Claire and Ava in Gruyeres, Switzerland

Claire and Ava in Gruyeres, Switzerland

October, 2011

October, 2011
Chess in Lausanne, Switzerland

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Delayed Disney report

Written June 7, 2010 (Post delay due to distracted blog author!)

Only 1 ½ weeks of school left for Claire! I am looking forward to the change in routine. She’s off tomorrow so we’ll check out the London Eye or something else we haven’t yet experienced.

In other news, Ava and I recently spent some time at the Lady Di Memorial Playground – picnic/playtime, carousel ride to wrap up. We also caught up w/ the ladies over lunch at Café Med.

Last weekend was EuroDisney! And a great experience for all of us. To Ava it was pure magic; the princesses LIVE in that big castle. And she was a delight to watch on many of the rides, laughing out loud as she was whipped around.

Claire is every bit as into Disney too, though rides (not the biggies) hold most appeal these days.

We Eurostarred it there last Saturday, were relieved of our bags at the train station next door to the park and hit the place running! Our first item of business: the carousel, then lunch w/ the princesses in Auberge, a French restaurant. The girls were greeted by Cinderella for photo opps on the way in, then socialized w/ Snow White and her man, Belle and the no-longer-beast, a dwarf, a couple of Cinderella’s mice friends…

Lovely experience, good food and eventually we moved on to catch the parade, then “It’s a Small World,” Tea cups, roller coaster in DiscoveryLand (Ava and I cackled w/ laughter as that thing whipped us here and there, Claire wanted off and Joe felt no need to repeat the experience.)

Eventually we headed out of the park to Disney Village for dinner at Café Mickey. Again, a character experience – Smee, Chip & Dale, Minnie, Mickey, a few of their friends.

Our day wrapped up at the Sequoia hotel, a hop skip and a jump from all the Disney business.

Sunday we opted for breakfast at the park – muffins and doughnuts – then hit a bunch of rides/attractions…among them Snow White, Pinocchio, Peter Pan, Swiss Fam Robinson tree house (really cool house, I must say), Pirates of the Caribbean (not the girls’ fave), Buzz Light Year (our fave), some hot dogs for lunch (haven’t had burgers and dogs in eons and I must say they hit the spot), train ride, Disney show, the list goes on.

We took a break in the afternoon for a swim before the Buffalo Bill Wild West Show and dinner. Fun experience; kids loved the show, very similar to the Outback show we went to in Australia. Ribs were fabulous!

And Monday morning we again caught a quick breakfast en route to the park, this time at Starbucks (who knew they had pancakes). This time we did Disney Studios – a crazy roller coaster that Ava and I got whirled around on. NOT her thing – it was rather dramatic and in the dark a few times.

We also hit a Disney Clubhouse show, a magic carpet ride and various other bits of entertainment. Then it was on to Buzz Lightyear for a final ride, as well as some car driving. Ava’s a wild driver. May speak of things to come.

And then we were back on the EuroStar and headed to London, arriving home just after 9 – great 3 days! I like the way the French do Disney – happy but not Uber-happy, wine can be found in the “real” restaurants, the occasional cigarette made its appearance. Real world/Disney merges…

The hotel was a bit of a disappointment – rooms a bit long in the tooth, workout facility supposedly open from 3 to 10 p.m. but even those limited hours weren’t followed. Pool towels cost 2 euros each. We’re not recommending the Sequoia (be sure to tell your 10 friends).

Since Disney it’s been play dates, school stuff, birthday party etc. I took a knife skills class last week, something I should have done eons ago. I learned a ton (yes it’s all basic knowledge but my hacking habits really needed some tutelage). The chef gave us a rundown on knife care, types of knives, brands, uses, etc. Then we watched her demonstrate how to cut up a chicken and dozens of fruits and vegetables in various ways.

And then she turned us loose w/ knives, chopping stations, birds and produce.

Two hours of chopping later there were 3 injuries (one man’s finger, one woman’s two digits). Nothing serious, though.

We also got to enjoy the fruits of our labor (nice pun isn’t it) – gazpacho (yum!!!), roasted chicken, fruit salad. And wine. I left w/ a big 8 inch knife and have been cutting up everything in sight since, including one unlucky chicken.

Thurs. was our last cuisine club outing so I whipped up a zucchini couscous salad and headed over to join the ladies and 15 or so amazing dishes. The cornbread pudding was my favorite (could be because it had ½ cup of butter in it).

I also had a last evening outing before summer break w/ a bunch of ladies, some who will soon move on. There will be an exodus after school breaks, though it sounds like many of Claire’s friends will be around next year.

This time we ladies hit “Poem,” an Abbey Road restaurant that has a nice feel to it and cheap, easy food.

And to wrap up the week, Claire’s class presented their research projects. Her group did South America. We parents were treated to breakfast and presentations by each group – nicely done.

From there I headed off to join my Italian group for a little film Italiano.
And later in the day my dear friend Wendeline and her son came over to play.

Joe and I met up in the evening for “Sweet Charity,” which is hot on the West End right now. We enjoyed it very much, though it won’t be a repeat performance for us.

As for yesterday and today, we have really relaxed – gorgeous weather.

Jama Masjid, Old Delhi

Jama Masjid, Old Delhi
Largest mosque in India