Sunday, July 26, 2009
So it was 4 days on and 5 days off. Lets hope their immune system builds up quickly.
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Saturday, July 11, 2009
After an expensive couple of sandwiches and drinks (24 Euro which nicely cleaned out my purse) we boarded the plane for Dubai and say Au Revoir France.
The two legs were, again very long and I managed to watch about 20 minutes of a movie only to find that it wasn't available on the Dubai - Melbourne leg so I will have to get hold of it and watch it another time. I then gave up on movies and watched 2 short episodes of a UK comedy called Out Numbered which I highly recommend it you get the chance to see it.
I managed to get about 5 hours sleep overall, not sure what the girls got ( a little more than that) and no idea how much Glen got as I think he watched some tv while I slept.
Luckily we landed in Melbourne an hour early, collected our 9 pieces of checked in baggage and headed home taking a short detour to see the 'Sold' sign on our house around the corner! Funily enough, the tour was in its final 20km when we got home so Glen decided, dispite the late hour, that we should watch it while the girls excitedly had a play with every toy in the room.
We had a fabulous holiday and a wonderful time with Mum and Dad but it was lovely to be home in our own beds (well Glen and Tieve ended up doing a swap) and now we have 2 days to get organised and over our jet lag before the reality of returning to work on Monday after 15 months off.
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
After a long, hot night in our service centre 'camping site' we headed back up to Fontainbleau, just outside Paris. We nearly didn't make it there though as the final payage (toll booth) was 98 Euro, that is about $Aus175 and the machine didn't seem too keen on taking our credit cards. Eventually it accepted our fourth card which happened to be ours, lucky as we were out of credit cards to try and between the four of us didn't have enough cash.
Dad had managed to book us into the site where he had initially wanted us to spend our Paris week but it had been booked out. It is a lovely site, right by the Seine, with lovely old stone buildings, great amenities (unlike many other spots we had been) and box hedges marking out the sites.
We rapidly put up the awning due to the time and rain and put on our glad rags for our final dinner in France. There was a resaurant not far from the site that had been recomended by the people running the camp site so we thought we would check it out. It had a lovely feel, right by the river and had a jazz band playing out side.
Tieve was being as cooperative as ever with trying to get a nice, natural smile for a group shot.
While Seren did some last minute revising of her French and helped us translate the menu.
Between courses Tieve and I popped outside and she had a little bop to the music.
It was both an early birthday dinner for Glen and thankyou to Mum and Dad and a wonderful way to end our holiday.
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
To save our selves about 3 or 4 hours driving, we packed up camp this morning and took the caravan with us, leaving it at a service station on the motorway just before we turned off to position ourselves on the course. We didn't have much trouble with road closures today but due to the distance to travel and packing up we knew we wouldn't quite make the caravane so unfotunately, we never managed to see the whole thing as it seemed to be a a shortened version in Monaco and they didn't hand much out where we were positioned at the time. We managed to score a great spot in a bus stop so we had seating, shade and were right by 2 corners so a great spot for photos.
The teams of 9 left at 7 minute intervals coming past us about 10 minutes later. We nearly managed to miss Silence Lotto but just managed to get our cameras posed to get some shots of Cadel. It was probably, although not as exciting as Sunday's finish, the most interesting day as it was spread over several hours and more interesting seeing the manouvers of a team rather than just a single rider going past. Once the 'course de fin' van came though, we picked up the caravan and drove about an hour and a half down the road before stopping at another service centre for the night.
Monday, July 6, 2009
Today the plan was to position our selves just after a lunch spot in the hope of scoring a lunch bag as a souvenier. After doing 2 loads of washing and taking down the annex we left half an hour after the 'must leave by' time. We had learnt from our mistakes yesterday but still managed to get a little caught when all the exits on a stretch of the motorway were all closed. We unfortunately missed the caravane but had a great spot and got set up as there was only 15 minutes until the riders were due to come through. Over an hour later we finally saw the breakaway and about 10 minutes later the rest of the pack came through.
Dad managed to score a bag which still had a power bar inside, so, after posing for a photo with it we shared the bar and he kindly gave it to Glen.
By the time we got back to our car and found a supermarket for lunch, it was 5.30 when we sat down to eat lunch. Glen did manange to find a good spot though, right by a castle and the river.
It was dark by the time we got back but luckily it was the first night that there wasn't any dew so the washing was nice and dry so I quickly got all our bags packed and ready to leave by 9am the following morning.
Sunday, July 5, 2009
Day two acutally took the riders through Draguinan but we decided to head into Brignoles to see the finish. We had a little fun, first trying to get out of town and then getting to the finish due to road closures near the course. We eventually got there, just in time for the caravane but there were so many people that we didn't actually manage to get anything and, instead, found a shaded spot behing the bleechers and had a snack.
Glen and Dad then scouted around and found a spot on a bend 450m before the end of the course. Although it only took moments for the riders to go past it was pretty exciting to have them all rush past. Mum was vey impressed as you just don't get the same feeling watching it on tv and she hadn't quite appreciated how close they all rode together and at such fast speeds.
(Not very good but my only shot of Cadel from the day)
(Lance coming through)
We then had another meal at McDonalds so we could check email, upload blog entries and Mum could skype Aunty Jo.
Saturday, July 4, 2009
Finally the day had arrive, the start of the le tour de france.
The traffic heading into Monaco was pretty slow but we eventually got in and managed to get one of the last spots in a carpark right in town. After a bite to eat we rushed off to see the caravanne. We managed to score some cleaning cloths for glasses, a little pot and seeds to grow some clover (which were soon lost leaving only the pot), some 'livestrong' chalk and we bought some livestrong bands. Glen also bought a tour pack which had 10 items including a tshirt and hat.
During the break we wandered up the hill towards the casino and found a great spot to set ourselves up for photos. One of the professional photographers was also there so we had a bit of a chat to him about what he did and it turns out he had been covering the tour for 25 years. The time trial eventually started, the cyclists coming out in reverse order of their current points standing. The last few came out in the order that they finished which meant that Cadel was second last and Carlos Sastre was last as the previous year's winner. Lance Armstrong was 10th as he hadn't been back in competitive riding long enough to work his way up to where his ability would put him. Over the next 3 hours or so the riders made their way around the 15km course at 1 minute intervals until the final 20 who were spaced 1 min, 30sec apart.
Lance Armstrong, Astana
Matthew Lloyd, Silence Lotto
Stuart O'Grady, Saxo Bank
Mark Renshaw, Columbia Highroad
Brett Lancaster, Cervelo Test
Michael Rogers, Columbia Highroad
Cadel Evans, Silence Lotto
After a long, hot day we headed back to the car, had dinner at a pasta restaurant and weaved our way through Monaco enjoying the principality all lit up in the night before heading back to Draguinan.