We picked up our car in nice Nice and headed out onto the open road with the rest of the crazy European drivers. Deb was white knuckling it in the front seat while the kids were oblivious to the world as they were plugged in in the back seat.

Deb playing car Tetris with all of our gear.

We could yell at them and they wouldn’t hear us for the headphones they have. Needless to say, we have banned the headphones for any sort of travel or screen use other than train or plane travel. I guess I wasn’t much different when Battle of the Planets (otherwise known as G Force) or Happy Days was on…but we didn’t have earphones to block out our parents.

We were surprised at how dry it was here. It reminded both of us of Turkey when we last visited 15 years ago.

What started out as a 3.5h drive which would have taken us directly to the next town, quickly turned into a 7 hour drive that took us on a major detour towards St Tropez. “It is all part of the adventure” was the mantra for the day.

We were in search of a “hidden gem” (aka less crowded) beach somewhere along the French Riviera to have some beach time before we headed in land.  So, we found the beach which was nice but it was still crammed with people. So the hidden gem wasn’t so hidden as it seemed like everyone had the treasure map.

Regardless, we had a little picnic on the beach and then Wilson and I went and built our first inukshuk under the water with the rocks that were in the water. At the end of it, it was pretty good (sorry no photo) and the fish liked it too as they were congregating around it too.

Wilson and I building our Inukshuk, while a fancy yacht trolls by. Probably Beyonce.

Mom said it was time to go so we jumped back in the car and took off again for another 3.5h drive to the final destination of Beziers. Merely a stop over.

We made it and checked into the nice hotel and headed down to Valras-Plage for dinner. We were told that this place was great for seafood and we hadn’t really had a seafood fix yet, so we headed down there.


When we got there, there was a farmers market like stall selling oysters shucked for a reasonable price so I grabbed a couple, much to the dismay of my family, and downed them on the corner of the road before heading off in search of supper for everyone else.We had the name of the top seafood place in Valras-Plage but so did everyone else. It was going to be a 30min wait and it was already 8pm, which is the typical dinner hour for Europeans, so we went for plan B. The mission was to find anywhere else. And at that point, no one other than me cared where we ate.

Le Marius, in Villeneuve, was a great little find for fresh food, very large servings, and reasonably (for Europe) prices..

So, we walked back to the main square where a bunch of places had outdoor seating and a quick judgement was made to sit down at the first one. The menu was expansive, and the food coming out of the kitchen looked amazing, so a good choice was made. I wanted some moules et frites again so I ordered that up with some beignets de calamari (calamari doughnuts) to share with Wilson. Deb had the house burger that was massive and had a caesar salad that was even bigger as an “appetizer”.  We ended up sharing it, and leaving what we couldn’t eat.  Lulu had homemade chicken fingers and frites (she is turning into a bit of a picky eater, and stubborn when I try to get her to try new and exciting things like Oysters).

Le hambergois du monde!

My moules et frites. Lulu’s chicken fingers and fries. She is not impressed by mussels as you might tell.

Down at the beach, which was a stones throw away, there was a carnival set up like Coney Island.  Somehow we managed to steer the kids away from that location…and onto the playground on the beach which had a pirate ship, some swings, and two zip lines.  Man, Huntsville playgrounds have to get with the times and get some ziplines!

Well, headed off to the Dordogne region tomorrow where Medieval history was, and still is a way of life…