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Sunday, 4. October 2009 16:57

Phew! It’s getting busy around here. This past week has been a swarm of activity with confirming movers, listing furniture for sale and figuring out logistics for hotels, etc. both in France and the US.

So our trip to Corsica already feels like it was ages ago even though we just got back on Tuesday!

Corsica Ferries

We took the car on the ferry from Nice to Bastia. Those ferries are HUGE. On the return trip, we got to watch them unload the ship and counted 5 or 6 tour buses and at least 15 semi-trucks before any of the passenger cars came off. The trip is about 5 hours long and we were rewarded with this sunset over Cap Corse on the way.

Sunset over Cap Corse

We stayed at the Dolce Notte hotel in Saint Florent and spent part of each day on the beach. The La Roya beach near Saint Florent was perfect for the kids. Check out how far out they are and the water still only comes to Joe’s knees.

Plage La Roya

We took a driving tour of the Nebbia region on the first day we were there. The plan had been to drive to the first town on the list and stop for lunch. We had been warned that driving in Corsica was of the twisty-turvy type, but figured that is couldn’t be too different from what we’re used to here in the Alpes-Maritimes. We were wrong, it takes a long time to get from one place to the other in Corsica. Add in a kid who gets carsick and, well, we didn’t do as much exploring as we thought we would.

Anyways, we stopped at the first town. Got out at a bar and asked about lunch. They had no food and when I inquired as to the nearest place to get lunch the woman said, “I don’t know. Maybe in Saint Florent.” Since that was where we had come from, we kept on driving. Each town was smaller than the last until we finally gave up and ate what I had packed as a snack for lunch. We stopped by this lovely little church near Murato.

Eglise St Michelle

Oh, and we passed this cow on the road.

On the Road

In addition to exploring Corsica, we got to meet up with Cara and her family for dinner. The kids had a great time and Sophia has since been asking if Ayva, baby Ayva, Daddy Ayva and Mommy Ayva can come to our house to play with her toys (their daughter, Ayva, is about a year younger than Sophia).

Category:France, Hotels, Moving, Travel, Travel: France | Comments Off | Autor: Erica

Things I Will Miss: European Travel

Tuesday, 29. September 2009 21:41

I will definitely miss that we can’t just hop in the car to go to Corsica or Lyon or Barcelona for the weekend.

This weekend we’ll be taking the ferry to Corsica. It’s one of the places that we wanted to visit before we left, so off we go.

Bon weekend!

**OK, I meant to post this last Friday before we got on the ferry but didn’t in the rush to get out of the house. We had a lovely time and I’ll post pictures of our trip tomorrow.**

Category:France, Travel, Travel: Europe, Travel: France | Comments Off | Autor: Erica

Things I Will Miss: Les Oliviers

Thursday, 24. September 2009 13:57

Les oliviers. Olive trees.

I thought I’d start a little project of blogging some of the things that I will miss when we move back to the US. They won’t be in any particular order, just what I happen to be able to photograph for the day.

Les Oliviers

We live near the Mediterranean and have enjoyed the climate and food enormously these past four years. Neither one was a huge change for us, but the olive trees that cover this area are definitely not seen in the same numbers in California.

Our property alone has about 20 olive trees. I love that they are craggy and covered with ivy and moss and that they look like they have been here through the ages. I have no idea how old these trees actually are, but many have split into multiple trees and now provide secret places for the kids to play in.

Category:France, Travel: France | Comments (1) | Autor: Erica


Wednesday, 9. September 2009 16:17

We’ve had guests in and out of the house this summer which hasn’t left much time for blogging. We’ve had much more fun visiting with everyone and exploring a bit more of the area. An added plus this summer is that Joe has been able to take quite a bit of time off so he’s been able to visit and explore with us rather than his usual routine of coming home from work to find out what exciting things we did while he was toiling away at the office.

So when my aunt Meg and cousin Terry came to visit, we hopped on the train to explore Lyon.

Lyon is considered by many to be the gastronomic capitol of France. It also has Roman ruins and bills itself as a city of light.

(OK, I just plugged in an episode of Blue’s Clues in order to keep the kids quiet so that I can blog. I have now lost all train of thought…..)

Where was I? Lyon! We loved it! Joe and I kept talking about how we could totally live there. Good food, culture and shopping. Ahhhh. I didn’t actually get to go into any stores, but the window shopping was excellent, and not in the Côte d’Azur haute couture type of excellent, but the wow-that’s-cute-and-OMG!-I-can-afford-it type of excellent.

There are two Roman theaters in Lyon. Here’s a photo of Julien, Joe and Sophia in the smaller theater.
Julien, Joe & Sophia in the Roman Theatre in Lyon

The Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière stands on the hill above Lyon.
Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière

And Sophia took this photo of the “gold person” on top of the connecting chapel.
Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière

The printing geek in me was quite impressed with the exhibit at the Musée de l’Imprimerie. Here is a photo of some of the exhibit and a stone lithograph press.
Musée de l'Imprimerie

We also explored the Musée des tissus (Textile Museum) and the Parc de la Tête d’Or. I highly recommend a visit.

