Thursday, January 17, 2013

Our Holiday: Davos

On New Year's Day we left Zurich and went to Davos for three nights. It was lovely, but also (as traveling with a baby always is) such a learning experience. ;)

The first hurdle was packing. I should have thought to take a picture of us. There I was pushing the Bugaboo with the Baby Bjorn Travel Crib hanging from it while J followed with two rolling suitcases and his ski gear. In a word: Insanity. But we went by train so we just had to make do. In the end it was fine. We got to our hotel, Hotel Edelweiss, and it was a couple of hours before our room would be ready, so we put our bags in their luggage storage, J got ready to head up skiing and then we went into town together because I had to go to the grocery store.

You see, while we were packing, I had the brilliant idea to save space by not packing diapers and just buying them when we got there. I realized my mistake the minute I saw everything was closed because it was January 1st. Drrh! And oh no! What do you do with a baby and no diapers?! The only stores open were mini-marts. I was not hopeful. :(

The first mini-mart had one pack of diapers. Huggies in size 5. Coco is a size 3. I was standing there, looking at the $30 pack of diapers and wondering if it would actually work to put her in a diaper for a three year old kid. I decided it was a good last resort, but I pressed on. You can see how much fun I was having on my vacation! ;) At least she was napping in the buggy so there wasn't the added stress of her screams.

Then Coop Pronto saved me! Do you see them?
Little travel boxes of diapers! 12 count, size THREE! And only 4.95! What a relief. Honestly. Next stop was the wine aisle after that little scare. O.M.G. 

Coco was still snoozing away, so I walked back to the hotel and saw a bit of the town. Davos is cute and cozy and was covered in snow. 

Then we had another little problem. The hotel had put us in and room with two twin beds. Oh lordy! Come on, Europe. 
I know it's a thing here, but I have never even heard of a hotel room with two twin beds in the States. Maybe two queens, but not two twins. Am I wrong? Of course, I went straight back down to the desk to ask for a change of room, but they were fully booked and we "didn't request one big bed in the reservation." Drrh! Thank goodness they were able to get us into a room with a double bed the second and third nights, but the first night felt a bit like college. With a baby crib right in the middle to trip on in the middle of the night. Because, oh yeah, did I mention the bathroom was down the hall? Drrh again. Must be way more careful when booking accommodation. (It's worth reading the room descriptions! ;)

So things were off to a jolly good start! And all the while J was up skiing, completely oblivious. 

When he got back, we dressed for dinner. That was one of the big perks of our hotel. We had half-board included with our room, so we ate breakfast and dinner at the hotel everyday. The food was quite good and the service was excellent. Customer service is something that is normally severely lacking in Switzerland, and as Americans, it makes us want to scream, but this place was awesome. The staff were so helpful and kind and lovely. It was great.
It was also great that the other guests loved Coco and happily held her while we ate quite a bit of the time. I really loved that aspect of the stay: Seeing all the same folks around during the day and at meals. It felt like a big extended family in a way.  

The next morning, we left our bags ready for the housekeepers to move to our new room and I took Coco out on the baby sled, which the hotel provided. Her foot muff fit it perfectly!
We walked up to a trail they had told me about at the front desk and Coco was beaming from ear to ear. I loved walking with her and pulling her along. It felt so wintry and mountainy! I was having a great time and the sled glides along effortlessly, so we were really covering some ground. 
It was so cold that the snowflakes were well-defined and so beautiful. I tried to take a photo of a few that landed on Coco's hat when I stopped to put her mittens back on for the hundredth time. And then, suddenly, she had had enough. 
She was done! And we were at least twenty minutes from the hotel. Oh goodness. That was a stressful twenty minutes. Just so you know, in case you're ever in the same situation, it's a lot harder to go downhill pulling a sled than you'd think. Just remember these rules of thumb: Thirty minutes maximum and keep it flat. 
Luckily when we got back our new room was ready. Much better! Still absolutely tiny. Still no bathroom. Still wildly bold paint colors. But much, much better! And then we fell into our Davos rhythm. 
In the mornings we all ate breakfast together. Then J went skiing and Coco and I went out with the sled for half hour. Then we returned to the hotel and she had her lunch and I followed her around every inch of the hotel while she explored every hallway, stairwell and doorway. Afterward, she and I went down to spend the afternoon in the library and sunroom. That was definitely my favorite part of the hotel!
Coco's travel crib is so light and portable, that I just brought it down with me and set it up. We put on her Celtic Lullabies on my iPhone and she napped while I worked on knitting her a little winter hat. It was so wonderful! J would get back from skiing around 4:30. One afternoon I went to the sauna while he played with Coco. Another, we all went for a walk through the town pulling Coco on the sled. 
Evenings were a bit tricky. Dinner was served at 6:30 and with three courses, we weren't back to our room before 8:30. With the room being so small, we really couldn't stay up after Coco went to sleep, so we were all in bed with the lights out by 9:30. It wasn't so bad, but not ideal either! ;)
On the last day J was too sore to ski anymore. :) We all went out with Coco in the sled and soon she fell asleep. It was the cutest. And it gave J and I a chance to enjoy walking and talking together. 
While Coco was still sleeping, we took the funiculaire up to Schatzalp, where there is a hotel that used to be a sanitarium for people with TB. It's done in the Art Nouveau style and pretty cool, but smells don't really leave a place and I swear it smells like sick people. Schatzalp is a fun and easy day trip from Davos, especially because they have really amazing sledding runs for older kids. Coco continued to sleep for another hour while J and I chatted and had a coffee. It was one of those epic three-hour naps that you can't predict or plan. Sometimes they just happen! Then it was time to head back down and get the train back to Zurich.
J held Coco right at the front of the funiculaire so she could see. At first she was a little scared.
But then she got interested in what was going on.
Halfway down, she started smiling at everyone else in our car. She got lots of smiles and waves, which made her happy. 
And then funiculaire lowered right into the Davos station, which Coco thought was pretty incredible. 

It was a really lovely trip in so many ways, and next year we plan to go back. But we will only stay two nights, we will get a bigger room with a bathroom ensuite and with Coco being a bit older, we should be able to do more sledding and outdoor stuff. I love the idea of going to the same place every year for a break and change of scene following the holidays. Each year we will discover more and learn more about the area and its offerings. Do you make an annual trip anywhere? What do you love about it?

1 comment:

  1. I visit Davos twice a year! I love it! My one yr old hated her snowsuit haha. It's probably more fun when she can walk. Schatzalp is gorgeous!

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