Saturday, August 29, 2015

Final France Post!

At dawn of our last day in Briancon, the melancholy of a nearly elapsed vacation began to settle in to the psyche. We had hoped to cram a climb of the Izoard into the final day, but the margin for error was too slim. Bummer. No Izoard. Just typing this haunts ME.

Instead, we packed the bikes. Double bummer. The finality of disassembling the bike on a vacation induces black moods. The best cure is an ommelette!

A leisurely breakfast in Briancon revealed the only cranky French guy on our trip. The waiter at Cafe' de la Vigne* was not a fan of us Murricans. Or the English language. And particularly not of Herr Doktor. For some reason, despite numerous attempts to communicate his order, our garçon* grincheux* actively ignored the Doc. Ironically, the only thing Doc wanted was an omelette*. Instead, he got a Leffe.

For some reason, dividing the bill was a task requiring 3 people. Thankfully there were no rogue bees involved, or we may have never been able to pay. After breakfast we loped back to Alessandro's pad, and checked out of our home base. That guy is awesome. Next time we go back to France, we are staying there again. I will have you, Izoard.

Italian Hair 

Drive/Drive/Drive/Drive.Stop to Pee. Drive/Drive/Drive.

We are back in Geneva. Yay. Somehow we got booked in a different hotel than our Sleestack buddy, the Ticket. He dropped us off at the Hotel EastWest, and headed back to the N'Vy. Our concierge* was excellent, a blend of full-on German efficiency and American-style customer service. Great hotel if you are ever in Geneva, and want to drop $400 a night. That city is ridiculous.

Our last supper was in the old town of Geneva. Everyone regrouped individually, and migrated to Hôtel Les Armures for some genuine old school Geneva fare. Guess what the traditional dish is in Geneva? Fondue, of course. And some Côtes du Rhône.

The Following Description of Dinner was originally written in French, then Google Translated:

  • Fine restaurant dining availability to us made happy to the crowds. Many joke laughs were made by the friends of the Alps' pig. But all were to the betterment atmosphere. Truly a night of great. Food served by the native person in professional suit made for great and real flavors. Memory greatness in the spaces of moments between forks and spoons. Below enjoy evening pictures for the happy food.

Does this rash look serious?

Old Towns are Everywhere Over There

Cougars Roam the Streets of Old Town

I shaved, like five minutes ago!


DTG! (Dessert to Go!) and The Ticket

 Action Shot

The Ullrichs!

It was a great dinner. Post-dinner, many of us stopped at the Four Seasons. I guess we really wanted to FULLY understand how expensive this town was. After some serious tourist wrangling, the Doc got us seated at the bar. Our presence went over like a turd in the fondue pot. The locals did NOT like the look of us rogue american austinites, bedecked in TShirts and flippity flops. Almost immediately, the tables around us began to empty. Hilarious!! Even funnier? A vodka tonic cost 40 Euro. WTF? Is the tonic blessed by a Hall of Fame Pope? Seriously, I am never going back to Geneva. Highlight of the 4 Seasons was watching Doc hit on the bartender. Not a match. He is not well-capitalized, and her teeth were too european. So Seinfeldian! After that gold-gilded drink, the night was over.

We woke at the CRACK o dawn to get to the airport. At the beginning of the commute, Ticket looked like this:

They Call me Captain America!

Thanks to Jehovah that we left early, because navimagating** to the airport was a Shit Show Extraordinaire. The written directions we were given were wholly inadequate. Then google dropped us in some tiny ass town right next to the airport. The whole thing was magnified by this "French Side/Swiss Side" controversy that was piping to our phones from the other car. End Result? We got there. Meanwhile, in the other van, Ullrich managed to drop off his people, but got lost on the way to the rental car return. He got a bonus trip in the French (or maybe Swiss?) countryside. Seriously French/Swiss people, how about some signage?

Now, talk about stress. Ticket had to park the equivalent of a Sprinter van in a subterranean, Euro-sized parking spot designed for a Smart Car. He did a fracking phenomenal job getting lined up and backed in. As he scooted the thing back, a grinding noise filled the air. while still 1/4 of the van was out of the parking space, there was a huge air vent about five feet off the ground, against the wall. Air Vent 1, Back Window 0. This put a huge pall on the rest of the morning. But, that guy is bigger than his problems. Oh, and that van is bigger than that parking space.

I'm Bigger Than My Problems...

We made the flight. enjoyed the fun of Heathrow AND JFK all in one trip. Made it home, though the bike arrived the following day. It's been a month since we returned, and I still miss it. I guess it was a pretty damn good vacation.

*French Words!
**George W Bush Word!