A Travellerspoint blog

France

France: Grenoble: Eggs up to the Bastille

April 29th 2011

rain 72 °F

We had a terrific morning started with a ride up the “eggs” to the Bastille. It’s basically a gondola to the top of a mountain but everyone just calls it the eggs? The view is beautiful although Ruby is a little afraid of heights at times and was getting a little queasy sitting in a plastic ball hanging from a wire. . . We hiked around enjoying the vistas and exploring some caves in the hills for a few hours until it started to rain and had to turn back. We stopped to pick up some of our fave veggies for dinner, got home and warmed up the grill. Tony and Jeffy both worked together to make some really delicious BBQ chicken —so tender, juicy and flavorful. We had asparagus, zucchini and rosemary potatoes for the sides. We had another great bottle of French wine to top off the evening. Tony and I finished up some errands—especially laundry and prepping for the Egypt trip. We were extremely happy to drop off our “toddler” of things we’ve collected along this trip! Looking at it right in front of us we can see just how much we’ve really accumulated. We hope we’ll have a good sized NYC apartment for all this stuff! :) Jeff and Tony started to watch Anchorman, another bad movie, but we have a long day tomorrow and had to call it a night.

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Posted by Tony.Ruby 01:46 Archived in France Comments (3)

France: Lyon and an African Zoo

April 28, 2011

sunny 80 °F

We’re loading up the kids and going to Lyon which is about 1-2 hours away depending on traffic. There is an amazing park Jeffy has been telling us about so we were excited to visit. We also had to pick up a few boxes that had been shipped from the US. By the way thank you Rob and Elliot at Powell for the boards! On the drive we stopped to enjoy a picnic of cheese and wine for the adults and PB&J for the kids (and some for Tony). We arrived in Lyon and the park was just as beautiful as Jeffy had said. The walkway was lined with flowers and trees with several paths leading to a lake filled with ducks, geese, and even a swan. It was so relaxing; well, until we approached the pond and Jimmy ran up and kicked one of the geese while Sam ran off chasing birds!

After getting the kids back together we walked over to the FREE zoo. It was actually a really nice zoo and even had an African Savannah exhibit with leopards, elephants, and giraffes which made us reminisce on our amazing Africa trip :) The botanical gardens were also very impressive with a huge section of carnivorous plants. Tony and Jeff went to pick up the packages while Kira and Ruby stayed to play in the park. It was really funny to watch the kids playing in the park, chasing birds and wreaking havoc. On the drive back the kids were exhausted and slept the entire way. We picked up some yummy pizzas on the way and had a movie night watching Tangled with the kids. It’s funny to know that as parents, Kira and Jeffy get excited whenever a new animated movie comes out! :)

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Posted by Tony.Ruby 01:32 Archived in France Comments (0)

France: Grenoble: A Bistro, Wine and Sunshine

April 27, 2011

semi-overcast 74 °F

Jeff had to go into work today so “we” (Ruby) spent most of the morning updating our blog. We finally had a few days without travel so Tony decided to clean the glass out of the van and wash our bags on the lawn. We didn’t realize how dirty the bags were until we saw that the water coming off of them was brown! That Danakil dirt is persistent! We left ‘em in the yard for drying and meet up with Jeff who had a long lunch and got a ride into the downtown and even gave us a phone to call him after work. The walking streets of Grenoble are beautiful with cobblestone and fountains around every corner. Ruby stopped to shop at a few stores including one of her favorites “Mango”. There were so many nice things but lucky for Tony-- nothing she “couldn’t live without”. We stopped for an amazing lunch at an outdoor bistro and some reading. Thanks Vicki for the reading material! :) They had ravioli pasta that was sooo good consisting of cheese, a red, white and even a little pesto sauce. We sat outside in the sunshine sipping wine and eating our amazing food thinking LIFE IS GOOD! Before we knew it Jeff was off work and on his way to pick us up. We wanted to relax so we had a great dinner of beef bourguignon, asparagus and mashed potatoes. . . YUM! Afterwards Jeffy wanted to watch some cheesy comedies with Tony but passed out about 10 minutes! This is just like watching a movie with Ruby! :)

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Posted by Tony.Ruby 01:16 Archived in France Comments (1)

France:La Corno d’Oh My Gosh & Undercooked Pigeon--FOODIE

April 26, 2011

sunny 73 °F

Most of the early part of today was spent calling credit card companies and taking notes on what was in Ruby’s purse. Not really what we had planned on doing when we got to France :( Jeff had to work today so we decided to go to a park with the kids and then shopping with Kira at the French version of Wal-Mart called Carrefour. We had to buy a few toiletries and all the little things that we lost from Ruby’s purse. The place is really cool because they have scanners that you pick up when you walk in so that you can check prices and tally up your total before you even get to the register.... very efficient! Of course Ruby didn’t try out the scanners but she lucked out because a nice older French couple let her go ahead because she only had a few items!

