Right after the school bell rang for the last time and school was out for the summer we started packing our bags and drove off the very next day to the French coast in Normandy.
We had booked a bungalow in a small holiday domain by 'Pierre et Vacances' in Houlgate. The cottage was quite spacious, but only because we had booked a 3 bedroom cottage for 8 people even though we were only 5 plus dog.
The surroundings of the cottages were great: well kept green areas and wonderful flowers, bushes and trees all around. The domain was a bit off the centre, but still feasible to walk to the beach, shops and restaurants (if you're not afraid of a steep return route).
The heated swimming pool was great and the kids have been to the pool daily.
Unfortunately the state of dilapidation and cleanliness of our cottage were not at the top. I immediately informed the receptionist of some things that were broken and the condition of the cottage. Unfortunately during our whole stay nobody took care of any of the listed points or repaired something. On the day of our departure I addressed to the same receptionist again. I also send an e-mail with pictures to the manager, but am still waiting for an answer . . . .
Strasbourg had already been on my bucket list for some time, and we've already been there with the boys years ago, but past December when I tried to organise a family trip it was impossible to find accommodation on short term notice for five person, so this idea was postponed . . . . until a few days ago.
I checked availabilities on internet past Friday, booked the hotel room on Saturday, got the train tickets on Monday and off we went to Strasbourg by Tuesday.
Sunday we had a bbq with friends and I spontaneously asked the Mother of two if she would like to join us on our short trip and after rapidly checking train fares and hotel availability, she agreed.
So on Tuesday morning two Moms and five kids got in a car and drove to the railway station to catch a train to Strasbourg.
In early July I had shared a blog post called 'kismet, my friend, it's kismet'.
This earlier post was about the beginning of a friendship between two mothers, two women.
It was about Yasmin and it was about me.
On June 16th, when Yasmin and I had met to chat and have a coffee in nearby town, she said that she would love to see Paris once before she'd die.
Ok, this blog entry comes late . . . very very late . . . I know !
First, it was on hold, because during the first subsequent weeks to this trip but I couldn't find the right motivation to write about it, and then it simply slipped out of my mind.
The positive thing about that: at least I didn't get upset anymore about this 'failed trip'.
Fortunately, from a distance now I would say 'it was a great trip - just as our family trips always are' !
I really hope you enjoy the nice pictures and the story of our latest trip to Paris.
I am restless . . .
I want to travel . . .
I want to move . . .
Following your dreams
keeps your spirit and soul alive.
There's a sports bar named belushi's just around the corner of hotel Hor, between Gare du Nord and Gare de l'Est in Paris, and if you go there early in the evening it's even fun to go with kids.
The were playing live music when we arrived, and the kids simply started to dance and enjoyed themselves.
Even on vacation I'm keeping up my pace.
There's all you need to be happy in Provence.
🎶🎶🎶 sur le pont d'Avignon, l'on y danse, l'on y danse;
Yes, we love to hike!
Today we've been visiting with the kids a hidden place called 'Demoiselles coiffées', located between Bédoin and Mont Ventoux.
We had spend a week in Provence last year with friends of ours and their kids in a house with pool in the Vaucluse department.
When I was in my early twenties, I went on a short trip to Normandy to refresh my childhood memories.
I vaguely remembered one or two family holidays we spent on the coast of Normandy, so one Friday after work, I got in my car and drove 560 km to Deauville.
On that particular weekend I fell in love with this region, and returned almost each year since.
After I met my present husband, we continued this tradition, until in 2007, the year before our eldest son was born.
We then had a break in our regular visits, and next time we visited Normandy was in spring of 2011, three weeks before Hannah was born.
We were so eager to get back to our beloved Normandy, which we did from April 10th to 18th.
We've been on a short trip to Paris and it was just marvelous again.
As past year, we've been traveling by train without any major problems.
One annoying point though with TGV train is that they're constantly overbooked, or at least each time we're on it.
You may think that this is not a big issue, but it's annoying and it is an security issue!
The aisles and exits have been so crowded with people and luggage, that it took a few minutes to crawl over and to get to the toilet. not to imagine the chaos and struggling in case of emergency ! Fortunately, we never had to deal with an emergency while traveling by train.