ED trip report
We arrived home late last week and I just wanted to post a few pictures of our trip. We spent about 3 weeks there with most of time in France. We learned to travel with a 5 and 7 year old and we know of a playground in almost every city that we visited.
We picked up the car on June 13th and Rolf picked us up in a 135i. Wow what a pocket rocket. I was a bit concerned that it wouldn't fit all our luggages, but amazingly, it did.
We arrived at the Delivery Center and it was packed. I gave the receptionist my paperwork and also asked that the anti-theft bolts be placed on the car. She said that it would take a bit longer and it did, about an hour and a half. But with Rolf as company and my 5 year old son playing with the other kids, it was not that bad.
Ernest was my Delivery Specialist and given all the people that were there that day, I didn't want to take up too much time. Just the basics and since we only had Premium and Sport with heated seats, iPod, and HD radio, things were not too complicated.
We drove to the ADAC to pick up our vignettes and vest. On the way, my son fell asleep and after trying a few places to park, I ended up at the Chinese Turm. I used the extra time to wax the car.
We picked up my wife and daughter the next day and we were off to Neuschwanstein. The first place we stopped for lunch after picking them up was of all places a Burger King. Go figure.
We only had one night there, but we had a great time. Since my wife and I are runners, we did runs in the area. I did a run up to Marienbrucke and it was great!
After the castle visit we had to drive to Lake Maggiore for one night. Of course there was pouring rain as we drove through the Graubrunden region. The car handled flawlessly. We only had one night at the Ascona. Had a half-board arrangement and had a nice meal at the Hotel Arancio. The weather was much better the next day and had a nice drive along the lake to Verbania for lunch. Then we had to dash to Nice for our first house rental.
Hit traffic along the Liguria area and tried to go through the towns. Big mistake. We did have a GPS system on my laptop and that helped with getting us around the traffic. We made it to the house around 730pm and it was located in the hills behind Nice. It had a nice view of the sea and of the mountains behind it. Okay, we stop in the France's version of a Walmart for groceries and it had everything. Meaning. it had pate, awesome bread and cheese, pre-made dinners, awesome wines (and cheap), and cheap Evian. We had awesome Rose wine.
What can I say about the South of France. It is hedonistic. We spent Father's Day at a beach on Cap d'Antibes and when it started to pour we went into Antibes for lunch. It was a great day.
Spent the week exploring the coast including the island, St. Marguerite off of Cannes. If you are a runner, one can do amazing runs in this area. I did a 6 mile loop on the island and you would see the most amazing views. The Man in the Iron Mask was suppose to have been held there.
I am a novice Marathoner and Triathlete and the Ironman France was being held in Nice that weekend. Man, there were some buffed people there.
The highlight of our week in Nice was the Foundation Maeght. We had arrived early and there were very few people there. The first part is a big garden with sculptures by Juan Miro and others. We saw a child touching the works and thought that it was okay. Our kids started going up and touching and climbing on the works. Others did too. Only later we found out that the child was blind and they were allowing her special privilege to touch these priceless works of art.
Driving in the South of France is hairy, but I think that by having a BMW we were given some courtesy. We were driving back from VilleFranche and were detoured from the main road. It was the Mother of all Traffic Jams. The cars were very courteous to us. I did have to drive aggressive though.
We were sad to leave the South of France, mostly because we didn't know how crappy the weather was in the rest of France. We made it to Lyon to visit friends and after a night with them we made it to Meursault in Burgundy for our second week in a rental house. Burgundy was a nice change from the hectic pace of Nice. There wasn't as much to do and we spent quite a bit of time wine tasting and lounging. The scenery was beautiful and every other morning, I would get up and go for an hour run along some of the most expensive grape vineyards in the world. The only other people up at that hour were wine growers.
It was a much more relaxing week and after that we spent 5 days in Paris. Our digital camera went out on us and we had to revert to our film cameras. What can I say about Paris. This was my 5th time there and it still amazes me. We did amazing runs along the Seine and up to Montmartre. It's crowded, crazy and too expensive, but it is what it is. We had a great time at Street Markets, seeing the sights, and we stayed near the Eiffel Tower which was great for kids.
Sorry for the long story. The pictures are a little out of sequence.
The attached photos are:
1. Obligatory picture of the car at the Delivery Center
2. Obligatory picture of the Castle from Marienbrucke
3. Our hotel in Ascona on Lake Maggiore
4. Picture of the terrace of our house in Nice
5. Old Nice
6. Ladder rope in playground in Nice. It was great, but what happens if a kid falls?
7. Car in Burgundy
8. Car in front of Wine tasting Caveau
9. Car in front of Chateau Sully
10.Can you say whose is bigger? Monaco.
11.View from the back porch in our house in Burgundy.