Friday, June 29, 2007

Sorry for the lack of updates!

We've been distracted by the large pool out back of our hotel, and all the family around. We're having a wonderful time in Toledo, Spain. But to catch you all up....

From Mt. Blanc, we went into Switzerland, in search of more Alps. Had the opportunity to climb to the 'Highest Point in Europe', but the weather didn't cooperate. So we rode cable cars, the longest gondola in Europe, and trains. We also got to luge. The kids had a blast with what we called our Transportation Day.

From there, we drove a looong way, back to our beloved France, to where Van Gogh painted his Sunflowers, and also cut off his ear. Any ideas? Then back to Nimes, since we needed one more day in the area, to see another of my mother's favorite cities. This city is made famous by a nursery rhyme. It's another famous walled city.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

The Experience of a Lifetime

So yesterday we climbed to the top of Mt. Blanc. Or rather took a funicular. Since MB is the tallest peak in the European Alps, we only have credit for hiking in an alpine meadow. We let someone else do all the work. It was amazing. My pictures look like I've posed the kids in front of a backdrop. Today we're off to the Berner Oberland, for more meadows, and some real hiking.

The Lion King arrived safely, albeit a bit tardy, thankfully. And Small Bug graciously awakened and vomited just as we were arriving at the airport, so I found the closest place to park, near the terminal, and entreated a police officer for a 'bano', to clean her and the car/carseat/all targeted objects up. And did you know, it took just long enough for The Lion King's plane to come in? I coached the kids to say "Mama limpia!' It was all good.

We set off for the French city with the most Roman ruins, toured the longest-standing arena and temple, and then, since the hostel didn't have room for the night, took off for the edge of France. (An hour away from Mt. Blanc, on a lake.) Any ideas?

See you on the other side!

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Laundry Day and Find-the-Floor in the Car

In preparation for the Lion King's arrival tomorrow! Yea! My kids wanted a down day today, other than scoping out daggers and other Medieval weaponry that we don't have room for. But they can dream, right? Tomorrow, we are up at 7 am, to drive to Barcelona to get the Lion King. Then we turn right around, and retrace our steps back to France, and lots of Roman ruins. We're heading for a famous arena, and the longest surviving aquaduct. Any ideas? Then after that, off to Mont Blanc, and France's City on Water.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Especially for My Mother

We are in Carcassone, the Medieval walled city. It is my Mom's favorite, of that variety. The boys are in 7th heaven. We have stomped around all 3K of the ramparts, with the kids going 'Oh Cool!' every 2 seconds. We are on the way South, to meet the Lion King, who leaves tomorrow morning at some hour that no normal person should be required to be awake. He will arrive Sunday morning. We can't wait. Then we're off to the French Alps, and then the Swiss. I'll post clues later. For now, I'm tired. I went off by myself tonight, after the kids had eaten dinner, and had dinner. It was fantastic. The regional specialty is cassoulet, with duck drumstick, sausage, and beans. It's a great winter meal I need to try to make. Of course, I can't duplicate the effect of sitting on the terrace of a restaurant in Carcassone......

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Wish You Were Here...

The children and I are lolling on the Italian Riviera, eating pasta and gelato, and reveling in the beautiful blue Mediterranean. We saw our artists, left for the '5 Lands', and boy, what a drive that was! Now we're staying in an amazing castle for the night. Any ideas where we've been?

The hostel there was an old house built sometime in the 18th century. The kind lady running it put us up on the 2nd floor-which is our 3rd floor. My children assure me there were 55 steps, in a grand square around the hall, which went the whole way up. I'd rather not know that, thanks. And the room was amazing. The only one on the floor with a beautiful balcony, overlooking the garden and the Mediterranean. It's a tough life we're leading. There also was an awesome laundromat down the street. Small things to be very grateful for. I dumped the children in the sea, and did every single stitch of laundry. God is good.

We had lunch in a cute little town- we have discovered focacciarias. Yum! And of course, gelato, at least once a day, and twice when the Cubs can negotiate for it. We then went on to the last town of the 5, and found a beautiful beach. The Cubs are loving it. Driving back was interesting though- lots of twisting roads!

Tonight, we have started back toward France, to meet The Lion King on Sunday. We are staying in an amazing hostel, which is in a castle. The Cubs wanted a room in the tower, but I didn't want to hike to the bathroom! For those following us vicariously, we are in 'The End of Liguria'.


Saturday, June 9, 2007

No, we haven't fallen off the face of the earth...

Although it may seem like it! We made it through Germany, and into Italy. Clues for where we've been- First of all the 'Land' my boys enjoy so much, which has been a highlight of the trip is outside Nuernberg. So is the medieval town with the walls. Then we went to see Mad King Ludwig's only finished castle, where he lived for 2 weeks every month. Any ideas? We also hiked in the Austrian Tirol, while staying near MKL's other, more famous castle. Then we went onto the City of Canals. We had the most incredible experience there-riding a boat at sunset, with fabulous architecture, eating gelato......

Today, we left our city on the water, and travelled to a famous city with lots of Renaissance Art. Someone please tell Lela my young son came through again, with his mouthful of artists. Tomorrow, we tour the Italian countryside, and then to '5 lands'. More later, as we work our way back to Barcelona, to meet the Lion King on Sunday. If you see him Tuesday, wish him happy birthday.

Hannah, Meaghan has your trip all planned out...