Trek Women
May 12, 2009

Spinning thru Trek's web...

Swiss Trek Site Every once in a while, I take a spin through Trek's web site to see what's new and happening. I've been following the release of the sweet, new designs for Lance's, Levi's and Alberto's race bikes produced by the Project One team. I'm also a fan of the Document Trek. Unscripted two-minute film series, now up to episode 5 and I regularly catch up on the "King of the Mountain" and "Life in the Bike Lane" blogs.

But, the other day as I was clicking aimlessly, I realized at the bottom of the page, you could change your country and language. A whole 'nother world opened up!

On the french site - the FX series of bikes are led by the headline "Urbanité" (urbanity) and the french blog "Trek Backstage" has tons of cool photos and videos. On the Dutch site, there's a funky little news article about a new wax figure of Lance in Amsterdam's Madame Tussauds, dressed in Astana gear. It wasn't until I visited the Swedish site that I found out that the Equinox is now painted a screaming orange (my fav) and there's a grouping of commuter bikes called the Nordic Line. In Germany, there'll soon be a new Trek store in Munich.

It's fun to see what's out there and practice my language skills, which get a little rusty. Plus, it satisfies my wanderlust just a bit until I can see the real places in person once again. 

May 1, 2009

Why you drive through Switzerland...

Swiss Drive The views!

Until you come to a spot in the "highway" that is blocked by avalanche snow that still hasn't melted - realizing you are only 5 miles from where the road splits, then realizing you're going to have to drive 2 hours back from whence you came and and another 3 to detour thru alpine switchbacks in the dark to your destination with your best friends as company and strangely enough, a country-western music station on the radio.

April 28, 2009

Why you go to Germany...

Switzerland 018The guys and I fly in and out of Munich, Germany - a wonderful place and also notable for being the inaugural city for our annual New Year's Eve trips. I'd like to say that we went to Munich because the airfare was cheapest - it was a pretty good deal. But the real reason is probably in the photo.

Oooooh cheesey, gooey spaetzle with fried onions on top. It's the equivalent of homemade German mac 'n cheese. This is the first bowl full of goodness that we ate at 10:30 am after getting in to the city from the airport. Many more bowls followed over the course of the trip. Add a bier and you're in business!

April 27, 2009

My heart will go on...

Hi everybody, I had a great time in Switzerland with the guys and as usual I have a bad case of post-passport depression that I'm not sitting outside at a little Euro cafe having an afternoon weiss bier and maybe a wurst - instead of sorting thru 300+ emails clogging my inbox.

Switzerland 262But, while I catch up and get organized, I thought I'd share with you possibly one of the best trip photos I've ever taken. Russ, Wayne and I took a boat ride from Rapperswil, Switzerland to Zurich on Lake Zurich one afternoon and this fellow was standing like this on the first class upper deck for ages with his hair blowing in the breeze and contemplating something deep (my theory is his lost lady love). I kept waiting for him to thump his chest like Celine Dion and break into the Titanic theme song. He is the Swiss King of the World (or at the very least, Lake Zurich). Loved him!!!

April 13, 2009

Swiss Miss not instant cocoa...

Swiss miss 9 Here’s the thing… in the two years I’ve done this blog, Trek never updated my bio info. So I could look over to the side-bar and still pretend that I’m 38. But I’m not.  And in fact, in 7 days I’m going to turn a really, really, ugly number >gulp< 40. Agggghhhhhhh. Forty, how the hell did that happen?

Not that I ever need an excuse; but, if there was ever a time to go on a trip to forget the horror of 40 celebrate the next phase in my life – now would be it. On Wednesday, Russ, Wayne and I take off for …drum roll…

Switzerland!!!

It was my pick to be a Swiss Miss for a week since I’ve never actually stopped in Switzerland, just been through it on a train. We’re renting a car and spending a week driving around with a little day detour to Lichtenstein cause it’s right there.  I can just imagine, the cheese, the chocolate, the Alps, the cheese… Switzerland is a little bit German, a little bit French and a little bit Italian – all my favorites in one country. While, I’m dreading my birthday, I can’t wait to get there!

