Heading off on a last minute trip. I’d say the weather looks promising

Over the river and through the woods…

Saturday we went out for a family hike when Alma woke up from her afternoon nap. The great thing about where we live is that as soon as she wakes up we can leave our house at and be at a trail-head 12 minutes later.

…”trail includes difficult passages…”

Fortunately Alma is stil very content to ride on my back, and the other kids are really great about hiking.  But really – what kid wouldn’t like a trail that just goes straight through multiple mountain streams and waterfalls?

The hike is about 3.5km with about 500m of elevation gain – so there’s a fairly long stretch that has a fairly significant amount of up.  But we have wised-up and carry more snacks now – and hold them out as blackmail ransom positive rewards for when we reach our destination

Grenoble in the valley below

And the waterfall at the end is a pretty good reward in itself.  When we got to it- Micah paused – then closed his eyes and with outstretched arms said “It was so beautiful I just had to see if it was a dream or not.”  Seems reasonable to me.

not sure where he’s going…but I’m sure it’s safe

It only took about 3 hours for the whole hike, so we were home in time for supper.  Well – home in time for summer-schedule supper just after 8:00 – but still…

le tour

While my sister Marie and her family were here we got a chance to go see Le Tour de France again.  

It did not dissapiont.  

Let’s face it – our kids are really in it for the 

caravane publicitaire – an 80 year old tradition where the sponsors of the race have a 20km long parade made up of their  160 vehicles.  

Run at the Truck and catch candy kids…I mean…Safety First, candy second.

It is actually mind-blowing that this parade leads the tour around France on it’s 3 497km treck. 

 It’s not hard to see how it’s possible that they distribute some 16 million tinkety-gifty-things.  

We probably only came home with 10% of that between us.  Unfortunately Alma had come down with a fever, so Susan stayed home with her

The interesting thing for us was that last year the tour came right through our town – so we just walked – but also we were in the middle of the days course. This year we were in one of the bigger towns that the tour went through that day – so there was actually quite a bit of stuff set up there to see and do, and eat.

There were a whole row of tents where they were giving out samples of local cheese, sausage, bread etc- and my kids are becoming quite French and really love local cheese, and they are really quite Watts so they love anything that’s free – so it was a pretty good set up for us.

So we wandered around and after we had done everything – and eaten all we could – we walked the full half-block back to our place on the race course.

Where we were on that day’s course was sort of at the bottom of a long hill – so although we were on a narrow road that had railings on both sides – the peloton flew through at a pretty good clip.  Not too fast – as there was a pretty tight turn just 50m or so past us – but fast enough that one of the team cars could take a major limb off a child  (in fact the wind from the riders going past sucked Kristine’s hat right off her head). That also meant that the entire thing was over in what seemed like 90 seconds.  Good thing the caravane lasted 40 minutes.

Afterwords – since we were in Voiron anyway – we went to the Chartreuse distillery

Because what kid doesn’t like going back to the aging caves of the worlds only naturally green liquor that is made from a secret recipe of 130 plants that is only known by two monks?  That’s right – no kid doesn’t like that.