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Switzerland- Bringing in the New Year

2019 was a year of growth with my new business location, my new building that was built out of shipping containers, and competing on the WSL world longboad tour around the globe. December I decided to visit Switzerland. Tamara and her family welcomed me over to their home in the village of Churwalden. I've never thought about visiting Switzerland. Growing up by the beach, I rarely snowboarded or skiied in my life. When I was flying over Switzerland, I was in awe of the backdrop of the mountains. I knew I was in for a treat visiting Switzerland.  Tamara immediately brought me to a bakery when I arrived in Zurich and I was blown away by all the chocolate desserts, pastries, and bread. I brought a decent amount of warmer clothes, but I didn't have everything I needed to stay warm.  I bought some nice shoes, a warmer skiing pull over jacket, and under lining clothes to stay warm.  Riding on a train has been a new experience for me especially only going on a train a handful of times in my life. Tamara and I took the train from Zurich to Chur and then took a bus up to the Churwalden Post station to meet her family. We got settled into their comfy home and had a nice meal. The next morning I tried cross country skiing in Varlbella and I struggled the first day learning. I was able to get the hang of classical skiing in the tracks, but I had a hard time getting up some of the hills. The following day I picked up more techiniques and began to progress. When I began to progress, I was so happy! It brought back the joy of stoke when I see my surf participants stand up on their first wave. I relived this feeling of stoke after being a novice at cross country skiing and being able to to progress to a beginner picking up a sport that I throughly enjoy. There were so many firsts for me on this trip. Tamara's parents took us sled riding at Bergun. We took the train through the valley up to the slopes to ride down on the sleds. There was a little food truck at the bottom of the mountain where we got a quick hot dog before taking the gondola up to another part of the mountain where we went faster down the mountain. The following day Tamara and I took the day to ski and snowboard. I've only snowboarded 5 times in my life and this was a little intimidating at first. The mountains here are so much bigger than I have ever been on. We took it slow riding some of the beginner slopes before going all the way up to 2800 meters above sea level to the highest point of Rothorn. We ate at the restaurant overlooking the alps and then snowboarded down the nountain to Parpan. Celebrating Christmas was special here sitting in front of the tree with candels lit to a Christmas play list of music. Tamara's best friend Ladina allowed for us to stay in their cabin for my birthday in Oberberg. We hiked up the mountain to their cabin home. There was no electricity, only running water outside on a spigott, and fire wood to stay warm. This was an exciting adventure and stepping outside the box to do something I have never done before. We built a snowman, fixed dinner on a raclette by using candels to heat up the trays of cheese we used along with potatoes and lit a fire with the wood to warm up the cabin. This was an all around great experience that I will cherish. Tamara and I visted her brother Patrick and his girlfriend Hind in Zurich. We hiked up to Uetliberg to see the views of Zurich all together, ate ice cream, played games and had dinner together in their apartment. The next morning we had breakfast, went swimming at the indoor pool and packed up to take the train to Zurich to the Panic Attack escape room. It was so much fun and we conquered the game with a few minutes to spare. We spent a couple more days all together in Churwalden at Tamara's parents home celebrating New Years all together. We went on an hour and a half hike all together. We came back and got settled in to celebrate New Years together at midnight sharing a toast together. We rang in the new year with all the fireworks shooting from the homes and sang Happy Birthday to Tamara at midnight.  The following day we went cross country skiing from Parpan to Lenz of a total of 11 km which is the eqivalent of 6.8 miles. We spent the day in Lucerne visiting the Kappellbrucke bridge, eating at Manor and visiting the wave pool at Oana Surf. The wave pool was an interesting expeience as I failed miserably in the beginning and then I began to pick up the technique at the end. Hiking, delicious food, visits to the local Migros or Coop, cross country skking, and chocolate has kept me busy. I will be back to visit again in the near future~! Thank you to the Helbling family for all of your hospitality!
 

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