Day 7 - Wednesday, October 6, 2010
We rolled out of our slumber back in Chambery at about 10 am, Wednesday morning. Nathan and Joanna's apartment had such heavy blinds we could barley even tell it was daylight out when we finally forced ourselves to rise. We spent the morning putzing around eating yogurt, cereal and enjoying each other's company. By noon we decided it was about time to do get out and about. Even though we were warned that French clothing wouldn't fit our *ahem* Large/Tall frames, we hit up a local store called Kabi.
After a short walk from Nate and Jo's apt. we got to the store and immediately realized they were having a MASSIVE sweater sale AND they had clothes in our size! After about 2.5 hours of trying things on we walked away with basically an entire new wardrobe for Josh. You have no idea what kind of feat this is...it is impossible to find clothing to fit him that is also fashionable and that day he left with like 3 sweaters, and 3 jackets. A.maze.ing
The only un-amazing part was a very embarrassing situation at the cash register where the woman checking us out didn't speak any english. She wasn't like most french people who say they don't speak english, but really do. She ended up having to page someone to come to the front and translate what was going on. (apparently we didn't have the right amount of sweaters to get the buy one, get one deal they had going on). Eventually, things worked out and we walked out with only a slightly bruised ego from having .01 French speaking skills.
After shopping, Nate, Josh and I went to the velo station (bike rental shop) to pick up some bikes for the rest of our trip. We had a little bit of trouble finding bikes tall enough for Nate and Josh considering they are the one's pushing up the national height average, but in the end we all pedeled away on super cute and matching light blue cycles. Mine with a special little basket on the front.
These bikes opened up an entirely new France for me. We decided to pick up some bread on the way home and Nate took us the scenic route. We zigged and zagged across traffic to a little car-less area where old, brightly colored buildings stood tall on either side of us. French women strolled in pairs eating ice cream in high heels, vendors stood outside by their shops beckoning passerbys into try their wares, Old men walked their dogs along cobblestone streets and fountains provided background music to the scene. And the best part of it all, I got to carry the baguette in my basket on the way home. I felt like i was living in a dream land. It was perfect. This first bike ride is still one of my strongest memories from the entire trip.
That night Josh and I went on a special dinner date at a crêperie, so josh got ready and Nate took some pictures of him.
|Headed out to dinner!|
Hey there handsome. :)
I was really excited about my crepe.
The place was packed and Josh and I discovered that it is strange for someone to wait for a table at a restaurant if there isn't immediate seating. I guess this is due to the fact that there are so many food choices within walking distance and also because most French dinners last several hours, but we waited anyway! Awkwardly in the alley outside the restaurant right by the windows where people were eating because there was no entry area.
We got a table within 20 minutes and I enjoyed crepes filled with hamburger, egg, onion and mushrooms, while josh ordered one with goat cheese and Lardon (the same stuff that was in tartiflette). He asked to add tomato but, some how it ended up coming out with ham in it instead. The BEST part of
the meal though was dessert which consisted of delicious nuttella, banana and whipped cream. Yumm!
After dinner we headed back to N&J's apartment for a little hang out time and a late night Pirates of the Caribbean viewing. Life was good.
Day 8 - Thursday, October 7, 2010.
Thursday, October 7, 2010 is a very special day. For Thursday, October 7, 2010 was Joanna's 27th birthday! We woke up to the smell of Nate making french toast...out of a french baguette...in a french kitchen...with a french mustache...OK I may have made up that last part about the mustache...but either way it was an awesomely french way to make french toast with a french baguette. FRENCH!
After breakfast we all got ready and headed out for a quick bike ride around Chambery. Again - amazingness abounds and I have no pictures of it all because I was so worried about not being hit by traffic while aggressively riding my bike around the busy streets. Also, i didn't want to look TOO much like a tourist with a rented bike and a giant camera around my neck all the time.
After our fun bike ride on matching bikes we grabbed a quick lunch at a sandwich shop. As usual we ended up getting duped into buying more than we realized because we couldn't read the French signs.
Taking our lunch to a nearby park I had me and Josh's sandwiches in my awesome bike basket. While trying to keep up with Nate and Jo I carelessly ran my bike through a huge pot-hole and watched in slow motion as my awesome sandwich came flying out of the bag, then out of the box, landed on the ground in front of me and i swiftly ran over it with my bike. I may or may not have cursed like an American sailor at that point...so much for blending in.
|me right before I ran over my sandwich.|
Lunch was beautiful. We parked our tooshies right next to a fountain in the middle of a busy park. Little Ayla ran around picking up leaves and showing us then throwing them into the fountain. (haha!) The whole lunch was very peaceful and the weather couldn't have been more perfect in early fall.
Once lunch was over we continued to ride our bikes around time and did a bit of shopping. I found a good deal on a pair of shoes and we found some good christmas presents for our family around the Old Town area of Chambery.
|The happy family in the old-town area of Chambry.|
Later, I went back to Kabi while the rest of the crew went home for a quick nap. Looking back - I wish I wouldn't have done as much shopping (surprise!) I wish we would have spend more time riding our bikes, walking, hiking, doing cliche toursity things like going to museums, or taking tours, or even just sitting and reading outside in a park.
After sufficiently doing some damage to our shopping fund, we went back to Nate and Jo's apartment for Taco Night with some of their friends to celebrate Jo Jo's birthday.
Their friends brought Settlers of Catan over for us to borrow later that evening and play just Nate, Jo, Josh, and me. Apparently this was a HUGE deal because the guy who lent the game to us is very particular about his game. So particular that all the pieces were packaged in color coordinated Altoid boxes and pill bottles. Exhibit A.
After the shock/amazement of his Catan packaging set in we had an epic battle till late in the evening with yours truly taking home the big win. (are you even remotely surprised?!)
We finally crashed around 2:30 am and set our alarms for a 5:45 am wake up call for Josh and I to make it to the 7:00 am train to Annecy the next morning.