Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Back and Home, Remembering the Trip

Mont Blanc
Julien and Camille

What a lovely week I had with my nephew and his family in France. They live just outside the village of Moisin in a rural area with several small farms and breathtaking views of the Jura mountains on one side, and the Salève mountains on the other. It was a trip long overdue. The morning after I arrived, my grand-niece, Camille, and my grand-nephew, Julien (who visited us in March), took me to the top of Salève where I was able to get a good view of the French alps and Mont Blanc. 

Later that afternoon, I took a walk through the village of Moisin to the road that is a French part of the road to Santiago in Galicia, as I mentioned last week. The road goes up to a little chapel that the pilgrims visit, although I was too tired to walk up that far. 
Here are a couple of pictures of the icon marking the road, though:

Notice the clam shell motif on the blue background.
 My nephew, David, had been away on a business trip when I first arrived Tuesday evening, but he returned Thursday. He works in computer technology, and Brigitte teaches English and also has a hypnotherapy business. One day we went into her office in Geneva. 

Brigitte in her office.
Both are wonderful cooks. I felt spoiled with wonderful dishes like quiche, and fondue, and salmon with a lemon bechamel sauce, and some increidible baked cheese dish called Mont d'Or, as well as beans and potaoes persillade, a treatment that basically cooks vegetables with parsley and garlic. (Sigh.)  David cooks a pretty great tomato pie, too.                            

Most of the week was really spent in catching up on news and sharing books and interests in the ways you never really can on Facebook or emails -- although I'm glad there are those ways, because one can't always bridge the miles any other way. But face to face and hugs to hugs are unbeatable. 

Nicolas singing.
David and their kids have a band (that includes other friends as well).  David plays guitar and sings. Both sons play guitar; the older son, Nicolas, and the daugher, Camille, both sing, and the younger son, Julien, pays drums. His girlfriend, Jessica, also sings, and another friend, Valentin, plays bass. Here are some pictures of them rehearsing Sunday in the basement for a gig they'll play next month:
Valentin on Bass

Camille singing.
Julien on Drums

The whole shebang.
Jessica singing.
And afterwards they gathered around the table to enjoy the pumpkin pie David baked.


The week slipped by, listening to music, reading, talking, and eating great food. The day before I left Brigitte and I went into Geneva, and she showed me around the old town with its historical buildings before we had lunch at a cafe, sitting outdoors and people watching. Unfortunately I forgot to take my camera. But that afternoon, I took another walk through the village, and here are just a few pictures of this picturesque place.

Wouldn't it be great to be able to paint such lovely buildings? Trees were just turning despite the late fall and the mild temperatures. Hillsides werebursting with beautiful colors. Too soon, too soon it was over, but I came back with a treasure of memories.

On another note, Eve E. (who has a very enjoyable blog) passed the One Lovely Blog Award back to me about a week and a half ago, but I was too busy packiing and unpacking to acknowledge that. thanks Eve! 


Rachna Chhabria said...

Looks like you had a wonderful time, Elizabeth. I loved the pictures.

Elizabeth Varadan, Author said...

Thanks, Rachna. It was a beautiful area. And the family was so much fun!

Gary Gauthier said...

Thank you for sharing some of the highlights of your trip with us, Elizabeth. Good food seems to go hand in hand with traveling.

The pictures of the village are absolutely gorgeous. Were you a photographer in a previous life?

Anonymous said...

Great photos! Thanks for sharing about your trip. I visited France back in 2005, but it was a WWII historical tour, so we spent most of our time in the major cities and, of course, Normandy.

Elizabeth Varadan, Author said...

Gary and Milo, I'm glad you like the photos. It's a point and shoot camera, all I have to do is keep my hand steady. :-) It's such a beautiful place. Really painterly scenery.

Lauren F. Boyd said...

Sounds like an awesome trip! So glad you got to go - and at such a beautiful time of the year.

Hope things are going well since the release of your book!

And many thanks for commenting on my blog! It's great to see you!

Elizabeth Varadan, Author said...

Yes, it was a good time to go. Autumn was a little late for their area. Most of those pictures are the day before I left when it was just getting "in stride". Thanks for the good wishes about my book.

MG Higgins said...

Wow, what a gorgeous spot. And what a wonderful time you had with family! You must be so glad you made the trip. I visited Paris once when my brother worked there, and it was such a great experience staying with a "native."

Elizabeth Varadan, Author said...

You are so right, MG. It was so relaxing not to be there as a tourist. This was nowhere near Paris, and I have been there and loved it. But I just loved being there with family and listening to all the lovely French flowing in my ears the way it really should be spoken. :-)

Sonia G Medeiros said...

Sounds like such a lovely trip! What a beautiful area. I agree that it would be wonderful to paint such beautiful buildings.

Robyn Campbell said...

Lovely pictures, Elizabeth! I can tell you had a marvelous time. In March we are going to Ireland, Wales, Scotland, and England. Can anyone say, Yiippeee!

*waving* And apologizing about not getting by here more. I've been swamped. But I so enjoy my time when I'm here. The conversation is always so enjoyable. :-)

Unknown said...

What a lovely time! I LOVE the pictures! So amazing!
I've been to Ireland, such a gorgeous place, I miss it very much. In the summer I am going in a different direction, however, toward Peru! :D

Elizabeth Varadan, Author said...

Hi, Sonia, nice to meet you. Re: painting the area, there is something really fantastic about the light there.

Robyn, nice to hear from you. I know what you mean about finding time. I have difficulty with that myself, but always enjoy your blog when i stop by. Meanwhile, "Yippee" for your coming trip. I love the British Isles, but have only been to England, as my brother lived there for years, and one nephew and my sister-in-law are still there. But I would love to go to Wales and Ireland someday. I love all things Irish, and I'm not even Irish! :-)

Ah, Ashley, you've been there. Lucky you. And Peru is next! Do you speak any of the languages?

Shallee said...

Ah, that looks so lovely! I'm a teensy bit jealous-- I've always wanted to go to France! I'm glad you had such an amazing time with family in such a picturesque place!

Weaver said...

What a fun trip that must have been! Love the pictures.

Carol Riggs said...

Congrats on your blog award! and boy, I'm ready to eat all those things you mentioned--slurp!! Sounds like you have a great and talented family, and I'm glad you got to visit. :)

Elizabeth Varadan, Author said...

Shallee, when your book sells France would be a great place to celebrate.

Donna, I'm glad you liked the picutres.

Carol, I am too. It was a few years since I had seen all of them, and it was just wonderful to spend time with. Re: the food, I'm already nostalgic for the fondue.

Rosi said...

What a great trip! Any chance you can get the recipe for the salmon with a lemon bechamel sauce? Sounds terrific.