The FIS guys have a joke that us American girls are always saying that this awesome thing or that cool thing are “the BEST EVER. Like, ever.” Apparently we also say things are “the best ever” when they’re actually not all that fantastic, but I like to call that optimism.

Anyways, this Christmas break with my family in Davos might actually have been the best ever. I was so happy to be spending a relaxing week soaking up family time and just hanging out with my Mom, Dad and little sister. It helped that they were in vacation mode and I also needed a little break from racing, so I was able to chill out which was exactly what I should have been doing.

On a hike with my sister Mackenzie!

On a hike with my sister Mackenzie!

My Dad, sister and Mom on our hike up Dischma

My Dad, sister and Mom on our hike up Dischma

Psyched up for an intense time trial workout in my new Podiumwear suit! (photo by Kikkan)

Psyched up for an intense time trial workout in my new Podiumwear suit! (photo by Kikkan)

Of course, I was still training, and focused when it was time to clip into my bindings, but as soon as the skis came off it was time to play Christmas tunes on Andy’s guitar with my Sister singing the lyrics, decorate the tree, bake a gingerbread house…all the traditional fun stuff we get up to over the holidays. And thanks to friends in town, we went to a Davos Hockey game!!! It was so fun!

Mackenzie and I cheering with the glow-in-the-dark goggles!

Mackenzie and I cheering with the glow-in-the-dark goggles!

Dad and I at the rink!

Dad and I at the rink!

We quickly learned that the standing section was where all the fun people were and also where some of the most enthusiastic fans on the planet stood.

We quickly learned that the standing section was where all the fun people were and also where some of the most enthusiastic fans on the planet stood.

On Christmas Day we had the USST team “orphans” over for some family time and a nice dinner. We also made a gingerbread house from scratch, which is actually pretty hard to get all the pieces to fit together right! But with a little help from some string we got it done. 🙂

Starting to glue the pieces together.

Starting to glue the pieces together. (photo by Sophie)

Kenzie, Sophie, Simi, Me and Ida (Liz is missing in the photo) with our finished house!

Kenzie, Sophie, Simi, Me and Ida (Liz is missing in the photo) with our finished house!

Everyone at the table! Minus Liz, who took the photo.

Everyone at the table! Minus Liz, who took the photo.

Our beautiful little Christmas tree!

Our beautiful little Christmas tree!

We also took a day trip to Livigno, in Italy. It was fun to ski some new trails and see a town I’d never set foot in before. We skied for a few hours, ate delicious food and walked the shopping street all lit up for Christmas.

Mom, Mackenzie and Me on the trail next to the river.

Mom, Mackenzie and Me on the Livigno trails.

Kenzie took a little field trip to pet the animals! We think these were extra furry donkeys?

Kenzie took a little field trip to pet the animals! We think these were extra furry donkeys?

The lights were so festive!

The lights were so festive!

Although there’s definitely a little risk that comes with Alpine skiing during the competition skiing (especially for me! Hah), I decided I needed to make sure I wasn’t SO careful with my career that I would resent skiing for stopping other fun adventures.

My family and I on top of Parsenn! No, they didn't have goggles to rent and I don't travel around with them, so yes, we did look a little dorky.

My family and I on top of Parsenn! No, they didn’t have goggles to rent and I don’t travel around with them, so yes, we did look a little dorky.

So on my day off my family and I went Alpine skiing on Parsenn, one of the mountains surrounding Davos. It was powdery and the morning was sunny and clear and it was breathtakingly beautiful. I was so happy!

It was such a beautiful morning on the mountain!

It was such a beautiful morning on the mountain!

It’s funny to me that on many XC skier’s “day off”, we often go do other adventures or try other sports. *sigh* it’s hard to make an endurance athlete actually rest! But I didn’t fall or hurt myself so I’m not on the outs with the coaches.

Mackenzie, Me and Dad at the top for our first run!

Mackenzie, Me and Dad at the top for our first run!

Enjoying a meat fondue with my family

Enjoying a meat fondue with my family

A spectacular sunset in Davos!

A spectacular sunset in Davos!

My family left last Tuesday, but it was a wonderful vacation!

Sister time!

Sister time!

Before we left Davos, we celebrated Kikkan’s 32nd birthday with a mustache ski. This isn’t a new thing for us! We did it 2 years ago on the tour, and I think we really confused a lot of the other teams but it made everyone laugh.

Kikkan, Me, Ida and Liz sporting our new staches.

Kikkan, Me, Ida and Liz sporting our new look.

And of course, we had candles and cake!

And of course, we had candles and cake!

Then we traveled to Obersdorf, Germany for the start of the Tour de Ski. After a healthy break I’m so excited to be racing again!