Monday, August 3, 2009

25 July 2009

25 July 2009
Okay... rewind one week – 18 July 2009. A friend of mine has been in the Geneva area for nearly two years and is preparing to head back home to the states early September... naturally, she’s got the urge to do as much traveling as she possibly can in the next few weeks. She invited me to join her and her boyfriend on a day trip to Turnio, Italy. Of course I wanted to go! Well, as life is, plans changed, the weather was uncooperative and one day just simply wasn’t enough and funds wouldn’t allow quite as big of a trip as Italy, so we toyed with some other ideas and ended up in Lyon, France; "Gastronomical Capital of the World". It was super fun... they had rented a car and were surprised with an upgrade (VW SUV). I’ll put up pictures up on Facebook as soon as I can... that doesn’t mean soon, but yeah. Lyon has beautiful European architecture. We made it to the market as it was closing down. I enjoyed an empenada from Chile and this amazing nameless pastry– this amazing dense cake-like bottom, nearly cheesecake consistency, with a meringue-y top. I should have written this last week, so I could really give you good details... my apologies. We explored the downtown area and hit a sale at Promod. This is where the excitement began, we headed toward a little mall specifically for food vendors or retailers, this area reminded me a lot of Pikes Place Market in Seattle. It was inside, but beautiful and alluring to all your senses. Here we sat down for a glass of wine and some bread then picked ourselves back up for more exploring. I had my first macaroon experience. O, wow. We hiked up probably a thousand steep stairs to find a gorgeous cathedral and this breathtaking view of Lyon. Here we enjoyed our macaroons. Yay. For dinner we went to a little hole-in-the-wall restaurant called "Le Petit Fleur". It was authentic French cuisine, I wasn’t super impressed by the food, but the ambiance and the company were definitely stellar. :) We then headed home. That’s my adventure to Lyon in a very small nutshell.
This has been a pretty exciting week:
- Lyon on the weekend
- an amazing message over trials at church Sunday
- started the moving process to my new apartment in Ferney-Voltaire
- Le Tour de France where I saw Lance Armstrong in the flesh - serious
- girls night, Saturday market, magic bars, and a lakeside BBQ tomorrow after church
So, Thursday 23 July 2009. The family I work for kindly took me on an adventure to Annecy, France to experience le Tour de France! It was SO much fun. I got to sit between the kids on the way down just holding their hands and talking and singing songs with them. The parents were really fun as well, joking and conversing with me. Not terribly surprisingly, we had to find a new entrance to Annecy as the traffic was bad and major roads were closed. We were afraid we’d only get as close as the security guards keeping everybody out. We did make it to the race, with plenty of time to spare. The sun was shining and we had to park pretty far away from everything, so we were confident and didn’t bring the rain boots, rain coats, and umbrellas we’d packed for the kids. Bad idea. It ended up hailing. Haha. That was short lived though and it was still warm out. We watched the race for a while and ended up asking someone when Lance Armstrong was expected to come around. They gave us the details and we prepared ourselves as best as possible. We had planned that I would take a video and Brendan, the dad, would take continuous shots to make sure we didn’t miss this big deal. So, Lance was coming around the bend and everyone around us were getting super excited. American flags started popping out of nowhere. I was ready for number 22 to come along and grace us with his presence. He was zooming, zooming, zooming... I had my video ready and taping. The excitement and adrenaline were nearly unbearable. As I watched my camera and tried to keep an eye out, Julie said, "Number 34? What?" So, I wanted to preserve my battery to make sure I did get Lance on video. Then I saw him, right before my very own eyes. Yep. It was real. I yelled in slow motion: "Nooooooooo...." I had missed the moment. Major disappointment. I still can’t believe how it happened. Honestly. But, it was clearly out of my control. It was bizarre how once the race was over, EVERYTHING shut down. I had hoped to find a mug or a t-shirt with le Tour de France on it... but all the souvenir shops were closing up. We were on our way to the carousel for the kids when we noticed a crowd of people around this gate/fence thing. I asked if I could go check it out... I weaseled my way to the front of the gate to see a big white truck. Boring. Everyone was excited though, so I stayed, it was a good spot. I had my camera out. I was read y for whatever what happening. Then out of nowhere, my second chance presented itself. Lance Armstrong walked around the big, boring white trailer/truck/bus thing. I started saying, "Fellow American" then realized that was creepy and strange. He was still red and sweaty. He was tiny. Much smaller than I had expected. I suppose he has to be to be as fast as he is. He signed maybe four autographs then disappeared into a black Volvo. The family and I went to a park for a bit then ended the night perfectly at Subway where we not only ate these amazingly, delicious sandwiches and cookies but were also able to listen to wonderful American music on the radio (‘November Rain’ was one of them!)

I'll add photos as soon as I can! As of right now... I'm about to be kicked out of McD's!! =-o

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