They had a gorgeous first day in Frankfurt, so they went for a walk through our favorite park.
The next day Bri and I had to work again, but we had something really special planned for that evening! We had gathered a group of about 12 coworkers to join us and my parents on a bier bike! My parents have always loved riding bikes, so we thought this would be the perfect way to tour Frankfurt.
We had another beautiful night with a great sunset! Here's the view we had of downtown Frankfurt as we pedaled over a bridge.
The next day, we left work a little early to come home and load up for our vacation! Brian rode the motorcycle, and Mom, Dad, and I were in the car for the first leg. First stop - the Black Forest!
That night, we toasted to our first night of vacation together at a tiny restaurant down the street from our B&B. We drank local beer and had a great German meal.
The next morning, it was a little hazy and rainy, but the view from our B&B was still great.
Mom, Dad, and I took a walk around town to see what we could find, but it was quiet since it was Sunday.
On Sunday, the drive from Lake Como to St. Tropez was quite rainy. But Bri kept an upbeat attitude on the motorcycle while we followed behind in the car. During one of our driving breaks, we bought some supplies for dinner that evening - pasta, cheese, bread, tomato sauce, olive oils - yum!
Once we unpacked the car and bike, we were ready for dinner! I made stuffed pasta shells with the ingredients we had purchased earlier, and we added some fresh basil from our garden. We sat outside on the patio and enjoyed our first of many delicious meals in St. Tropez. We couldn't believe we were there!
We ate lunch back at the house, and by then the weather had really cleared up, so we decided to try a new beach that afternoon. Bri had looked on our GPS and found what appeared to be a really secluded beach that wasn't too far away. So we set off on another journey that involved beautiful views, several dirt roads and several dead ends, but we eventually made it to a great beach.
That evening we feasted on our purchases from the St. Tropez market - cheeses, olives, fresh veggies - and of course, wine! After dinner most nights, we enjoyed several fun rounds of the game Apples to Apples. Wine and that game go very well together :)
On Wednesday morning, Bri had the fantastic idea to experience a sunrise. So we woke up REALLY early, packed up a full breakfast, and headed to the Pampalone beach again for a sunrise I'll never forget.
We had the entire beach to ourselves, and as the sun rose over the water, the sky turned all shades of purple, orange, red, and yellow. We felt very lucky to have seen the sunrise that day, because the rest of the mornings we had in St. Tropez were more cloudy and did not have the dramatic colors we experienced.
Once the sun rose, it was a little cloudy, so Mom and I walked the entire length of the beach while the guys took naps and read. Later that day, the sun came out for another perfect day at the beach.On our way home from the beach, we stopped off at this little restaurant on the side of the road for some lunchtime snacks. I love French bakeries!
While Mom and I showered and got ready, Bri and Dad took advantage of our cute little yard at our house.
That night we went into town to see what St. Tropez was like. We found the biggest yachts, nicest cars, and most expensive clothing I've ever seen. For all of that fancy schmancy stuff, it was a really cute, quaint town!
That night, we sat outside and had dinner at a restaurant in the town's main square.
On Thursday we traveled to a new beach for more relaxation :) I don't think it's possible to find a bad beach on that peninsula - we loved each one, and it was fun to take in some new scenery!
Before heading out to the beach, Bri and I added our St. Tropez sticker that we had purchased the night before to our trunk. I can't remember if I've mentioned this in previous blogs, but Brian and I buy a bumper sticker everywhere we go to add to our collection in our trunk. It has been fun to search and find a sticker that we feel best represents that vacation, and it's a neat reminder of all of our experiences.
Anyway, back to the beach! I remember Thursday as jellyfish day :) Poor Bri figured it out the hard way for all of us - he was stung twice on his back. Needless to say, I didn't swim much that day. The jellyfish were really unique and colorful, though - we got to see some that kids had caught in nets on a nearby pier.
Later in the afternoon, Brian and I decided to go on a little sailing excursion. So we rented a catamaran from the French version of Bruce Willis and set out for an hour of peaceful sailing. Bri had only taken me sailing one other time, so I learned a lot from this trip. I think his ability to sail is quite attractive :) and I appreciated his patience in teaching me! The wind really died down toward the end of our time, so it took us awhile to get back to shore, but Captain Bri made it happen!
This restaurant served all you can drink local wine and had a set menu each day. It was an incredible experience, sitting outside on such a beautiful evening and eating some of the best food we've ever had. I was so glad my parents were there to enjoy it with us!
On Friday morning, Brian and I woke up early to go on a morning motorcycle ride. We had enjoyed driving around the peninsula in the car, but we both really wanted to experience it from the motorcycle. The sunrise, fresh smells, and views made for a perfect ride through the countryside.
When Brian and I got home, we jumped in the car with my parents for one last day at the beach!
We saw lots of people with these cute little beach chairs that looked so comfortable, but when we tried them out, we realized Brian is a little taller than the average French beach-goer :)
Friday was much windier than the day Brian and I sailed, so B wanted to give sailing another go. This time my dad went with him! My mom and I were trying to take pictures, but before we knew it, they were just a speck on the horizon. They were cruisin' fast!
We soaked up all the sun we could since it was our last beach day. And then we made our way back to the house to get ready for our last night out in St. Tropez.
So the plan was to go back to Pampalone beach to one of the MANY restaurants/clubs along the water. That beach is supposedly one of the biggest clubbing hotspots in the world, and my mom nad I were determined to see someone famous :) Much to our dismay, everything had closed only a couple of nights before for the season! Nothing was open, so my encounter with a celebrity will just have to be at another time and place.
So, we headed back to town to see if we'd have any luck there. Maybe get invited to a yacht party? We had no such luck, but we the yachts at night were definitely a sight to see. And we did see Georgio Armani's yacht, which was just absurdly huge. He must be compensating for something :)
The next morning, we sadly packed up the car and motorcycle. It was time to leave our little home in paradise :( On the upside, we had a breathtaking drive ahead of us! On Saturday, we drove from St. Tropex to Chamonix, France, which involved two mountain passes in the Alps with spectacular views.
I spent the first half of the day on the motorcycle with Bri. We had a great time winding our way through the mountains, and my dad and mom followed behind us in the Honda.
Because it was yet another perfect weather day, the roads were packed - this time with both cars and bicyclists! As much as I enjoy a bike ride, the intense incline and narrow roads with cars constantly passing did not equate to anything less than an insane activity in my perspective!
After the first mountain pass, we pulled over for a break from driving. And dad decided to go fishing for our lunch. just kidding - but it looks like he's getting ready to grab a fish in this picture, right?
After about 11 hours of driving, we finally made it to Chamonix! Our B&B there was just perfect. We took some time to clean up and then walked to town for dinner.
After walking around town, we settled in for our last vacation dinner in the town square. And of course dinner was followed by crepes :)
On Sunday, we drove from Chamonix back to Frankfurt, and then mom and dad had to fly home on Monday. They were such great travel partners for Brian and I, and I'm so glad that we will always have such wonderful memories with them of that amazing vacation!