The end of my daughter’s month long French immersion program in Nice was the beginning of our vacation together. I took this opportunity to have my daughter all to myself for some much needed mother-daughter bonding, after an arduous year in the Real Estate Trenches of short sales and foreclosures. A little adventure was just what the doctor ordered and I returned refreshed and ready to delve into the business once again.
Two weeks driving through Europe with my daughter provided an ever changing scenery and ample opportunities for exploration. From Nice we took one of the most scenic drives on Earth, that stretch of road through the mountains on the way to Monaco, where beautiful vistas beckon to be photographed. Monte Carlo is every bit as “high end” and exclusive as it is in the movies, with the fanciest cars I’ve even seen in my life. Italy was next, with several wonderful visits: Pisa, Cecina, Florence, Venice, Verona. The Italians are amazingly nice and pleasant and I must confess, quite easy on the eyes, as well. The architecture and landscapes are simply breathtaking.
Our planned visit to Innsbruck, Austria, did not pan out due to some horrible weather, so we just drove through it, promising to return again. By the time we arrived in Munich, Germany, we had enough respite from the rain to visit the Olympic Village and view this lovely city from atop the Olympic tower. Our next stop was Saarbrucken, a charming German town on the border with France, where we visited my mom’s best friend. The last time I saw her, my Amanda was only three years old. You can imagine the surprise when she saw my now 17 year old daughter. It was a wonderful visit, for which I am very grateful.
Our next stop was Paris, which is only a four hour drive from Saarbrucken. Although I have been to France on several occasions, this was my very first visit to Paris. What can I say about it? Majestic, brilliant, extraordinary, amazing, beautiful, inspiring… there are not enough adjectives to describe Paris, a city like no other on Earth. By the time we were done with Paris and its outskirts (Versailles and Fontainebleau), we were ready for a relaxing couple of days on the French Riviera, but not before spending the day in Grenoble, a charming city in the French Alps I had visited with my son Alex six years earlier.
I will post more blogs documenting my journey for those of you who wish to go someday and for those who have already been and would like to reminisce. If you wish to have some meaningful one on one time with a son or daughter, I strongly recommend a trip through Europe together. It is a great opportunity to spend time together on neutral turf, without cell phones, texting and a hundred other distractions. Knowing where your child is emotionally is worth every penny such a trip would cost…
Happy Trails! Life is short; enjoy it!
(*note: please run the mouse over each picture for an explanation of the location)