Together Again

Trip Start Oct 26, 2006
Trip End Aug 2007

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Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Together again! Our reunion went just as planned as Holly was waiting behind the glass as I walked into the Geneva airport baggage claim. The big long hug that followed was very memorable. By happenstance our friend/landlord, Colin, who we are renting our apartment from for the winter, arrived in Geneva from a trip to Norway four hours after I arrived. So long story short Holly drove Colin's car to pick the both of us at the airport. What service eh? While we were waiting for Colin's flight to arrive, we went into the city to walk around and have a cup of coffee. After Colin arrived we loaded up the truck and drove to Holly's host family's house in Grenoble. Colin graciously offered to take my stuff (3 large bags - including bike, skis, etc) up to Les Terrasses after he dropped us off in Grenoble.

For the next four days I joined Holly in her Grenoble life while she finished her last few days of French School. Those days were a bit of a daze for me. Between the jetlag and most conversations between Holly and her host family being in French I must have had a constant glazed look in my face. The highlight of the stay in Grenoble had to be the Christmas dinner the night before we left for our apartment in Les Terrasses. The chicken dish her host mom cooked was magical. After dinner we exchanged some gifts. We gave the family a bottle of wine and candle holders Holly had made out of painted glass yogurt containers. They gave us some apartment warming gifts. Food, spices, and a table cloth the host mom had made from fabric her grandmother had given her. We were touched. The night was a great way for Holly to finish off her stay.

The next day we loaded up our backpacks and hit the grocery store to buy food for the next week. Fully loaded down with backpacks and grocery bags in each hand we wobbled our way through the city's public transit system and on to a bus to La Grave. The bus ride was non eventful, but we were greeted in La Grave by a nice brisk 50 kph wind. Our apartment in Les Terrasses is 4 kilometers up the mountain side from La Grave. It was going to be a long wobble up the hill. Luckily a mere 1 kilometer into the walk a farmer in his grain truck was kind enough to pull over and pick up us pitiful looking hitchhikers. After Holly expressed what our intent was, he pointed to the porte (door, a word I actually knew) and told us to hop in. So we threw our bags in the back with the grain and hopped in the cab with the farmer. On the ride up Holly found out this guy has lived his whole life in Les Terrasses (60 plus years).

Our first few days in Les Terrasses were pretty laid back. There is very little snow right now. Minimal skiing. So we have spent our days organizing our apartment, cooking, meeting people, exercising (see photos from trail run we took up the valley), but mostly just enjoying the time together.

In France the big Christmas celebration is on Christmas Eve. Colin was kind enough to invite us to a potluck with some friends of his. It was definitely an international crowd. The nationalities together at the potluck were American, French, English, Canadian, Swedish, and Irish. It was night of great food, drink, music, and laughter (even if I could only could understand half the words spoken). The main dish of the night was lamb fresh from slaughter that had spent the summer grazing on the slopes we will ski this winter. Best lamb we have ever had. It must have been the Swix wax that has settled in the soil.
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