Take one Canadian girl in les Alpes.
Add the ups & downs of living in France.
Cover with melted cheese...
Et voilà !

Monday, January 31, 2011

Dear January,

Is it just me, or are you the longest month ever?

This year, you seemed to be especially blustery & cold.

Yvoire (a medieval village on Lake Geneva), January 2011

I don't want to hurt your feelings, 
but I'm so glad I can change the calendar to February tomorrow.

See you next year!


Friday, January 28, 2011

Praz de Lys: Soaking up le soleil

So, as you will recall, we were treated to amazing blue sky 
& lots of sunshine while at Praz de Lys.

Perfect weather, bien sûr, for...
la raquette
la luge
le ski
(that's my niece & my brother-in-law on the rope tow,
as seen from our chalet's kitchen window!)

But all that sun was also perfect for a whole lot of this...

lounging après-ski
eating lunch outdoors
grandma & grandson time
mom & daughter time
apéritif time (I was there too... see my shadow?)

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Thursday, January 27, 2011

Praz de Lys: Le chalet

Well, I'm feeling a bit more human today.
I won't tell a lie:
dragging myself out of bed
to teach class starting at 8:45 a.m.
was no fun. 

But I did it.
And then I came home, lounged on the couch,
drank tea & was generally unproductive all afternoon. 

Well, I did sort through some more photos
from our weekend at the ski resort earlier this month.
That's productive, right?

We stayed at a brand-new chalet that my parents-in-law rented
with some friends of theirs.
Forget the image of a teeny-tiny cozy mountain dwelling.
This place was huge!
There were four bedrooms & two bathrooms, 
a lovely big kitchen,
a nice living-room
& a ping-pong table in le garage.

I'm not a fan of heart-shaped cut-outs
or frilly window treatments, 
but you know what? 
In les Alpes, it seems to work.

my mother-in-law at the window

le balcon

This was la vue from the living room:

And, if you looked out of the kitchen window... the rope tow!
(Who needs TV, anyway?)

So what did we get up to at le chalet?

Well, we had another Galette des Rois.
Juliette found the prize in her piece of cake & got to wear the crown.

She also insisted on wearing her Canada Olympics t-shirt all weekend.
Guess she was going for the sporty look.

My little nephew Martin had a bad cold.
(I feel his pain!)
He got lots of cuddles.


We had apéro every evening, of course.

 And played some new-fangled version of Dominoes.

Juliette took it all very seriously.
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Speaking of serious things, when you're staying in un chalet dans les Alpes...

You really must fondue!
And so we did.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Dear blog,

I do my best to update you every weekday, 
yet my last post was Friday & - oops! - now it's Wednesday...

Le sigh.

Monday I wanted to write an interesting & informative post about my husband's fête, 
an occasion which is all about celebrating the day associated with one's given name.  

You see, on French calendars, every day of the year is attributed to a different saint.
(That being said, there are actually three different St. François, but that's another story...)

FQ's saint is François de Sales, who was born in this area of France in 1567 (!!) 
On the calendar, he's the saint-of-the-day for January 24th.

This is NOT my husband.  (Image via here.)
 I had planned to dazzle you with lots of details about good old Saint François 
& what he got up to way back in the 16th century.
But then I got busy doing Monday stuff 
& then it was dinner-time
& we went out to eat at a fancy-dancy place in Annecy's old town 
to celebrate FQ's name day & then it was too late to blog.

Yesterday I wanted to post about how excited I am about the fact that
(in two short weeks!) 
I'll be in Vancouver with family & friends.  

But then I woke up with a terrible head cold 
& spent my day sniffling, sneezing & shivering.

I'm still feeling pretty lousy today.

So hang in there, blog.  
 I'll be back soon.

In the meantime, the sofa, my hot-water bottle & some cheesy DVDs are awaiting me...


Friday, January 21, 2011

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Praz de Lys: Blue blue sky.

As I mentioned yesterday,
the weather was nearly perfect during the few days I spent à la montagne.

Here are some of my favourite photos of that beautiful ciel bleu.

Cute hotel in the village.
3... 2... 1... ski!!
What I gazed upon while snowshoeing.
Goin' to the chapel...

Even when the clouds rolled in a bit, it was still gorgeous.
Way up high.
View of the village from above.

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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Look... my snowshoes match the sky!

