Posts Tagged ‘france’

Vacation Day 10 – Cannes, France

August 1st, 2011 No comments

Another famous area on the French Riviera…Cannes. We walked from our hotel in Nice to the train station where we then took a train to Cannes. The kids really enjoyed riding the train and kept switching seats…good thing it wasn’t crowded.

When we got to Cannes we headed towards the beach so we could walk along the Promenade de la Croisette. More specifically we went to the Carlton Hotel.

350 - 5,000 EUROS for the night

Another thing that Cannes is famous for is the International Film Festival…so that was our next stop.

Cannes International Film Festival located behind us...we were there a month too soon

And the last thing that we really wanted to see in Cannes was The Île Sainte-Marguerite. The island is most famous for its fortress prison (the Fort Royal), in which the so-called Man in the Iron Mask was held in the 17th century.

The island is approximately 3km in length (East to West) and 900m across.

Museum of the Sea & prison where the man of the iron mask was held

And to finish our time in Cannes we walked around and enjoyed the scenery and sights.

Sandy beaches in Cannes...and this sand sculpture was pretty cool

Jedi Master Kalani

More photos of Cannes

Vacation Day 9 – Nice, France

August 1st, 2011 7 comments

We stayed at a Hotel in Nice, near the French Riviera for 3 nights. Again, the French Riviera was a place that I had heard about, but never thought that I would visit. We spent a whole day just enjoying Nice and it was nice!

Seafront of the city

A park above the city with cool features and a playground for the kids

War Memorial

We rode this train to see the sights and hear information about Nice...and no one had to carry a sleeping child

These two brave the cold and got in the water...they stayed there for a couple of hours

No sand to bury his sister he used rocks (the only thing on the shores of Nice)

More photos of Nice

Vacation Day 3 – Grignan & Grenoble, France

May 14th, 2011 1 comment

One of the coolest parts of our European vacation was sleeping at different locations. Matt chose some places that are off the beaten path…like Grignan, France. He found this AWESOME Bed & Breakfast at the base of a castle. We stayed at “La Demeure du Chateau.” It felt a bit like a castle itself and had some incredible views.

View from our bedroom

glass bridge in our family suite

Walking up to the Grignan castle...short distance from our B&B

Rebel on top of someone's roof...they shouldn't have their roof the same height at the street!

Ninja on the roof...glad he didn't fall through

Farley family in Grignan, France

After walking around and maneuvering through the narrow streets of Grignan we loaded back up in the car and headed to Grenoble…2 hours away. I must say that everyone did very well in the car, and we spent a lot of time driving to different cities. With an iPad, Android tablet, laptop, cell phone games, music and beautiful scenery we were all entertained in some form. Matt had the brilliant idea to bring our car charger that has an American outlet and a power strip. We were able to charge many devises all at the same time and keep everyone happy.

We didn't have to worry about a converter with this set-up

We had beautiful weather in Grenoble. The city is surrounded by mountains and is known in France as the “Capital of the Alps.” We parked at the plaza and got some lunch and ate on the grass near a fountain with mountains all around us.

The kids liked playing in the water after they ate

We walked to a great tourist spot called the Bastille. But in order to get there, you need to ride in the “Grenoble-Bastille Cable Car”. At the top you can look out over the city and stand in awe of the mountains that are all around you. From the top we could see the arena that was built for the Olympic Games in 1968. This was the city where Peggy Fleming won gold in figure skating!

Europeans lay around when the sun comes out

Egg-shaped cable cars known to locals as "Les Bulles"

View of Grenoble and the Isère River from the Bastille

On our walk back to the car we stopped at a park so the kids could play before we stuck them back in the car for another 90 minutes before we reached our next destination…Geneva, Switzerland!

More photos of Grignan and Grenoble

Vacation Day 2 – Toulouse & Carcassonne, France

May 13th, 2011 1 comment

After a good nights sleep, we were ready to explore Toulouse. Our first tourist spot was the Church of Les Jacobins. It was just at the end of the street that our hotel was located, so it was a short walk.

The Church of Jacobins is the burial grounds for Saint Thomas Aquinas

Cool mirror around a pillar in the Church of Jacobins

Beautiful stain glass windows all around the church

Our next stop was the Saint-Sernin basilica (the largest romanesque church in Europe). The floor plan is in the shape of a cross and it had parts that dated back to the 4th century. But most were from the 11th & 12th century.

This Romanesque building is considered to be the biggest in the western world

Toulouse has the 3rd largest university in all of France. So we saw many college students walking and riding their bikes or scooters. We let the kids run around in front of the Capitole de Toulouse a bit after they had to be quiet inside the churches and before we drove an hour to Carcassonne. Our first place to visit in Carcassonne was the castle.

Farleys in the front with our castle in the back

This castle was not like any other castle that I had visited. There was an outer defense wall with a mote around it and then a whole town inside. There were lodges and stores all along the street until you got to the actual castle. There was also a cathedral within the walls of this fortress where some priests were singing and they sounded amazing.

Map of the Carcassonne castle

After walking to and from the castle, we were all ready to have some lunch. We found the plaza and devoured our sandwiches and then let the kids run around and enjoy their time in Carcassonne.

This is how Mason enjoyed spending his time

We all loaded up in our car again and headed for our next location (3 hours away), Grignan, France

See more photos of Toulouse and Carcassonne

Europe Vacation

May 6th, 2011 No comments

Last summer we watched a movie where someone from the UK swaps homes with someone from the states. So, Matt looked at different sites on the internet where people swap homes for a vacation. He found that people who have amazing homes in Europe want to swap with people in the states. Well, that started him thinking that we need to go to Europe before Mason turns 2 so we don’t have to pay airfare for him…or at lease not a full fare. And thus began our 2 week vacation/road trip in Europe. We didn’t actually swap homes with people, but chose to stay at hotels, Bed & Breakfast and a friend’s apartment.

Matt took care of all the planning and booking and just EVERYTHING which was so nice. We also had my single brother and Matt’s single sister join us. 4 adults and 2 kids together for 2 weeks…good thing we love each other!


Our schedule for Europe

These cities are in Spain, France, Switzerland & Italy. Roughly about 2,000 miles of driving that Matt had to do since none of us wanted to drive a manual car in Europe where the roads are more narrow and there are roundabouts that are tricky to get the hang of.

Our driving route for 2 weeks

My job was to pack our suitcase. The cars in Europe are smaller and they don’t really understand trunk space. So, we knew that we had to fit everything for 4 people in 1 suitcase. I faced the challenge and passed with flying colors!

Everything for 4 people for 2 weeks

There was lots of driving and lots of walking. We didn’t bring a stroller because we knew there would be space issues in the car. Plus we had 4 adults to carry the not quite 2 year old Mason. I think that I could beat most people in an arm wrestling contest after holding that 30 pound boy most of the trip. By the end of the trip Mason was asking to ride on our “head” and of course Kalani wanted a ride too.

How we walked around the cities

It was a fun vacation and I saw things that I never dreamed that I would be able to see. Now to blog about all the cities/countries that we visited!

The 6 Super Cool Party People