|APU Christmas Fun|
Growing up, Christmas was my favorite times of the year. I loved the holidays. To me, it meant family time, playing in the snow, presents, yummy meals, and lots of holiday spirit. In the Bjornsen household, we celebrate in full force! For the past two years, I have spent Christmas away from my family, and overseas. Having a french boyfriend, and his french family nearby- I have learned to appreciate the "french christmas" a bit more. While it is very different, it has become something to look forward to in a new way. They put together an amazing meal, and like Americans, surround themselves in lots of family! I learned that Santa actually comes and brings presents to children in France…. he doesn't just show up in the middle of the night when the children are sleeping. Neat!
|Christmas Dinner Party at the Saquet's|
|Jo helping the little guy's unwrap their gifts from Santa|
|I asked Santa for snow.... but it didn't quite come as I was hoping.|
|Christmas in Meribel|
Having a ten day break from racing meant that I had a small opportunity to get some "away time". I have learned my ski racing depends on being happy. Being happy means getting a little time away, and finding some time to turn my "professional/serious brain off". I am lucky to have my boyfriend living over on this side of the pond, so I get to go have a little break with him. He is always working a lot during Christmas, so it just means a lot of resting and catching up on life. There wasn't much snow in Meribel, so I was finding myself doing more hiking and jogging than normal, but it was just a nice "mental vacation". I did manage to force myself to ski once a day on the mini .5k loop of ice… but it was the hiking on dirt that I was most enjoying!
|Not much snow, but a whole lot of enthusiasm! Love meeting up with my little "Meribel Ski Club buddies"|
|Enjoying some good wine and good food "while in France"|
|The awesome Meribel Ski Club girlies|
|Discovering some cabins in the hills while out running.|
After 5 days in Meribel, I headed towards Villard de Lans, where my brothers girlfriend and her family live. Holidays are a prime time to get extremely home sick, so it was really nice to meet up with my brother. It was also really fun to meet Marine's family, who took me in and made me feel right at home! I quickly fell in love with Villard and the Dusser's! The skiing is some of the best skiing I have done, the area is really beautiful, and the people are all wonderful in Villard! There are many french biathletes and nordic skiers living in Villlard, so we were in great company as well! It is definitely a place I will go back to!
|Skiing in Autrons (just a few k's from Villard). Maybe my new favorite place in the world to ski!!|
|One evening we went bowling, and made bets with each other. I won my bet, so Robin (one of the skiers on the French Team) had to wax my skis for training... he is not quite as good as my French Tech on the World Cup.. but I had some good training skis!|
|Running through the streets of Villard with Erik and Marine|
|A view of town.|
|Marine soaking in some evening sunshine.|
|Interval day, getting chased by Marine|
|Pretending we are in the Methow for the day.|
|Marine's sister, Fanny, getting my fingers ready for some golden Tour de Ski days.|
After five short days, Erik and I jumped in with the French team and headed to the Tour de Ski. Updates from the Tour de Ski coming soon..!!
|Headed for Obersdorf with the French Squad.|