Insanely stylish clothes and a dizzying array of cafés in Paris. Three-course meals for dinner, even casual ones. Locals drinking wine during lunch. An incredible array of cheese, wine, warm hearts and smiles.
Then, a cycling trip. Verdant pastures, rolling hills, countless vineyards, infinite cycling trails. Biking 275 kilometers in three days. A memorable dinner at a 16th century château, which everyone in our family agreed was the best ever (see photo up top).
This has been our holiday in France.
I don’t know if I’ve ever had a better vacation. France to me is at once an exotic location, something mentally out of reach for decades, and now that I’ve been here, it is a place I cherish very much.
Perhaps it was because it has been our first trip abroad as a family. Maybe it is because of the many new friendships we’ve made while here.
Or, perhaps, it is because we were immersed briefly in the urban culture of Paris, and then, enjoyed the countryside of the Loire. We saw two slices of France. And, we loved both.
Regardless, this has been a trip I will remember the rest of my life. We leave tomorrow, and here I am, blogging in the late afternoon at a café.
Thank you Joël, our Airbnb host in Paris. Thank you Gabrielle, Dan and Andreas, our Backroads cycling guides in the Loire region. Thank you to the Ames, Ick, Stone and Olson families, who were on our biking trip; you were so down to earth and such interesting and awesome people.
I am truly, deeply and insanely grateful for the numerous expressions of human kindness and joy.
And, thank you, France. I will be back. I leave you with this photo of Central Paris, which I photographed as we sauntered back from our last dinner in France.
A timeless photo. A great family vacation. Super-grateful.