We all rode the gondola back down to Corviglia, where we ate and split up -- my parents taking Lauren and Owen on public transportation back to the hotel and the rest of us hiking the nearly four-mile trail down to St. Moritz. From there, most of us walked back to Pontresina, back in plenty of time for dinner and our second encounter with the dessert buffet. I won't write a lot here about the buffet, other than observe it was pretty much the same layout as the week prior. I felt a bit better prepared this time, focusing my attention on the ice creams and mousses. My uncle made several passes at the buffet. He likely would have made several more had my aunt not been there to rein him in.
We all spent the afternoon at the hotel, swimming, reading and talking. I would have rather the weather cooperated, but the rain did give us a chance to sit down for a while as a family. Even Owen managed to put down the iPad and join us for some real conversation. I doubt he will soon recover from that. (Pictured here is Owen manhandling the knight in armor that stands outside the entrance to the Walther dining room. This photo captures well Owen's general disregard of our instruction to keep his hands to himself, as well as his level of comfort in the hotel. If I have not made it clear before, let me do so now -- the hotel staff bent over backwards to made Lauren and Owen feel at home, and we cannot thank them enough.)
Everyone else let go of whatever inhibitions had heretofore compelled them to stick to the dessert menu, instead asking for whatever the hell they felt like. Owen ordered two scoops of strawberry sorbet and one scoop of vanilla ice cream -- in two separate bowls. (When it comes to frozen desserts, Owen is a strict segregationist.) Keri got a scoop of mango sorbet and chocolate ice cream (a rarity for this low-fat frozen yogurt eater). Lauren went with two scoops of chocolate ice cream. Everyone shared in a the chocolate sauce that Luigi had placed in the middle of the table. Even my aunt splurged and put some chocolate sauce on her fresh berries. Must have been something in the air.
This morning, we sent off my aunt, uncle, and cousins to catch their train. Keri, the kids and I followed an hour later, taking a train to Zurich, where we are spending tonight before we fly through London and on to Phoenix tomorrow. My parents are staying a couple extra days in Pontresina, and will be home by the weekend.
As we were saying our good-byes, my uncle said he looked forward to the dessert buffet at our home Sunday night. I am not sure he was kidding.