I’m in crazy, stupid, love with Chamonix. Like, head-over-heels, #takemeback, sing-out-loud-when-I-think-about-it, if-I-went-to-a-therapist-and-he-said-go-to-your-happy-place-this-would-be-it kinda love. If I ever disappear to ‘find myself’, it’ll likely be because I succumbed to that popular hipster quote superimposed on filtered pictures that say ‘the mountains are calling and I must go’. If I had to choose anywhere in the world to live, it would be near a mountain. I cannot stress how much snow-capped mountains enchant me. Climbing Everest isn’t a realistic bucket list dream for me (especially after having seen the Everest movie recently), but living in view of a mountain is.
Although I pretty much relied on my friend to plan the week of visits (Nice, Monaco, Marseille, Geneva, Yvoire, Eze), the only place I insisted on was Chamonix. I badly wanted to go to the Swiss Alps. She came through brilliantly although she suffered from sinus issues for days because of the height that we got to so quickly. Sorry Nads :(
Chamonix totally ties with Rome as the best place I’ve ever been to. It’s a landscape of the indescribably beautiful Mont Blanc Mountain Range, part of the Swiss Alps, with the quaintest mountain town at it’s base. You board the Aiguille de Midi cable car and ascend into the heavens, seeing the endearing, postcard-type town of Chamonix slowly retreat below your feet. You glide higher and higher and the lush green hills and sounds of life slowly fall away as your world becomes whiter and greyer and bluer and quieter. You’ll even begin to speak in reverent, hushed whispers without even realizing it. At 3842 feet, you’ll disembark and immediately be enveloped in impossible silence. You’ll look around in awe, and you’ll actively have to work to distinguish between the clouds and the snow. The mountain peaks are at your eye level, and you’re actually looking over the clouds. It is a humbling experience.
This was one of my earlier trips, so I was in full tourist mode at this point. We had lunch in the mountains – cheeses and mushrooms and bread and salad pine nuts and balsamic vinaigrette and chocolate molten lava cake and wine. I was seriously living the dream.
When I think about snow, my mind immediately switches to ski lodges and hot beverages. To be perfectly honest, I’m a huge fan of hot beverages, regardless of weather. I live in a tropical country but most of the time, all I want is a nice cup of tea or coffee. Hot chocolate is rarely a choice for me in regular circumstances, but for some reason, but when you’re in the mountains (or imagining yourself in the mountains!), it just fits, right? Pair that with Uggs and a big sweater and you might even call me a basic b*tch. I don’t even care.
The hot chocolate I’m sharing with you today is incredibly indulgent. It’s like birthday cake or cheesecake, or an ice cold glass of coke. It’s sugary and sweet and hits all the good spots, but drink more than a cup (or eat more than a slice) and you might as well put on your workout clothes while you’re drinking it. I added peanut butter because that nutty, warm, earthy flavour pairs so well with chocolate. Rab didn’t even notice the peanut butter in it, but I thought that it was the first thing you tasted. Ah well. I guess that means you can add even more peanut butter if you’d like.
Indulgent Peanut Butter Hot Chocolate
1 1/2 cup Milk
2 tbsp Cocoa Powder
1 tbsp Brown Sugar
1 1/2 tsp smooth Peanut Butter
1 tsp Vanilla
Pinch of Espresso Powder (optional)
Mini Marshmallows (optional)
Pour milk into a small pot. On low heat, add ingredients and whisk all ingredients until combined. Heat to desired temperature. Top with marshmallows if desired.
So this is the end of my Travel Series. It was great reliving the experience through food, memories and pictures. I hope I wasn’t too maudlin or too over the top, but it was a great trip and thanks again to the friends & family that I met along the way. Now that the series has ended, I have a pretty big (blog related!) announcement to make in my next post. I’m still finalizing a few things, but suffice it to say that I’m thrilled at the direction that my writing and my Company (MCreative) is heading. Have a fantastic weekend, enjoy the return of all your favourite TV shows, and OMG how is it October already?!