahead and rented a “gear car” to haul it all. I drove this car with Alli as my co-pilot. Sorry to Paula who got stuck in the van full of over amped Garçons. We stopped at the famous town of Annecy on our way to the alps.
We arrived in Tignes several hours later, just before dark. Being able to see the tall mountains that surrounded the tiny village when we drove in was (and always is), a special moment. It is the calm before the storm.
Once we deciphered the puzzle of unloading the car, door codes, building codes and French check in information (phew), we dropped our stuff and headed to dinner. We ate at a local restaurant called TexMex. As you can tell from the name, it is not authentic French cuisine. Ha! It is a pink and neon American style dinner with Mexican food. Go figure. It was good enough for our tired bodies and off to bed we went.
The next morning we headed to the mountain (via the ski train) to make our first turns. We did not get an early start as originally planned. Jet lag got ahold of a few of us and getting out of bed was a challenge. Regardless, we ate our baguettes and chocolate croissants, then we skied for about 4 hours. The view from the top of the Tram was epic and sunny. I think this was another moment of calm among the storm of emotions.
On the slopes, we headed straight for Zi Jump! From the tram we could see some French athletes already hitting the jump so our crew was able to start seasoning the jump right away. Sure, it would have been good to take a few more warm up laps, but the crew (led by Sammy) was too amped up with anticipation. They needed to hit the jump immediately! Everything went smooth…yes they started with a straight air. And then it was game on!
Most everyone hiked the jump for hours in the gorgeous Euro sun and beautiful Alps backdrop. There were no snowmobiles on our first day… but that’s okay. A little hiking does the jet lagged body good. Some athletes, Paula, Alli, Felix and Lennon did take ski laps on the Tram to warm up and check out the neighborhood. It was their first day skiing for the year. Not a bad place to be – the French Alpes – for your first day of a new ski season.
The crew then took a break to eat their ham, poulet and fromage sandwiches. Next it was back down to our cozy Euro style apartments to sort out our food plan. I decided for dinners that I needed to share the cooking responsibilities. I came up with a fun idea and everyone agreed it would work, plus add a little excitement to our nights. Team Cooking! With 10 people there are 5 teams of 2 and each team cooks every 5th night. Each team has a budget of $75Euro to shop for their ingredients and cook. It has been two nights and everything has been all good so far. Alli and Paula made a delicious stew and pasta for night one. Night two: Broby and Milli made tacos. Tomorrow? Hmmm…. let’s see who steps up next.
Today, day 2 of skiing, the French Team arrived and we had a skidoo available to make quick laps back to the top of the jump. Aaron Milligan really appreciated this. He felt the skidoo really helped him “stay in the zone”. He had never trained with a snowmobile and saw how it can be beneficial. The halfpipe feature was completed during the night, but the airbag was just being set up. Therefore, the athletes sessioned the side of the quarter pipe for a fun warm-up day.
Tomorrow will be our third day on snow and the weather is forecasted to be perfect again! We will have both venues open for slopestyle and halfpipe athletes. And skidoos! It should be a great day.
So far, we only have two downsides to this trip. One is the weak internet Wifi. However, some athletes are managing better than others and trying to get their homework completed. Some athletes aren’t making the same effort, yet.., Maybe they are still jet lagged. Item two is a #WorkInProgress
As mentioned, the Wifi (pronounced WEE FEE) is slow at times from all the traffic. I will try to post more video soon of all the athletes. In the meantime, all the athletes have been posting Instagrams and Facebook videos or pictures. Check those out.