The Peach and the Pit: Tour de France in Numbers and Superlatives

There many reasons why I love my sister. (Yes, she’s technically Michael’s sister, but I believe when you luck out with great in-laws, you can just freely claim them as your own family.) One reason is that she shares the same enthusiasm I have at the end of a trip for reflecting back on the ups and downs. After an adventure with Dawn, we sit down over a meal and rehash the “peach and the pit” of the vacation. Each time we realize at some point that this exercise is really called the “peak and the pit,” but we inevitably decide that the peach and the pit sounds cuter anyway. We continue mentally narrowing down the experiences until each person arrives at one highlight and one lowlight of the trip that s/he shares with the group.

Last week, I began to recap our month-long road trip around France as seen through our various accommodations. This week is a different way of stepping back and taking a sweeping survey of the trip as a whole before examining each stop in sharp focus. (I warned you, I love reflection time!) Whether you’re more math-oriented like my hubby or a lover of language like me, I think both approaches give a sense of how this journey through France was an emotional release as we ran around the country with open arms, trying to embrace all that we could in our last month before moving back to the US.

Ready for the big picture of our Tour de France? 

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Home on the Road: Our Tour de France in Accommodations

Recap: Michael and I lived in Paris for three years, and moved back to where we grew up and previously lived (in the northeastern US) in June. But before we said au revoir, we went on a month-long road trip through France as a part of the transition process.

That was back in May. It’s October, and it’s finally time to start talking about our Tour de France.

There are so many ways to start telling about the adventure we went on. I’m going to start with perhaps an unconventional one, by first sharing about our accommodations during the trip.

Often when I travel, accommodations are just a necessity to a trip. I often view it as a place to rest my head - especially when it’s just Michael and me traveling together. I would rather spend my money on a decadent meal than a luxurious room. This trip though was largely enhanced by our accommodations - and it’s not even necessarily because we dished out the last of our euros (in many cases, quite the contrary!). Here’s a first look at our Tour de France, as told by the places that became home at a time when we were wandering without a permanent address.

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Calling All Fellow France Lovers: I need your help!

Bon lundi!

It’s a little bit scary to be write down this next sentence and publish it into the black hole of the Internet. My time living abroad in Paris is coming to an end soon. There. I said it.

I’m not going to harp on it right now, though I’ll fill you in later if you want to hear the emotional side of it. (Re: It’s an roller coaster of sadness, bitter-sweetness, excitement, mixed in with periods of denial, fear, and overall stress.) The point today though is that I need some help from my fellow France lovers and France travelers!

Michael and I are planning a goodbye trip, or a “Tour de France,” if you will. We need some time to process our unexpected love affair with France and get some closure, and we’re choosing to do this in the form of a month-long road trip. The problem is there is so much to see, and as you can imagine, we have a lot on our plate with the move, never mind planning a month-long journey.

So this is where I’m hoping you all can share some France love! These next two weeks I’ll be sharing some of my highlights so far of the parts of France I’ve seen. Perhaps it will inspire some of your own French adventures. And my hope is that you might put on your thinking caps and help me brainstorm some of the must-sees of France. We’re focusing our road trip on Dordogne, Basque, Languedoc, a touch of Midi-Pyrénées, Provence, and then returning back towards Paris via the eastern border of France, hitting Alsace on the way. That’s the big picture - now we need to fill in our route with the specifics.

So please let me know during the next two weeks where you think we should go! Merci!!

There's plenty of France to see outside of Paris - like catching stunning Mediterranean sunsets in Marseille