Friday, August 14, 2015

Preview: What We Did on Our Holiday

Now that we're back home I'm taking the time to settle down. MR, on the other hand, went straight to work the next day. I'm not starting work until next week, so I've been washing our clothes, cleaning the house, and setting a new rhythm. In between chores, I like to look at the photos of our trip, 1500+ of them. I can't help but smile at all the things we did. Some people think we're crazy to have done so much in such little time, but we disagree. While most of our friends and family look forward to the summer break to go somewhere, drop everything, and just relax for 1 or 2 weeks - we explored. Something new almost every day - a region, a specialty, a landmark, an activity and we loved it! 

So before I start writing individual posts of what we did, I thought I would do a little preview.
Here it is:

We live in the east of France and heading down to the south of France proved to be quite lengthy. I tried to rest every 2 and a half hours in resting areas on the highway. If you're driving on the highway, the Resting Area or Aire de Repos are clearly indicated on the side of the road. The signs also let you know if there is or not a gasoline station, a restaurant, toilets, and a children's playground.

First stop: Valence
We stayed overnight in a hotel and enjoyed walking in the city center.

Second stop: Musée Haribo / Haribo Museum
Our first surprise for our daughter, SO.

Third Stop: Pont du Gard
Seeing the bridge was a jaw-dropping moment.

Fourth Stop: Le Barcares
We stayed one week in Le Barcares. To me, the sight of the palm trees confirmed that it was vacation time!

During our week-stay, we enjoyed the swimming pool.

But most importantly, the beach too. The best moment - our afternoon family siestas right on the beach!

We were able to watch some local shows.

As well as the fishermen bringing in their catch of the day.

At night, we cooled off in Luna Park.

We couldn't get enough of the street markets and discovering the local goods.

I made sure we ate fresh fish and seafood as much as possible.

Otherwise, we enjoyed plates and plates of Paella.

On days where the sun was shining hard and we felt too hot, we cooled down with ice cream.

One night, my cousin came over ith her family and they brought a local specialty, the Fougasse. Yummy!

Fifth stop: Marineland
We took one day off to go to Spain. Marineland was our birthday surprise for SO. She got to touch a dolphin for the first time!

Sixth stop: Lourdes
This stop was mostly in honor of our loved ones who are gone - my parents and my mother-in-law. But it also helped us renew our faith.

Seventh stop: Carcassonne
This medieval city was another thing we were able to tick off our bucket list.

Eighth stop: Albi
The family stop. We stayed 2 days with my dad's brother and his wife. They welcomed us with open arms and introduced us to the city of Albi.

Next is where the rest of the trip changed. Although it was disappointing and stressing at the time, we didn't let our misfortune ruin our moods. I've noticed that every time things are going too good, something bad happens. The story of my life. I like to think these obstacles happen to test my faith and strength.

Ninth stop: Saint Flour
Unexpected overnight stay.

Tenth and final stop: Paris
Never in my wildest dreams did I think that we would end our summer vacation in the capital, but we did. Naturally, I stopped by my favorite coffee shop aka making the most of the situation.

So there it is - our 2000+ kilometers travels to the south of France and back. The individual blog posts will be coming up next with more detailed information. Enjoy!


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