Category:France, Travel, Travel: France | Comments (2) | Autor: Erica

St. Tropez

Thursday, 20. August 2009 17:50

Joe’s sister, Ali, and her family were here last week for a visit. It was great to see the kids playing together and we took a couple of trips to the beach during their visit. We also made it out to St. Tropez last Saturday.

Tyler and Sophia in St. Tropez.
St. Tropez

Art installation at the Citadel in St. Tropez.
Meninas by Manolo Valdés

It turned out that August 15th is the anniversary of the liberation of St. Tropez during World War II. We were treated to an air show in honor of the 65th anniversary.
Air Show

Category:France, Sophia, Travel, Travel: France | Comments Off | Autor: Erica


Tuesday, 4. August 2009 20:37

Don’t go to Turin on a Monday. Everything is closed. Even most of the shops that open on Monday don’t do so until 3:30pm.

I just wanted to warn you.

Otherwise, we had a very nice, quick trip to Turin, Italy last week. We drove up on Sunday and then back on Monday evening.

Highlights of the trip included gelato at Grom and a trip to Turin’s impressive Museo Egizio (Egyptian Museum). We also visited the Cattedrale de San Giovanni Battista where the Shroud of Turin is housed. It’s not on display, but they’ve got photographs of it and there is a chapel dedicated to it where the shroud is kept.

Cattedrale di San Giovanni Battista

Turin is a Baroque city with lots of large buildings and lots of ornate decoration, it is also where the Slow Food movement started and is known for its chocolate and coffee. You can even pick up a ChocoPass from the tourist office (for a fee) which allows you tastings at 22 different chocolate shops!

Detail of Palazzo Reale Gate

We had a very nice time and I would love to go back.

Category:Travel, Travel: Europe | Comments Off | Autor: Erica

Sophia’s View: Rome

Saturday, 18. July 2009 22:54

Once again I handed Sophia my camera a few times while we were visiting Rome. This is what she saw.

Mom at the Colosseum



Palatine Hill

Category:Sophia, Travel, Travel: Europe | Comments (1) | Autor: Erica


Saturday, 18. July 2009 22:32

The last time that I visited Rome, I remember throwing a coin into the Trevi Fountain and wondering when I would come here again. The legend is that if you throw a coin into the fountain you will return to the city. At the time I couldn’t imagine when that would possibly be, but now I know.

Since the coin-throwing had worked so well for me the last time, it was our first stop on our trip to Rome last week.
Erica at the Trevi Fountain

Joe took this photo on his way to St. Peter’s Basilica.

While he was touring St. Peter’s and the Vatican, I captured Sophia dancing in front of the Colosseum.
Sophia at the Colosseum

And a few other photos: The Pieta by Michelangelo in St. Peter’s.
St. Peter's

The Pantheon.

Julien and I at Palatine Hill.
Erica and Julien at Palatine Hill

Category:General, Travel, Travel: Europe | Comments Off | Autor: Erica

Tour de France: Stage 2 – Monaco to Brignoles

Sunday, 12. July 2009 14:03

I didn’t get around to writing this post before we took a quick trip to Rome, but I wanted to document it on the blog anyways.

I picked up Joe’s Dad, Rick, and his wife, Leslie, from the airport last Sunday and we gave them the VIP Tour de France treatment. OK, not really, but after a quick stop at the house to drop off the bags and pick up our picnic lunch, we joined friends who had already staked out an area along the route.

No sooner had we arrived, than the publicity caravan came through the area.

Tour de France: Stage 2

We soon found that the best way to get all the loot that the caravan throws out is to have all of the cute kids in the front (although, admittedly, this is not their best shot. I think it was time for lunch.)

Tour de France: Stage 2

We also learned that the gendarmerie moves their officers along the race route via helicopter. Their landing pad was in the field right behind our spot. The kids were thrilled!

Tour de France: Stage 2

And then the racers came by so fast that I couldn’t get a picture that was in focus.

Tour de France: Stage 2

But, fortunately, Joe was in a better spot with a better camera.

Tour de France: Stage 2

Category:France, Travel: France | Comments Off | Autor: Erica

Tour de France: Monaco Prologue

Monday, 6. July 2009 15:09

We took the train into Monaco on Saturday for the Prologue time trial for the Tour de France.

Le Grand Depart.
Tour de France Prologue

Lance! In front of the Casino de Monte-Carlo.
Tour de France Prologue

Levi Leipheimer
Tour de France Prologue

George Hincapie
Tour de France Prologue

Category:France, Travel: France | Comments Off | Autor: Erica