i have so many pictures to share from our epic post-lockdown, pre-twins euro road trip!
after we made the heartbreaking decision to not go back to the states to see family this summer, and after parts of europe “opened” for non-essential travelers, we wrestled with different plans until we came up with something that felt responsible and sensible for a summer travel adventure before our family grows and changes a lot. we ended up driving over three thousand miles (which meant more than sixty hours in our rental car!) and made seven stops around france and italy. we spent 90+% of our time outdoors and very distanced from other humans, appreciated the cautious measures taken by airbnb, and used a lot of masks and hand sanitizer. we made plans along the way, relished in so much incredible, diverse god-made and man-made beauty, and were so revitalized as a family (while hoping to do a little good in revitalizing businesses dependent on tourism). it was a wild and awesome adventure that i’m so glad we were able to take before our twins arrive!
after some drama first thing when we discovered our rental car’s back window had been smashed in and my camera stolen (so sad!), we arranged for a different car and then drove onto the eurotunnel train under the english channel into france. then for the duration of our trip ian was a total champ driving a car with a right-side steering wheel in countries with right-side driving! we drove to a little town outside of paris and near giverny and immediately were thrilled with the charm of france (this trip transformed me into a full-on, bona-fide francophile – I think france is my favourite country in the world!). we got some pizza for dinner and ate it on the steps of the town hall overlooking the cathedral.
the next morning we went to monet’s gardens! i had been there before with my mom and sisters when i was thirteen, but it was so fun to go back, especially after teaching moses a bit about claude monet (that started a year prior when we went to the orangerie museum in paris). this place is not particularly child-friendly, especially with added visiting guidelines due to covid, but we all four loved seeing the waterlilies, bridges, flowers, and house.
the yellow dining room and tiled blue kitchen (with its copper pots) may have been my favourite part!
we strolled through the town of giverny and found a field of yellow flowers to get all kinds of wiggles out before we headed off to our second road-trip stop.