Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Beach time in Katwijk.

We spent a week at the beach in Katwijk, Holland. We stayed in a tiny bungalow right on the beach. Where we ate dinner on the beach every night, played with friends, made new friends, took long walks, did lots of reading, digging in the sand and collecting shells. 

Dinner here did not suck! 

Lots of playing . . . 

Diggers . . . 

Laughing with friends . . . 

Our awesome friend Veronica and our beach neighbor/new friend Neline.
That's our bungalow in the background. 

Connor's best mate from the international school Bertram and his mom and their new puppy came out to visit for the day. 

We had a great time with one of my favorite people in Holland Sandra and her beautiful children.
Sandra, I will miss you and your family immensely! xx

Making names with shells.

Beautiful beach and dune walks.

And date night concerts at the beach.

Who knew the beach in Holland would be so enjoyable?! Not me. HA! What a great way to end our Holland adventure.

Monday, August 12, 2013

More vacation shenanigans

A few of these and then a nap under an umbrella . . .  maybe the best afternoon of our vacation.
We may have forgotten about coming back to the reality of moving our family back from abroad at least for the afternoon.

My little beach boy. I can't believe he is starting 1st grade in a few weeks!!!!!

Fancy a snorkel anyone?

I love that face! 

A wonderful lunch by the sea with our friends Sandra and Sander and their darling kids.

The view of Les Issembres from the beach in St. Maxime.

Jessy loving the pool at our hotel/apartment. By the way do not stay at Pierre Vacances in Les Issembres!!! Nice pool and good little snack shack (great mojitos) as well and not a bad location but the rooms where crap! Yes I cried when we arrived but I pulled it together and we made the best of it. I thought to myself boo whoo, you are in South France and it's hot and beautiful get it together. Next time we rent a house!

 Chris was very happy on our jet ski tour around the bay of St. Tropez. It was fun to see all the fancy yachts. And Chris really likes jet skiing!!! Happy happy guy! Chris you are a fun SUPER fun husband! xx

Our tour guide was nice and took lots of pictures for us. Here is Chris with the city of St. Tropez behind him.

And here is me and our group. See all of the awesome boats behind us! We even saw one later that day that had a swimming pool on the upper deck with a glass bottom. You could actually see someone swimming.

 brummmm brummmm

Playtime with the kids.

Oh Jessy. That is the I want mommy face. 

Happy Now.
I would say that both kids had a bit of a rough trip but that is what happens when we drive many hours multiple days in a row, have no schedule and feed them a steady diet of ice cream and french fries. They get crazy but we were fortunate enough to have our friend Veronica with us to help. She is a fantastic traveling companion and our kids family just love her. 

Hangin in my floppy hat in St. Maxime.

Definitely more to come.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Part III Countries 5, 6 and 7

This post is way over due because we spent last week at the beach in Katwijk, Holland. I just could not bring myself to sit inside and work on the computer and now I am preparing for our international move which leaves me not much time for blogging . . .  So, here is a very belated conclusion of our 7 counties in 7 days adventure.

After we left the beautiful Swiss Alps we drove about 3.5 hrs to Country #5 Italy. It was a beautiful drive though part of the Alps then down to the Italian coast. We happily arrived at Savona, Italy where we had a wonderful but far too short visit.

(note: by this point we are all running low on laundry and my NGU shirts were not smelling so great)

A break for some sunshine and a seafood lunch by the Mediterranean at the Hotel Mare and then it was back on the road. 

Country # 6 France

We drove for another few hours to Les Issambres, Roquebrune-sur-Argens, France. A charming little beach town in the south of France.

The following pictures are from Les Issambres, St. Maxime and St. Tropez.

(yes still have not done laundry) 
This picture is on the ferry back from St. Tropez, which you can see in the back ground.

Beautiful evening in St. Tropez.

Swimmy girl in Les Issembres.

 This beauty of a beach is in St. Maxime. WOW it was gorgeous! The water was perfectly clear and wonderfully warm another must visit place.

And finally off to Country # 7 - Monaco
What can I say about Monaco, it's fancy & fun. Lots of fancy cars and fancy looking people whom either are celebrities or they think they are. It was really great people watching that is for sure. We were only really there for the afternoon so we did not get to see to much but it was fun to be there and we know we will be back. 

Phew we did it. 7 Countries in 7 days

It was a challenging trip but so much fun and so rewarding! We raised some money and I think lots of awareness. We spoke with many people about the the Gwendolyn Strong Foundation and SMA, people that were interested in knowing more and wanting to donate or help spread with word. The current tally is $6,009. And if you are reading this and wondering can I still donate, yes you can. Click here http://www.firstgiving.com/fundraiser/7countries7days/lauriestonesfundraisingpage

Thank you to EVERY ONE who donated or shared our FB link or told a friend or asked more questions! We were humbled by the support from everyone. 

Monday, August 5, 2013

Part II and country #4 Switzerland

After Luxembourg and Belgium we spent 8 hours making our way to Zermatt, Switzerland. The time includes the train time because Zermatt is a car free village in the Swiss Alps. 
Be prepared for photo over load because this place is so breathtaking that I could not resist! Hiking in Zermatt was a dream of mine and it was everything and more than I expected. It was one of the great highlights of my life and definitely the highlight of the trip...one for the bucket list.

I had to include this picture I took of Jessy at a gas station "Vineyard" only in Europe do they grow grapes at the gas station.

We had a great view of the mountains from our Hotel in Martigny, where we stayed outside of Zermatt. Long story short it was just more convenient to stay outside of Zermatt.

 Tasch is the name of the town where you can park your car and jump on a short train to Zermatt! 

Veronica and Connor counted waterfalls while we rode the train up. The view were just stunning!!!!!

Seriously  . . . "The hills are alive,

With the sound of music

With songs they have sung
For a thousand years" - Sound of Music

The hike was beautiful, but bit of a challenge since I could not see my feet with my sleepy sack of potatoes.

I love this shot of our friend Veronica just taking a minute to enjoy it all.  

Imagine this place covered in snow. . .

My cute boys sporting their NGU gear on our hike.

Cheers from Zermatt! 

Jessy was SO tired here that she ate most all of her lunch with her eyes closed . . . poor thing.

We made it to country # 4 and are thrilled to see the famous Matterhorn mountain! 

Until next time Switzerland, we love you! Thanks for taking our picture Connor. Good shot little guy.