Well, it’s now 2019 and we got home from our trip in June 2018 so 8 months later I am getting time to post about our first overseas adventure. I feel like my motto for this blog should be “better late than never”. But after talking to a friend recently about their upcoming trip to Europe I realized that there were way too many amazing memories made on this trip to not document. So later in their lives, if the kids want to come back to this little blog and see how they experienced Europe through my eyes, they will have it and if I can inspire at least one family to travel by sharing our adventures then that’s an added bonus.
So, let’s get started then.
I look back at these pictures from our first trip overseas and it still seems like a dream. We had been talking about traveling to Europe since we met. Traveling was always a priority for us and once we had kids that didn’t change. It slowed us down for a bit but once the kids were at an age that we, Graham and I, were comfortable traveling with them, we took off and we didn’t slow down. We like to say that we were training them for overseas travel and I am so glad that we built up to the length of this trip with many long trips in the US. We traveled for 7 weeks; visiting France, Italy, Switzerland, England, and Scotland. It was amazing and exhausting at the same time.
Our first stop was the beautiful, little, car-free village of Mougins, France. I wasn’t sure what to expect because I didn’t know a lot about Mougins but when we arrived I knew it was the perfect place to start our trip. Picasso spent the last 12 years of his life living there and many other artist spent time in this quaint village. You could see the artistic influence everywhere.
The kids settled in quickly and sketched under this tree everyday. You could walk down any alley and find an artist’s studio or a gallery. We loved being immersed in art everywhere we turned. And good food. And croissants.
Mougins is only 15 minutes from Cannes and about an hour from St. Tropez so we made sure to visit both beaches. In my humble opinion, St Tropez is absolutely beautiful with its bright blue water but it also can be a bit pricey. Cannes was a shorter trip and we parked along the road at a public beach and the kids had a ball. We bought snacks at one of the street vendors and everyone was happy. Both are nice beaches, it just depends on the type of experience you are looking for.
One of my favorite days was when we drove to Gorges du Verdon, also known as France’s Grand Canyon. The water in the picture is actually that color. It’s absolutely beautiful and unreal. The weather this day wasn’t optimal, raining off and on, so we didn’t get to hike but we drove around and stopped at various lookout points and got some chocolate croissants at a little cafe.
Isn’t it gorgeous? Pictures cannot do it justice. The turquoise river running through the huge limestone cliffs, I couldn’t have imagined seeing something this beautiful.
Somehow we ended up taking a road less traveled and found ourselves at this portion of the river where we could get out and play for a little while until the rain started again.
Mougins was the perfect introduction to France.