03 February 2017

Last day boo hoo

On the very last, we woke up a bit late, packed bags, then walked straight down to the bottle store, which is like a museum, very beautiful. We pack these into the bags then, and finally get them out at about midday. Went for lunch at the bar with the beer brewing inside. It's just near where we used to live, and would have been awesome if it had been there before. Then up to the painted ladies for a look, then we walked down to the dog park for a play. Then walked off to the Castro, for some expensive frozen yoghurt. The kids got to choose their own flavours and toppings. The boys loved that. We bought 4 pairs of shoes between us. Marie loved that.
Then we got on the historic F trolley (tram) down Market St. There were just hoardes of bikes rolling out of the city during this peak hour. Into Old Navy for some last minute t-shirt shopping, a bit more at the Gap nearby, then up to the hotel, where reception was wondering where we were and if we'd turn up before the shuttle bus.
I tipped the bag man a fiver, but said thanks "dude" which may not have been the correct way to warm relations. We gave the shuttle guy a tenner, which judging by his face was the correct thing to do. Given the beaten up state of the shuttle bus, seemed the right thing.
We're at the airport with heaps of spare time to try to find the old sushi place, which is gone during renovations to that corner, through security and into some random sports bar restaurant, after scrutinising the duty free to decide if we could possibly squeeze another bottle of booze in, but probs not due to us exceeding the limits a bit already.
14 hours of flying, I slept the most out of all 4 of us. Watched the WestWorld series, didn't totally love it, and suddenly it was time to land.
Spent the afternoon at Vonnie's with the kids her, Tony and Anna. Dinner at the local pub, and home a wee bit late. Slept well that night!!
Made it to the beach Sunday.
Back to work this week, boo hoo. Still feeling relaxed though, and luckily it's not been busy.
Friday night, had a beer with Justin. Saturday, it's back to shouting at the kids for a bit to try to get them to clean up.
We have Mel and Tom's wedding to look forward to in 3 weeks.

Moday shopping day

We head to get money changed in China town.
Then Marie is off shopping for the day, while I;m off for adventure with the boys. We stop at Lombard St, where there is a great park next to the library. I try to wipe down a slippery slide, so Louis goes down the fully wet one, and I'm not sure if Ollie didn't somehow get water in his shoes also. We're running around today, so no chance to get cold.
After this it's up Lombard St, the wiggliest section of it, which the boys run up, and get the great view. A drink stop after, the boys have a biscuit, which ends up being lunch. We head off to the Musee Mechanique. This place is full of old computer games, and mechanical games, many costing just a quarter (25c). For example, my favourite is the execution, where a prisoner is mechanically hung. Another the prisoner gets the gullotine.
Louis bowls, we do some Space Invaders, mechanical ice hockey, and the hit of the day is the steam shovel which picks up chewing gum balls. It takes many turns to get a handful of them into the chute.
Then onto the quickest bus we can find, the 30, to the cinemas to watch Monster Trucks, which is quite a good film it turns out. Everyone gets into that one.
Dinner is with Marie. We checked out the Chinese star signs, eg year of the dog etc. Ollie is a pig. Louis is a Rat, maybe? The boys and Marie had dinner at Sushi, and I headed up to the Page St bar in the Haight for beer and pool with DanO.
We go down to the Mission for more beer and pool. I argue with the server about the change. It's a weird kind of night. Dinner is a sausage on a roll once final drinks is called. Marie has been waiting up for me, since she's not sure in a strange city, and we all finally crash at 2am.

