Shopping for sewing machines in Annecy

Lunch at the shopping area outside AnnecyToday we went to Annecy to look for a sewing machine for my dear wife’s birthday. It is one of the things that she has on her wish list and since I know shit about sewing machines it is one of those presents were she has to choose the brand and model herself.

We did find, and buy, a sewing machine but we also decided to never go to this shopping area on a weekend ever again. It is a huge kind of industrial zone with hundreds of shops. It is so big that you really have to drive if you want to go from one end to the other end and it was filled with people and cars. It took us about 45 minutes to drive from Crozet to Annecy and we were sitting in car queues in Annecy and in the shopping area for almost as much.

Well we got what we came for at least and before leaving the area we stopped at one of the many restaurants there for some traditional French dead cow and some frites. Well my dear wife got herself a chicken salad and from a culinary point of view that was probably the best choice. Not that the dead cow was bad but it was pretty standard stuff that you get almost everywhere in France. The service was a bit confused though and they managed to misplace Cassandra’s order and did not react when they only served food for four people out of five. Intelligence was obviously not one of the criteria for employment at that place.

Tried the new Spanish restaurant in Sergy yesterday.

At the new Spanish restaurant, Rita et Albert, in SergyA while ago they opened a new Spanish restaurant in Sergy, Rita & Albert. That is actually the third new restaurant within 5-10 minutes drive from our house that have opened the last few months.

Yesterday evening we tried it out. It was the first time in a long while that we went to a restaurant in the evening without actually being on a holiday trip staying in hotels. Usually we go to restaurants for Saturday or Sunday lunch when not traveling. But then the kids are getting old enough for evening escapades so…

The restaurant was quite good. Nice atmosphere. The menu was not the largest I have seen but the dishes were well prepared.

At Salon Mer & Vigne in Prevessin

Salon Mer & Vigne in PrevessinToday we went to Salon Mer & Vigne in Prevessin. We have not been there for at least three, maybe four, years since they changed the dates and it started to collide with the one in Gex. This year it did not collide and the one in Gex have degraded a lot anyway since they decide to make it some green “biological” nonsense.

We actually got a lot more stuff than we expected. Italian dried sausages, meat, chocolate, cacao powder, tomato pesto, chili pesto, vanilla pods, nougat, a few bottles of wine etc…

We could also walk around in peace and quiet for once since we decided not to drag the kids with us this time. It was actually very nice to be back there this time. It is not the biggest one around but it is one of the better ones.

Annual Christmas bazar in Lausanne

IMG-20141206-2278Time flies and the stress levels rise as usual at this time of the year. Lucia is next weekend and I still have not gotten any real Christmas presents for Bodil except the usual books and CD’s. Neither have the kids. Of course we have loads of stuff that have to be finished before Christmas at work as well. Sigh.

Anyway, this weekend is the weekend of the annual Christmas bazar arranged by the Swedish church in Lausanne so, as usual, we went there to get our smoked eel, lutfisk, elk sausage, herring to pickle and a bunch of other stuff. The kids got their Swedish hot dogs of course. For once it was almost decent weather driving there. At least it was not rain or snow.

Afterwards we stopped at Nyon for a nice lunch at Auberge du Château in Nyon. Not surprisingly we got stuffed from eating a multi-course meal for lunch. The kids especially so since they had already eaten their hot dogs just before we left Lausanne. Usually I have one as well but I knew it was likely that we would end up at this restaurant so I was clever enough to skip the hot dog.

I did not bring my camera this time since the bazar is pretty much the same every year and, consequently, the photos tend to become been there, seen that, done that type of photos. Thus I only snapped a quick one with my phone so I would have something to put up together with this post.

Foggy day lightened up by the annual food fair in Gex.

IMG-20141122-2270As you can see from the photo it was an unusually foggy day in the Jura today. It lasted all day as well. It is really unusual that we have such fog for an entire day. We might have all day rain or snow but not fog like this. It usually dissipates during the morning hours.

Anyway, the day was lightened up by the annual food fair, Salon Vins & Gastronomie, in Gex. It is a four day event from Friday to Monday but as always we went there on Saturday morning to get the usual stuff, Corsican sausages for the Christmas buffet, meat pates, fois gras for new years eve, some lovely goats cheese (one absolutely fabulous one with fenugreek seeds), olives and some wine from our local wine dealer. It is an event that it will take something really disastrous in order for us to miss it. Unfortunately I forgot the camera at home this year so…no photos.

On the way to the food fair we stopped at the furniture shop where we bought our new cupboard. They had a sale and although the sale was only for the stock at the shop we managed to negotiate a good price for two buffets for our “petit salon” that they had to order from the factory. Still bloody expensive though but then again, they are solid oak miles away from the cheap Ikea stuff.

Then it is first of advent next weekend which means that it was time to get the Christmas decorations alongside the roof up since they are going to be lit for first of advent and I do not dare to bet on the weather being good if I let it wait until the last day. I had to make some new arrangements and fix a new cable this year since the fiber box has occupied the outlet I usually used for the lights. While I was outside I spent some time ripping up some herbs in our herb garden that had become way to invasive. My dear wife spent most of her time working on the walls in our petit salon. Next weekend we might be back to a state were we can start to actually paint after our unfortunate setback. Well, we and we. This is Bodil’s project and she is fiercely guarding it. No help wanted. I am allowed to bring home supplies but that is as far as I am allowed to interfere. Okay, I must admit that I was allowed to have a say in the choice of paint and furniture as well.

