How can I properly explain to you our adventures yesterday? Let me just start by saying it was a perfect example of the best laid plans going astray. We had planned to go to Mont Blanc http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mont_Blanc but it was raining and you really don’t want to go tour a large mountain in the rain. Since we don’t have any tourists books, we decided to “wing it” for the day. Now, if you know me, you know I am not good at “winging it.” I like to plan, so I can make the most of my day. But we didn’t have to be anywhere and we had no plans, so I was okay with “winging it.”
The kids really wanted to take a train ride so we drove to the local train station and decided to take the Train into Geneva. We were hoping to find a train ride around the lake (no luck). Our first big adventure was figuring out how to pay for our parking at the Train station. There was a parking meter far away from the lot. We deciphered the meter, but had a LOT more trouble trying to figure out how to buy the train tickets and where we wanted to go! Thank goodness there was an English speaking woman by the automated ticket machine. The kids LOVED the train ride. In fact, I think we could have done that all day.
Pure Joy, all for a simple train ride. The ride was great, and really fast!
So we get to the big city and tried to find the train ride around the lake. No luck. Although we did have the help person at the train station try to sell us a ticket to go to another city about an hour away by train (and along the river) for only 55 francs (about 65 American dollars.). I said no, I did not want to spend that to go to a city I had not researched and knew nothing about what we could do there. So then I found this brochure about a Tram we could take around the city and see lots of different tourist sites so for $6.00, we took the Tram tour.
However, we quickly learned two things: 1. They never take your tickets. We bought tickets for the train ride and the tram, but no one ever asked for our tickets and we never had to use them to get on or off the train or the tram! 2. The Tram tour of the city was really just the Public transportation buses and the sites we could see, were kind of a joke. It was much like if I made up a fancy brochure for a Houston Tram, and then proceeded to sell you tickets to the Houston Bus System and for historical sites, I just put down different stops through out the city. I kept trying to make sure we got on the “newer” Trams’ because the old ones were pretty gross. But the kids had no idea. Brendan, Julie & I just kept cracking up.
We had a great laugh about our tour of the city on the public transportation system. Hallie & Jack loved it! We were on these electrical bus/train things, and that was all they needed to make them Happy. Hallie about came unglued with excitement when one of the Tram’s we got on had an actual live singer with her own keyboard. I didn’t want to let her know that we have those in D.C. as well; however they are normally homeless or unemployed and trying to make a little money. She was just excited to have the live performance.
We had a fantastic crepe lunch at a small café we found at one of our random stops in the City. We also headed out to Lancy, which is what I would consider the suburbs of Geneva. It was a gorgeous quaint little city. There was a gorgeous old cemetary there. We also went to the Botanical Gardens where the kids found a great playground.
B took his shirt off and we looked like crazy American tourists. : Not to worry, he was really just switching shirts because it went from cold to hot.
At the end of our day we were driving home and decided to drive into France. It is literally two minutes from where we are staying. It was so beautiful! We went to Divonne, France. It looks like a little resort town, and you can drive right up in the mountains from the town.
Divonne, France (More pictures on Flickr)
Although we really didn’t do much yesterday, the kids had a blast and were troopers! The one thing we did learn is that we really miss our hosts Guillermo and Christina! It is hard to figure things out when you don’t really speak the language. (But I am very excited that I am able to recognize a fair amount of information!) Do you know how hard it is to cook dinner when you can’t read the directions? J
Today we are heading to Mont Blanc! It looks like it is going to be a beautiful day!
More Pictures of our Adventures Yesterday (Thanks Geneen for the How-To on Flickr). http://www.flickr.com/photos/jenkerber/