French Sabbatical

My family's year in France…

Day 253 (10 March 2011) – And D-Day

Read the title of today’s blog posting carefully. Do you hear my first name in it and not just a World War II reference? If so, you will start to understand the terrific pun Laurent made in English today, so good that I made it the title. I’ll try to explain it here, but, like most puns, to fully get it you probably needed to be present with us over the last couple of days.

First, on our walk yesterday, I told Laurent of my interest in visiting Normandy and the D-Day beaches before we leave France. Now temporarily file that little bit of trivia.

Second, at dinner last night Manon made an impassioned speech in English in which she asked me to join the rest of the group in the nearby town of Flaine for lunch today. They would all ski there, of course, following their normal route, one which takes them to high elevations and provides some of the loveliest views in the Alps. For me, this would involve being the first out of the apartment in order to catch the morning bus to Flaine from Les Carroz, a 35 minute ride along a steep, winding road through the mountains. Once in Flaine, I’d wait for them to arrive and then, based on Manon’s proposal, accompany them on a 10-15 minute ride in the “Grandes Platieres” télécabine. Yes, she was suggesting I dangle above the ground supported by nothing but flimsy cables in order to get a view of Mt. Blanc.

Did I mention I don’t like heights. I mean, I really don’t like heights. I get all weak in the knees and lightheaded (kind of like meeting Melinda for the first time?).

Anyway, I did it. I took the mountain bus to Flaine, trying all the way not to look over the side of the road (which is harder to do when the bus driver is busy passing little sports cars on the straightaways). I hung out in Flaine until Melinda called. And I let them convince me to ride the “Grandes Platieres” télécabine. The ride up wasn’t so bad, packed as I was with my entire family, the Boudeaus, and several skiers not the least bit nervous about the experience of being in a tiny box floating through the sky. But let me just say that the ride down was somewhat tortuous, as you might gather if you carefully study my face in this self-portrait taken about a third of the way down. Ella came with me, which was nice, but it was just the two of us in this cabin intended for 2 or 3 thousand, I think. And you kind of start to sway at times. And you’re really high up. And every so often you come to a place where the cables shake and make a loud noise, probably the same sound they’d make just before snapping. And you’re really high up (oh, I said that already). And it’s a long way down. And below you are trees and rocks (and the little bitty town of Flaine). And you’re swaying and stuff.

So, you see, when we all were safely back in the apartment late this afternoon, Laurent christened today as “Andy Day.” “And D-Day.” Get it?

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March 10, 2011 - Posted by | Uncategorized

1 Comment »

  1. What a laugh!! I did not know you were afraid of heights… that explains a lot! I can still remember my first chair lift ride. I was petified, but… practice makes perfect! You survived, so onto new heights!

    Comment by linda taylor | March 11, 2011 | Reply


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