Thursday, December 15, 2005

Off to play in the snow

One of the great advantages of French schools is their plentiful vacations – typically 2 weeks for every 8 weeks of school. If you are working parent, this can be a time of great stress – conversation around school drop-off centers around various improvisational schemes to occupy the kids, including laying in large stockpiles of Christmas videos.

For us slacker parents, however, each school vacation is an opportunity to explore a new region of France. We are off early tomorrow to ski at Val d’Isere for a week, then go to Holland for Christmas with Yvonne’s 95 and going strong grandmother.

Last week was cull week for the kid’s ski gear – not much made the cut. Then Yvonne headed to the sporting goods store to replenish. Paris has a remarkable dearth of sporting stores. Decathalon has an almost absolute monopoly here with a unique value proposition of high cost, moderate quality and limited selection. Not too good for the consumer but must produce great profit margins for Decathalon!

We will be off the Net for the next two weeks - Merry Christmas!