I’ll tell you all about it when we come home on April 23.

***** Tuesday Update *****

Started packing my suitcase last night - still have no clue what to bring (except my favorite red heels, which I probably won't wear). It could be chilly, it could be warm, who knows??? Good thing I just bought a bigger suitcase.

This note is from my sister Becky, who always know the right thing to say...
"I've heard that 40 is the new 30. The women on the talk shows all say they came into their own in their 40s. My friend Kathy had a pig roast on her 40th birthday. I like how you're celebrating. Switzerland will be awesome. Have fun. Don't dwell on the number. It doesn't mean a thing. It's how you feel that counts."
Thanks Bec!

January 12, 2009

Je t'aime Paris...

P1010215 I love me Paris (a rough translation of the title of this post). Our trip was fantastique despite being one of our coldest so far. It also earns top awards for most cheese consumed, most red wine consumed and cheapest (good) red wine consumed. We rented a four-bedroom apartment in the Marais neighborhood of Paris on the right bank about 3 blocks from the Centre Georges Pompidou and a 10-minute walk to Notre Dame in one direction and about a 15-minute walk to the Louvre in a slightly different direction.

I’m completely convinced that apartment-rental is the way to go from now on. Upside. it’s wonderful having a place to hang out with friends. Part of the fun of each day for each person was to stop at a market and pick up an interesting-looking cheese/sausage/loaf of bread/bottle of red wine that costs under 5 Euros (roughly $7). Only downside, you have to share bathrooms.

 

Anyway, every night after sightseeing all day, we’d have some nosh and vino, then head out in search of dinner. Our favorite place was a little café called the Station Rambuteau, named after the nearby metro stop. It was tiny with probably 10 tables inside. I think between all of us we tried everything on the menu with our favorites – Beef Bourguignon and Duck Confit – getting multiple orders. After dinner, more vino at the apartment and, well, there was the night of the 2 a.m. crepes with Nutella-run. We went in our pajamas. They were that GOOD!

 

In the pictures, you’ll see some of the places we visited. Scroll over the “icon” to read commentary. I included lots of photos of the Eiffel Tower because (a) you don’t feel like you’ve arrived in Paris until you’ve seen it, and (b) I literally took 54 pictures of it from all angles at all times of the day. In the meantime, here’s a list of my Paris “shoulds”…

1)       You should go up in the Eiffel Tower at night and stay up there for when it flashes for five minutes on the hour. The top level was closed the night we went; but the second level is high enough.

2)       You should take a boat ride on the Seine and even if it’s freezing, sit outside. It’s pricey for an hour ride; but the best way to admire Paris’ many bridges and get some history. As Wayne said, “it’s very romantical.”

3)       You should eat a crepe every day. My preference is actually the savory crepes over the sweet. Go for the ham and cheese! Nutella and banana is my runner-up. Bonus points for being super-cheap, filling eats.

 

4)       You should find a small neighborhood café. We do this on every trip. You kind of become a quasi-local when you drop by for a coffee, drink or meal every day.

 

5)       You should buy yourself something pretty. I treated myself to a purse from a shop off the Rue de Rivoli, it’s very funky. I also bought a refrigerator magnet and a small watercolor from a street artist. No shoes purchased this trip (and for those keeping count, I didn’t wear my red heels either.)

 

6)       You should promise yourself that you will come back to Paris again, so there is no need to run around like a crazed tourist trying to see everything. I aim for seeing one “thing” per day (museum, castle, etc.) and spending the rest of the day wandering.

7)       You should travel with good people. Thanks Jen, Russ, Wayne, Steve and Bill for a great time!!!

 

 

 

January 5, 2009

Crêpe withdrawal already...

