View all posts filed under 'Travel: France'


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

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

At The Beach

Sunday, 24. May 2009 17:12

Sophia gathered her beach toys, bathing suit and sunscreen into her bag on Wednesday and announced, “We need to go to the beach!”

Mind you, I had no plans to go to the beach that day, but she followed me all day long asking when we would be leaving.

Me: Well, first we have to pick Julien up from the crêche, and then we need to take a nap.

Sophia: And then we’ll go to the beach!?!

Me: Then we’ll wait for Dad to come home…

Sophia: And we’ll watch him play computer games!?!

Me: Yes, you can watch him play computer games.

Sophia: And then we can go to the beach!?!

Me: And then I think it will be time to go to sleep.

Sophia: And then when we wake up, we can go to the beach!

This was a four-day weekend for Joe, so we were able to hit the beach on Friday. A few pics:
At The Beach

At The Beach


Every time that we went to the beach last year, Sophia would only touch the water if she was with one of us. As we would walk deeper into the water, she would cling on harder and climb higher onto whoever was holding her. This year, she really wanted to swim and, while also accompanied by one of us, she was very excited to be in the water and swimming around.

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

Ile de Porquerolles

Wednesday, 6. May 2009 15:58

So what happened to days 9 and 10 of Les Vacances? Well, Day 9 wasn’t very exciting — the kids ran through the laundry as I was putting it up on the line and then we took a much needed trip to the grocery store. That, of course, was exciting, but not in the “I should put this on my blog” sort of way.

Day 10 was actually a holiday here in France. La Fête du Travail (Labor Day). We decided to spend the day at the Ile de Proquerolles. We drove to Hyères and then took a ferry to the island. From there we hiked to the lighthouse (which was closed to the public) and explored some of the trails around the cliffs.

Lighthouse at Ile de Porquerolles

Ile de Porquerolles

The island has some great beaches (which we didn’t go to) and a botanical garden highlighting plants from the Mediterranean. It was a lovely day.

Sophia & Julien

If we ever go back to the Ile de Porquerolles, I think that we’d plan to stay the night. While we enjoyed our hike, it would have been nice to also explore some of the other things — like the beaches — that the island has to offer.

Category:France, Travel, Travel: France | Comment (0) | Autor: Erica

The Brownies

Sunday, 19. April 2009 14:01

I made the brownies for Sophia’s school party on Thursday night. Unfortunately, they didn’t turn out quite as I had planned them. They were simple enough to put together, but they just wouldn’t cook! They were in the oven for almost twice as long as the recipe had called for and still were just goo in the center. The top looked perfect and the sides were good, but the center was goo.

I wasn’t overly concerned because I had made a rather large batch and the teacher had asked me to bring a small cake. I figured that I could give her the outsides of the pan and that they’d still have enough. I was also pretty sure that while French children may not eat anything blue, they’d probably eat chocolate goo.

I’ve had this happen a couple of times where I tried a new baking recipe here and it just won’t cook. I don’t know if it’s the difference in the flour that you get here (although the flour that I’ve been using is supposed to be pretty similar to what you get in the US) or if I used the wrong chocolate, or what. Quite frustrating. Although, I do think that the last time I made brownies — it’s been a really long time — may have been from a box.

So, Friday morning, I put the brownies onto paper plates to take to school and I went to help Sophia get dressed. A short while later I find Julien walking out of the kitchen, paper plate in hand and chocolate crumbs all over his mouth! I ran into the kitchen to find Jesse licking at a brownie on the floor! I was still able to put a plate together for Sophia’s class. It was just a little smaller than I had planned!

Category:France, Sophia, Travel, Travel: France | Comment (0) | Autor: Erica