Road Trip to the Big City

When you move to France, you have to have a medical exam from the French immigration office, known as OFII.  The OFII office nearest to us is in Annecy (pronounced Aahn-see and not Ann-eh-see, because as usual, the French have given up on some letters in the word).  Annecy is about 90 minutes from Le Tour.  That distance and the timing necessitated a road trip.

Emily and I have not had the occasion or desire to do any big road trips since we moved here and do not look forward to doing them often.  At least not yet.  This is mainly due to the fact that we are still uncomfortable driving around in France.  There is no real reason for this discomfort other than the fact that we are scared.  We are scared because we are uncomfortable and vice versa.

The main thoroughfares in France are some of the best roads we have ever driven on.  If there is a bump on the highway we haven’t found it yet.  It is true that the roads through little villages are a bit on the narrow side, slightly wider than a US bike path is normal.  Our journey to Annecy was all on big highways though so there was no need to worry about narrow roads.  There were tolls however and those made us nervous.  As it turned out though, the toll stations were easy to navigate and round trip cost us a little less than 20 Euros.

Annecy is mainly known for it’s lake, aptly named Lac Annecy.  It is a medium sized lake surrounded by large hills and it is quite beautiful.

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Lac Annecy

The lake draws a lot of tourists and there are many boats for rent or for hire, including sail boats.

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Part of the Rental fleet

There are also quite a few statues and other pieces of art to view around town.

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ART!

I think the main part of Annecy reminded me of the Pearl Street area of Boulder as it had lots of restaurants and shops and was for the most part a pedestrian only area.

Our appointment with the doctor went fine and was just a series of questions along with height and weight and an eye test.  The appointment took about an hour and we were on our way back to the car which was parked in a parking garage that had classical music playing.  Of course there were some distractions between us and our car.  Namely shops selling all manner of bread and sweets.  As shown below with Emily having found a small beignet.

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The Beignets are slightly bigger down here!

While I was waiting for Emily, I too found some nourishment.

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A whole Gluten Free store!

Technically the sign on the door says, “Without Gluten Free” but I got their meaning and had to go in and buy some sweets for myself.

We also saw what appeared to be an imminent game of unintentional dominoes.

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I really wanted to see the results of this impending disaster.

Our trip was very successful and we are looking forward to visiting Annecy again in the future.  It is a possible drier winter running area that offers many trails around the lake.

This week is UTMB week which means there are lots of spandex clad runners hanging about the Cham valley.  If you are unfamiliar with UTMB, www.irunfar.com has a nice preview of the various races.  Americans have a fair chance in several of the different races this year so hopefully they can perform on the biggest trail running stage in the world.

Emily and I meanwhile, will be trying our best to avoid the madhouse that is Chamonix during this week.  The main street through town is literally shoulder to shoulder with people and the buses are packed like sardines in a can.  Thankfully Le Tour is fairly removed from all the hustle and bustle.

Now go out and be consistent!

 

1/3/18 – Team SWAP

For those not in the know, Team SWAP is a running group founded by David and Megan Roche. SWAP stands for, Some Work, All Play.

I have been a part of the team for just over a year now. The membership of the team is comprised of a huge variety of people. Elite athletes like Clare Gallagher, Cat Bradley, Coree Woltering, and David and Megan themselves, are part of the team. So are people like myself and my wife M, and Pamela whom I’ve never met but I follow on Strava because she is encouraging.

Hopefully Pamela won’t mind, but I would like to use her as an example. As I said, I have never and likely will not ever meet Pamela, but she exemplifies the main characteristics of SWAP and why being part of the team means so much to me. The characteristics of the SWAP team are encouragement, accountability, knowledge, wisdom, adventuresome, curiosity, sacrificing for others, helpful beyond the call of duty, and LOVE.

Growing up I was a part of many teams, some successful and some not. No team I was a part of however, exuded all the fine characteristics that members of Team SWAP exhibit. Like many others on Team SWAP, I will never win a race. I am fortunate to finish in the top half of the field, maybe. Those things do not matter on Team SWAP. No matter where I finish in a race, the other team members will give the same praise as if I had won the biggest race in the world.

Even though I am not an elite, Team SWAP members make me feel like an elite. The team makes me feel a part of something right in the world that is bigger than just myself.

I wish there were more teams and team members in the world like Team SWAP.
GO TEAM SWAP!