All posts tagged: road trip

Weekend Unexplored: 4 Days in Southern France (Marseilles, Aix-en-Provence, Lourmarin, Bonnieux and Cassis)

Provence has always been on my list of places to visit in Europe. I had an opportunity to visit Europe again this year and made it a priority to visit this charming region. My sister and I choose to visit the region in early May before the tourist crowds descend onto the area. Luckily my good friend grew up in the region and planned my trip for me. There is nothing better than having a local show you the best of their home region! Friday-Saturday: Provence/ Marseilles Sunday: Aix-en-Provence, Lourmarin and Bonnieux Monday: Cassis Arrived Friday My sister and I flew into the Marseilles International Airport Friday morning to uncharacteristically rainy and windy weather. Marseilles Airport is very small and the car rental lot is right next to the airport. We rented a small automatic car from Hertz prior to arriving in Provence and the whole process to pick up the car took over an hour and a half. Things move very slowly in southern France. We were advised to book our car months in …

Road Trip: Pacific Coast Highway 1 (Part Two)

“But why think about that when all the golden lands ahead of you and all kinds of unforseen events wait lurking to surprise you and make you glad you’re alive to see?” ― Jack Kerouac, On the Road Part Two of our family road trip picks up where we left off last week, heading south of Big Sur and concluding in Santa Barbara. “The longer you stayed at Hearst Castle, the further you’d sit from William Hearst during a meal,” said our guide as we walked into the dining hall. He was most definitely a Hearst fan and was beginning to tell us yet another story about the newspaper/media mogul and his distinguished guests.  We had just arrived for the 3 pm tour of the Castle’s main rooms and garden grounds.  After parking in front of the visitor’s center, we joined the line of tourists waiting to catch the bus that would drive us up to “La Cuesta Encantada,” the Enchanted Hill. Located atop the hill overlooking San Simeon, the estate’s grandeur and architectural details …

Road trip: Pacific Coast Highway 1 (Part One)

“What about a family road trip?” my dad asked.  He and my mom talked about driving down the Pacific Coast Highway after hearing some friends rave about their experience.  Both of them expected my sister and me to come along by starting in San Francisco where we picked them up from the airport.  Of course, we agreed.  With our parents living on the East Coast, their visits were already infrequent. We hoped that by showing them the beauty of California, we might convince them to move here. I also knew full well that once we assented, we would take over the planning of the itinerary and the scheduled stops along the way.  We had three days to cover the distance between San Francisco and Santa Barbara.  Part 1 of this road trip series will cover our favorite discoveries from Monterey to Big Sur. First stop was in Butterfly Town, Pacific Grove, for lunch at Red Cafe.  The red house in which the restaurant opened was built in the 1890’s and sits as a local landmark on …