Carrying the Torch! Reflections on the Olympics!

Thinking it smart to arrive two days prior to the Olympics would commence, thus avoiding the usual delays, we leisurely traveled into Turin to pick up our event tickets… No six hour lines as was reported in London, there was no delay and all was organized (which was surprising!) What really made us chuckle was the torch. It does bring tears to your eyes to watch the torch bearer running past with all of the fanfare. In Turin, there was music playing, horns blowing, and so much excitement. I took the usual photos and video… Then, several hours later, we were privileged to see the torch again, in another part of the city… And then the following day, we were privileged to see the torch yet again… We were wondering if they would run out of special torch bearers, and it sort of became comical to see the torch going by five times, six times… but it all added to our enjoyment.My husband hadn’t driven a stick-shift in many years, and sadly it didn’t all come back to him…We must have stopped and started so many times with the gears squeaking. I was so sure we would be rear ended by another car but apart from the usual horn blasting, we were fine.. It was rather comical at the border check-points though…oh yes.. Let me digress….As soon as the Olympic site is chosen, the various countries, corporations reserve blocks of villas, homes, hotels, and for a parent and visitor, it is nigh impossible to find economical accommodations. The larger and best endowed countries will offer reasonable accommodations (from their reserved block) to the parents not too far from the various venues. However, the smaller countries like Great Britain had nothing to offer… I had searched and searched the summer previously for a hotel room, and finally found a 17th century hotel in a tiny town about an hour outside of Sestriere, nestled in the Italian Alps. Since we were taking my other two sons, and AJ’s girlfriend with us, I thought I should pop over a few months before to check out the accommodations, for I knew that if my sons were not happy, then we would not be happy.. Alas, the hotel was indeed dated from the 17th century. The common room/reception room/breakfast room was once the stables for the home, and you could still smell the horses and cows lingering scent… There was a communal bathroom, only one restaurant in the village, no nightlife, and I knew that this was not for us…Just two months before the event, I lucked out! I found in Serre Chevalier, across the border in France, Tadpole Holidays which offers last minute accommodations to people like us! Owned by a Frenchman, and his Scottish wife, a reasonable fee included bed and breakfast (in a small duplex condo – time shares but which were available for rent), dinner at their pub “Le Frog” (all French, delicious and choice of local wines). Research your countries! We were in business! Buses were to have left from Briancon every few hours to take us over the Alps, into Italy and to Cesana a small town leading up to Sestriere (no cars would be allowed to either enter or park anywhere near the Olympic venues), where buses could take us to somewhere near the event (we still had a 20 minute walk once there and a ski-lift ride too..all fun), – but luckily we were early for a 11a.m. bus which would take us on our 3 hour trek to get to see our son compete in his 4 p.m. event. It turned out, they did not have the overflow of crowds for the Olympic events they had expected in France, and that 11 a.m. bus was THE bus for the day….A fellow American hotel guest, had plans to watch six or so events in the course of a few days.. Well, she had left the US last minute, ran into delays, missed two events by the time she arrived, and she hadn’t counted on the time it would take to travel from A-B in a foreign country.When our bus arrived at the French/Italian border, the gendarmes stepped onto the bus and asked to look at our passports… They had already seen us sputtering through with our rental car the two days prior, and so when they saw the passports, they exclaimed “Ah yes, the family Rosen- you are not driving today?” Ha! Everyone laughed… Perhaps my husband not as much, but it was very funny..SO many funny and great memories… A wonderful trip in so many ways. But if you can read between the lines, those hours of travel time to and from the Olympic event each day which did not bother us – we were THERE! The lack of accommodations (although we had found THE best place and felt as if we were staying with family – the Restaurant “Le Frog” was situated at the bottom of the ski slopes, so my sons could go skiing – we ENJOYED ourselves there..but if the Olympic powers that be could realize that the parents undergo great hardships in many ways to get their athlete to the Olympics, to allow them to follow their dream, and if they could ensure that there are accommodations available – nothing more…but just a little courtesy to the parents… that would be GREAT! We lucked out, as I persevered, and had searched searched on the internet for months, and we would not have changed a thing….but other parents were not as lucky… and we heard of their experiences. How they had shown up at one of the small hotels, only to find their accommodations was a garage…I am so excited that the Olympics are in London, and I can hardly wait to watch the opening ceremony.. I saw the usual streaker on the internet running in front of the torch bearer at one point.. And a newspaper article mentioned they should not run with the torch just take a bic lighter to it the night before and light it – but that is typical British sarcasm and humor (humour)…The excitement that the Olympics generate is unbelievable, and I just hope that that everything goes off without too many glitches! There will be delays, and they should be expected so everyone should plan for them (just like in real estate!) and people should not let any glitch mar the enjoyment. While I am not traveling to the Olympics, and neither is my son (who was invited to participate in an Honorary status – but cannot afford to go), I did order some memorabilia, so if I can’t go the Olympics, then the Olympics will come to me! GO Great Britain! Looking forward to Sochi, 2014 GO U.S!  New Rochelle  is GREAT!

About Gay E. Rosen

Gay E. Rosen is a Top Realtor in the Larchmont and New Rochelle (Lower Westchester) area. She is diligent, caring, driven and thorough (with a sense of humor).Utilize her expertise. Call her!
This entry was posted in New Rochelle Area Information and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply