So it’s almost the end of the kid’s Toussaint holiday here, and today was Halloween. And for the first time since we lived here – we actually did something for it.

The French  – like most Europeans  – don’t really have Halloween. It is growing here by just a bit every year – Susan said she saw some packaged candy in a store this week.

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On Tuesday we were invited to a party at an Irish family’s place. So since we of course have no costumes -and since Susan has nothing to fill her days with four kids home from school – she made costumes for all six of us on Wednesday.  Plus some halloween themed snacks.



img_5777Instant Super-hero Family.



Pretty good family halloween costumes…no?

le tour 2013



The Tour de France 2013 wound its way pretty close to us again this year (well…not a few hundred meters from our house like it did a few years ago)

James and Nicole arrived just a day prior to the stage which came closest to our place. Lucky for them, we don’t believe in jet-lag…

The stage we went to see was a pretty crazy stage. (if you don’t care about le tour..feel free toskip all this and look at all the pretty pictures below)

Alpe d’Huez is often a very critical mountain stage, but this year the tour organizers decided that a climb of just over 1km of vertical is so nice, you do it twice.


4574m of elevation gain.


And that’s following a day with 4,304 m of elevation gain over 175km

if you really want details you can have a look at the full biometric output of David Lopez of Team SKY, you can do that here

 Anyway….enough of the tour…on with the pretty pictures…


Up first..le caravanne publicitaire.

All the floats / car / strange vehicles for all the organisations which support the tour. Pretty  much takes 10 times longer than the actual bike race to go by. Plus lots of loot. And just as many speeding vehicles mere centimeters from your children. good times.  IMG_5307 (1) IMG_5308 IMG_5314



We took a break to go through the treasures, have a break and some snacks while we waited for the racers to arrive.

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Since we were only a few km’s from the start, the riders were still pretty much all bunched up in the peleton, so the entire field went past in a matter of mere seconds.

…here they come..



..grab you kids so they don’t get run over..



….aaannnd, see you next year.
team busses rolling out
the Garmin-Sharp team bus of Canadian Ryder Hesjedal


Then into the charming-but-cycling-crazy mountain town of Bourg d’Oisans for lunch

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Fêtes révolutionnaires de Vizille

Back in July we went to our friendly, neighbourhood chateau for a festival celebrating the French Revolution.


There were lots of activities, games, people dressed up in character, plays, music etc….and of course  — a giant guillotine.



This was just a few days after Nicole and James had arrived, so it was a good introduction to ‘typical french customs’ …such as:

intricately simple board games


18th century weaponry for children


And writing practice using a small piece of bamboo, and walnut ink from a sea-shell

This is something you really have to ask Nicole about. These people were in character as the sans-culotte (~”without underwear”)…and used their slight-of-hand to make her a member




Last month was Alma’s second birthday. She was kind enough to be born on le neuf / neuf  – Sept ninth – to make it easier to remember. (Yes, I suppose “9/11” would also have been something that you recall without too much difficulty…but I’m happy with nine-nine)

I know it’s so cliché -and I shudder to even write it – but seriously, how did she get to be two already?

Here are some pictures of our little Alma, taken over the week of her birthday.