a mothers and daughters' trip to remember

Surreal sums up a “once-in-a-lifetime” trip that me, a longtime close friend, and one daughter each, embarked on in the early summer days to France and Italy. A total of 18 travel days to Paris, Nice, Florence and Rome. None of us could have asked for better travel companions outside of family. Robin was our fashion and shopping guide, while Anne Lois and I translated menus and maps. We all pushed through language barriers together. I’d do it all over again (but would pack even lighter)- and now dream that there will be a next time.

A few highlights: a shopping day in the Marais in Paris with an airbnb hired stylist, top of Eiffel Tower sunset with champagne, a return to our Travel School Project apartment in Nice, taking Robin grocery shopping with a rolling cart in Nice, eating Indian food in France, Elizabeth and Anne Lois getting sunburned on the pebbled mediterranean beach, a train ride to Florence and then pulling rolling suitcases over the cobblestones to our apartment, frequenting Artiganale daily for coffees and G&Ts, eating street sandwiches on the curb with pigeons, waiting to see David, getting car sick on the roads through Tuscany, meeting up with Carla in Rome for guided tours, a group sunset and dinner bike ride through Rome and throwing coins over our shoulders into the Trevi fountain!

As a photographer, one can feel naked without a camera. Of course, I packed my “big girl” camera, but quickly realized that I didn’t want to carry it around all day. I had already traveled to our places multiple times before and this time, it was time to just soak up friendship, laughter and adventure. I did overuse my iPhone camera which worked like a champ. We now have beautiful coffee table photo books to recall the trip. A mothers and daughters’ trip to always remember.

the close of our semester in Nice, France

Our family and another family from Fairhope, spent the last school semester living in Nice, France. You can read about our journey here. Our time there, enriched us, broadened our horizons, opened our eyes wider, strengthened our communication skills, tested our family dynamics (for the better) and prepared our students for the bigger world. Home now, we are left with a soft spot on our hearts for the beautiful Côte d'Azur. Also, I don't think we have missed a day mentioning the fabulous French food and daily trips to the market and noting how our taste buds have adjusted and it leaves us longing for more.

I took this series of photographs on my last day there. It actually was a walk to the communal garbage room. Visual snapshots of the walk we took almost daily that instead of a camera in my hands, I was always carrying garbage and recyclables. Each time we routinely went there, I was noting the French words and vintage charms of the alleys we walked. So for the last walk there, I took my camera and noted the scenes. And so often, if we walked the 6 floors down, we were intentional with our time outside and would make a short journey down to the Promenade des Anglais. On our last evening in Nice, France there was a full moon. The sky lit up like cotton candy  and the bright moon shone- highlighting a place that will forever be a life marker for our families. We are grateful.