January 9th, 2015 - Chamonix, France - Day 145

Peter walked into our living room / kitchen this morning and said "you have to see Mount Blanc.  Stacie and I had been up for a couple of hours but the curtains were closed so we could not see anything.  We opened them up and had a beautiful view of the mountain with a pink light surrounding it.  

There is something about being in the mountains that just feels right.  It is where I am the most comfortable and the most happy.  

Lea was planning on taking her semester exam today so we were going to study in the morning and then go skiing in the afternoon while she was taking her test.  All went as planned and Peter, Stacie and I left to go skiing around 1:00 and left Lea to finish up her studying. 

We made it to the mountain easily, but when we got there the gondola was not running for some reason and we had to take the cable car / tram up.  This would be Stacie's first time on the tram.  We waited in line for about 15 minutes and then were let out on to the platform with 60 other eager little sardines waiting to be packed into our tin and whisked up the mountain.  The tram slowly approached and then the doors opened and we all started shuffling in.  Packing 60 people and their ski gear into a 15 x 10 space is quite a feat, but it does not lead to a great deal of fun for the riders.  Standing face to face with some french guy who has not brushed his teeth in a week for 15 minutes while the car gets hotter and hotter is not my idea of fun.  However, it did get us up the mountain quickly and soon we were set free.  These trams are incredible engineering and they really do a great job of getting you places you would not otherwise be able to go, so I love them, you just need to bring nose plugs and claustrophobia medicine.  

We made our way to the next gondola and enjoyed a quick trip up to the top.  When we stepped out there I had a feeling this was not going to be a long ski day.  The wind was blowing, the fog was up and it was snowing.  All that combined meant visibility was really low and the snow conditions were not great.  Heading down was tough going and by the time we reached mid mountain we decided to bail.  I did not want anyone to blow out a knee skiing on a crappy day.  So it was a one and done day.  

When we got back home Lea had made good progress and was getting ready to take her test.  We reviewed a little more and then she was ready to go.  She disappeared into her room for the test, Peter went into his room to chill and Stacie and I got to enjoy a nice bottle of wine alone on a Friday evening.  It was a nice way to end the day.  

The test took Lea a while, but she wrapped up and did a great job.  This was her last final for Semester 1, so we celebrated the fact that both kids were done with the first half of the school year with some ice cream and cheesecake.  

It's wonderful to see the kids taking charge of their learning.  Online school has been more like college for them than anything else.  They set their own schedule, put in as much or as little time as they want and have to live with the results.  There are no set rules or guidelines so they are having to police themselves.  It is a lot to ask for a 13 and 15 year old, but both of them are rocking it now and have learned great lessons along the way.  We are really proud of them!