Lucerne Switzerland: Grand Beginnings of an Amazing Race
Ovation Amazing Trophy Race 2012 Participants
* Part 1 -Lucerne is one of a series of Blogs of my trip to participate in the Ovations Amazing Trophy Race.
It is funny how perspective can be so clear at 30,000 feet.
Flying home from the Ovations Amazing Trophy Race, my mind is still whirling with disbelief at the extraordinary honor of being invited to participate. I don’t say that lightly, because I’m no stranger to new experiences! I’ve spent a lifetime engaged in travel; I delight in immersing myself in different cultures, learning how others see the world through their unique eyes, and marvel at the breathtakingly beautiful exotic locales I’ve witnessed. But nothing, save the experience of being a mom and a grandmother, has been more memorable than my past five days.
Train to Lucerne
I disembarked first in Zurich and was handed a train ticket for Lucerne.I shared a first class train with a fellow race participant from Connecticut, and we learned about each other’s companies over a glass of wine. I knew that I would meet important people during this trip; there were VP’s, CEO’s, Marketing Directors and DMC’s from all over the world. What I hadn’t quite grasped yet was just how much we’d connect simply as fellow adventurers.
View from the Grand Hotel National
Once in Lucerne we took a scenic ten-minute stroll to the gorgeous Grand Hotel National, an elegant hotel that I’d call home for just a bit. That evening was spent aboard a yacht, indulging in cocktails, appetizers and the spectacular scene of snowcapped mountains and lake views. We got to know our fellow participants and scoped those who would eventually become competition.
Transitioning to a buffet dinner at the Museum of Transportation Lucerne, I joined Michael from Ovation Italy for my first helicopter simulation. I have a new appreciation for the mad skills of Caleb, my grandson, and secretly wished he was with me as I crashed and tried desperately (to no avail!) to right the helicopter! Michael and I couldn’t stop giggling, especially when the attendant showed his frustration with us his second time over to ‘help’. My nightcap of a mist-laced walk to catch a bus back ‘home’ was the perfect ending to such a great first day.
The next morning brought such a palpable air of adrenaline and excitement! We learned of the seven teams that would compete; I was in the St. Bernards! This tickled me, because it immediately reminded me of childhood winters in Laramie, Wyoming. The man who owned the resort we’d stay at had a BIG, slobbery St. Bernard that followed us everywhere.
I’m keeping our mascot–the small, stuffed St. Bernard that we wore on our lanyards–as a treasured souvenir. Every time I look at him it will bring back memories of my five fun filled days spent racing through Switzerland with a team of strangers who in the end became treasured friends!
*I have so much to share that I’m breaking it all down into a series of posts not only here on the blog, but in tidbits on our Facebook Page and through Twitter updates. I can’t wait to show you pictures on our new Pinterest boards, too, so please join us in each of those places and feel free to jump right in! Share your own experience, tell us where YOU want to go or just let us know that you’re following along. Travel is always more fun with people you enjoy, so hop on board!