France Day 23: The Road to Chamonix

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We start the day packing and saying one last goodbye to our house.  It was hard to say goodbye for now to Provence.  But our time had come.  When we arrived, the cherry trees were dripping with handful after handful of fresh, ripe fruit.  But now the cherries are dry, and the lavender is in full deep purple bloom.  Our season has come.  The family sits in the car for about 3 minutes while I go capture some photos of the house without all of our clutter in it.  Then off we go...and the landscape changes.  We spot a few final lavender fields on the hillsides, clinging as far north as they could stand it, and then no more.  Mountains loom, and as we pass through each valley, an ever more impressive peak emerges, impossibly taller, somehow, than the last.  As we press further north, the building materials change. The stone buildings give way to lumber, the sun-faded blues to Tudor-trimmed houses and steep roofs.  The dirt becomes less crumbly and more dark and spongy.  We stop for a picnic lunch along the way.  Up, up, up, and around we went, up harrowingly narrow roads, past grazing goats and occasional maple-colored cows.  The air thinned and cooled as we inhaled sweet summer retreat and new birds regaled us on our path.  We settled into our new apartment and gazed at Geoff's impending conquest from our top floor balcony, Mont Blanc himself, regally cloaked in pink alpine glow well hours after dark.