Conquering old fears on the French Alps!


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Europe » France » Rhône-Alpes » Chamonix » Argentiere
April 12th 2009
Published: April 12th 2009
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Mont Blanc, ChamonixMont Blanc, ChamonixMont Blanc, Chamonix

Gorgeous eh? I loved the view, although bigger, I felt like I was back in my home mountains!
Hey everybody!

WEll, the past week or so has gone by seriously fast. It was mostly regular stuff, kids were at school and I was working hard to catch up on to do's after Richard went home. I met up with another Canadian aupair, Ian who has family in the Kelowna area so he knew where I actually lived. We met with Kim, the other Canadian aupair I met the week before so it was quite cool and I didn't mind hanging out in the 3 crowd. Generally speaking, I tend to try for one on one or lots of people because usually it is awkward for someone in a 3...just a Chloe thing. Anyways, our waiter at the restaurant ended up being Hungarian despite sounding French so we had a cool chat about Hungary.

I did the other stuff, volunteered at the charity shop and cleaned houses, lots to do at our place before going on holidays! I got my travel shots and stuff for when I go to Africa, turned out the hospital wasn't as far as I had anticipated so they took me early and when I came out, loads of people were waiting so it was perfect timing. My arms were a bit sore after 5 vaccinations but hey, some of them I will never have to get again. I spent a good fortune there and was ready to go home to finish some tidying.

On Friday night Holly and Jonathon came here from Ireland just in time for our holiday. Gabi was looking after the fish and guinea pigs as Lynne wasn't depending on Luke to do it!

Saturday morning was an early start, around 4 am. With the time difference I was able to call home and have a little chat with Christal while packing last minute stuff. i didn't have HOlly's scarf finished yet but I got it done during the holiday, hurray. Jonathon loved his scarf and apparently it's the colors of one of Ireland's sport teams or something...he is hilarious that kid. Of course, he can drive you crazy with his incessant chatter but every night he had to have a hot tub to reflect on his day and think about life. What 13 yr old boy says that? Oh, he's quick and witty, secretly he is my favorite kid from Ireland because he's super smart and totally real. There isn't anything fake or wishy washy about him. Holly is a 15 yr old girl, crazy about her new boyfriend and spends all her waking moments texting or emailing. We shared a room at the chalet and ended up having some pretty good talks, she seems to really like me and things that I talk to her about so that's cool.

So, we arrived in Chamonix, France quite late on Saturday night and basically fell into our beds after unpacking the vehicle. The Eurotunnel is cool, in about 30 minutes you've crossed from England into France. The lengthy drive was due to the fact that we ended the train tunnel in the North of France and we were headed to the South of France. We were staying quite close to the Italy and Switzerland borders, had hoped to visit my friend Debbie but it didn't end up working out as it was still quite a distance to go by train. So, it was up close and personal daily living with the family, Anne (Dave's mom) came by plane and stayed until Wednesday.

Skiing- must get to that part. I was a bit scarred from my childhood experiences of skiing where I couldn't stop nor could i turn very well so I was a straight skiier aiming right for the trees unless I fell over first! It's funny now but it wasn't then and I swore I'd never ski again, thought it could happen if I went on a ski type holiday though. Anyways, getting properly fitted for skiing definately helps! So, I had the full set and hit the slopes on Monday afternoon at Les Houches (pronounced Lez oooch). The french pronunciation is something I am still working out as I can read most of it but I have no idea how to say it! My first day of skiing was great, no falls but it got a bit boring as it was an easy green slope. SO, I was really for a harder day! On Tuesday we went to Le Tour which was definately a step up, in the whole afternoon I fell once and it was just a misunderstanding of Dave's instructions. He taught me everything I came to do and was quite good at teaching techniques. I was very proud of the fact that I skiied (SP?) through an igloo and over a
Holly and I, shopping party!Holly and I, shopping party!Holly and I, shopping party!

Girl bonding time, super fun.
few jumps at a much higher mountain before Alex did! He was totally freaked and he is apparenty quite a good skiier, goes to the red and blue slopes with Dave soooo...that was cool. I finally convinced him to try it and he was as addicted as me. I didn't go on Wed. as they needed me to look after Rhiannon. Thursday AM I went with Holly and Dave to try out the blue slopes of Grand Montets, crazy! The lifts were the fun part and I got a few laughs from the different hills I tried out but yeah, it was a bit insane coming down as I hadn't yet mastered how to SLOW down. Can we say skiing wickedly fast and then trying to turn ending up with at least 1 ski down the hill, sliding down the hill on my butt to get it and then sliding past trying to reach it. Yeah, it sounds funny and for the most part, I did just laugh at myself. I did manage to do one hill after a couple tries without falling at all, I preferred the skinny long runs because if I could see a massive hill to
Chamonix, French AlpsChamonix, French AlpsChamonix, French Alps

A part of the beautiful view from one of the hikes!
conquer it freaked me out a bit but whatever the case, survived the morning without any injuries and had loads of fun. In the PM, Holly and I took an adventure option taking the Chamonix Bus into the centre to do a bit of shopping. We had a yummy icecream and tried the French McDonalds, not different tasting, just more expensive.

Hmm, Friday I opted for the easier way and went skiing in the PM with everyone at Le Tour. I wasn't interested in possibly wiping out big time on the slopes with Alex watching as he was annoyingly commenting on everyone and how they ski. He had been pretty impressed with how I did, didn't want to show him the out of control end. ahah.

The week was good, stayed in a nice chalet with lots of rooms - shared with Holly. We had a sauna and hot tub (although I wouldn't use the hot tub after a couple days as they would ski all day, be all stinky and gross and then get in without having a shower - YUCK!). We had a great view of the mountains and went for a few hikes and adventures with the kids in the woods. I will post a few of the videos on youtube this week. We had a wood fireplace and it was smoking us out as Dave would light a really big fire and then realize he hadn't opened the chimney part (2X)! Can you picture everyone opening windows and trying to find a stick to get up the chimney to open the damper and also needing to turn off the smoke alarm while being bombarded by crazy amounts of smoke? I'm still laughing about it as I write this! ANyways, it was some cool memories and of course, it came with its frustrating moments but luckily I had computer access when other people weren't hogging it so I was able to arrange phone calls to the chalet. I got a talk with Mom, Christal and Richard so that kept me going in my frustrated moments.

We came back yesterday, lots of driving but it seemed that we drove less time than when we went there. We started driving at 9am and got home around 9 pm, in the middle we had a picnic of leftovers that was actually pretty good. Dave's been really sick, some sort of throat infection for the past couple of days so that was not pretty while travelling, then around 7pm when we stopped, Johnny started throwing up and I had some kind of allergy type itch all over my face, it was brutal. So, I am guessing it was something we ate but never pinpointed what it was. I caught up with a few emails last night and talked to Gabi, unfortunately our fish died but the GP's are fine. The water filter was clogged as they didn't clean it before going on holidays.

Well, it's Easter Sunday now and I'm off to Hillsong London and St. Barnabas (my home church) so should be a couple of great services. I hope you have a wonderful and blessed Easter break. It's a great day and for me, it's been a time of realizing all that Jesus went through to save me and also the new life we can have through him. Hugs to all of you! Chloe

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