First, let me tell you, I have been really looking forward to this vacation.
Getting Ben away from his million-hour-per-week job, even if he did check his phone on a regular basis.
Getting the kids away from the television and into water that did not come spurting out of a sprinkler.
Heat. Mountains. The Mediterranean Sea.
But first we had to get there, and that meant a long, long drive.
We headed south for hours and hours and hours, finally stopping for the night a little south of Lyon at a very nice, family run hotel. With no air conditioning. Which turned out to be a sign of things to come.
Here we had our first rosé wine of the trip, E made friends with a boy named Tristan and we learned from another visitor that we should brush up on our Russian if we intend to spend any time in the French Riviera. Evidently it’s a favorite vacation spot for them. The kids also made friends with the resident dog, another recurring theme.
Day two started out with breakfast by the pool, a quick dip for the kids, then back in the car for several hours of mountain driving.
I can now say I’ve driven through the Alps in both winter and summer and I have to say I prefer summer. Warm, dry, green. Beautiful.
We knew we were getting closer when we could hear a constant buzzing outside… the famous crickets, which are actually cicadas, of the south of France. Up and down a few more mountains and we finally got to our non-air-conditioned house. What is it with Europe? I mean, air conditioning has existed for decades. It’s not new technology. Come on people.
But I digress.
And actually there was air conditioning. In one room.
Guess what the house did have. Besides beautiful views, those south-of-france blue shutters, olive trees, and a petanque court. A pool! Which is where we spent every at home moment.
The kids (and Ben) have all decided that we need to have a pool. I agree.
So the reason we drove and drove and drove was for a beach vacation.
The closest beach south was Saint Raphael. Beautiful blue-green, super warm water. Crowded, but that was to be expected. The kids were thrilled to be back at a beach. We spent the day getting salty and sandy, which would happen again and again.
And so our adventure would continue…