Thomas Jefferson asked himself, “In what country on earth would you rather live?” He first answered, “Certainly in my own where are all my friends my relations and the earliest and sweetest affections and recollections of my life.” But he continued, “which would be your second choice?” His answer, “France.”
Planning our summer travel usually begins soon after our Christmas tree comes down. Back in January, on a cold and blustery weekend, we were sitting around in sweaters and warm slippers busily clicking away at our laptops, dreaming of warm, sunny days exploring far off places! But where to go? Spain was a top contender for a few days, but the thought of sweating through two weeks in very hot weather nixed that idea. And then Prague, Vienna, Berlin and Amsterdam topped the list for a time…but that would involve a great deal of travel and we didn’t want to spend our two weeks on trains. We even dabbled with the notion of visiting the beautiful Croatian coast (Game of Thrones films scenes from Braavos and King’s Landing there). But after many discussions, a ton of research, revised itineraries and hours of watching Rick Steve’s travel shows, we decided that France was calling our name again. Unless you have been there, the only thing that I can say is that France has a certain Je ne sais quoi. It’s hard to put into words. There is so much to see, such great food to eat and the French are lovely and welcoming hosts. I’m sure we will eventually reach those other destinations…but for the Summer of 2017, France here we come!
As you may recall, last year, we visited the south of France including stays in Provence and the Côte d’Azur (French Riviera) and we were blown away by the absolute beauty of this part of the world. This summer, the plan is to explore the north west corner of France. After flying into Paris for a very quick visit, we will hop on a train and head to Rouen. From there, we will be seeing two places that have always been on my bucket list: the D Day beaches in Normandy and the mystical Mont Saint-Michel. The trip will then head South and continue in the Dordogne region where we plan to visit Lascaux to see the ancient cave art and then paddle down a lazy river admiring the towering hill towns set on the cliffs. Our trip will end in the Loire Valley, where we will visit jaw dropping chateaus built by French kings centuries ago.
Side Note: This year’s trip will be a bit different for us. We are no longer the Jones Trio. We are to be a duo this year. Our littlest co-traveler has decided that she’s seen enough of Europe for now and would rather spend the time in Virginia with my family. She’s ditching cathedrals and medieval towns for swimming pools and cookouts. So this year it’s adult-only, which will certainly change the dynamic of our travels. We will also be welcoming friends for the last leg of our journey, which is a first for us, and it should be a great time.
Join us for this year’s adventure, we leave on July 1st!