Let's start with the evenings of blind champagne-tasting contests. Melissa and Kirk kindly transferred this New Year's Eve tradition to our ski holiday. Last year's winner was a Bollinger, this year's a Moet & Chandon. The champagne is almost always followed by outstanding bottles of wine from our respective caves (ie bomb shelters) in a continual effort at one-upmanship.
Melissa and I planned the menu weeks before our holiday in painstaking detail with ample sophistication to appeal to the adults but also varied enough to interest our younger set. Our evenings were raucous with much laughter though puncutated by the inevitable 'stay in your seat', and 'don't speak with your mouth full'.
Our kids, 4-year old J and Mighty Mouse, and 7-year old Emma the Brave are the greatest of friends. They loved racing back and forth between our respective chalets to play, and spent many hours trudging as a trio faithfully up our sledging hill and screaming with delight back down it. The girls were J's real inspiration to ski...he wanted to keep up to them.
Skiing together was the perfect puzzle. Sometimes the two families stayed together, sometimes we strayed. Sometimes the men sped toward some distant trail together, sometimes we followed but regardless, Melissa and I always had each other's back.
In the mid-18th century, Boswell wrote "Friendship, the wine of life, should, like a well-stocked cellar, be continually renewed". Well, same time... same place... next year.