Tuesday, April 28, 2015

The French Alps and Alex's 9th Birthday

We just spent 5 days in the French Alps in the Haute-Savoie region of France for vacation and Alex's 9th Birthday.  We took the TGV (2 hrs) to Lyon and then rented a car and drove 2 1/2 hours to the town of La Clusaz.  Each day we ventured around the mountain towns and on Friday went to Chamonix. We had fabulous weather and enjoyed the traditional food, wine, and cheese of the region. Alex drove a Go-Kart for his birthday which he loved.

Make sure you check out the videos of Go-Karting and swimming:




Tues April 21
TGV from Paris Gare de Lyon to Lyon.  Lunch and a walk around the Old City of Lyon.  Drive to La Clusaz and our "Residence Les Grande Alpes" apart-hotel.  The first room had bunk beds and a sofa bed so we switched rooms to have a separate room with beds. The first night we walked into town and ate at L'Ourson, a traditional Haute-Savoie restaurant.

Weds April 22
We made sure we went to the hotel pool first thing.  Alex and Vincent loved the indoor pool and the views of the mountain (the Aravis chain of mountains).  We drove down the mountain to Talloires, a small town on Lake Annecy.  We passed a town called Alex on the way.  We had a nice long lunch in Talloires, including escargot, and fish from the lake.

rest of Wednesday
After lunch we drove further around the Lake to the main town of Annecy.  It was a really nice hot sunny day, so Annecy was very crowded but we wanted to see the famous spot where the small river Le Thiou runs through the old town.  Then back to La Clusaz and a "light" dinner in town, a meat and cheese board and some crepes with sugar for Alex and Vincent.
Thurs April 23 Alex's 9th Birthday!
A walk into town for coffee and croissants.  We stopped in a meat and cheese shop in town where JD tasted the local liquor (Genepi - similar to Chartreuse and absinthe).  We promised to return in the evening to purchase snacks.  Down the mountain to Go-Karts for Alex.  Alex enjoyed a private lesson and JD was scolded for going too fast (surprise).  Then a visit to a National Resistance Monument.  Back to the town of Thones for a really good pizza lunch.  Back to La Clusaz for naps and swimming.  Meat and cheese and wine and blueberry tart for Alex's Birthday!

Friday April 24 
An hour drive to Chamonix over the mountains and the winding roads.  Lunch in Chamonix including meat cooked on a slate, and a walk around to look at the mountains and Mont Blanc.  That is not the Dali Lama by the way.  A brief drive through the Mont Blanc tunnel to Italy (7 miles and $50 but hey, we had to do it) then back to La Clusaz.  Last walk around town, then dinner at a Vietnamese restaurant in La Clusaz.

Sat April 25 
One more visit to the hotel pool before driving back to Lyon to take the TGV back to Paris.  Alex opened his birthday cards when we returned to the apartment.

Alex's camera
Alex enjoyed taking some pictures on the trip.

JD's camera
Alps trip JD camera.

more pictures
More Alex birthday celebration and opening gifts (a watch and cool clothes from Toots, a Physics set from Z and GG).

Sunday, April 26, 2015

April before vacation and American Day at school

Our last week of school and activities in April before the 2 week Spring vacation.  The weather was exceptionally warm, high 70s, for several days which was great.

School, park (Vincent found Joseph from his class), Saturday in Paris (it was still gray and chilly), Parc Batignolles,

American Day
Tuesday April 14 was American Day in the nursery and elementary schools of Levallois.  Previous years included Ireland and Great Britain Days.  The children were requested to wear red, white and blue.  For lunch they were served a hamburger, fries, brownie, and Coke.  They sang songs - Vincent came home singing "head, shoulders knees and toes" and "baa baa black sheep' (this one with a French accent on the English words it was hilarious).  Alex took in US money to show his class he was very proud.  Dinner outside at L'Anjou it was so warm.

School, artwork, flowers, park, cheese.

A warm sunny Sunday.  Lunch outside in the Marais.  A walk through Paris to Île de la Cité.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015


Last week was Passover.  Our menu included deviled eggs, meatballs, matzoh stuffing, turkey, and two kinds of charoset.  It was delicious!  The meatballs were a big hit.  Almost as good and Aunt Adele's.

Seder 1st night.  Meal preparation.  Eggs and turkey from our favorite poultry people at the market. Beef and lamb shank bone from Philippe the butcher.  We missed everyone in the US but talked to them on Skype.

This is a kohlrabi we found at the market:

Saturday, gray and rainy, a walk in Paris through the Jardin du Luxembourg, then lunch at La Verlaine near Rue Mouffetard (which we later realized was the building where Ernest Hemingway had his writing loft 1921 - 1925.  A French poet also died there.  I care more about Hemingway. )   Then to a pub to watch the Manchester United game.
Sunday lunch including cheese with matzoh.  To Montmartre to meet some friends to watch the Paris St. Germain - Marseilles match.  It was a nice sunny day so Montmartre was packed with people.  The next day was Easter Monday and no school, so we went to the park and enjoyed the sunny day.  Foot, park, warm weather, bath.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Vincent's class picture

Vincent is wearing his favorite striped shirt -
 Petite Section 10, Silvi and Catherine

Friday, April 03, 2015

Vincent's first pair of glasses!

During Vincent's school check-up they could not tell if he was having trouble seeing the images or did not know the words in French, so we took him to the eye doctor, and sure enough, he has inherited the Deitch/Banyasz astigmatism.  He loves his glasses since we all have glasses, so why not?

Park, soccer, new glasses and sunglasses (Alex), flowers starting to bloom.

Delicious meal at Au Coin de la Rue, school, piano, Vincent's book "Toutes les couleurs", taco night, park, and Alex's new "appareil dentaire" (palate expander).