Experiences Vs. Stuff


Hameau Les Cleves

Experiences are more important that things. I would rather spend my money and time on traveling to new places and meeting new people than buying the latest jeans or ski pants or even snow boots (although yes, I do have a soft spot for good snow boots–a girl needs quality footwear). That’s my story and I’m sticking with it anyway.

Last summer John and I planned a trip to the Alps for the winter. We weren’t sure on the exact location until we met some new friends–Eric and Corinne Mariethoz–who we met last summer on their trip to Seattle. They live in Nendaz, Switzerland–a ski village sitting on a terrace above the Rhone Valley overlooking Sion–and they invited us to come stay at their lodge.

Hameau Les Cleves is a mountain lodge nestled along the edge of the piste above the village of Haute Nendaz. Access from the parking lot to the chalet is inside the Haglund–a mililtary-style mix between a tank and a snow-cat (or “piste-basher” as they call it here), and once you reach your accommodation you never want to leave.

Swiss priorities

Nendaz is one of Verbier’s 4 Valleys, connected to some of the best skiing in the world. Later this week the Xtreme Verbier Freeride Tour will take place, and I can think of the perfect terrace from which to view the contest.

A few inches of new snow have freshened up the slopes and the forecast for tomorrow looks good for sun.

For the next few weeks I plan to soak in as much Fendant and Raclette Cheese and Vin du Valais as a girl can handle. There’s even a chance that we just decide to stay right here and never leave. Maybe Corinne and Eric need some help running their lodge. Perhaps the Verbier Patrouille de Ski need a non-french speaking patroller on their roster. Probably not, but a girl can dream.

I won’t be bringing back much in my suitcase in the form of souvenirs, except for maybe a bar or two of Swiss Chocolate. On the other hand, my heart will be full of new experiences and friendship.

And for that I’m most grateful.

P.S. While the words and posts for the next few weeks might be a little shy, at least the photos will be plentiful.


13 responses »

  1. Have a wonderful time! Pictures are sometimes better than words anyway. As for the tension between experiences and stuff, we believe in experiences. Last Christmas my parents gave one son a trip to Maine to go sailing with them. They took the other son rafting in Idaho. This Christmas, each boy received a photobook of their trip made by my mom. They’ll never forget these gifts.


  2. I’m not much for souvenirs either. (Although I have been known to buy books while traveling even if they don’t relate to where I am but I remember the place fondly while reading.)

    Have a wonderful time in Switzerland. I was there about five years ago and LOVED it. And also can’t wait to share it with Forrest someday.

  3. I think the best advice I ever got was back when our kids were small and someone advised us to always plan for things to do with your kids instead of what you can buy for them. When your kids are older, they probably will never say, “Gee Mom & Dad I’ll always remember that new couch you bought the family when I was growing up”. Instead, they will remember the trips to Disneyland, Crystal, Grand Canyon, etc…… Those are the true and real bonding times that build family strenght and lasting memories.

  4. Richard and I are both into experiences. Because we both love live music so much, most of our trips during retirement will(we hope) be planned around going to hear good music wherever we can find it, with a little fishing and kayaking added in for good measure. I feel lucky to have a spouse who enjoys so many of the same things as I do. Besides, trinkets just give you more dusting to do!

  5. ahhh, the good life. the food! the chocolate! the wine! the scenery! the skiing! the good company! what more could one want? I hope you and your husband enjoy every single minute of what sounds like a fabulous getaway.

  6. Pingback: Why My Family Loves to Ski Granite Peak Wisconsin | The Brave Ski … | How To Ski

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