Sleeper trains have taken me across Europe and Asia, from Paris to Shanghai and Thailand, and I would love to take a few across North and South America, but no sleeper train trip will ever be as special as the ones that took us, as kids, from our cold December Paris beds to the blinding white slopes of the French Alps.
I’d wake up in the morning after a shaky night and rush to lift the blinds in our compartment to ascertain that indeed we had boarded the right train and were now deep into snow country. The reward, as magical as a first look under the tree on Christmas day, would keep us awake until the long-awaited jump off the train into the early morning snow.
This week, for the first time in over two decades, the same train is taking us to the mountains once again. After a restless night rocked from left to right and from memories to dreams, no snow behind the blinds, for it is the middle of August. My excitement for the snow has been replaced by my son’s excitement for the nearing reunion with his cousins, and my ski boots for a much lighter pair of trail running shoes.
We have changed, and the mountain hasn’t. Either way, we can’t wait to hit the slopes!