moon plage privee

Lake Annecy’s Best Beaches

Being a travel blogger is hard work. This week I spent many hours visiting and “researching” all the beaches around Annecy, just so that I could provide you with this information. Many difficult decisions were made and documented. Which sand is softer? Which wine list more extensive? Which toilets less disgusting?

Without further ado…

The Best Beach in Annecy:

Moon Plage Privée at L’Impérial: Yes, it’s the most expensive at 15€ per adult, but wow! This is what affordable luxury is all about: cushioned deck chairs, umbrellas, soft sand and tanned waiters bringing you chilled wine. Meanwhile, the kids are swimming in the lake or squealing their way down the “epic” slide.

moon plage privee

 

Runner up:

Plage de L’impérial: If you don’t want to shell out the Moon Plage premium, go here. It’s essentially the same beach, minus all the luxuries. Instead of cushioned deck chairs, you spread out on the grass. Instead of chilled rose, you drink bottled water. You still pay to get in (4€ per adult, 2.50€ per child), but the toilets are western-style and clean. There’s a decent restaurant and again, the huge slide is “epic.”

The others:

Plage des Marquisats – Free beach – fairly small – sand and grass – snacks available for purchase – near bike path. Disgusting bathrooms; hold your nose or go swimming.

Plage D’Albigny in Annecy-le-Vieux. Free entry – sand and grass – more options for shade here than at Marquisats – restaurants nearby (across the street) – near bike path. They have those self-cleaning, stainless steel toilet chambers which completely freak me out.

The best on the east side of the lake:

Plage de la Brune: This is “our beach” but we aren’t biased! It’s not only free, but it’s clean and beautiful. There are two small bays of sand, lots of grass and a happening picnic scene on the weekend. There’s also a kiddie pool and a few restaurants in striking distance.

The others on the east side:

Talloires – Pay on entry (2.30€ per adult). Gorgeous bay with smooth, clean waters. Diving board and slide. A decent restaurant.

Menthon St. Bernard – Pay on entry (2.30€ per adult). The restaurant here is decent. The kiddie pool and the shallow end of the lake are clean and nice. But the deeper end of the lake near the diving board seemed to collect dead bugs (?). I know! weird, right? Not a good vibe.

 

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The only offline map that actually works in France

My husband makes fun of me for always visiting the Tourism Office of every town I visit. But they have a lot of good information there! For example, I’ve been searching for the perfect offline map for my iPhone for weeks. Only to finally realize that offline apps don’t do what I really want them to do: give me directions from here to there.

gps on paper

This is called a map.

Or as Sophia explains, “It’s a GPS, but on paper.”

Maps are free at any tourism office and they almost always get me where I want to go.

 

P.S. Other offline apps that are good:

The Ultralingua French-English Dictionary

Evernote Premium will allow you to access notebooks offline (you can can save addresses, opening hours, restaurant reviews, etc.)

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des velos avec une vue

Roule ma poule

We rented some bikes and toured around Annecy this afternoon. Huge success. HUGE. Meaning: we didn’t crash into anyone and the girls decided they want to move here. Highly recommend this bike company: Roul’ Ma Poule.

p.s. Apparently, Roule ma Poule does not actually mean “roll my chicken.” Although I stand by my original translation. In fact, it’s an expression – something similar to let’s go!  Like: On y va! or Allons-y!  French friends, correct me please!

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first swim of the summer

getting to know the neighborhood

I LOVE our summer rental! I think the owners are new to VRBO so I want to give them HUGE props. The house is even better than advertised. And when we arrived, the kitchen was fully stocked with bread, cheese, fruit and… wait for it…. a chilled bottle of rosé! Are you kidding me?!

The village is super cute and has all the essentials. There is a grocery store called “8h a 8h” – except it’s only open until noon on Sundays, opens at late on Mondays and closes early on Wednesdays. And in August, vacation hours apply. Honestly people, rename your store.

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8 French Resources in Seattle

 

le pichet

 

1. Best group classes for adults: Alliance Française

2. Favorite tutor for adults: Danick Jawer

3. Museum tours (in French) for children: Atelier D’Ichere

4. Our favorite French immersion school: FISW

5. Absolutely amazing experience: Canoe Island French Camp

6. French cooking classes: Paris Eastside

7. Drink your way through wine school: Le Caviste

8. French property rentals: French Homestyle

 

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My Seattle Favorites

I cannot believe I've lived here for almost ten years! Time flies when you're having babies. I put together this list for friends and family who come to visit. It's certainly not a comprehensive travel guide to the city - just a list of our go-to places and activities. Let me know if I've missed something!

Favorite weekends…

Pike Place Market

Fremont Sunday Market & the neighboring Ballard Market

Seattle Art Museum, followed by lunch at TASTE

Why not see if the Seattle Sounders are playing at home?

On the water…

 Kayak or SUP on Portage Bay.

 Rent an electric boat and be your own captain

 Take the ferry to Bainbridge Island or Vashon Island

 Go to the beach in Madison Park or Green Lake

 Ride the Duck. Come on. You know you want to!

 

Kid approved

Space Needle and Seattle Center

Seattle Aquarium

Ride bikes on Burke Gilman Trail (you can rent bikes here)

Go for a hike in Discovery Park

Olympic Sculpture Park, followed by lunch at The Old Spaghetti Factory

Ride the monorail from Pacific Place to Seattle Center. 

Children's Theater. They put on consistently great performances. 

Tutta Bella Pizzeria on Sunday Nights (live music)

Restaurants, downtown

Le Pichet

Pink Door (burlesque on saturday nights. order the lasagna)

Lola 

Matt's in the Market

Etta's for brunch

Restaurants, other neighborhoods

Capital Hill - Tavern Law

Fremont - El Camino

Ballard - La Carta de Oaxaca

For margaritas on a gorgeous day…

See what’s playing

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To be a horse (in France)

Sophia

On the way to equestrian camp today, the girls were talking about how much fun it would be – to be a horse.

Sophia said: “I would love to be my horse, Speedy. I would play with my other horse friends all day. And my people friends could ride me and brush me and braid my hair.”

Sasha said: “If I was a horse I would never live on a farm because everyone would get on your back and make you do things you didn’t want to do, like walk in circles. I would run in the fields and climb mountains and kick things. I would be free!”

God I love them.

sasha stands on a horse

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heading to camp

summer camp, week 2

heading to camp

I’m so freaking proud of Sasha. There were 100+ boys at her soccer camp, and she was the ONLY girl. Not only did she hold her own on the pitch, she ran circles around many of them. Way to go Sasha! You are brave and I am SO proud of you!

sasha ballon

Sophia went to Hip Hop Dance Camp and had the time of her life. Below is the photo taken after their performance.

hip hop soph

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