Monday, January 5, 2009

Bonne Annee!

This is André's day off - he decided to go skiing with Mark. I mean, what is the point of coming to the Alps if you don't skii them??? (Of course, if you are me, you are just happy to look at them - sliding down them on little sticks doesn't sound fun at all). Here are some photos of the lunatics on top of the icy mountain. I know, I know, it's fun - but I think I just started too late! My common sense overcomes my bravery....

The kids and I had a relaxing morning and headed out for a walk. I love to hike and so do the kids - I was happy to be outside - especially since the temperature had risen to a practically balmy 5 celcius. We played in a stream and found an amazing lake and a fun playground. I brought a thermos full of hot chocolate and some pain au chocolate (chocolate croissants) in my bag for a rest near the oratory of Saint Anthony.
We then soldiered onward to finally reach the church of Notre Dame de la Gorge - it was a lovely old small church. On the way home, Zander picked up a HUGE icicle and insisted on bringing it home with us to put inside the igloo. I told him, OK, as long as you can keep up!! Well, he tried so hard for so long other hikers were admiring his spirit and offering to help carry it. I finally gave in and helped out by looping my scarf around it - he sledded it the rest of the way home and put it into the igloo. Its name was Icey Wisey (Callie also carried a largish rock the entire hike all the way to the church and home again - it's name is rocky wocky and it came all the way home with us - what can I say? My kids are nuts!)

We all had lunch. Daddy returned, after deciding a morning of skiing was enough for him. Soon after lunch Uncle Mark returned as well since it had started to snow and visibility was at zero!!! He said he couldn't tell the difference between clouds and snow. We took long naps - since it is New Year's Eve and there was a celebration in town in the evening that we didn't want to miss out on. This is the first time we have ever had the kids stay up until midnight for New Year's - and the first time we've stayed up ourselves for about 5 years...
It was raining, but not too hard and we hit the disco floor at around 11:30, Callie really had a great time dancing - then counted our way down to the new year. Even after being here for almost 4 months it was still strange, even almost suprising to hear - dix, neuf, huit, set, six, cinq, quatre, trois, duex, un... BONNE ANNEE!!!! I mean, where do they think they are, France? (oh yeah) Then a cool (and very close) fireworks display. Called the parents in the US - ha, ha, it is New Years here already - you have to wait another 6-8 hours. On the way to the car, Callie got bopped on the forehead with a flying champagne cork - really scared her! I always knew it was dangerous on New Year's....

We headed home (which, due to the detour because of the New Year's street party) involved putting our little car down an 18% grade...on ice! We made it alive, plopped the kids in bed, and watched the first four episodes of LOST (in english - hey - I'm on vacation right?) Love it already.
So I guess this is goodbye 2008. 2009 is a year I will live entirely in France - or so I think - I mean - who'd have known, or even dreamed, I'd end up living in France at this time last year? I don't think I have a New Year's resolution, maybe to do more vacations like this - seeing new things - having crazy adventures - maybe learn the language and make some friends... get Griffin potty trained - livin' the dream, baby! But none of that is a resolution, and I won't be held to it!

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