I could write chronologically, but honestly, there are those moments that just need a lexical photograph.
We spend our last full day here in St. Moritz exploring a new area for nordic skiing: Val Roseg in and around Pontresina (only about 5 min drive from St. Moritz in the next town over). This 14k trail is a slow, steady climb to a restaurant in the middle of nowhere Morteratch (its isolation making me wonder at the prefix of that name)…
It is my third day cross-country skiing in a row. It is my third day cross-country skiing…ever. In a word (or three), I am sore. Reaching the restaurant is like climbing a fourteener. My mind is in overdrive coaxing one foot in front of the next. When I sit down to order, I realize I am famished. I have a salad and bolognese with a glass of cannonau (aka grenache) from Sardinia. It tastes just like my aunt’s spaghetti we used to have on summer nights in northwoods Wisconsin. It is soothing and nostalgic. Free of frills or pretense. An unassuming bite in the middle of the mountains.
I feel lucky. So damn lucky sometimes.
I feel even luckier as I start the descent. Sure, it involves a few tumbly falls. They don’t call me ‘Crashley’ for nothing. But it is downhill. It takes a third of the time as the ascent. I am relieved and tired.
We hop on a bus that winds up taking us through every last town that side of St. Moritz then back again to where we got on forty-five minutes earlier. Only then does it go on to our final destination forty-five more minutes (or 5 miles) further. To say Jonathan and I were a wee bit over it by the time we got back is a slight understatement. But the sauna and warm tub (not so much ‘hot’) feels all the better.
As we shift our peepers away from what has to be the 8th geriatric penis in 24 hours, we laugh silently with our eyes at the contrast as a tall, hot German (Swiss?) in a string bikini slips into the tub. I turn to my partner and say, “It’s never the ones you want to undress, eh?” We migrate to the sauna for a final fry, when German babe follows five minutes later. Bikini-less.
I have never been in a room with a significant other and a naked person of the opposite sex, let alone with my fiancee and a young woman that happens to have killer abs, a tight butt and perky boobs. I wonder at this moment if it is super awkward for him. I almost want to laugh out loud as we carry on with our discussion of dinner and tomorrow’s events. But I refrain and ignore the rather sexy elephant in our sizzling hot room. Get over it, I tell myself–it’s Europe. But still… you are talking to someone who used to change in the bathroom stall in high school (in my underwear for God’s sake) and never, ever been to so much as a topless beach. What a prude.
We make our way back to the room, shower and snuggle in for some down time before dinner in an hour or so. And I think to myself, as he lays here beside me now taking a nap… what a perfect gentleman.
Oh these traveling moments. Priceless.