Jeffery, Ella, my parents, and I traveled to France for two weeks to watch the Women’s World Cup finals in Lyon. It started with jetlag, and a level of exhaustion I had forgotten existed. And also a heat wave and accommodations so awful that we hightailed it out of there, foregoing a refund. Our first stop was Brison-Saint-Innocent, a small village outside Aix-les-Bains on Lac du Bourget. We stayed on the converted third floor of a beautiful old home with an indoor pool and kittens in the basement. Our hosts had three little kids, and many of their outgrown toys were stored in our bedroom—the toy fire truck and Calico Critters were particularly invaluable at 3 a.m. when our girl was up for the day. We spent one afternoon at that big beautiful lake and another one driving around it, before heading to the Alps.
We stopped for lunch, some play time, and window shopping in Annecy—a beautiful medieval town with canals and bridges—before driving to Servoz. Our airbnb in the French Alps was probably the most beautiful place I have ever been, with an incredible view of Mont Blanc. Our hosts were master gardeners—and they brought us warm croissants on Sunday morning—plus there was a trampoline and a swing on the premises so our girl was a happy clam. We spent a morning in Chamonix, an evening at Lake Vert, and a day at Lac de Passy. With cooler weather and scenic views, we were in heaven. We ate a lot of picnics from the local market—paté sandwiches with lots of fresh mache (a delicate salad green)—but the last night we were there, Jeffery and my dad cooked a variation of coq au vin (chicken in wine, with tomatoes and veggies) and it was one of the most delicious meals I have ever eaten. A memorable end to a wonderful stay in Servoz. My dad snapped some photos of my little family in the garden that night, which I will treasure.
Back to Lyon! We stayed for a week in a 200 year old farmhouse in Saint-Maurice-de-Gourdans (about a 35 minute drive from Lyon) that had a swing, neighboring chickens, room to kick a soccer ball, and a boulangerie down the road. We spent a morning at the Parc de la Tête d'Or, which is the main park in Lyon, with Botanical gardens and a free zoo! Ella got to see a giraffes and flamingos, which was very exciting! Afterwards we had lunch at Brasserie de L'Est, one of Paul Bocuse’s famous restaurants. We spent one day on foot touring the playgrounds of Lyon and on our last day we took the train and the subway into old town for lunch.
24 hours in Paris before flying home. We took the bullet train from Lyon, which never stopped and went through the French countryside. Our sunny apartment in Paris was an absolute haven. We had a yummy French lunch and walked to the Jardin de Luxembourg to see the boats. For the first time in weeks we were surrounded by ethnic food choices, and decided to have Indian for our last meal in France. We had the entire place to ourselves, and it was some of the best Indian food I have ever had.
Not pictured: three Women’s World Cup matches at the Olympic Stadium in Lyon (USA WON!!! It was thrilling!), a visit to a waterpark, a morning at the river Ain, countless lovely meals, and the three flights it took to get home. It all looks pretty damn dreamy. And it was. Mostly because the five of us are extremely compatible. Any trip across the world will have its challenges, and ours was flavored with a few close calls. But overall it felt like a luxury to spend so much quality time together and to show our girl such a vast range of experiences. She was a trooper through it all, and we are all so proud of what a great traveler she has proven to be. I look forward to our next big adventure, whatever it may be!