Sunday

The days are drifting away. Stop!
We get a bus up Haight St to check out where we used to live. We tell Ollie he used to live in this house too.
The guy next door with the big vintage bike collection is still there, so we start chatting. It turns out that Steve, the painter, who lived next door to him, passed away due to cancer. Apparently he never wore the breathing protection while painting. Some of the paints are not so great.
Weirdly enough, we're meeting Hugues for lunch. Some of his colleagues are there as well, an English lady, two Italians and another English man who is taken with the boys having had two of his own. Tapas at Cha cha cha resto is pretty good.
We wander down Haight St for a little bit, then call up Lisa, and go for the tram to get to her place. We get properly soaked. One of the boys makes us stop for a toilet break at the cafe.
Their place is fabulously laden with wood inside, and spacious. Dinner is at the local Thai place. These guys haven't changed a bit. Chris is doing film, and writing books. Lisa is still at Workday, but not for too much longer it seems. They've almost bought a bar, but that was similar to some years ago. Like us I suppose.
The N Judah tram takes us straight home. SF transport is awesome.

Saturday

We set off to see where Ollie was born. A stop at a park with a great view over the east side of the bay, chatted to a guy whose wife is Swiss, because his sons jacket was a Quechua brand, which is French.
Walked on and found the California Pacific Medical Centre, but it didn't look familiar. Asked one of the staff members, who said the maternity is a different campus, so we got on another bus, got off too early, tried again, and got right there.
The wooden panel with the plaques of donors, the hospital corridors, are all familiar. We stop for a drink and apples at the hospital cafeteria, before getting another bus to the Embacadero buildings, get sandwiches, and onto the BART train.
No eating here for starters, since the people sitting nearest us are BART agents in BART shirts, so I point to the sign saying no food or drink to Marie, who has started pulling the sandwiches out. They get off, and on comes some pink hat protesters. No-one likes Trump much around here. It's not clear what they're protesting about, but in the coming week or two, there's plenty of things to choose from to protest, for example lifting restrictions on gun sales to the mentally ill, and blocking people with visas from 7 odd countries fleeing conflict.
At Rich and Julie's house, we're here to visit in Danville. The house is huge. The boys are upstairs playing devices until banned, then foosball. Dinner is at the local gourmet hamburger type place, then back for more battles with the pool noodle light sabres.
Once again it's been a long long day of travelling. We're back in around 10pm, walking uphill in the dark, in the rain. The boys don't complain too much as long as you drag them up by the hand.

Friday 20th

The alarm went off at 4.40am. We must have eaten something but I can't remember. Rolling the bags down 7th Avenue, I didn't bother putting on a coat, and lugging all of them down the steps at the subway, certainly didn't need any further heat. We stood on the wrong side of the platform until 5.24 train rolled in on the other side, noticed the sign that said Jamaica/Airport, and a kind lady asked if we were going to the airport, and if so, get on!
At the airtrain change, once again, we have a 50 dollar bill, nothing smaller. You can only buy one ticket at a time. Marie buys something to break it. The machine only gives 9 change maximum, so we can't even buy one ticket. The kind shopkeeper breaks the money down further, so we sit there feeding the machine money $6 at a time per ticket, and some time later we're away again. Thank goodness we're very early.
We met a girl in line who spent 3 or 4 years living in Marseille in some dump that her boyfriend insisted on because it was next to the sea and had a view. Then we had our water bottles confiscated going through security, again.
Landing in San Fran is an awesome feeling, so familiar rolling through Daley City and it's little boxes on a hillside made of ticky tacky which all look the same. The boys take a short nap on the BART train, and on Market St exit, once again, I'm lugging the bags up the stairs, but shorter ones this time.
The room's not ready until the afternoon, probably luckily so the boys cant' sleep further, and we're off.
First stop is the Powell street cable car. The boys are very excited as we're right up the front, sitting sideways, with a few people hanging off the side of it, going up/down the extremely steep hills.
We wander around Fisherman's Wharf looking for the seals, and buy a teddy bear shaped loaf of bread for later. While we watch the seals, we eat a chunk or two, until a giant seagull swoops on mine, banging my hand out of the way, and scooping my chunk, flying off in the distance. Eeek.
Quick drink stop in a restaurant nearby, in the group of shops next door, wash my hands, then walk out trying to find the bus, eventually getting the 30 to the end of Stockton Tunnel, right near our hotel, and in for a well earned sleep.
Our boys are absolute troopers, no complaints all day, despite starting at 4.40am, and finishing the equivalent of about midnight NY time, 7pm SF time.

