Monday, January 13, 2014

Just a very quick snapshot of the last 2 weeks....

Jessie, Holly and I in Toblach, Italy after stage 5 of 7.

There has been a lot that has happened in the last 2 weeks, and I really want to recap in more depth, but I am torn between getting a post up and taking the time to reflect on this period of time that has just passed.  So, I will do both.  Here are a few pictures from the last couple of weeks to give you a brief idea of what I have been up to until I can sit down and take the time to write the post I would like to write.

The Tour de Ski happened.  And, my parents came to watch the last 3 stages!!

Noah, Jessie and my good friends, Karin Camenisch and Markus Ljungdahl decided to drive over from Davos to watch us race Alp Cermis.  The 3.5 hour drive turned into an epic 9.5 hour drive, through a blizzard and closed roads, but they made it and I feel so incredibly lucky to have such caring friends as these two gems.

Our awesome massage therapist, Steph, who keeps us feeling our best throughout these grueling 9 days, me, and Holly after the Final Climb.  Holly didn't complete the last 2 stages of the Tour this year, but was there cheering her lungs out right where we needed her most.

Holly, Jessie, Steph and I all smiles after finishing the Tour.  It's a pretty fun feeling at the top of that mountain at the end of the 9 day Tour.

My parents and I took a mini 3 day vacation and headed south to Tuscany the day after the Tour.  Rest is what is needed for a few days following, so it was a great opportunity to spend some much needed time with my family and check out an area none of us had ever been to before.  We stayed 2 nights in a small town called Castellina in Chianti, which is about 20k outside of Sienna.  It was a really cute little town, complete with a castle, vineyards and olive trees everywhere, and great little farmhouses that you can rent a room in for the night.  We found just such a place and enjoyed the quiet, beautiful views from the patio when we weren't out exploring, which I have to say was not too much!

My parents and the view from our farmhouse.

The first night we arrived I saw one of the most beautiful sunsets I have ever seen in my life. A picture never does it justice, but to give you an idea...

We checked out Sienna for a day, which is a super old city with narrow, cobblestone streets and gorgeous, old buildings, some that were built thousands of years ago.  It's pretty unbelievable how old some of Europe is.  My dad and I enjoying an espresso.

Me and my parents excited to have time together. I can't tell you all enough how wonderful it was to be with my family again, even if only for a few days. Skype is great, but there is nothing that compares to a bear hug from your dad and some good quality mom time. I didn't realize how much I needed it.

Panoramic view of the square in Sienna

View of the city of Sienna.

I am now training in Seiser Alm, Italy with Jessie, Noah and Matt before we all head to Poland for a weekend of World Cup racing and then head back here for 10 days of training again before our last World Cup before Sochi!  It is all coming quickly now.  There are some really beautiful pictures from here that I want to post, and some fun activities that happened yesterday on my birthday, but I have to get to bed so they will have to wait!

Ok....maybe just a taste of my life right now....


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