Day 15 - Spain/France Trip - Grenoble

July 5, Friday
Grenoble, France

Streams of sunlight, chirping birds, tinkling of bells on sheep, and the mooing of cows woke me at 5 am. The cows appeared on a ridge down the mountain and the sheep were behind the house working as lawn mowers. The views from the screen less window are inspiring.

The house feels like it is a setting for an inspirational story with its rock walls, exposed wood, brick ovens, outdoor terrace, and indoor pool. The setting is quiet and serene, until you add in the three giggly girls; Nola, Charolette, and Lainey. But that just adds to the charm.

We had a light breakfast and headed to Grenoble to meet Jackson, Cecile, and Maxim. We went up in what look like bubbles that function as cable cars over the river to a large fort. From there we could see the old city and the new. We saw the longest road in France which Napoleon rode down. We also went over 40 pizzerias all in a row along the river. Even the locals are suspicious of how these businesses all stay open next to each other. People in Grenoble are not daily pizza eaters! It has been suggested they are just fronts for bigger more illegal businesses. We also saw Mount Blanc, the highest mountain peak in Europe which is part of the Chartreuse Mountains. Remnants of the 1964 olympics still stand - like the ski jump and a special tower.

After taking in the views we went into the original part of Grenoble which featured my favorite kind of streets. Narrow, pedestrians only, and business lined. We did a little shopping and stopped for lunch at a place called Hippopotamus. Jackson had a local favorite which is thinly sliced raw beef. He said it was delicious.

After lunch we drove into the mountains to Cecile and Pioup’s park. It is filled with ropes courses and zip lines. As well as trampolines and play areas for small kids. I did one ropes course and worked up a good sweat having fun doing it. Jackson did that course and a harder one with Maxim. Maxim is 13 and should be on Ninja Warrior. He climbs and jumps on everything! I never see him sitting still! We also went on their biggest zip line. Even Nola and Charolette went on it. Vicki didn’t make it across and slid into the middle where she had to be rescued by a worker!

After our adventures we headed further up the mountain to another fort and along a ledge. The drop was straight down! We took pictures and hiked a little through wild flowers and around mountainous boulders.

Our next stop was Cecile and Pioup’s house. They aren’t far from the park. Their home is surrounded by a wooden fence that opens electronically at the driveway. It is picture perfect. They have a swimming pool, hot tub, trampoline, and of course a zip line. The back of their property is surrounded by a rippling stream and a steep hill. To top it off there are roses growing up a trellis on the side of the house.

Inside, the house has one bedroom on the main floor and three upstairs. The toilet is a separate room from the shower and sink which is how it is at the Variet’s as well. The kitchen is spacious with American appliances and large windows that overlook the hills. Upstairs the rooms are small but high. The ceilings angle and every space is used up to the exposed wood.

Some friends stopped by and in typical French fashion drinks and snacks were brought out for everyone. It was then time to head next to the park for dinner.

There were 20 of us at the table. Not much English was spoken so it was difficult to join in on the conversation but it was still a great night! With great food. The setting couldn’t be beat! Jackson was taught how to properly drink wine for the enjoyment and flavor of it. He learned how to swirl the glass, to smell it, and the proper way to drink it to get the best flavor. So yes I did allow him a very small glass. When your meal is spread out over a number of hours, having a drink with dinner is very different. It was only when the sun began to go behind the mountain that the heat receded so an outdoor dinner was perfect as we didn’t even sit down until 9pm and arrived home around 12:30am!

We were able to see Chloe for a quick minute as she was busy training to be a fire fighter. Jackson was able to spend more time with her the night before so that worked out well.

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