02 February 2017

Thursday 19th Jan 2017

Can you believe it 2017? When I was little, I never thought that the year 2000 would roll around. They used to have a futuristic TV show called "Towards 2000" with all new technology. I don't think our greatest problems can be solved with new inventions though...

So today we all took a train down to the Ferry terminal, to see about getting on the Statue of Liberty. Tickets were not available to go inside the statue. All the street hawkers had them they said. Louis and Marie visited the outside. Ollkie didn't want to go on the boat, so in the end we took a PATH train out to Jersey, and saw the Science Museum, which Ollie loved, but I wasn't big on. For example, they had monkeys, and a huge bird spider, which are great but something that's more for the zoo. I was expecting parabola whispering dishes, inertia experiments and the like. We didn't get to the other sections, as Marie called and we had to run.

We got the bus back out to Jersey to visit Alicia. This time we got out at the right stop, which was in the middle of a big car park. At one end of the car park were a hand full of shops. Little box, big car park seems to be the standard.

We picked up the kids from school, drove home. Alicia had some pasta sauce cooking, which was very good. We hung out for a while, chatted etc, then belted out at around 6 or 7pm to get the train back again to Penn Station, I think it was, then a subway, then home, then pack for the following day with an early early flight! Luckily we'd done the walk to the subway before, so we knew it was 5 minutes plus time to battle 2x20kg bags down the stairs, plus carry ons.

19 January 2017

Wednesday - walk downtown

We started the day before 10am, which is not bad at all for us. Unfortunately, we jumped on the subway going in the wrong direction. A kind woman explained the letters on each station, and that the N is an express, which we used to get downtown (near the action - uptown is the Bronx, as in nothing soft comes out of the Bronx).
We got out near the Woolworth building and Town Hall, so we wandered around there, going to Westfield shopping centre at the old twin towers site. The form is like the metal structure that was poking up after the towers went down.
The two big holes in the ground at the memorial are sobering, along with all the names of the people who died. There must have been around 400 firefighters, cops, and other service people in the list, which was a surprise. They put flowers in the names of people on their birthdays.
We got down to Battery Park on the waterfront, very nice views. Walked along until the boys got hungry and ended up at Lox cafe inside the Jewish Museum for some egg sandwich, a Borsch soup and a herring dish, all very good in my opinion, although we had to threaten the boys to eat it.
Walked along further to the ferry but decided not to go on, and trained it to Brooklyn, so we could walk back over the bridge. The boys enjoyed that a lot. The bike riders must go totally mad while the tourists walk back and forth over their bike lane, generally unaware. We didn't realise until a guy was ringing his bell and did not move out of his lane, so we did.
Finished with a pit stop on the way home at Union Square. Tonight Marie is out for a girls night with Alicia.
Note; I have many many photos, so decided to blog one day per post to put up as many as I could.

18 January 2017

Tuesday - clothes washing, Maths museum.

Tuesday - it's rainy. We do a load of washing, which is incredibly fast, at the laundromat. Go to Star bucks for week coffee and a place to sit, for lack of options. Lunch is a ham sandwich at the hotel room - very economical. Mate the bread here tastes like cake - 10g in the hundred is sugar.
The afternoon is at the moderately boring Maths Museum - a Mobius strip with a car/camera on it, a rolling platform sitting on acorn type shapes is sort of interesting. The room with the wood 3D puzzles is frustrating as always. The kids had a good time with the cart/flexy track setup, and the platform where you physically had to move to move the circle on the screen in a computer game of putting it through the gates. Dinner is a salad at the Belgian Beer Cafe, nice beers.

