Touring Jersey

Jersey has been a whirl wind of sight seeing. We started with a tour of the beach and church where Lady Fia’s parents were married. It’s always been a sore point that I couldn’t attend their wedding 10 years ago because I was in New Zealand. I vowed to see Jersey at some point after that. They were married in the cutest church…

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Interestingly there were many German soldiers buried here who have since been mode to a grave yard in France…

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For a more organised tour we went to the Jersey War Tunnels. It was originally built as a dry armoury in tunnels underground but when the Germans thought they may be attacked by the British they also made it into an underground hospital. It was never used. It was incredible as there are kilometres of tunnels and larger rooms. The museum was very well done, explaining the surrender to the Germans, life under occupation and the final liberation. You can also see unfinished tunnels. It’s hard to imagine that prisoners were able to build something so stable and lasting…

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I also found a bit of crafty information, of course for a very real purpose not just for fun…

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Most of the rest of our time has been spent ogling the beautiful scenery. We even got out in Fia’s grandpa’s fishing boat for a tour. Here are some scenery shots from around the island…

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We’ve also had some lovely times with our friends. It’s been so fun to see the kiddies having fun. For those interested check out our fun below…

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Jersey cream soft serve ice cream can’t be beat. It’s the best soft serve I’ve ever had, so buttery and thick.

We ended the day yesterday with a lobster and crab feast, caught by Fia’s Grandpa. My dad would have loved that!…

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A Jersey Bean

We are having the most wonderful time visiting Lady Fia and Lord Isaac in Jersey. I don’t even know where to start!

When we left France for Jersey we caught the ferry from St. Malo in France…

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It was a quick hour and twenty minutes to Jersey and the view coming in was beautiful…

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Lady Fia was in full silliness when we arrived as she was very excited to see us. She quickly tried on her seashore dress…

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It fit her perfectly I think!

We said a quick hello to her mum’s parents and hit our first beach, lovely soft white sand…

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The island is amazing as it’s riddled with history from both early French and later German fortifications. Like the above in the water, you can see these all over the island.

Later in the day we cycled to and had ice cream on a German bunker, as you do…

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The view is outrageous! Stay tuned for more Jersey adventures…

July Sugar Block Club

We are still on holiday in Jersey now but I thought I better get this post in before July suddenly slips away. It’s time again to show another Sugar Block Club block. I quite enjoyed this one even if I did make a mistake and have to turn four pieces around. It was another fun one and even though it did involve a bit of paper piecing it was super quick and easy…

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I made the flying geese blocks first…

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Next is where I made a “mistake” with the pink triangles. I say “mistake” because it still looked nice and would have been fine but I fancied sticking to the block so that it finished looking of a star…

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This is the altered version below. Notice the changed orientation of the pink triangles…

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The final pieces are done with paper piecing…

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I think it’s very pretty. Unfortunately, I don’t have a picture of mom’s yet but I’m sure it’s equally as lovely.

Paris Stage 21

What a day! Not sure where to start…

John and I got up early yesterday in Le Mans and took an hour train ride into Paris for the final stage of the Tour de France. (I’m glad the new royal baby didn’t over shadow yesterday’s events lol! Congrats Kate and Will! Closer to my Aunt Nora’s birthday I believe than mine so no money coming my way!) It was a gorgeous day to be in Paris, much better than when we went in February brrrrr. It was an evening finish this year so we had lots of time to walk around and eat macaroons by the Seine, too yum…

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We also spent some time in Jardin du Luxembourg. It was lovely with so many people out and about. The little lake in front was adorable with children playing with the sailboats that you could rent for 2 euros, just John’s thing…

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There was even a Highschool orchestra playing in the gazebo…lovely…

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Outside the garden gates L’Equipe newspaper had put up a whole set of stunning blown up photos of past Tour stages, it was fabulous…

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Then off to the race. We headed for the the Place de Concorde just before the bend to the Champs Élysées. It was shady there and a wall to sit and stand on, so perfect! You have to walk by the Louvre of course first…

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We also just had to get our photo at Norway corner…

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We were a tad too early but we did get a good spot. There is always something to see as the caravan comes in before the race. We each snagged a green PMU sprint jersey shirt too that they were giving out free to the crowd so that was cool. The atmosphere was electric. We tried to get as many pictures as we could but once the race started it’s hard to get good ones as they whiz past!…

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As you can see Team Sky lead the way for the first lap with their leader and winner Christopher Froome…

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Overall it was so great to see them go around so many times. It’s definitely worth the effort of getting there. I’m totally gutted that Mark Cavendish didn’t win the sprint finish but at least I did pick him out of the pack. You really have to look as they do go by amazingly fast. I also picked out some of my other favourite riders…Andy Schleck, Cadel Evans, Alberto Contador and the new best young rider from Columbia! It’s fun to catch a glimpse in person.