Eiffel Tower1 Bonjour everybody! We got in last night from Paris. Our trip was tres magnifique and we had a wonderful time exploring the city for the best bowl of onion soup, drinking red wine and celebrating the new year with friends.

While I get my photos together, I though I'd share this one of the Eiffel Tower all lit up at midnight. We were at the base drinking champagne with thousands of other revelers. No fireworks; but the Tower lit up in beautiful flashing lights.

More to come...

December 26, 2008

Bonne année...

Eiffel tower nyeve Champagne and the Champs-Elysées, here we come... we're off to Paris for New Year's Eve (or la Saint-Sylvestre as they say in France)!!! 

So when you see the fireworks over the Eiffel Tower on the news, my sis Jen, Russ, Wayne, Bill, another friend Steve and I will be in that crowd somewhere toasting each other "Bonne Année" french for Happy New Year and more than likely getting a little toasted ourselves.

I go armed with my high school French, my red heels (I caved) and my Top 10 Paris guidebook. The last time I visited the city of lights, I was in college, I was there 36 hours and my budget was like $20. After spending most of it to get in to the Louvre to see the Mona Lisa, I could only afford to stand outside historic spots with admission fees. This time, I'm going in!

I have a feeling, this new year's trip may top all the others. I'll let you know when I get back on Jan. 4.

In the meantime... Bonne Année to you and best wishes for a happy and healthy 2009!!!

December 24, 2008

Seein' red, packin' lite...

Suitcase Oh the malls are a’ frenzy with holiday shoppers galore in search of last minute gifts. I’m out there too with my own shopping frenzy that has nothing to do with presents. I have absolutely no clue what to pack for the New Year’s trip. (Countdown: 2 days)

 

Always in the days leading up to our departure, I get the fever to find the perfect pair of Euro-worthy shoes, outfits, accessories… I have this vision of myself in a fabulous coat, wearing a chic hat, stylish shoes and that one quirky piece of jewelry sitting in a little café with a quaint view of a park/river/landmark/etc.

 

And then, I remember that (1) it could get very cold where we’re going. (2) it’s hard to feel chic when you’re wearing long underwear. (3) I just bought an ivory-colored down coat on clearance that is warm as heck but makes me resemble a puffy bedspread. (4) I’m the one lugging the suitcase full of practicality and fantasy.

 

Yes, despite my annual vow to pack lighter and take only the things I know I’ll use, somehow I convince myself that of course I’ll wear those red stilettos out dancing all night, especially after I’ve walked the city for 10 hours straight. I’ve brought those shoes on the last three NY’s trips and I’ve yet to wear them out. I know I’m going to cave and bring them again. It’s completely ridiculous; but there you go. So, here I am, still shopping and packing everything I own like a crazed wildebeest to fulfill my vision.

 

And on Jan. 4, as I drag my ginormous suitcase home, which will be further stuffed to exploding with shoes and bags I’ll probably buy, I will tell myself NEVER AGAIN! I will make a solemn vow at the baggage carousel to become the kind of person who travels with a toothbrush and spare pair of underpants. Then approximately 12 months later, I’ll hear the call of the red shoes…

December 15, 2008

Sleigh bells ring...

Hardware%20ranch%203 Fair warning, this has post has nothing to do cycling; but it could be one of the coolest things ever to do over the holidays if you happen to find yourself around Hyrum, Utah (about 115 miles outside of Salt Lake City).

Starting this Friday you can take a horse-drawn sleigh ride through a herd of potentially 600 wild Rocky Mountain elk. Oh what fun!!!

Rides are available four days a week at the Hardware Ranch Wildlife Management Area and cost $5 for ages 9+, $3 for ages 4-8, children under three ride for free.  For more info, go to www.hardwareranch.com.

Just tell the kids that elk come from the same deer family as reindeers!

P.S. Only 11 more days til we leave for Euro New Year's. Oh, I've got it bad. I'm even thinking about packing early instead of my usual day we leave.

Photo by Marni Lee, Hardware Ranch VMA Asst. Manager