Saturday, January 26, 2019

Last Christmas

Since this was K's last Christmas in high school we decided to go big! She may want to stay home for the holidays when she is in college next year.
We decided to to to French Polynesia with a stop in California. Any stop in California requires at least one stop at In and Out Burger. In this case 2 stops because I had to bribe K to go back to the airport to look for my Kindle. We didn't find it so we had to make a Christmas Eve stop at the mall to buy books. She was a good sport.
We spent the first night at the Bay Club in Newport Beach and watched the boat parade. Actually, K watched tv and my friend Stacy and I watched the boat parade. The next night we moved up to Pelican Hill. We had a beautiful room with a fireplace and we relaxed and really enjoyed just hanging out. We went to Stacy's for Christmas Eve and had a great time. Wonderful food, singing and games. 
Christmas night we were off to Tahiti after Japanese BBQ.

Moorea was our first stop in French Polynesia. We had an over water villa that had a view of Tahiti.

Breakfast on our balcony.

On to another even more spectacular over water villa in Bora Bora.

Relaxation room after massages

Beautiful pool

Ray feeding

Coffee table in our room with top that slides off to feed the fish

These pictures do not do our room justice!

Breakfast delivered in a canoe.

Ceviche making lessons. So yummy!

We also went on a cruise that went to several smaller islands.

Lots of chickens on the grounds of hotel in Moorea

Several lizards lived in our room.

This is the extent of what there is to buy in French Polynesia. Every thing is imported. Food was very expensive and not great.

We spent the last night in Tahiti. This was a wedding that was spectacular. This picture does not do it just. The singing was beautiful.

Watching the sunset in the bar, K ordered milk and got a very strange look.

My download got jumbled. Moorea.

Bora Bora

A ride in the canoe while we were waiting for breakfast to be set up.

Final night in Tahiti.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

A Summer of Cable Cars and Hiking

This is long overdue! K is slogging through her senior year. College applications are finished and we are anxiously waiting. In the meantime, I need to catch up on this blog, so here is what we did over the summer. We looked at a lot of colleges but I really didn't take any pictures.

We went hiking in Italy, France and Switzerland with cousins and friends. We stopped in NYC for a couple of nights and then flew to London for a couple of nights. Then we flew to Zurich and took a train to a small town called Chur. The next day we took the Bernini Express to meet the group in Milan. The Bernini Express was scenic and pretty but pretty much like every other Swiss train we have been on. Is there is Swiss train that doesn't go through beautiful areas? Is there a part of Switzerland that isn't beautiful?

Meeting in Milan went smoothly. I actually had an afternoon to shop before everyone arrived! We picked up cars and headed into the mountains. Our first stop was Courmayeur, a beautiful and quaint mountain town. It is on the Italian side of Mont Blanc. 

Our next stop was Annecy for a start leg of the Tour de France. We stopped in Megeve for lunch but our friends decided to skip lunch and head to Annecy. It was a good thing because our 2 hotel rooms were really just one room with a wall. We stayed in Megeve. Had the best lunch ever! Found a charming hotel. Even better news, there is a new Four Seasons in Megeve. Had we known we would have stayed there but it was a bit out of the way. We did have an unbelievable sushi dinner there. 

Then it was on to Bourg St Maurice for a finish leg of the Tour de France. Another cable car ride to keep the kids entertained before the race. Our hotel room had a view of the hotel gardens. 

Then it was on to Chamonix on the French side of Mont Blanc.  Definitely a high point of the trip. Great food. There was a restaurant across the street from our hotel that had the best breakfast and bakery. We went up the Aiguille du Midi which was a very scary cable car ride. K and I braved The Void which was up even higher and we stepped into a glass box on the side on the mountain. It was very disorienting!

Next stop was Zermatt Switzerland. Our itinerary was a loop from Milan to Milan. We loved our hotel in Zermatt! We had traditional fondue and K ate lots of rosti. We went on a hike but did not have great weather that day but it was still fun!

Next stop was planes, trains and automobiles. We went to Mureen which can only be reached by cable car. It wasn't clear when the cable car stopped running so we were rushed and would have loved to have spent more time in Kandersteg where we stopped along the way. Turns out the Murren cable car runs until midnight. We took a cable car in Kandersteg and then hiked to a lake. It was a beautiful hike and we passed lots of cows and we rewarded with a yummy lunch. Really wanted to ride the mountain coaster but were afraid we would miss our cable car. Soit was on to Murren, nothing like dragging your luggage on a cable car and having to change cable cars to reach a car free village. It was worth the work! We had views of the Jungfrau and Eiger. We took a cable car (again!) up and hiked down with a stop for lunch.

 It was time to head back to Milan but we broke the trip up with a stop in Ascona on Lake Maggiore. Our hotel had beautiful lake views and the kids were happy because there was a pool. The following day on the way to Milan we stopped in Como for a boat tour of the lake, drinks at the Villa d'Este and dinner.  Great way to end the trip!

Then is was time to say good bye. K and I flew to Naples and went to Capri for a week for some R and R (after all that hiking!) We ate, we shopped, we ate, we lounged in the sun, we had dinner with a fabulous view of the blood moon, we shopped some more and ate some more. Loved our hotel!!!!