Like most Dutchies on holiday we packed the car and followed the route to the sun. (freeway in France that goes from North to south). Unlike most Dutchies we didn’t take a caravan and everything but the kitchen sink. I’d say 99% of the boot space went to the stroller and the travel cot. We were traveling light and we were traveling with a baby. We had 5 small bags in total, 2 for us and 3 for the little one. A little word of advice, when buying/borrowing the travel cot get a demonstration of how to erect it first.
Our first stop was Colmar in the Alsace region in France. My sister promised it would be the quaintest town I’d see and well worth a visit. Colmar didn’t disappoint and I took heaps of photos of colorful buildings and cute hanging pots. Colmar is surrounded by wineries so we had a few tastings too. The little guy slept the whole way on the 5 hour drive there, win!
Our next stop was Bedoin, Provence. If I thought Colmar was surrounded by wineries then this area took it to a whole new level. Every square inch was covered in vines!
6 hours driving and little Buddha slept the whole way again. I was prompted to Skype my mother and ask if it was normal he slept the whole way. We stopped for feedings and changing but he’d immediately sleep in the car again. Mum assured me if he is doing everything else normally then he is just a good traveler. Mum’s are good for assurance! I love the service stations on the freeway in Europe. There is always a clean place to change the nappy and there is always a microwave to heat a baby’s bottle.
In Bedoin we stayed with another couple, Mary & Ed, good Dutchies who brought everything from home including a BBQ and a fan! The reason we had travelled to Bedoin was to do a charity cycling event. Mary has MS and she organized a team to climb Mont Ventoux 3 times to raise money for MS. Our husbands started at 7am and spent 9 hours on the bike going up and down Mont Ventoux three times.
It was a beautiful day and I felt super-lazy sunbathing, swimming and waiting for them to return. I don’t know what possessed me but I asked to borrow Mary’s bike to climb Mt Ventoux the next day. (Dumb, dumb, dumb…)
I’ve climbed this mountain before when I was fit. Now I’m 5 kilos heavier and post-baby unfit. In hindsight, it was not a good idea. I was cycling at snails pace and probably could have walked up the mountain faster. Little French men cruised past me easily asking ‘ca va’? I would smile and say ‘yes, I’m OK’! As I watched their little bums ride off in the distance I would silently curse my hair-brained idea.
But yay, I conquered the baldy, windy mountain and took a photo to prove it!
I was cold at the top of the mountain, and on the descent, so I spent the rest of my day stuffing myself with cheese, chocolate and wine to warm up.
Little Buddha hasn’t mastered the art of stuffing his face like his parents. We try to feed him puréed fruit and veg as the doctor has instructed. We fall about laughing when he tries to suck food down like he’s sucking a bottle. I’m sure we are not boosting his confidence but the sucking noises and disgusted looks are hilarious.
Next stop was Grimaud, South coast of France. Wow. We stayed on a campground that was entirely filled with little caravans arranged like a giant suburb on the beach. My favourite part of the day was 8:00am. I would go to the café on the beach and order coffee and pastries and we would watch the beach start to populate with families and the bay start to liven up as the sailing boats left St Tropez. Little Buddha, liked watching the tops of the palm trees.
Then we returned to rainy grey Holland, it was super depressing enough but to top it off in the post I had received a fine for driving through a red light. (240 euro – Ouch!) Then the little one started sniffling… His first cold ever. I am currently having a lot of fun googling mucous suckers. I bought the Nubi aspirator, which is the biggest waste of 6 euro ever. Now I am looking at the Frida nose sucker. I just have to get past the yukky utube videos and buy one.