Monday, March 17, 2014

My last visit to the Foire de Chatou

This Saturday after we sent GeeGee off to the airport we loaded up the car and took the kids to Foire de Chatou.  My shopping buddy told me about this antique and brocante fair and I after I looked at the website I could not get their fast enough.  They advertised over 700 vendors and it was only 20 minutes from our house.  I had already been twice, but I knew that Jon would have fun and the kids would enjoy this too. 
We parked the car and made a short walk to the entrance.  Spring has sprung here and I am loving all of the beautiful flowers.  If you get their early there is free parking or you can have valet parking for 8 Euros.  The entrance fee this time was 6 Euros, totally worth it in my opinion.  The second time I went my friend and I got there right around 10 o'clock, opening time, and about half of the vendors were just opening up.  The French in general are NOT morning people.  We were thankful we didn't have to fight the crowds and it was fun seeing people setting up their displays.  

Malachi was not pleased about heading back to look at more antiques.  He was a hit though with all of the vendors.  The bigger kids were not as welcome, but we kept them very close and did not let them touch anything.  I was proud that we made it through the whole experience without anyone having to say anything about the kids' behavior.

Addie was excited to go shopping.  She ended up finding a vintage play mobil and was super excited.

There was a restaurant over looking the Seine, I loved this porch.  I am coming back to eat here when it warms up just a little bit more.

The view of the Seine.  This island is called île des Impressionnistes, and you can see why artists liked to come here.

Jon took the camera from me so he could take a photo.

We finally made it to the entrance!

My boys found some things that interested them.  Garrett wanted us to buy a sword so bad.

There were so many beautiful displays.  There were all price ranges and styles.

Just walking through a place like this made me happy.  I love seeing all of the beautiful pieces from the past and seeing all of the people that love them.  

The food here was amazing.

For lunch we had some amazing ham and veggies from this place.

There were also fresh oysters.

This whole aisle was full of different food vendors.  I love watching the French enjoy their meal.  They had glass stemware for their bottles of wine.  After their meal they enjoy an espresso, I even saw creme brûlée on the menu at one place.  

I shared a few more pictures with instagram  my account is hiltonfamily.

The fall dates for this event are scheduled for September 26 through October 5, I will be ready!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

A Quick Visit with GeeGee

My Dad, otherwise known as GeeGee, was able to stop over for a night this weekend.  He was in the middle of a world wide business trip and we were so thankful that he found a night to spend with us.  
Malachi was so excited to see GeeGee, he was infatuated with his beard.

Spending some quality time on the rope swing.

Pushing Ben on the other swing.

GeeGee was lucky enough to make it for Friday Night Family Movie Night and pizza.  Not a very French way to spend a night in Paris, but for a grand father it was just right.

GeeGee got a special treat, Malachi fell asleep in his arms, it was just precious.

Could this little man be any sweeter?

The next morning we had waffles made by Jon and then it was time for GeeGee to head back to the airport for the rest of his trip. 

Our Last Day of Vacation

On our way home from Switzerland we spent the night in Strasbourg.  We spent the night at The Cap Europe Hotel.  The location of the hotel was great, the condition of the hotel would keep me from recommending it too strongly.  We were able to walk to a tram stop and head right into the city. 

We only had a couple of hours so we headed right to the cathedral.  It is a stunning sight.

Before we went in we decided to get a little snack.  There were several cafes that offered crepes, a family favorite, at a staggering 10 Euros each.  We decided to keep looking and I am so glad we did.  We found this little bakery with delicious pastries and they had coffee to go!  We were able to get all of our treats for 10 Euros and we had a great view of the front of the cathedral as we ate our snack.

The real fun started when we went inside.  The stained glass was amazing and the church itself was just stunning.

We didn't stay for the astronomical clock show this time, we are hoping to come back.

Garrett kept taking off and running through the church so he got buckled in.  

We explored the city a little bit more and then it was time to hit the road and drive back to Paris.  

We really enjoyed our time in Strasbourg, we had heard good things about the area and now we know why.  We are hoping to plan another trip back to this area. 

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Fun places like Zwingliplatz and Grossmünster Church

Thursday morning we woke up to a treat, a fresh layer of snow was covering our little valley.  
The kids were so excited to go and play in the snow.  They had brought their bum boards (sleds) and there was just enough of a hill in the backyard so they were able to play inside the fence.  I had planned to get some pictures of them, but they were ready to come inside before I could get out there.

Thankfully the day warmed up quickly and the roads were clear for us to drive.  We headed down the mountain and our first stop of the day was here:

We had driven by this store every time we came and went from our house.  We had stopped one other time, but the store has very specific hours.   I translated the days of the week, as they were in German, and we were able to make this quick stop!  

With a pile of goodies like this outside you know this place was calling my name.  

As usual with stores like this I go in first to see if it is a good place for the kids or not.
This was definitely a grown ups only store. 

They didn't have many small items, but the ones they did have were a lot of fun.  

At this point I was wishing we had more room in the car.

This pitcher and basin set was the first thing to catch my eye.  I ended up going home with a similar set, only it was white with blue.

I kind of regret not bringing this beauty home. 

The owner of the store was busy working on a piece of furniture further back in the store.  She didn't speak a word of english or french, but with a piece of paper to write on and some hand signals we were able to work out a deal. 

And I got to leave with a couple of new treasures.  

From my antiquing adventure we headed back to Zurich and the zoo.  We had called their lost and found and they had Jon's jacket!  They lady laughed at the relief when we called.  They did charge him a 5 franc fee to get his jacket back.  If you look closely on this tram you can see it says Zoo.  

I thought this "scaffolding" was hilarious if not entirely safe.

Our next stop was Zwingliplatz and Grossmünster church.   Huldrych Zwingli was a major force in the Protestant Reformation starting in the 1520's. 

Before this visit I was not familiar with all that Zwingli had done to help reform the church or the role that Grossmünster Church had played.  It was fascinating to learn more about the roots of our faith.  Inside the church you could see the prominence of the Bible.  Unfortunately they do not allow any photos inside the church.  

We were able to take pictures as we climbed the tower all the way to the top.  

Garrett needed a little help with the stairs and then he was nervous when we got to the top.  

I can't say that I blame him, we were way up there.

It was a beautiful view of Zurich.

Some sweet tourists offered to take a family photo.

After the church we were all pretty worn out so we headed to eat lunch at an "American"  food restaurant, Papa Joe's.  It is always interesting to see what other places think is American food.  We had a yummy and expensive lunch and we were ready to keep exploring.  

Here is a shot of how close the buildings were in certain places.

This is how Malachi spent quite a bit of the vacation, I don't know what I would do with out my ergo.  

Here is our sweet Garrett, we squeezed him into Malachi's seat so that he could get in a little rest.  

From there we headed home and started packing.  It is hard to believe how quickly the week passed.  We had a good time exploring Zurich and Liechtenstein.  I don't think it would make it to the top of our list of places we recommend visiting though.  

Just one more vacation related post, the long drive home!