Monday, January 5, 2009


Tuesday...Hey, this is a rest day, right? Well, with three little kids to care for, rest is hard to come by. André and I often say, with kids - vacation is fun - but not relaxing. As you can see, above, just keeping their snow gear on can sometimes be a challenge!

We sleep in again and after frantically searching for some important missing items we head for the ice skating rink. In typical French fashion, the skating rink is only open from 10-12 and then 2 to 4... We make it on the ice with skates by 11:30am - but that's OK - 1/2 hour is about all they can stand for a first try (or less if you are Griffin, as evidenced by his limp body, hanging from Uncle Mark's arms). All three kids do an admirable job for their first time though. By the end both Callie and Zander are skating a few feet unaided and neither of them get discouraged by falling frequently. (unlike me)

We finish skating and then have fun playing in the playground right next door. It is strange for me to see playgrounds in the deep snow. This tire rider is so much fun, Daddy can't resist having a ride! Griffin spends most of his time on his favorite snow activity -eating snow. I never discourage this particular activity - just try to steer them towards patches that aren't full of dog pee or dirt. I think this is different than most parents, but hey, it's just water right? This is easier in the deep Alps snow. We try to pick up some groceries and reserve dog sledding ride, but, in true french fashion, everything is closed for lunch. Mark just doesn't get this aspect of French culture, he couldn't believe how empty the slopes were at lunch. He said (with astonishment) that it seems that the French would rather eat, than skii! Well, yeah - eating is very important here - and talking whilst you are at it is also essential. Working during lunch or after 6pm is not such a good idea, for anyone. I've actually been pleased with Les Contamines - things like the grocery store etc... seem to be open into the evening - unheard of in Besancon.

We go home for lunch and then spend the afternoon building igloos in the snow - it was really difficult to work with the snow but the kids were content for hours.

We head back to the village and do the grocery shopping - and then discover the dog sledding is booked for the rest of the week - sad! Oh well, we really enjoy the free show they now have in the town square. It was Mr. Harold, a juggler, comedian and generally amazing entertainer. This was by far the most entertaining show I have seen in France. It seems that it is perfectly acceptable here to bash other countries - he openly mocks, british, italians, swiss and americans (particularly New Yorkers) as part of the show and it is all taken as good natured fun. Zander thought it was the best show he has ever seen and was literally laughing hysterically several times as was Callie and lots of the other kids. He bounce juggled 7 balls and juggled flaming torches while balancing on a unicycle and on a ladder with no other support. Hey Shana and Greg (our circus expert friends) do you know this guy??? The show didn't start until 6pm and didn't end until around 7:30 - I unfortunately missed the end of it because poor Griffin got too cold and I had to take him back to the car....

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