“So far, we have driven over 1600 miles through France, Italy, Monaco and Spain, with kids, and the awesomeness can’t be underrated. Even if Brooke (age 4) did throw up once in the rental car…”
On the 15th of this month, I left for a new adventure, excited for a blend of the familiar and the new. I’m still on this amazing adventure but we are having a lazy day today and I actually have wifi so I was happy to have a few minutes to say hello and tell you a little about this two week road trip. So far, we have driven over 1600 miles through France, Italy, Monaco and Spain, with kids, and the awesomeness can’t be underrated. Even if Brooke (age 4) did throw up once in the rental car.
We landed in Heathrow on the 16th, changed planes for Barcelona and immediately hopped into a rental car for Southern France, first stop, the city of Lyon. I can tell you from experience that Lyon has excellent hospital and medical care and if you ever do need medical attention in France I can only hope for you that your attending physician is as nice and as handsome as mine was…more on that later. Ah, France…
From France, we ventured to Turino (Turin), Italy–a stop 300 miles out of our way that we made because I wanted to see the Shroud of Turin. Was it worth it? Absolutely. Turin has been one of the highlights of this trip. The last time I had been in Italy was in 1999 on my honeymoon. It was good to be back. I even managed using a little bit of my beginning Italian skills. Turin, was a short stop, but boy did we make some memories there.
We left Turin and drove down to Monaco for a stay in Monte Carlo. Since we loved the Fairmont in San Francisco (one of our favorites), we decided to splurge and stay at the Fairmont in Monte Carlo. Want to be treated like royalty? Stay there. Pretty sure our room was larger than my first apartment and the Fairmont is right next door to the Monte Carlo Casino, which my kids (who are with me) had all heard of because it is featured in one of the Madagascar movies? Who knew!
Can I just share that Monte Carlo is one of my new favorite places! Darcy and I both loved it enough we are thinking a 2015 Monte Carlo trip will be in our plans. Stunning vistas, amazing restaurants, rooftop pools, beautiful beaches and loads of luxury. Yes, I do believe another visit here is in order. From Monte Carlo we drove to Marseille, France and stayed at a beautiful vacation resort outside of the city on the water on the French Riviera. While any accommodation would have been a down grade from the Fairmont, our room was charming and the full view of the Mediterranean Sea from our balcony more than made up for any shortcomings.
From Marseilles, we drove to Spain where we have been the last 4 days and will be here until the 29th. We have done some sight seeing and have more to do in Barcelona, but for the last few days we have been enjoying being lazy in Spain….sleeping in, beach days, and late suppers. My middle daughter is going to turn 8 on this trip before we return. I have a feeling this will be one birthday she always remembers. I am thrilled that I have remembered so much of my Spanish. Those years living in Florida and Phoenix have paid off 🙂
I have never been to Spain before. I was surprised to read in my research that Spain is home to over 2,000 castles. I thoroughly enjoyed our first site seeing day in Barcelona where we visited the Cathedral, La Pedrera, and strolled the Rambla de Catalunya. I am still waiting to see la Sagrada Familia which will come later in the week and the National Museum of Art. I was glad to see the Metro in Barcelona was just as easy to navigate as any other.
I will be back in about a week and look forward to sharing pictures, stories, and lots of good information with you. In the meantime, you can see a sneak peek on my instagram.
Traveling always gets my creativity going and helps me “reset”; reminds me how good a break from routine can me. This trip has been no different. There has already been wonderful surprises and as usual, some unplanned travel “bumps” in the road, but they all weave into the fabric of the stories this trip will tell and all I feel today is peaceful, joyful, and blessed. Having my family with me on this adventure just made it all the more sweeter. As Augustus Waters would say, “I’m on a roller coaster that is only going up, my friend”.
See you soon friends,