Monday in Joisey

Monday - meet up with Alicia. The guy at the ticket office at the Port Authority Bus Terminal does not know where Morganville is, so we get tickets to Lord knows where. The bus ride is like a ride through a Terminator movie, between the 14 lanes freeway, the massive Newark airport, the massive chemical manufacture complex, the power plant etc. Eventually we arrive in suburbia, drive through banks, medium box/mass parking type shops etc.  We miss our stop and get out at Irvine St to be picked up by Alicia.
At her place, the boys happily play on their playstation thing. Lunch is huge pizza, and after we go for a walk in the forest in their back yard. Ollie, after we tell him not to cross on that log repeatedly, goes straight in the drink up to his shins. I suppose you have to learn. He borrows some shoes from Hugh. In the evening we go to Harold's New York deli for the biggest ribs, and pastrami/roast beef sandwich, in the universe, with Alicia's family.

Sunday - ice skating

Sunday - got out late enough, went ice skating at 11am on Trump's rink - very pleasant! A perfect winter's day, mild, sunny, comfortable as. Lunch is at about 4pm at a sandwich place, slightly dodgy, a bit greasy on the floor, and dark. Then more TV before sleeping. Don't want to rush around much.

Saturday - New York

Saturday - fly to Yankeeland. Up at 5.30am, the others bleary eyed but also up, then rolling at 6.20am. Returning the car is quick except for finding the desk. The check in lady asks questions and is taking forever. Then we need to swap some weight out of one bag. We get through security late. Marie goes champagne shopping while I realise, panicked, that the board is showing Final Call for our flight. I tell Marie I'm taking the boys to the gate! She arrives empty handed as she thought I had the boarding passes, needed for duty free purchases, as they start to page us.
The in flight entertainment is some TVs hanging from the roof like in a country coach. Dealing with the flight attendants is like a slap in the face after the politesse of France. One lady is incredibly rude: "You got your seat belts on? Keep them on!", while the others tend to be nicer but don't say much - weird a bit sad. No probs in customs, after eventually finding the ATM getting tickets to the airtrain for cash, and two weekly subway tickets (boys are free) is easy. We get dinner fast, and everyone's asleep by about 7 or 8pm local time.

Friday - √Čtampes

Friday - lazy day today. Kids watch TV, while we pack up a bit, then go for lunch at nearby Etampes. It's quite a pretty town in the centre, typical homes, a church, the Mairie etc. I send off the bank stuff at last. The night we eat Raclette and drink champagne. Am gaining too much weight.

Thursday - gay

Thursday - go to gay Paris on the RER C train, after some time of getting out of bed etc, and finding the commuter train station at Bouray near Lardy.
Get out at the Eiffel tower stop, have tourist lunch with 20% tax - no tip! The tower area now has a security fence around it. You have your bags searched, and a metal detector wand to check for weapons. Me and Ollie wait in the cold while Louis and Marie parade up the tower, and wander around for a good while.
We roll up the Trocadero gardens for a drink stop. The waitress is from Ohio. Then a stop at the bank where an upfriendly lady informs us we can't close the account without a forwarding account to send the balance.
For dinner, we have the lentils from Le Puy en Velay that we brought along with duck sausage from a farm near Rodez down south - excellent, really meaty. abit

Wednesday - Museum of Compagnonage, Mesnil-Racoin

Wednesday - a bit rainy. Me and Louis go on the ferris wheel. This town has a bigger historic centre than you'd guess. Go tot he excellent Compagnonage museum. The Compagnonage is like an apprenticeship. They tour the country for two years learning then do a master work. The museum has a collection of miniatures - each model is about a metre cubed. The highlights include a stone bridge made of real stones, several wooden domes complete with staircases, and a steel gate that was made over a 14 year period. Impressive!
Lunch was in a restaurant that has a dog. He was very nice, popular with the boys.
En route we stopped at Orleans exactly at 5pm - which is when the bank shuts, so no money today. This town is beautiful, but needs more sapce for pedestrians.
Wednesday night - arrived at Stephane's place. The GPS put us somewhere. Stephane asked if there was a lake next door, but it was too dark to see! This village is a beautiful collection of town homes side by side build up to the street, with back yards. No shops. We drive through the gates in the wall, along the cobbled driveway. Catherine comes out to check we're in the right spot. Says we don't need to take our shoes off, but this time the mud is everywhere due to rain or frost. We have our own room, with the boys on a mezzaninine, so they're stoked.
For dinner, we start with an apero of excellent whiskey, some champagne, and charcrute - sausage, ham, charcuterie and some sour crout.