It was a late night when we got back to our hotel in Paris near the train station (by the way if you are looking for a decently priced and standard/modern/clean/know what you are going to get hotel in Europe try a Mercure. We’ve stayed at a few now in different cities and they have always been totally modern and fine for a couple of nights). This morning we got up at 6 to get our train back to Le Mans at 7. Tired now!

We had a full day today going to the Canadian Juno Beach centre (I’ll write about that soon) and tomorrow we are off to Jersey to cuddle Lady Fia and see her mummy’s home. Can’t wait.

Au revoir south-west France

I can’t believe that the first leg of our trip is over. I was so looking forward to visiting our friend Roland again at his relaxing holiday home in Francescas, a sleepy town in south-west France. It seemed like only a few months ago that I took a photo just like this…

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I loved this picture from last year so had to pose for it again!

The cold weather effected this area of the world as well so the sunflower fields were a few weeks behind but still showing their faces in enough fields to get a picture…

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We revisited a few activities from last year, namely a lovely cycle ride to a scrumptious lunch…

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Thank goodness it was mostly down hill home after our lunch!

We eat a lot of lovely food with Roland…

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I’m happy that we were still around this Saturday because it is the big market in the neighbouring town of Nérac that we missed last year. It was very busy. I’m sure everyone from the surrounding towns were out for market day…

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Once again I love France, especially this area. Thank you to our wonderful host…

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We are in Le Mans tonight and are going to take a 1hr fast train tomorrow to Paris for the final stage of the Tour de France! I hope this lovely HOT weather holds out.

When’s Kate going to have her royal baby anyways huh?

Pyrenees Birthday

Happy Birthday to me! Hey what did you do for your birthday gogolittlered? Oh I cycled up a mountain…WHAT!

Yes, for my birthday John booked a night in the Pyrenees, 2 hours from our friend’s where we are staying for a week, so that we could climb a famous Tour de France route through the Pyrenees. (This actually was for me and not John I might add but of course he also loved it!)

We stayed in the town of Argeles-Gazost at a lovely little mountain town hotel…

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I was incredibly nervous about the ride as we have never cycled anything like this before. Being in the high mountains though was very inspirational and stunning. We planned to cycle up to the VERY famous Col d’Aubisque at 1709 m but given timing, tiredness and clouds rolling in that high we stopped at the top of the Col du Soulor instead at 1474 m. The Soulor is 9 km of 8.5% gradient, if you understand that, basically straight up for about an hour with no flat bits! (Keep in mind it took over an hour to just get to this bit from the hotel which was also uphill all the way except a short mountain town pass that was flattish.) An impressive feat I think for a first time out! We were very proud of ourselves. Here are some pics of the day…look closely you can see me cycling up in some…

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I think I had a panic attack on the way down. It’s very fast and dangerous looking. I definitely have a different respect and understanding of what it would take to be a professional road cyclist now! I think I prefer my long hard rides through the sunflower field roads of France better but hey it had to be done at least once right!

Thank you John for a most memorable birthday! (Oh and by the way it took us about 3 hours to go up 20 km from the hotel and it took John 19 min to get down, yes you read that right 19 min.)

Summer Vacation Begins!

Yeah, John and I are in France and then the isle of Jersey for two weeks this summer. Some may remember that we went to stay with a friend south of Bordeaux for a week last year and we vowed to come back with our bikes this year!

We set out on Saturday by ferry from Dover because I wanted to see the white cliffs. It was sunny everywhere but Dover which was covered in clouds…oh well…

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After crossing the channel to Calais it was nice and sunny again…

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After about a 5 hr drive and 1 bizarre turn of the GPS which got us stuck and lost at a toll booth off the highway we made it to Amboise in the Loire Valley where we have stayed for 2 nights. John got tired of driving about a half an hour before going around Paris, which actually turned out to be very heavy traffic and lots of turns…hmmm good thing it was my turn to drive on the right side of the road for me but on the wrong side of the car! I did fine though…

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Amboise is a touristy town in the Loire because of the Royal Chateaux…gorgeous…

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We also realised it was the final resting place of Leonardo Da Vinci…

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Sunday was “Bastille Day” or French National Day so Amboise was extra busy. We escaped for a bit by going on our first cycle trip, yeah…

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I had to stop in front of this chateaux for a picture. I love France!

Our perfectly timed stopover in Amboise ended with a top notch fireworks display over the river. I didn’t plan it this way but it was also directly in front of our hotel and we found the hotel balcony to sit and watch from on comfy chairs. It was perfect!