Day 33 A Trip Down Memory Lane

The whole reason that we chose the route we did to get to Venice was so that we could pass through the town that I spent part of a summer in when I was 17 years old…so only 20 years ago…wink wink!  There is danger in revisiting places that are firmly locked in your memory…what if it is nothing like you remembered it to be??  I realize that almost 30 years have passed since I have been there… but in some ways it feels like it was just a couple of years ago.

Looking back on the experience, I really wish I would have appreciated it more…really taken the time to enjoy where I was and what I was doing.  What is the old saying (yes I know when you quote “old sayings” it means that you are old) “Youth is wasted on the young”…and I really think that was true for me!!!  If I could go there now and stay…I would have a completely different experience!!

Cervens is a very small town that is nestled between Lake Geneva and the alps…in the countryside.  I am not sure that I can convey how small of a town it truly was …and still is.  There is a church in the center of town… a small restaurant in someone’s yard…and a small store.  Now that I think about it…it is a bit like Anderson Island.  It hugs the alps, is surrounded by farms, and is as quaint as they come.

I was so happy to see that not much had changed in the town.  Of course some things looked a bit different than I remember, but so much was the same!  I even saw the porch where we sat and talked about music and boys, we exchanged cuss words, and played cards.  It was such a fantastic experience, so different from what I was used to.  I fell in love with France and everything French.  And yes, that is why the first I car I ever had was a Le Car ( okay not the best choice for a dependable car…but to me it was French and it was fantastic!).

After our trip down memory lane…although it kind of continued…we drove to Chamonix.  The drive we took was through the Alps, the same trip I had taken so many years ago with my French family, with Mount Blanc greeting us around every turn.  Mount Blanc is a snow covered, majestic peak that rose above us.  We weaved and turned (Reid learned what a hairpin turn is) our way through such breathtaking scenery! Finally, we saw the exit for Chamonix!  Reid noticed the snow that was dotting the landscape!  The town of Chamonix is a ski resort that was not quite ready to open for business.  Chamonix is nestled below Mount Blanc and several other mountains….it is like a postcard that is waiting to happen!  Since the town was in transition, it was almost like a ghost town.  Some shops, hotels, and restaurants still closed until December, but the few that stayed open were a welcome sight for us!  It was cold, just a bit above freezing, which made it even more quaint and cozy.  I could just imagine the crowds of skiers who will soon be invading this spot…and I wish I could be here to join them!

We stayed in a hotel that was built in 1903…it was tucked away from the main road…down a crazy alley.  The payoff for this was that we had a cheap room, with an incredible view of Mount Blanc!  Lucky us!!

After a wonderful night, we were getting ready to hit the road again…but then we realized we needed to deal with the L word…that is right…laundry.  Doing laundry in Europe is quite a challenge!  If you happen to stay in a place that has a washer…you can bet they do not have a dryer!  You must hang your clothes to dry.  That is fine if you have the time to do that, but really who has time like that?! So we wanted to do our laundry where there was a washer AND a dryer…and that means a laundromat!  So yes, here we were in the shadow of these awe inspiring peaks…inside a laundromat.

We did spend time walking around…getting a coffee while our clothes bubbled and swayed.  Now here is the interesting bit…there were only 2 dryers in the laundromat…and we were not the only ones with laundry to do.  Okay so here is where you can input your own opinion…what would you do kind of thing…but when we came back to put our clothes into the dryer…someone was using both.  When the cycle ended for one of the dryers…Russ suggested that we take out the contents and put our clothes in.  Well the contents of that dryer was a rug…that was not dry.  Yes, the dryer had stopped running, but I felt weird about taking someone’s rug out and putting our things in.  Russ had no problem with it at all.

Well, next thing I know, the owner of said rug shows up at the laundromat…and yes that was my cue to exit stage left!  My thought was if Russ was fine with taking out their laundry and putting in ours….he could deal with the people!  And let’s just say that they were not too happy that we had removed their rug.  Russ apologized…but they were pissed!  They took the rest of their laundry and stormed out…  Once we had clean and dry clothes…it was time to head to Venice!!!!