Monday, June 3, 2013

Girl's Trip to Italy and France, May 2013

Italy and France

My high school friends and I have enjoyed alot of trips together.   It all began when we turned 50.  We decided we would take a short cruise to Mexico to celebrate our 50th.  We have continued to take a trip each year...including this wonderful trip to Italy and France. In years past we have been on the Mexico cruise, Las Vegas, Mesquite, Hawaii, Branson, New York, New Orleans/Mississippi/Nashville, Niagara Falls/Philadelphia, Yellowstone/Jackson Hole, Boston and Cape Cod, Bahamas Cruise/Epcot, San Francisco and San Diego.
This trip, we took a guided two week tour with Globus Tours---which was called the Highlights of Italy and France.  We were very impressed how well organized it was and were delighted with our tour guide, Gerhard.

First stop was Rome.  We spent two days seeing the sights of Rome.  The Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel and so impressed with Michelangelo's paintings on the ceilings.  We continued on to St. Peter's square and Basilica and then a stop to the Colosseum and Roman Forum.  We took an addditonal tour to see the Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountain and the sites and squares of medieval Rome. 

Next stop was Assisi to see the 13th century Basilica of St. Francis and then a drive on the Adriatic coast and our next two days in Venice.  We took a walking tour of St. Mark's Square and the Byzantine Basilica, Doges' Palace and the Bridge of Sighs.  We also watch the glassblowers and then off to the colorful Burano Island. We didn't have the best weather in Venice....very rainy and windy. We waded back to the boat docks....the planks had been put away for the season.  

It took awhile to dry out...especially our shoes.  Then off to Ferrara and Florence the next day.
Of course, our tour took us to the Academy of Fine Arts to see Michelangelo's David.  
Great shopping at Piazza Santa Croce and a wonderful wine tasting dinner at Casa Toscana that evening. 
Next stop we were off to Pisa and Nice, France driving past some Italian and French Riviera resorts toward Monaco.  A highlight of the mornig was a visit to the picturesque hilltop town of St. Paul de Vence.  We returned to Nice for a two night stay right across from the Mediterranean.  Of course, one night we went to Monte Carlo.  I didn't go in because I didn't have a passport at the time! That morning my purse was stolen in the lobby of the Marriott in Nice.  So...Gerhard and I sat at an outside cafe with  some wine while the others were inside gambling.  
Mediterranean in background


Monte Carlo

Next we were off to Paris via the high-speed TGV Train....not sure it was high speed....took 5 hours.
As we arrived in Paris, the group tour went to the Eiffel tower while Gerhardt and I took the metro to the Consulate to see about getting me a new passport.  When we arrived we were told to come back in the morning between 8-11 am.  At least we now know.  We had a nice walk through Paris and the Concord Center and took some pictures along the way back to hotel.  We met up with the rest of the group. Dinner that night was Boeuf Bourguignon and the a tour of the City Lights.

View from our balcony

Dinner and show at the Moulin Rouge-FUN

We added two extra days in Paris after the Globus tour.  J'lene found an apartment to rent as we continued to see the sights around Paris.  Our last day we went to Monet's Garden and House and then to Versailles.  It was a very wet a rainy day but we enjoyed every minute of this tour. It was an all day tour but managed to make it back to town to top the evening off with some French Onion Soup.

Monet's beautiful garden

                                                                  Our Paris Apartment
                                                                 View out our window
                                             Our last night of dessert celebration--crepes

1 comment:

Gassaway's Adventures said...

Looks like a fun filled trip, except for you purse being ripped off.