Anyway, now I am going to sit down a while and do some reading before it is time to prepare dinner. I will be doing pork filets in herb and mustard sauce for tonight. One of my favorites. Have not decided whether to go for rice or potatoes to accompany it yet though. Leaning towards oven-fried potatoes since JJ is not too keen on rice.

Trip to Jurapark in Switzerland and a nice lunch i Le Pont at the shore of Lac de Joux

Jurapark in SchweizToday we made an excursion to Jurapark in YverdonSwitzerland followed by a nice lunch in Le Pont situated at he shore of Lac de Joux. We had originally contemplated going to the underground lake (the biggest one in Europe) in St Leonard but it would have been a much longer trip and the reviews we found was not all that encouraging so we went to Jurapark instead.

It is really a quite small park with only four animal species, bears, wolfs, bison and a local type of horse. It is however an excellent display of these four species where, especially the bears, have big areas to roam without the crowded feeling that you frequently have in ordinary zoo’s. Unfortunately the weather forecast was pretty much wrong. Jurapark in Schweiz It said 0% changes of rain but in reality it drizzled all the time until lunch. It did not really help that the temperature was less than 10 degrees (actually as low as 7 degrees at some stretches along the way according to the car thermometer). We were bloody freezing! I should of course have checked what the weather forecast was on the other side of the mountains before leaving and taken into account that we were another 400 meters up from our place which made the altitude a bit more than a 1000 meters so it should really not have come as a surprise that it was chilly.

Well, at least we got warmed up with an excellent lunch at a very nice restaurant on the way back. Actually, one reason that we picked Jurapark was that we knew about this nice village on the way back and had found this restaurant which got very nice reviews. The place was very nice, cozy and more or less packed. We were lucky that we came there early enough so that we got a table without having reserved beforehand.

Lunch in Le PontIt started off well enough when we found out that their “amuse gueule” was a small warm soup which was just what the doctored ordered after having spent time in the lousy weather looking at bears and bisons. After that me and Bodil went for the fried fish from the lake even though I was indeed tempted to go for their Schnitzel (which Timothy took by the way). Jonathan went for some barely dead beef (steak Tartare) of course.

So now we have at least made a few holiday excursions during this years summer school holidays even though we did not go for any real holiday trip abroad (Switzerland doesn’t count as abroad for us). I have tomorrow off as well but I doubt that we will go anywhere since the forecast is truly lousy with 100% change of rain.

I snapped a few photos even though the weather was not really the best for such activities, at least not for family photos, and published a few to my Excursions 2014 photo album on Flickr.

Airplanes, frogs and … kangaroos!

Walkabout in Estavayer-le-lac before lunchToday we did another day trip with the kids these last days of the summer school holidays. Actually we also endured the first signs of the new school year in that we went to the Maison de Presse in St Genis to pick up JJ’s school literature for when he starts school again in a weeks time. That is not what this post is supposed to be about though.

Actually we had not planned to make a trip today but wait until Monday when there was less holiday traffic on the roads. The Swiss highways are especially frustrating on the weekends since the Swiss drivers have absolutely zero respect for other drivers and they generally hog the left high-speed lane even when driving at speeds well below the speed limit. Anyway, I digress again…

So yesterday evening my dear wife discovered that there was a military airplane museum in Payerne which is not too far away from here. So, on a whim, we decided to go there today. It is a bit of an enthusiast museum so it is only open in the afternoon. Thus we left in the mid morning and stopped in the nearby village of Estavayer-le-lac we’re we planned to have lunch before going on to the museum. The village also had a Musee de Grenouilles or “Frog Museum” which we visited.

Musee de Grenouilles in Estavayer-le-lacWell, the “Frog Museum” was interesting but the frog part was, well I am tempted to call it a tourist trap but that would not really be telling the entire truth. The place was a rather quaint regional museum with a weapons collection as well as a general collection of “old stuff”. A lot of ancient stuff where stuffed in more or less where one could make space for it. I know, I used the word stuff a lot but that is really the best way to describe the place. Stuffy with stuff stuffed in everywhere. It was a memorable experience. What about the frogs? Well in the bottom floor there was a single display where the collection of a captain in the Swiss army from the first half of the 19’th century was on display. Apparently he had the idea of capturing frogs, stuffing them, and putting them in more or less “doll house” environments like they were ordinary people. I have to say that the collection was quite interesting but given that the majority of the museum had nothing to do with frogs I would say that the name of the place was a bit misplaced.

Nevertheless this was but a way to spend the time before lunch and our subsequent trip to the airplane museum. We had lunch in the same village as the “frog museum”. This was quite a nice experience. The restaurant was one that was recommended by the lady at the museum. It was quite simple and the waitress was a bit whimsical but the food was very good. When we studied the menu the waitress told us that the she had no more bison. So me and JJ took kangaroo instead (no kidding).

Lunch in Estavayer-le-lacAs you can see from the photos (I took that one with my phone by the way so the quality is rather lousy) we got some huge napkins because the waitress were worried that we would get our clothes stained. The kangaroo, which was advertised as entrecote but to me were more like a filet, was served with a thick chunk of pre-heated ardoise stone where you cooked your own food. Actually it was a bit pre-cooked and then you could cook it to the degree your wanted. The food was excellent, simple but very good quality, and the ardoise stone cooking made for a nice and memorable touch.

After having finished our lunch we went to the airplane museum which was out main goal for our trip today. I was small but quite well done. Not much to say about it. JJ of course spotted that they had a model of Saab 35 Draken in their model collection. That was the good old times when Sweden could make top of the line aircrafts without our useless politicians screwing everything up.

Well, that is about it. I took a few photos as usual and I have published a few of them to my Excursions 2014 photo album.