Our final day, and final thoughts

Trip Start Dec 10, 2012
Trip End Jan 12, 2012

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Flag of France  , Rhone-Alpes,
Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Today, as the cloud sat on the lake, we headed into a little medieval town named 'Yvoire', about half an hour's drive away. Although our chalet was above the cloud, as we descended we found ourselves enveloped, which sort of added a little gloom to the slightly gloomy feeling that Daniel and I were already experiencing. For tomorrow is our day of departure, and this beautiful, glorious, magnificent (obviously my three favourite adjectives) holiday is coming to an end.

I am amazed how quiet things have been on this side of the lake, it's as if very few people are around. Maybe they've gone to warmer places, or have just 'shut the shutters' for a long wintry sleep. Either way, it makes it a very easy time to get about.

Our visit to Yvoire was very brief, as it seemed that most things were closed, and a lot of houses were under repair or renovation. It seemed quite pretty, situated on the lake, and I imagined that it would be particularly beautiful in summertime.

On our way out of the village we spotted a restaurant which was open.It was a nice little quiet place overlooking the marina. We enjoyed a pleasant lunch, a glass or two of wine, and sat and just took in the eerie, foggy stillness. Whilst we sat, a single ferry approached the marina. No-one alighted, except the Captain. I have come to find this stillness, this quietness away from the maddening crowd, so calm and peaceful.

Anyway, we have just finished dinner and the girls are getting ready for bed. Over dinner I asked everyone what their three favourite parts of the trip were. Here are the answers:

Saskia; 1. Princesses 2. Princesses 3. Princesses. (When asked to think about other parts of the holiday she liked she said 1. Cinderella 2. Sleeping Beauty 3. Rapunzel. That pretty much sums it up for her I think.)

Alexandra; 1. Disneyland 2. Skiing 3. Getting dressed up in Disneyland.

Daniel; 1. Thollon Les Memises, 2. Helsinki 3. Rovaniemi (the natural aspects of Lapland)

Justine; 1. Thollon Les Memises. We have had the benefit of both town and country here, in our comfortable chalet with magnificent views. We will miss the local Boulangerie, the ease and comfort of the skiing, and the wonderful wine, cheese and produce of the Haute Savoie, our agricultural region. We won't easily forget our New Year's Eve, where we ate escargot, oysters, foie gras and cheeses, not to forget Daniel's magnificent pizza. Musical chairs, statues and tooting horns.

2. Helsinki. Graceful, beautiful, stylish Helsinki. A thick blanket of snow, very much what we were hoping for.

3. Disneyland. The absolute joy on the faces of my children. Hong Kong hospitality. Perfectly comfortable balmy weather, and a sense of relaxation that arrived a lot sooner than I had expected.

The holiday was a long time coming for me. It's made me realise how important holidays are, especially family holidays. The chance to recharge, reconnect, and remember the essence of who we are and what binds us. Thank you my darling family. This has been one of the best experiences of my life.
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Leonie on

Well - sounds like this trip may be the first of many many more to come! Yes I too agree that travelling with family allows you to re-connect with your loved ones, spouse and siblings alike. I just enjoy watching mine grow - literally centimeters in height! Over the years these are the things we remember as a family - I still remember having Brittany 22 months learning how to run at a hotel in KL which we have since re-visited and told her about. She laughed. Also she was 2 and 1/2 years old on what she called "a noisy" boat travelling down a river in Hue in Vietnam being pregnant with Oliver ( knowing I was but my doctor telling me I wasn't!!! I KNEW she was wrong) and carrying her down in the heat into some Vietcong tunnels and being amazed how hot it was and how small they were ) also having the waitresses sit Brittany on 10 folded tablecloths at breakfast on the chair cos she was so little , only 2.and tiny... And how everyone just wanted to carry Oliver 9 months old in Fiji because he was such a gorgeous little man who would go to all the women in the village and at the resort!!! ..... Just some of the many many memories we have of ours on holidays. Just now, look forward to the next one with great excitement as we do - as you can ALWAYS re- capture that great family bonding every time you go somewhere special! SAFE TRAVELS - see u back at school and thanks for allowing me to come along as a spectator , on your wonderful wonderful trip
around EUROPE xxx bye for now Leonie and Brittany and Oliver

Mine are off to Lorne for a week of sun surf and sand. A friend of ours, yes their godfather who adores them and treats them like his own ( he has no kids) has a house down there and they're off again with friends of his as well, Susan and Tony and their little son Steven 10, for a fun time. His friends have a neighbouring apartment and rick and i will join them for a couple of nights as there's 3 bedrooms in the apartment.
Oliver is very excited - his new computer arrives on the weekend just in time for Year 8. I'll visit school on and off for the next 2 weeks a few hours each day just to sort things out ( not totally in my new classroom yet - I ran out of days at the end of term to totally move out all my things!!!) so in baby steps ill acclimatize !! Take care!!! Xx

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