It has been a long time since you heard from us (sorry, again …) Last time we wrote we were still in Norway and on our way back towards the Netherlands.
Before we arrived back with our family, we made a couple of stops. First stop was in Copenhagen. Funny enough this city felt a bit like Amsterdam. Architects from the Netherlands influenced the city here in the seventeenth century. Our highlight in Copenhagen was theme park Tivoli. An old colleague of Lillian works at the Nimb hotel which is connected to Tivoli Gardens. He made sure that we could stay in this luxurious hotel and gave us two unforgettable days in the amusement park. Tivoli has been entertaining visitors since it opened in 1843. It is the second oldest theme park in the world and the world’s most visited seasonal theme park. The mix of roller coasters, rides, shows and culture makes the park a real treat for adults and children. It was the best amusement park we have ever visited. The combination of the park, great restaurants, eateries and bars made this a unique experience. A must see when you go to Copenhagen! Thank you, Henrik and Eric for making those 2 days so special for us! We felt like VIPs in a fantasy world.
Our second stop was in Hamburg to meet up with Michael and Fiona. We met them in Lisbon last year and it was really nice to see them again. The difference between the German port city of Hamburg and the well-organised cities of Scandinavia was huge. The organised cities of Scandinavia in comparison with the chaotic city of Germany. Beautiful how cities can be so different over such a short distance. We really liked the German rawness.
Being back in the Netherlands is always great. Our second home in Friesland, with the sister of Lillian, is always available for us and we are super happy with that incredible spot! We stayed a couple of weeks and it gave us time to prepare for the winter season and to finalise some work. Stephen finished his study, sustainability and Lillian finalised a website, she had to build for a camper spot. It was great to see family and friends again! Unfortunately, corona hit the family just when we arrived. We were a little more tied the Northern Part of the Netherlands and were not able to move around a lot. We quarantined with the family. Luckily nobody was really sick and all the kids were home. Morgan enjoyed the free time she had with here nieces. All and all not bad at all.
At the end of November, we left towards the French Alps to start our new adventure for the next months. At the moment we are responsible for a beautiful chalet from the 18th century in Les Granges, La Grande D’ Alice, in which we provide guests an unforgettable week. This means we have to maintain the chalet tidy and provide breakfast, afternoon tea and dinner for the guests. Dinner includes 4 courses for up to 14 persons. So, you can imagine it’s hard work. Les Granges is located on the mountain above Bourg Saint Maurice, an amazing spot! On the top of our mountain is the ski area Les Arcs. We are in the first ski lift in only ten minutes. Les Arcs is part of Paradiski ski area and has 425km of ski slopes! Every day we have the change to snowboard or ski and that’s what we almost do daily!
Morgan also took 2 weeks of ski lessons in December and is going downhill like a Tasmanian Devil. Every Saturday she continues with lessons in the afternoon with her ski class from Bourg Saint Maurice. For us there is enough time to learn new things so we decided to also start with skiing. The last few weeks we do swap a lot between snowboarding and skiing. We know we have a though life. Difficult decisions being made on a daily basis 😉
During the week Morgan goes to school and on Wednesday she’s off just like us. In French the kids go to school 4 days a week from 8.30AM till 4.30PM. They have a two-hour lunch break. Food is very important in French . The last 2,5 years Morgan didn’t go to school. We taught her ourselves. So, a new chapter for her and us. She doesn’t speak French and she had to sit down behind a desk and listen to the teacher, someone else instead of her parents. The first 2 weeks where a bit difficult. She didn’t had friends yet and was not playing with anybody at the playground. It made her a little sad (and us!). But when time passed, she started to feel convertible and happy, started playing with others and enjoyed going to school. Slowly she’s learning language number 3 – so good! At the age of 7 she has already so much life experience… When she grows up, what will become the “normal” standard for her?
The work we do in the chalet has a basic routine. Getting up at 06:45 AM, preparing breakfast, preparing the food for the evening and cleaning the house. From 11:00 till 05:00 PM there is time for us to snowboard or do whatever and in the evening, we are busy till around 10:00 PM. On Saturdays its change day and the busiest day of the week. The whole house has to look and be perfect for new arrivals. Lillian worked all her life in the hospitality industry. She knows there are very nice guests but also people who don’t really care about the “working staff”. For Stephen it’s sometimes difficult to understand that some people have less manners towards staff. Respect every person, doesn’t matter what kind of job they do. Luckily, we also have very nice guests who are grateful for what’s being done for them. We work hard and always try to do extra efforts which guests doesn’t expect – so they can have a wonderful time.
The thing with traveling is that you meet amazing people. We have stated this more than once and it’s oh so true. Ones again we found a family who is great and caring to us. They are our next-door neighbours, lucky us! As of day one, when we arrived in La Grange, the lady of the house Lelani showed us around, helped us getting in contact with the local school, arranged that Morgan could lunch during school break with their grandmother, and so on. We even can borrow their car any time. The list is much longer, but you get the idea! The family is great, one of a kind! Gregory and Lelani have tree kids. Lila, Anouk and Luca. Morgan goes to school with Luca and we drive them to Bourg on a daily basis. They are a big reason why we like it so much over here (next to all the drinks and diners we have together:-)
Next to the chalet work we do for Yourmountain.life (the company we work for) we are also asked to make new content for the website for a couple of chalets. We are making new photos and drone footage from the houses which our being sold online.
We will stay till the beginning of May. Or so we think 😉 Slowly we are starting to making new plans what to do next. There are several options and we are not sure what it will be yet. Fortunately, we still have some time. For now, we are enjoying the mountain life, being on the ski slope almost every day and Morgan loves it over here. So, what else do we need?
Small update how life is up here! Hope everybody who is reading this is doing well!
Big hug from Les Granges – French.