Friday, June 29, 2012

An Evening in Avignon

On our way back from dinner one evening we spotted some little girls blowing bubbles for a dog.  The dog was hilarious, so full of energy.  The scene was so French-chicly dressed little girls, a beautiful ancient courtyard, no hovering parents in sight, lots of people out for a relaxing Saturday evening.  

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

When Things Go Wrong on Vacation

When we picked up our car in Milan the guy at the counter raised an eyebrow and gave me skeptical look because I had reserved a car with manual transmission.  I assured him it was fine and he rewarded me with an upgrade and a brand new Mercedes.  All was well until we arrived in Lyon and were at stoplight and the car completely died.  People were honking and screaming at me and I was quickly becoming unraveled.  As luck we would have it we were only a couple of blocks from our hotel (you can see it in the background in the photo) and I called our sweet concierge who came to my rescue.  He called Avis and they contacted a tow truck for me.  The concierge helped push the car out of the center lane.  The tow truck arrived and tried to jump the car-I think the white gloves are a nice touch.  The car was still completely dead.  So dead that I didn't know how we would get the back open to get our suitcases out. The tow truck then got out a pair of pliers, turned something and the car started.  

The next day we had planned to rent bikes and go to the zoo in the Tete d'Or park.  The girls accompanied me all morning on an art buying expedition.  Unfortunately, the park was closed because of high winds.  We had french fries and ice cream instead.

Overall we were blessed with wonderful weather and lots of good times.

Tete d'Or park-fermee

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

St. Bernards and Cow Bells

Our next stop was the charming town of Mageve, France.  The most direct route there from Cogne is the Mont Blanc tunnel but I thought that sounded a little boring and claustrophobic so I decided to drive through the mountains instead.  The drive was a bit (a lot) harrowing.  We were on a road that was suspended on the side of the mountain, I had to do a lot of deep breathing.  The girls were watching a movie and oblivious to where we were.  The road briefly went through Switzerland and we went through the small town of Martigny so we stopped at the St. Bernard museum.  The girls loved it especially because they had some dogs they could play with.  From there it was onto Mageve.  When we arrived we opened the back food of our room and we welcomed by the sound of cowbells.  We were also welcomed with herbed water and cake.  I loved our charming alpine hotel especially since they drove us into town for dinner, I didn't realize how tired I was of driving until I got in the van and was able to enjoy the scenery.
The next day we had planned to take the cable car to the top of Mont Blanc but unfortunately it was closed because of rain.  We walked around Chamonix in the rain trying to find the Moncler store for a friend but it too was closed.  We had lunch in a cozy restaurant and continue on to Lyon.

Delivery of cake and herbed water on our patio

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Girls Gone Wild

When we finally arrived in Cogne the girls jumped out the car and ran like wild horses. There was a meadow of wild flowers and they ran for what seemed like forever.  They took a brief break to relax in a hammock.  I grabbed a glass of wine and planned to sit outside and watch them but it was so chilly I had to go inside.

That little speck is K

This was on a hike the following day

Breakfast in our adorable alpine hotel

The view from our hotel room when I woke up