Paul’s Mom Visits France

July 18 – August 1, 2013

Paul’s Mom took advantage of her summer off from teaching with a visit to Europe.  Her first stop was France, and a visit with us, interspersed with country hopping, and followed by a visit to Turkey with Steve.  Here are a few of the highlights from our visit with them!

Nancy arrived into Lyon, and after a scenic drive back to Grenoble we headed out to our favourite French restaurant, Le Bocal, for a delicious meal.

The next day we stocked up at the market before heading up in "les boules" to the Bastille - the most oh-so Grenoble way to spend the day! We spent the evening in and cooked up a yummy meal while sipping French red wine.

In Grenoble we fostered the cutest little fraidy-cat you ever could meet: sweet little scared Danone. Here he is peering out tentatively from behind the beautiful flowers Nancy bought us at the market.

We took a drive to explore the nearby Château de Vizille, one of the most prestigious and important castles of the Dauphiné Region. It also houses the Musée de la Revolution Française.

We wandered around the large park that surrounds the castle and marvelled at the gardens and colourful flowers before making our way through the museum.

After a great couple of days in Grenoble, Nancy made her way to Paris, and then Amsterdam as she continued her European adventure. Paul and I stayed behind to work, but I managed to escape for an afternoon hike with some friends at the nearby ski hill Chamrousse. It looked much different than when we had visited these same slopes during the ski season!

Since it had officially been 1 year since we entered France, our Visas were expiring, meaning we needed to leave the entire Schengen area before re-entering as tourists. We took the opportunity to head to London where we met up with Nancy after her time in Amsterdam. While in London we saw the hilarious play “The Book of Mormon” (highly recommended!) and were treated to the most wonderful belated birthday dinner from Nancy at NOPI, the trendy and famous restaurant created by the chef Ottolenghi. We also took a boat up the Thames to Greenwich Village where we drank Pimms in the market and crossed the Mean Time Meridian Line. Somehow after the whirlwind trip we emerged without a single photograph.

After successfully being allowed back into France, we left immediately for a day trip to Geneva. We spent the day visiting the popular sights of Geneva, including the Jet d’Eau. Later we met up with Amanda and Andy to grab some of their excess luggage before they took off on their Haute Route adventure which took them hiking (and running) from Chamonix to Zermatt! We had a nice but quick dinner where Amanda and Andy got to meet my future mother-in-law!

Steve arrived into Lyon the next day, and knowing he was an avid mountaineer, we immediately ventured out and up the switchbacks that lead to Alpe d’Huez. We rode the gondola to a mid way point, where we had an amazing picnic lunch overlooking a spectacular view.

We then braved the heights of yet another gondola ride and made our way up to the peak.

We made it all 3330 meters of the way up to see the incredible view from Pic Blanc. I suppose it wasn't that much of a feat since we rode the gondola - at the top we met two exhausted hikers who had just climbed the entire thing themselves! The fierce winds soon took us back down, but it was well worth the journey up to see the sweeping mountainous views.

Nancy and Steve took our car for a few days to do a road trip around the region before jetting off to Turkey. But not before indulging in our specialty - Cheese Fondue!

We had a wonderful visit with Nancy and Steve!  Check out more details from Nancy’s European adventure on her blog.

You can also check out the rest of our photos here!  

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