Time was going by so fast today that before we knew it Jeffy got off work and was on his way home. As Tony’s belated birthday present Jeffy spoiled us both rotten with a trip to la Corno d’ Or. . the nicest restaurant in town! We got all dolled up—the boys in their suits and girls in our dresses. The restaurant sits on a hill overlooking the city and a snow capped mountain range. . WOW! Jeffy got to show off his excellent French skills since no one spoke English! We had the amazing “Discovery” menu which consists of a 10 course meal each paired with a wine and champagne to start. The whole meal took over 4 hours and we relished EVERY second of it. In France they pour your wine depending on your size so you don’t get so tipsy that you can’t appreciate the food. Jeffy was laughing most of the night watching Ruby switch her wine glass with Tony’s (when he wasn’t looking) since she wasn’t getting quite as hefty of a pour! :) EVERYTHING was delicious we especially loved the fish, lobster, and scallop dishes. The dessert was heavenly and actually came in the form of 9 individual bite size portions of everything from fruity sorbets to rich chocolate cakes! :) You can see Ruby stuffing her face in the last pic! YUM!!! However, it wouldn’t be a true French restaurant without some exotic cuisine—this came in the form of an undercooked pigeon dish that was probably cooked to French perfection but not designed for our American palates! :) Jeffy and Kira are the best and we are so glad we had a chance to visit them . . . they were so glad to have a babysitter tonight :)

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Posted by Tony.Ruby 09:00 Archived in France Comments (2)

France: Grenoble: At the Fort We Let Our Guard Down

April 25, 2011

overcast 68 °F

After a cup of tea and a quick shower we started our mission up to visit a monastery and Fort Du Saint Enayrd. The drive was amazing with windy roads heading up mountain passes. Unfortunately there was a recent rock slide so the monastery was inaccessible. Instead we headed for a little park where the kids got to play and we were spoiled with a beautiful picnic, delicious cheeses and wonderful wines. The highlight for Ruby was watching Jimmy hand-pick daffodils around the field and then handed them to her in a bouquet. As he picked them, he would smell them and walked up to Ruby with the most adorable silly yellow-stained noise. Tony’s highlight was “the ticket office” that Jimmy and Sam had opened for admission to the slide—you had to pay a number of sticks or flowers to get a “ticket” (in the form of rocks) to go on the slide. I think Jimmy gave a family discount because it only cost Tony 6 sticks to go on the slide while it cost Ruby 10 sticks?!

Even though the sign said that Fort Du Saint Enayrd was closed we still wanted to go up for the view. We parked on the side of the road and walked for a few minutes to the lookout point. WOW! We could see all of Grenoble down there (including Jeffy’s house) and the gliders up there were so close you could almost touch them! Every time one would fly over Jimmy would say “hi airplane, bye airplane”. Very cute. We walked around for 20 minutes or so before heading back to the minivan . . . only to find a pile of broken glass near the rear passenger window. With a sinking feeling we realized that the minivan had been broken into . . . in France of all places! Fortunately, the only thing stolen was Ruby’s purse—which wasn’t anything more than a hassle to cancel credit cards etc . . . . since our passports were at home. Ruby does miss her iPhone though . . . as you know she’s very attached to that thing and composes a lot of emails to be sent later. Hopefully the thief will email these out to you guys! LOL. The biggest bummer was the broken window . . . since there are no Honda Odysseys in France so the window glass will have to special ordered from the states which could take weeks.

After a quick cleanup the boys taped a piece of shower curtain to the open hole while Ruby made some calls. We did file a police report with Oliver’s help. This is what we told the cop at the gendarmerie: Oliver is the French friend, the car is registered in Germany to an American military officer living in France, and the stolen purse belongs to the Indian girl living in America who is engaged to the brother of the American military officer whose friend is Oliver. You got all that? LOL! This is a valuable lesson when traveling: never let your guard down. . .we made it 21 countries without having a single thing stolen?! We needed to relax so Kira the sweetheart made an AMAZING homemade eggplant parmigiana with marinara (one of Ruby’s favorites) and we all talked over wine until late. PS: Kira we need the recipe!!

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Posted by Tony.Ruby 08:07 Archived in France Comments (2)

France: Grenoble: Easter Egg Hunt

April 24, 2011

sunny 72 °F

Just like the little Easter bunny Tony was up bright and early. He was a happy camper having homemade pancakes for breakfast! :) Jimmy and Samantha were up running around, so excited to see us and maybe just a little hyped up on Easter candy. Tony could hardly wait so we passed out the presents we collected for them on this crazy trip and then took a walk around old Meylan so Jeff and Kira could show us their beautiful town. It is so picturesque situated between two mountain ranges and exactly like how you would imagine an old French town to look and feel like . . . watch out for the narrow roads and speeding French people though!

Tony, Jeffy and Jimmy went down to the local store and grabbed some fresh bread, cheese and wine (how French). We finally had some quality internet so Ruby decided to stay at the house with the girls and update the blog. Oliver, one of Jeff’s coworkers, came over with his wife Sabrina and two children Louie and Clemon for an Easter egg hunt in the yard. They were really sweet and even brought us an Easter basket to welcome us to France! Unfortunately, Tony had accidentally melted the fancy French chocolate Easter egg that Jeffy bought all of us when he moved it to see the TV! See, nothing good comes from watching TV!

It was so fun to watch the kids play in the yard and “help” them look for the eggs and candy! We also had to keep an eye on Samantha because she can’t eat milk chocolate and every now and again she would sneak over to the slide and take a bite or two! :) Kira is a great cook! It was so nice to get homemade food again. . . she made us tons of food including the classic cheese ball (Tony’s nickname), fancy fois gras, the perfect Easter ham with delicious sides, and topped it all off with a “structurally unsound” carrot cake. Jeffy needs to send us the recipe for her green bean and casserole and the carrot cake . . . but we’ll have to get the icing recipe from Joan for structural purposes! It was a terrific meal complete with TWO bottles of fancy French wine that we enjoyed thoroughly. Sabrina brought her favorite: La Tourelle de Croizet-Bages Pauillac 2003 that we highly recommend! Afterwards we watched the kids make a big mess of the house for the rest of the evening. By the way, there’s no better gift for Jeffy and Kira than doing their most hated chore: the dishes! :)

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Posted by Tony.Ruby 08:04 Archived in France Comments (0)

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