In my first installment of an occasional series called "Talking Story", we had just returned from the sunny, slow, and seductive North Shore of Oahu. The pace of life picked up dramatically upon our return home; barreling through the end of junior year, middle school, SAT testing, and my speaking engagement at BlogHerFood. Not surprisingly, no time was left to plan a summer getaway.
As the kids’ summer activity calendar percolated with fun, the week of July 4 finally popped up as our big chance to have a last-minute warm weather getaway. With little time to plan, we thought we’d get in the car and enjoy the beauty of our home state and see what part of the coastline would capture our fancy.
Then @dormantchef informed us of another business trip to the South of France leaving on July 8, forcing what might be an abrupt end to our little getaway. With a twinkle in my eye and only half-serious, I suggested that perhaps we should accompany him on this trip…maybe our remaining airline miles might cover three flights. Not really believing they would, we logged on and took a quick look and well, the rest is now travel history.
Booking the flights was not an easy feat, but little did I know how heroic one must be to find a place to stay in Paris with just over a week’s notice, in July, for four people that need three beds. (and who are travelling on a budget). With the help of many friends including Mardi of eatlivetravelwrite.com, Cathy of MrsWheelbarrow.com, and a former co-worker, we found an apartment in the 18th that could just squeeze four people, booked through a lovely rental agency called Paris Rentals by Ruben.
With the rest of the arrangements organized by @dormantchef’s French office, all that was left was packing and the myriad logistical details that always precede time away from a very hectic household.
It was not our first trip to Paris with the kids but it would be our first time in the south of France. We decided on four nights in Paris and five nights in Aix-en-Provence – a central location for exploring the hill towns and magnificent Cote d’Azur as well as the home base for many of @dormantchef’s business meetings.
Our hope for this visit to Paris was to explore the streets of different areas and expose the kids to more of a food-loving perspective of the city. When last we visited we explored mostly major tourist attractions and the kids frequently stayed back in the apartment for evening meals, missing out on many outstanding food experiences, (for which they have never really forgiven us – the downside of raising kids with an affinity for eating fabulous food).
Though we barely scratched the surface of the food and culture of Paris and the South of France in the short time we were there, in upcoming posts I will share my perspective on what we did discover in our search for pastries, chocolate, great restaurants, food markets and more. I hope you’ll follow along for all the installments of our Frantically Fantastic French vacation.
Have you ever planned a last-minute vacation (an oxymoron?) How did it turn out? Would you do it again?