Tuesday - Montsoreau

Tuesday - rolled along the river, saw a nuclear power plant, homes that we build into the rock along the river bank. Stopped at the mushroom caves but they weren't open. Walked in town there, Montsoreau, along beautiful wiggly alley rolling up so there was a view over the river, and past a chateau - closed for winter. Lunch was at a ratty little bar that looked great from the outside. Mind you, it is always welcome to find somewhere to eat when so many places are closed for winter. Rolled back to Tours and had a walk around.

Monday - 9th Jan - Azay de Rideau

Monday - 9th Jan
Azay de Rideau - impressive place next to a river, with a moat. They are currently redoing the whole place
One room had a video of the work that goes into the edging of the curtains, the lace edging of the cushions - really amazing, all done by hand. Also the straw woven matting that went on the floor and all over the walls to create a real warmth in the room. It was a bed chamber of some famous bird.
Nice town! Lunch at a great restaurant. Waitress seemed a bit flustered. Crepe machine was not working for a bit.
Afternoon back in Tours. Did some washing. Saw the cathedral. In the laundromat, some dodgy dude was sitting there, but there was no other washing. So I stayed with our things that were drying, he glanced at me, then left.

Sunday- St Aignan, Chateau de Chenonceau, Tours

Sunday-
Booked a hotel in Tours this morning.
Lunch at St Aignan - some local told us to walk through the chateau, which did have a magnificent view over the river and the town. Some of the defence wall is still intact. All of the road stumps had knitted wool on them. We think this place might be famous for that. It is a very pretty town in good condition. There is a snow man with plastic cups.
Chateau de Chenonceau in the afternoon - just in time to catch the animals in the yard, some donkeys, a pony. The boys have an awesome time in the hedge labyrinthe. Louis is disappointed to leave that! The castle itself is an old fortified mill going across a river. More recently it was owned by some industrialist, and used as a hospital during WW1. Impressive place. Ollie had a headset with a kids explanation in it, so he was happy. Lou had the map with numbers, so he and Marie could go in the right order.
Arrived in Tours. Had dinner at some Irish pub, with no Irish ppl. Soccer was on TV.

Saturday - Chateauroux

Saturday - rolling North! Martel is great but cold. Stopped at a market to get saucisse and a bit of cheese to eat in the car en route. The lady at the tourist office advises us to visit some horse stud of a rich personnage, but we want to make some distance.
Saint Junien I think this place is famous for gloves, but we couldn't find any. Also, there was a sign for a master Emaileur, whatever that is. Couldn't find that either. The 12th century church is interesting. We left my backpack with the passports in a cafe, but the owner races out with it when he sees us passing by again.
night - we stayed at the Ibis is some small town, Chateauroux. The boys would not let us go past the Sushi place. Louis v v happy!

Friday - head out to St Cirq Lapopie

Friday - head out to St Cirq Lapopie via Calvignac - spectacular and high on a hill overlooking the river. V cold, nothing open, wandered around, then hiked back to the car as its time for lunch.
Cahors - seems identical to Nimes with its circular road around the town centre. Had an Andouillette again, nice but slightly wrong somehow due to mushy zuchini and creamy odd sauce. Lots of medieval homes overhanging the road. Tried on some hats but no success. Sensational bridge over the river in perfect condition with medieval defenses, murder slots, gates. Rolled home for some warmth and cartoons in our awesome hotel room.
This is the birthplace of Gambetta. The boys school in Cagnes sur Mer is named after him, so we should look him up in Google one time.

