Friday, July 8, 2011

And We're Off and Running... Again!

Yes, again.  The kids and I just got back from our trip to the States on Wednesday afternoon and here it is on Friday and we have hit the ground running once more.  This time to France and Italy.  We're starting our second of three big trips this summer and are so excited!!

My best friend, Michelle, arrived in Barcelona last week along with her friend Kelly and Kelly's 2 kids, Zach and Hailey (Hailey is around Aidan's age and Zach is 12) in preparation for our trip.  However our trip started out slightly rough.  Kelly and Michelle went to get our rental car this morning only to find that our guaranteed GPS was not actually guaranteed despite what our paperwork stated.  Ahhh Spain, we should know better right?  So while I was watching the kids and getting things together on the home front, they were at the mall purchasing a new GPS as Michelle, god love her, couldn't find her way back to my apartment without it :)  And she will admit that's true I'm sure... After picking up the GPS and then going back to get the car, it turns out the car actually has a GPS already in it.  Figures right?  So we were 2 hours delayed in hitting the road because Sixt didn't realize the car we were renting already had a GPS.  Could have saved a lot of time, money and trouble had they known this. 

Finally we were on the road to Aix-en-Provence, France.  Our halfway point to our goal, Rapallo near the Cinque Terre (on the Italian Riviera).  But no trip is complete without a puker right?  And Liam never fails to comply on that one.  About 1/2 hour into our 4 1/2 hour journey he puked right on schedule, as we had just left the city and were in stop n go traffic. 
Hailey and Aidan in the back - they had a great time and chatted the whole way to Aix-en-Provence!

Liam and Zach were next to me, though eventually once Liam puked we had to make a change and I got the luck of sitting on the hump seat but better than constantly looking over Zach's shoulder to see if Liam was ok every 5 mins.

Liam after the pukes... poor kid.  And yes, he's wearing his Spiderman costume (again)
in 90 degree heat.

But once we got over the pukes and had our GPS working just right things went smoothly.  The kids had a variety of electronics to share between them which made for a very pleasant (in other words quiet) ride to Aix-en-Provence.

We were challenged finding our hotel but finally Conchita, our GPS, got us there.  Once we settled in, we went into the center of town for a lovely dinner at a small bistro.  It was about 5000 degrees inside the restaurant (but all the outside tables were taken) but it was just our little group of 7 and no one else.  The waiters were amazing and bonus, spoke English.  And the food, spectacular.  Can't beat a great French meal!!
This was the coolest (albeit the most confusing to get in and out of) parking garage - all the spaces had either green or red lights so you didn't have to hunt down a free space - just look for the green light!

On our way to find dinner

Kelly and Hailey

Me and my baby...

Liam and Zach

Me and my big kid...

The big boys

Zach has been AMAZING with both kids but especially Liam... I'm thinking about adopting him

Aidan and Zach

In front of the gelato place we noticed this guy... yeah words can't even express it can they?

After dessert of gelato, yum, we walked slowly back to the car, all of the kids laughing and playing along the way. My hope is that they can all continue to get along this great for the next week plus that we have left. Tomorrow, another 4 1/2 hours or so in the car to make our way to our apartment rental for the week though first the kids want to hit the pool here and we want to explore a little more of this town!

Yum - who doesn't love a good ice cream on a warm summer night?

Weird fountain the kids liked

This guy was doing some kind of Indiana Jones thing with his motorcycle and map and had the theme song blaring on a radio...

Brothers... getting along...for the moment

Zach took great care of Liam tonight!

Liam on the run

Aidan and Hailey running like crazy (and yet I could barely get Aidan to bed by midnight somehow!)

Fountain at the center of Aix-en-Provence


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