In our final days in Paris we slowed things down a bit. We had already seen the main sites, so now we were off to see some things that were specifically for kids on rainy days.
One activity we did was we visited Les Marionettes Du Luxembourg Jardins, which means The Puppets of Luxembourg Gardens. This theatre was started in 1933 by Robert Desarthis who had made the first puppet in France in 1916. Today his son still runs the theatre and his father's puppet named Guignol is still the same as way back then and is the main character in most of the shows. The show was completely in French, but with lots of action you could tell what was going on.
Another rainy day activity was the children's gallery at Centre Pompidou. This area had a line of 5 large tepees. At the first one we were given an audio guide. On the audio guide there was the member of a native American Tribe and a person from Europe talking to me. At each tent was a piece of art that the two storytellers were trying to interpret what they meant. Most were different types of totems. My favorite part was at the end when the Native American asked "Will they be serving tea after/" Because I love tea! The building was also really neat with all the escalators that were inside clear tubes. So when it rained we were dry, but saw the raindrops pouring down as the tubes were on the outside of the building.
A little bit of shopping, some more eating, and we ended our trip to Paris on Bastille Day. Bastille Day is basically the Independence Day for France. Just like the US's most stores are closed, people celebrate with parties, bbqs, and fireworks, especially the amazing ones at the Eiffel Tower.
After Paris we drove out to the French Alps to visit a friend of my parent's, Aaron. As most towns do not compete with the fireworks of Paris and bigger cities we had more the night we arrived in the town of Chambery. The next day we just hung out and visited the town of Aix Les Banes. Aix Les Banes is on a lake and is surrounded by mountains so it reminds me of Lake Tahoe.
The next day we went to Chamonix, France which is a beautiful town in the Rhone Alps. It also was home to the very first winter Olympics in 1924. We took a tram to the top where the peaks of Mont Blanc and Auguille de Midi are right in front of you. It is a very popular ski resort in the winter, but also very busy during the summer months. The sky was filled with para gliders and the mountain sides were full of mountain and ice climbers. Dad has promised we can return to ski one day. And if you want to be more thought of as a local you call it "Sham."
And how could we miss out...it's Tour De France time. So we went to the town of Grenoble, France, which also was the host of the 1968 winter olympics. Due to it's location Grenoble was involved in many wars and after the tour passed we would go visit an old bastille fort called Le Bastille de Grenoble. The bike race started in 1903 and is mostly in France. Teams compete today and are made up of members from all over the world. There are several awards in the Tour De France; a team award, a polka dot jersey for the king of the mountains, a green jersey for the best sprinter, a white jersey for the best young rider, and the a yellow jersey for the overall winner. Before the bikers come through there is a crazy caravan of companies who are sponsoring the tour throwing out goodies and playing loud music. It's almost like a high speed parade with floats and fancy cars. The bikers go by really fast. It was a lot of fun!
I am really happy we are ending our trip here in this area of France and the little village of Le Montcel where there are mountains, gardens, cows, and we can walk to the local boulangerie for more pastries.