Thursday, June 19, 2008
Football, Party, Football, Castle, Cheese, and Chocolate....aka our weekend
So, after writing a veritable book about our adventures in England, we had another weekend full of activities to be describe. Our regular Friday night social gathering included an outing to the Geneva FanZone to watch the Netherlands pound the French. I was wearing a nice bright orange t-shirt (the Dutch team colour) and it was a very exciting match. The next morning C left to pick up our good friend "TruroM" from the airport. L, M, and I (that's kind of funny) went to the fête du fin de l'année for the Mille Pattes kids (end of year preschool party). L and M were a little unsure about joining in the games and were a little clingy. It wasn't just our boys though, since their "girlfriend" and her older sister were also clinging to their mother's legs. After a while, a children's entertainer began a performance of "Blanche Neige" (Snow White). I'm still unsure what the French version of all the 7 dwarfs were, but it was pretty educational for me. The boys didn't really seem to follow the French very well, all the better since I think describing strangling your step-daughter in the woods and tearing out her lungs and liver is a story best not told by a stranger with props. They certainly enjoyed much of the physical humour, but I do believe some of the less pleasant undertones were conveyed well enough for them to be a little uncomfortable. After about half an hour L had reached his breaking point and started calling for me (the kids were on the front row benches, the parents were standing behind). L came to sit next to me on the grass and ask some questions about the plot...loudly, while I was desperately trying to keep an eye on M. M had no problem staying put for the rest of the performance. L is certainly more sensitive to such things than M, and L's level of comprehension of what he was watching was also likely higher. After the party we retired to our local park where girlfriend M and her family supplied water guns and hilarity ensued during a balmy 20oC afternoon. M was ready to fall asleep back at the party, so by the end of the park, the poor little guy was on his last legs. Thankfully we had TruroM at home and the boys got their second wind entertaining her. The next day we walked along the Geneva lakefront and gawked at the kerbillion Czech fans pouring into the city (they lost that night 2-3 to the Turks). It was quite a sight! The boys did fairly well with walking around for hours on Sunday after such a busy Saturday. C went off to watch the Swiss team win their last match at the FanZone while TruroM and I caught up. On Monday, I took a day off of work and we took the train back to Gruyères. We first went to the old town and through the castle. L was happy to go through as all the rooms were numbered to correspond to the guide book. We then went to the cheese factory for lunch, where the cafeteria is GREAT, it has a corner with a few toys for kids to play with. After having some of their favourite Gruyere cheese, they were off to play while we adults could finish in peace and even have a nice cup of coffee/tea afterwards. Then we were off to Broc and the Cailler/Nestle chocolate factory. The tour is FREE and self-guided. So we were able to race past all the informative exhibits and multi-sensory displays and head straight for the tasting room. All of us gorged on wonderful chocolate. The boys were literally dancing, spinning, jumping, and running with delight. Thankfully the few other visitors in the room found the boys as charming as their mother does. We caught the train back home after stocking up on some Iced Tea (there was no juice) and got back to Geneva. The boys were amazingly great all weekend. I think this means that we can start planning more day trips. TruroM left us to travel back to Halifax (business class, the poor dear) but not until we had likely infected her with our current version of cold virus.