That’s Chloe, Manon, Romain, Laurent and Frédérique. Not pictured are Melinda, the photographer, as well as Ella and me. Ella isn’t in the photo because she’s come down with a nasty cold and stayed in the apartment all day. In fact, she slept for most of the afternoon, afterwards claiming that she hasn’t taken a nap like that since she was 7 years-old. I’m not pictured because, well, I don’t ski. I know this is hard to understand, especially if you know Melinda and the entire Shaw family. I try to explain it as having something to do with being born in Nebraska, but somehow that explanation doesn’t always stand up. When I try to add in that it has to do with my sore knees, people start playing tiny violins with their fingers (I hate that). The truth is, I have no explanation.
So today’s photo was taken at lunchtime or what is referred to here as le pique-nique (yes, picnic or outdoor lunch). This photogenic crew had been skiing for a couple of hours before taking a break. They left Les Carroz in the fog and emerged here above the town of Flaine in the sunshine. The number of ski runs in this area is astounding, literally dozens and spread out over a vast amount of space. For instance, our beloved skiers left today from Les Carroz (5 minutes from our apartment, btw), got pulled a short distance on something called a “téléski” (pomalift) to get to another something called a “télécabine” (what might best translate as a gondola – this one fits 8 people and looks like a Disneyland ride to me). They exited the télécabine and skied toward the ski area of Samoens. From Samoens they took a télésiege (ski lift), then skied a short distance to yet another télésiege. This one took them further up a mountain where they exited and took a long ski run to the ski area of Flaine. They took still another télésiege up above Flaine, skied a short distance, then stopped for lunch and this photo.
Got it? I’m not sure I do and Frédérique just showed me using a map.