Thursday Cordes sur Ciel, Najac, Figeac

<=(The view from the castle type place where we stayed. It was a great little place, and dinner was not bad either. The waitress had a strong Romanian accent, so we didn't want to ask. It was nice of her to speak French with us though.)



Thursday - Started the day taking snaps of the castle next to where we stayed, then went into town - Cordes sur Ciel.



(The garden of the castle type place where we stayed next to Cordes sur Ciel)=>



It's a steep uphill walk, then the old town is pretty flat, high up there, with a spectacular view. Ollie complained, until Louis picked up a map with a numbered walk. Then they led the way around town trying to find the numbers.



<=(Breakfast at Cordes sur Ciel, not so glamourous)








(The uphill walk started ok, but steadily degraded in motivation from there, until we got a map with numbers.)=>


<=(The view all the way up was spectacular through the peepholes, gates and off walls.)















(You can walk anywhere in the village, and there's something to see.)=>









<=(Happy boys on the hunt for the numbers along the path. The map needed to be interpreted to find where we were and were going.)


Lunch was a relaxing cheese sandwich in the car, with a bit of fruit







Stopped at Najac, which is a great little medieval German type town with a 13C castle on the hill adjacent. Spectacular.


(Beautiful Najac, it's quiet, but I suppose it's also winter)=>






<=(The old castle at Najac from the 13th century)



(Hunt the hotel at Figeac. The tourist office called everywhere that we chose, until we ended up at the Best Western. Not boutique, independe t, but still v. interesting! Gorgeous old building with a tonne of character.)=>




Found a great place to stay at Figeac in an old building. The room has a loft level, which the kids love, and makes us feel safe, while giving a bit of privacy. This town is quite beautiful, medieval, winding narrow streets, homes over hanging the street.

<=(Near the museum of Hieroglyphics, Rosetta stone, and cracking them. Pop pop would have gone completely mental. Sadly it's still on the to-do list.)

Figeac is the birthplace of the guy who cracked Hieroglyphics.

Wednesday - Olargues

<=(If you're looking for tranquility, Carlencas is one of the innumerable villages that can offer you the quiet you need, but may drive you nuts. There were a few people around mind you.)

Wednesday - got the hell out of Gignac earlyish after breakfast, then got detoured near some lake, and on a road winding up a mountain road that is about one car wide. Stopped at a semi abandoned village high up, Carlencas, then rolled back down onto a nearby red B road that is fast but still scenic.




(Carlencas, beautiful, sitting high on a gentle hill, could be nice)=>








<=(Olargues is beautiful, and on a long bike trail converted from a rail line. Didn't see anyone here in the village, but there was a decent sized school with plenty of students, and plenty of parents hanging around with cars to pick them up.)







Stopped at Olargues because of a bright red bridge that turns out to be part of a rail trail. A very nice town with character, but no place to eat.









<=(Looks like you're in someone's home, but seems that it is a public internal staircase.)



Made it to Premian for lunch next to the road.
















<=(Premian, one of the endless villages of France that are beautiful, and I suppose cater more for the travellers.)






(Premian was a good lunch stop. Even nowhere is somewhere here.)=>




Keep rolling to hit Albi for a bit, then call up some places to stay, finding the chateau at Cordes sur Ciel. Bit of a long driving day today.

Tuesday la rentree

<=(the ladies of the old 86 morning after drop off coffee club)

Tuesday - the school rentree, coffee with everyone, go to the bank, go to Cap 3000, lunch with Gabriella and Hugues.

We kept driving until tired. Got to Gignan, which was not that exciting a place. Had tapas for dinner, not too bad, but possibly a lot of microwaving going on there, and some grilling of the cheese toasties.

The hotel was a bit out of town near the freeway, looked like it was mainly for motorbikers. The reception smelt funny. We had to scrape ice off the windscreen.

I do not have one single photograph of this place. This qualifies for one of "those days".





Monday - tourist train to Entrevaux.

Monday - tourist train to Entrevaux, all good.

