Fréjus, France

Fréjus, France
Aqueduc Romain

Friday, March 13, 2009

Bienvenue Les Fouts !

The Fouts Family and spring arrived simultaneously to the south of France. After flying into Frankfurt (fares were cheaper) and driving and sightseeing some of Germany and Switzerland, my step-brother Ken, his wife Jan and their girls Maddie and Rachel joined us in the Alps. We had no address to give them to Google map the location, just some descriptions and landmarks--"across from the parking VVF" and the reassurance from Nath that the chalet would be très facile to find. Though WE found it easily, Rick found Ken driving around town headed toward the next town. They unloaded and exploded into the chalet and were quite the troopers, having already adjusted to the time change. Rick took Ken down to the village to rent skis so they could head out early, and it was clear Ken was chomping at the bit to get going the next morning. We had another blue sky beautiful day and the girls lazed about and wandered into town late morning to rent skis. After a typical French lunch of bread, sausages and all sorts of cheeses we headed across the street to get on the slopes. From our chalet we walked across a parking lot, skiied down a small hill, had to ride a teleski then skied down to the resort to get lift passes. We have assigned Ken and his family to write their own post, so for now I will just say that the Michiganders/TimberRidgers faced some challenges. Though Ken had a bit of soreness from his morning with Rick, he was grateful for it, as he didn't ski much during the afternoon. Rick, Irie and I ended up splitting off from the Fouts' so they could get the hang of the mountain as they saw fit. The afternoon ended with Rick and I being the last ones off the mountain, it was so gorgeous.

The next morning we motivated to get the place cleaned up and cars packed. We first stopped at a nearby fromagerie, highly recommended, where we hoped to gorge on Alps' cheese. Zut alors, the restaurant was all booked and we had to settle for buying cheese instead. We then stopped in Sisteron, a town that tempted us on the way up, as it had some sort of, well, old building, built into the hill. We had lunch and continued on, arriving in Fréjus late afternoon to some heat and sunny skies! We swung by Picard, one of our favorite stores, that only sells frozen food. The Fouts girls were anticipating trying escargots and Picard makes it so easy! Rachel loved them, Maddie was a good sport. The girls stayed with us, Ken and Jan stayed at L'Oasis nearby. On Sunday we went to the market then had a picnic lunch on the beach. The girls shopped for junk while the dads rolled their eyes.

Later in the day, I participated in La Journée de la Femme by being part of a living art piece where me and 300 other Fréjusiennes lay "allongées" for an hour. The rest of the family joined me later, after a trip to the Roman Coliseum, and Rachel even made the front page of the paper!
On Monday the parents sent the girls off to school for the morning. Maddie and Rachel were a hit--they brought Tshirts from their soccer team for all the kids and the teacher in Irie's class. We let Irie have the afternoon off and we all headed to a little beach cove that Rick found on one of his bike rides, called Tiki Plage. We sought shelter from the wind! It was a toasty afternoon and each of the girls earned a Euro from Rick for going all the way into the Mediterranean. That evening we went to Nathalie and Laurent's for an apero and Jan got to practice some French and we all got to discuss how to do a proper bisou. Then we went to dinner for moules-frites--bravo again to the girls for trying all things French! or Belgian, in this case!

We had a great time, Irie was sad to see them go. In fact she cried, and I wrote a note to her friend Laly asking her to cheer her up. I know the Fouts had a whirlwind Europe adventure and we so appreciate them coming. It takes a lot of motivation and curiosity to haul yourself and 2 young girls to a foreign country and we're so pleased they made the effort to see us. (We also appreciate the things they brought--tylenol, motrin, microwave popcorn and Harry Potter 6). They packed a lot in and I know they are still digesting it all. I can't wait to read their blog contribution. We were also proud to show them the life we are leading and introduce them to the friends we have made.

1 comment:

Ken said...

We arrived home safely. Our internal clocks are adjusting back to Michigan time. We have many fond memories of our holiday and look forward to a similar adventure again in the future.

I'll put something together soon recapping our travels.