Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Happy Birthday Colby

It is finally here, the BIG 40!!  I have to say, that my cute husband looks pretty good for 40.  I love him so much and hope he is having a great time on our Birthday Road Trip.  

Colby LOVES the water, and I mean LOOOVEESS the water.  I am pretty certain he was a fish in his previous life, or wants to be one in his next life.  If boys could be mermaids, then ....

So we had heard about this amazing lake in France, Lake Annecy.  I decided it would be a great place to spend his birthday before driving to Spain.  You see, he also needs to celebrate his 20th and 40th birthdays in Spain.  COOL.  Lake Annecy is so very beautiful.  We decided to rent a small boat for the day so we could swim and explore a bit.  Best decision ever.  Lake Annecy is complete clean and clear because there is a filtration system that was put in place years ago.  It is absolutely amazing.
Lake Annecy (French Lac d'Annecy) is a perialpine lake in Haute-Savoie in France 
It is the third largest lake in France, after the Lac du Bourget and Lac de Grand-Lieu, if the French part of Lake Geneva (which is also partly in Switzerland) is excluded. It is known as "Europe's cleanest lake" because of strict environmental regulations introduced in the 1960s. It is a popular tourist destination known for its swimming and water sports.
The lake was formed about 18,000 years ago, at the time the large alpine glaciers melted. It is fed by many small rivers from the surrounding mountains (IreEau morteLaudonBornette and Biolon), and from a powerful underwater source, theBoubioz, which enters at 82 m depth.
Pure joy written all over his face!

The water is sooo clean.


 Backflips and Backdives

We LOVE Lake Annecy.

Had to swim over to the cliffs and jump

Quote of the day:  "The best two hours I've had in years!"

Monday, August 20, 2012

On to Chamonix and Mont Blanc

After an amazing day in Zermatt, hopped in the car and drove to Chamonix, France.  When we initially booked the lodging, it looked like an easy drive across the beautiful Swiss Alps.  Little did we realize that there were about a billion sharp switch-backs and that it would take some time to make the drive.  Still, completely worth it.  This is what we woke up to the next morning!
 We walked through the town to find some breakfast and snacks for lunch, then made our way to the tram for our ride to the top of Mont Blanc.

 Mont Blanc, meaning "White Mountain", is the highest mountain in the Alps and the European Union.[1] It rises 4,810 m (15,781 ft)[2] above sea level and is ranked 11th in the world in topographic prominence.
The mountain lies in a range called the Graian Alps, between the regions of Aosta ValleyItaly, and Haute-SavoieFrance. The location of the summit is on the watershed line between the valleys of Ferret and Veny in Italy and the valleys of Montjoie Valley and Arve Valley in France. The Mont Blanc massif is popular for mountaineeringhikingskiing, and snowboarding.
The three towns and their communes which surround Mont Blanc are Courmayeur in Aosta Valley, Italy, and both Saint-Gervais-les-Bains and Chamonix in Haute-Savoie, France — the latter being the site of the first Winter Olympics

Beautiful and sunny here on this level after getting off the cable car.

The clouds were swirling around the mountain

Then we took an elevator up even higher and it was sunny but cold!

See all those tiny people down there, that's where we were!

A little scary being out on this ledge!

The fog rolled in just as we were snapping the photo.  

We were so lucky to get a few pictures of Mont Blanc.  It was completely covered by clouds for the rest of our visit.

There were people climbing the mountain today.  It was amazing to see them moving so slowly, single file, up the trail.

We even got to see a helicopter rescue!

Just had to look over that ledge again before leaving!!

Pretty cool ice tunnel

Back down on the lower level enjoying the sunshine.  

We rode the cable car back down the mountain, but got off half-way to hike around and stop for a bite to eat at the little cafe.  I rested on a rock and took some photos of the kids and Colby while they hike around and climbed all over the rocks.  This is boy heaven!

Look!  That's where we were on the cable car.

the Glacier

Wild Burros live up here, amazing