Entrevaux is a medieval town with a fortress up on the hill above. I suppose the fortress probably predates the rest of the town next to the river, that would have sprung up after conditions were relatively stable to have a population like that.

The train is pretty modern, fast comfortable. The trip up is great, although they say the best parts are further up the line. Oh well, next time.

After a day climbing and travelling, we arranged to see Sebastien, Jules, and Christine. Jelena was away on exchange in Spain I think it was. We offered to look after the kids if they want to travel. Would be nice to get some frogs in the house.

Tomorrow we voyage on the road again!
















Sunday at Jean Louis and Sylvie's

<=(Drinks stop after the soccer session at the school plaza, where all the parents met to collect their kids.)

Sunday - New Years Day with Jean Louis and Sylvie after sleeping over at their place, hang around house, late lunch. Then off to the little plaza at the school to meet everyone for a kick of soccer and a chat. And to get the latest drama about broken dolls, and the defaced diary which Ollie had involvement, or was the direct author of.



(Kids on one table, us on another. Next to the Bord du Mer at Cagnes sur Mer.)=>

Saturday - New Years Eve at Gabriella and Hugues

<=(breakfast at Hugues)



Saturday - cooked a bit, went to Cagnes sur Mer old town to watch some petanque, then went down to Hugues and Gabriella's for the New Year's Party.



(Lunch time at Hugues and Gabriella's)=>

I did a hummus, and Marie did her salmon dip. Both went down well. The girls and Ollie put on a show. The boys messed up the girls room, and as we found out the following day, wrote some rude messages in Leonie's diary.




<=(Watching the big time petanque)










(bmmmp baaah. Still smiling after.)=>










<=(The spectac)









(Partied out)=>










<=(The cutest girl at the party, and lasted longer than Lou)




(Good times.)=>
<=(Asleep at around 2am)

Day 11 -

<=(It's getting weird in here. Near Cagnes sur Mer.)

Day 11 - out of home fairly late, go for a bush walk to see some wood art in the forest.







(Good excuse for more photos)=>

















<=(The kids had a great time.)









(La Colle sur Loup. A beautiful village in great condition. People really live here because it's close to the employment of the Nice area.)=>

Go to La Colle sur Loup for lunch, beautiful village.





<=(The menu changes often enough to use a chalk board for the daily specials etc. Ahhh I miss you meal of the day.)








(Ollie gets a nice wood grip pattern for his head at Vaugrenier. No biggie as it turns out - he was really fine. )=>

Went to Vaugrenier after.

Ollie slipped off a wood log fence and head planted into the wood platform. He had the grill imprinted in his head after falling from a decent height. The people gathered around and it was decided to go to hospital.

A kind lady drove in front to show us the way. After some oldies  beat us to a car parking space, I explained to the nurse at reception that it was a head injury, expecting to get in quickly, but she just wanted to know if I'd filled in the entry form. Luckily I'd done that.  We then sat down to wait. After 10 minutes wait, we got in to see the nurse then the doctor straight after. He checked his eyes and breathing. Luckily there was nothing major, so we paid up 83 euro, and went home taking care to keep an eye on the patient.

Day 10 - Cagnes sur Mer

<=(As cute as it gets.)

Day 10 - visit Alina and her new beautiful little girl, who is just the spitting image of her father. She's just started to walk. She's a cutie.







(Lunch with Solange, Leonie and Rubina.)=>

 Lunch and we meet up with Solange our old Nounou. She's studying English and will teach secondary school or Uni.





<=(A trip down memory lane avec les tripes and other specialites nicoise)










(It was pretty cold outside, so a good excuse for a drinks stop to warm  up a bit.)=>



I dropped in on work to see a couple of old work buddies. Only Christian Aniorte and Neelesh are there, along with the new boss who is Indian and speaks perfect perfect French, with a tiny accent. After, I dropped Neelesh off near the airport to get his bus, and then get hopelessly lost with all the new road work around the interchange there.