Monday, July 16, 2012

Wrapping up the school year - May

Clearly, the end of the school year was very busy, as I had no time to write anything here for a while.  The kids are now on holidays in the Czech republic with their grandparents, so I have more time to catch up on everything.

The end of the school year involved many school trips, birthday parties, family visits, as well as special events from Anna's dance school and Tommy's capoeira classes.  I will try to summarize all this in two posts, one for each month.

In May, I started my new job, so Jakub's mom came over to help us out a bit so we could adjust to the new schedule.  We still had the opportunity to get out on a few short trips to explore both close and distant surroundings of Grenoble.  May is quite amazing here because it starts to feel like summer, everything is in bloom and it's a good time to get back into climbing and hiking.
May is definitely a flower month here - everything is in bloom, the garden is full of roses and alpine flowers are starting to bud out in the mountains.

Our first little hike was in the vicinity of the Chamrousse.  We did get a little lost so by the end of the hike, we ended up crawling through several large fallen trees that blocked the path and at the end had to descend down a steeper slope with rubble...Tommy isn't too much into hiking anymore because "it's boring" but at least the last bit made it more exciting for him :))

Counting rings...
Looking at Grenoble.
We also did a short hike on the outskirts of Grenoble through poppy fields which was very pretty!

I know, these are not poppies, but they are still really cool!

The Vercors mountains.

Horse hair?

Stuck at their bums, finally something cool for Tommy :)
On the last weekend before grandma left, we drove south to northern Provence for a camping trip.  On Saturday, we went on a long hike up to a mountain plateau (Glandasse) in the Vercors range.  The whole hike took us about 8hrs! But the kids did amazingly well.  We had a bit of rain at the end of it, but the real downpour started, just when we wanted to make a fire and barbecue our sausages...we had no lighter so my MacGyver skills came in handy, when I saved the day by dipping Q-tips in liquid hand sanitizer from the first aid kit, and lighting them on fire with the car cigaret lighter - then it was up to Jakub to sprint to the fireplace from the car before the fire died as if he was holding the olympic torch.

I was pleasantly surprised to find lily of the valley on the hike - my favourite (and also wedding) flower.
Up, up we go...
Snack time.
Our destination.

Sometimes you just have to tow the kids on rope.
Sometimes the kids just won't budge and you have to keep convincing them how fun it is to go up hill for hours.

Almost there.
Finally, we reached the plateau.

On Sunday, Jakub went swimming with Anna, so that Tommy, Grandma and I could do the via Ferrata du Claps (near Luc-en-Diois).

At summit.

In May, we also celebrated Anna's 5th birthday, so we had a little private family celebration at home, as well as cake in Anna's class and a party on the weekend in the park.  I ended up making two cakes this year, following my grandma's recipe (but we had a total of four!! - 1 bought, 2 made by me, and 1 made by our friend).

Cake for school....
Cake for party...
Anna had her wish - we organized a party and invited her friends from school

A very happy 5 year old.

Our family party.

Mother's day and Anna's day.