Day one in Chatel – France that is

Our first full 24 hours is complete.  We are truly the French family Vadeboncoeur now.  Ali arrives tomorrow, Hanna in a couple of days.  I suppose that is when we truly are French family Vadeboncoeur.  Oh, the heck with them, we are here therefore we are here.  Or something along those lines.

So we flew yesterday.  All day.  It was a long day.  We flew to Detroit, then to Atlanta, then to Zurich, then picked up our car and drove from Zurich to Chatel France.  Did I say that it was a long day?

The route was what it was.  Sometimes traveling is good, sometimes it just doesn’t work with you.   Yesterday was a middling trip.  I have had better, I have definitely had worse.  Atlanta is Delta’s hub, but I have not flown out of there on an international flight before.  Normally, Delta out of Detroit is good to Europe.  The planes are all updated, they have individual TV monitors so that you can choose and watch your own movie.  Delta out of Atlanta is like being on the way back machine.  The planes are old, the seats suck, there is no power at the seats, no individual monitor etc…  You are stuck watching some stupid Julia Roberts movie – ugh…

So we arrived at Zurich, and our car was there and ready to go – thank you Salva.  Salva is the finance person at our Zurich office, and he arranged a car from the office that was extra for us to use for the weeks while we are here.  He rocks.

Eating a sandwich at a roadside place, on our way to Chatel.

We did the white knuckle drive from Zurich in about 4 hours.  It was snow and ice covered and definitely knew we were not in the US based on the road clearing.  Up over the Morgin pass and down to Chatel.

Out on the balcony. Our apartment in Chatel.

We found our place, got unloaded and moved in and then off to the grocery store.  Took us a while to find it, you would think that a town of a few thousand people that the grocery store would not be that hard to find – you would think.  We did finally find it.  And then the differences really started to show.  This was the BIG store in town.  I guess I will see what the small store is like, but this was tiny.  By the time we left there were so many people there after skiing that they were pretty much emptied out.  I have not seen a store that cleaned out before.  There were a bunch of things different about it.

– You have to get a cart outside.  They do not bring the carts in.  And, to get a cart, you have to put money in to “rent” the cart.  Wow.  Obviously, in the US you just grab a cart, use it and then leave it when you are done.

– Nothing is laid out like you would think it would be in the store.  The peanut butter is not by the jam.  The crackers are not by the cookies etc…

– They do not provide bags for your groceries.  If you did not bring your own bags, then you must buy a bag.

The list goes on.

The view from our place. Not bad.

We went to dinner, had a nice pizza – although it is France and as Lloyd says – good pizza is about 2 hours away in Italy.  We also had a nice local wine.  We are planning to be drinking wine while we are here.  Every night.

Slept with the help of Teppy’s little red pills – all the way to 7am.  That is like an eternity for me.  Lloyd was texting already at 8:30 – “let’s go skiing!”  We did not make it early, but he came around at about 10, and out on the hill we went.

Wow, is all I can say.  I thought that it was not going to be great – but it surely was.  It rivaled something like Snowbird.  And, we only just scratched the surface.  There is a ton of skiing here.  Had lunch at a nice little place up on the mountain.  Some soup and a good bread – back out on the hill.


I forget how much I like skiing, till I am doing it. Damn.



At the end, Liz and I went into a bar at the base and ordered up a couple of beers.  Liz had a Stella Artois.  She labeled it “husband beater” beer.  That is funny, the English call it “wife beater”.  That is a reversal, for sure – homeboy.


Liz over the top of the "Husband Beater"

I am scared.



The really funny part is what she discovered in the bathroom.  You see, the French do not think the same about bathrooms that Americans do.  Americans always separate the mens toilet from the women’s toilet.  In France, sometimes the toilet is the same room for both men and women.  Just the stalls are separate for the opposite sex.  Some stalls are marked mens, some women’s.  It is pretty co-mingled.  Liz went into the toilet in that bar at the bottom of the beer, and found that the mens urinal was just out in the open.  She bolted around the corner only to find a French guy taking a whiz. I wish I could have been there to see the look on her face then.

We just finished another bottle of wine (one per day), and our first dinner at the apartment.  Liz is getting cleaned up and we are heading out to the little bar on the corner.  Living it up.


You can even cook with that stuff.



Another one coming.


2 responses to “Day one in Chatel – France that is

  1. You better get ready for my 21st birthday celebration on Tuesday!!! (my friends asked if we would be doing a 21 birthday shot line-up..) start training now.

  2. Connie & Rick Hawkins Blaine Washington

    Love your blog…..We were in Chatel the first 2 weeks of Sept. we were staying at a friends family ski – vacation home. We can’t wait to go back. We flew Vancouver BC, London, Geneva. Drove to Chatel in the dark and rain. We don’t speak French so we shopped at the Inter Marche looking at pictures. Thanks Again for sharing.

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