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My snowshoes & I had a fabulous time à la montagne.

I ended up being able to stay a couple of extra days with everybody at the chalet.
(Merci, student who decided she preferred a phone lesson to a face-to-face meeting!)

Just as that amazing sunset predicted last Friday, the weather was gorgeous.

It was great to get my fill of fresh air, sunshine, snow... & fondue!

Now I'm back in Annecy with a bit of nice colour in my cheeks
& a zillion loads of laundry to do...

Lots of very Alpes-y photos coming tomorrow!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Red sky at night...

view from the kitchen window about 6 p.m. tonight
... sailor's delight!

Well, I'm not planning on doing anything involving a boat over the next few days,
but I am headed to one of the local ski resorts, Praz de Lys. 

My parents-in-law have rented a cabin with some of their friends for a week.
We'll join them for the weekend, along with my sister-in-law, brother-in-law & their kids.
It's supposed to be clear & sunny both Saturday & Sunday.
(Judging by the sky, of course... but also the on-line forecast.)

I am looking forward to going sledding with my niece Juliette,
drinking chocolat chaud in the village,
doing some snowshoeing,
& perhaps - gulp! - taking a skiing lesson.

What are you up to this weekend?

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Happy New Evian!

January is nearly half-way over!

How is that possible?

And how is it possible that I have not yet posted about our New Year's Eve trip away?

Neither FQ nor I get overly excited about December 31st.
Huge parties?
Expensive nights out at clubs?
Starting off the new year with an awful hangover?
Not really our thing.

However, we do have a weakness for fancy hotels.
Last year, we were celebrating the new year in my hometown of Vancouver.
We stayed at the very posh Shangri-La hotel.
It was fabulous.

So we figured why not treat ourselves to the same kind of New Year's Eve this year?
We decided to spend a couple nights in the town of Evian, which is about 85 kms from Annecy.

Posh hotel?  Check.
Posh lobby?  Check.
Posh bottle of (local) water in our room?  Check.
Ooh, fancy!
We went swimming in the hotel pool
(although posh, it wasn't filled with Evian water as my brother suggested!),
nibbled at appetizers & watched movies in our room
& opened a bottle of champagne at minuit.

Posh apéritif, provided by us?  Check.

 The next morning, we went for a walk by the lake...
... took our first long-arm self-portrait of 2011...
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... & then went back to the hotel for a - you guessed it! - posh New Year's Day brunch.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Café de Paris, Genève

As you know, I really enjoy living where I do.
But one of my favourite things about Annecy is that it's very close to Geneva, Switzerland.
Like 30 minutes.
In the car.
From our apartment to le centre de Genève.

That is fabulous because there is pretty much everything a person needs in Geneva:

- an international airport
(that we have already used for our trip to Budapest last November
& which we will be using again soon!)

- great shopping, including a million fancy-dancy watch stores
(for those of you who are independantly wealthy),
all sorts of fun boutiques
& an "American Market" with really expensive comforts from home,
like Kraft Dinner, Mountain Dew & Starburst.
(Luckily for my wallet, I don't like any of those three things!)

- Starbucks (five of them!)

- movies in English (films are usually dubbed at the theatre in Annecy, ugh!)

- yummy restaurants

Whew. That's a list of a lot of fun stuff.

This past Saturday, we headed to Geneva for the afternoon.
We arrived around lunchtime & decided to try a well-known restaurant.
Yes, I know it's confusing.  But this place is in Geneva... trust me!

Like all restaurants in these parts, there's a menu posted outside.
But the le menu du Café de Paris is pretty darn simple,
because they only serve one thing!

Ok, ok... three things. Steak + home-made French fries + green salad.  That's it, folks!


The steak came covered with a sauce made with 
(are you ready for it?)
butter + herbs.
Which is obviously a fantastic combination.

Of course the recipe for this amazing butter, which dates back to 1930, is a secret.
You can read more about it on the restaurant's website here.

Y U M.

So, so, so delicious.
And so, so, so artery-clogging.


Or if you prefer, "enfin bref".
(That's an expression French people use when they don't want to spend any more time
thinking about gloomy things like clogged arteries.)

Lunch was delicious.

I also liked the décor, the stained-glass window near the entry & the waiters' pinstriped vests.

Oh & the fact there was a Starbucks right next door.
But that's another post!
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