Today we are starting a “Traveler Spotlight” series on the blog. The idea is to have a guest traveler tell us about their most memorable travel with their family.
Starting the series, Rebecca Subbiah from Chow and Chatter will tell all about her road trip from Nice to Munich, that included her two children (a toddler and an infant). Rebecca is a lovely brit expat and we met on Twitter – and she was kind enough to invite me to write a guest post on her blog last week! If you’re ever having a bad day, check out her Twitter for some positive messages and yummy recipes – it will sure make your day better! 🙂
A couple of years ago we took a fun European road trip. We first visited family in the UK then flew to Nice for a few days in the South of France. Actually this part of the trip was kind of a big deal it was a big birthday for my hubby and my Bro so I treated them to tickets to the Monaco grand prix. We rented a cool wee apartment in Nice in a neighborhood on a hill side. The balcony had a view of the city, magic.
Our wee ones were 3 1/2 and 6 months at the time. I often hear that folks are afraid of traveling with little ones, feeling it will be too difficult. Many couples travel alone but we feel travel enriches the kids and educates them.
Being honest it is an adjustment with little ones, you need to be flexible and factor in longer travel time for stops, plan to have familiar foods when traveling and think of activities they will enjoy. Over all its amazing though and so worth it. We enjoyed our time in Nice strolling around the old town and enjoying the food, the ravioli is amazing there. Ssh one incident involved an accident with the wee guy at lunch you can read between the lines, we all laughed changed him took a deep breath and finished lunch. Another wonderful memory is the neighbors of the apartment we rented came over one evening and shared pizza, champagne and Tourte de Blettes a traditional Nice dessert with us; its a tart made from chard, apples and pine nuts. One of the best things about mixing with locals when traveling is finding out local cuisine and getting a true insight into life in the country. I loved walking down to the local park and seeing Jasmine playing with the local kids. One time I remember her trying to chat with a local French boy, they couldn’t communicate because of the language but quickly figured out they could still play.
After a fun weekend in Nice we hired a car to start our road trip, first stop was Asti a lovely Italian town a couple of hours North of Nice. I learnt about this town from Robin on twitter @Mymelange another idea for travel is to get tips from twitter. This town was a place where Italians holidayed; the first evening we had dinner in the town square we couldn’t read the Italian menu and a sweet couple helped us. It was our 8 year wedding anniversary as we sipped wine with the kiddies laughing with us. We stayed at an old B n B in the country outside of the town it was hard to find in the dark and our phone with a pay as you go sim card from the UK saved the day finding it.
We tend to find B and B’s (Bed and Breakfasts) are good with wee ones, in this instance the owner had grandkids and was very accommodating.
We then headed North to Milan we had heard good and bad things about this city and we booked to stay in a cool arty hotel in a hip neighborhood. Milan was so so for us and the hotel had lots of cool furniture in the shape of chocolate and cakes so of course the kids kept climbing on it. Which you couldn’t blame them but we were told off a few times by the staff we decided to leave and head to Lake Como a day earlier, we rented a great little apartment here and enjoyed the gorgeous views. The next day we drove to lake Garda and adored this area, the sunsets were simply magic.
Another tip for holidaying with kids is to eat dinner early, its maybe not what we would have done before but there are less people and you can relax knowing you not disturbing others too much and wee ones are hungry. Maybe get a bottle of wine to sip later in the hotel room or apartment after the kids fall asleep. If staying in a place for a few days apartments are wonderful with kids as you can cook a few meals there and save money and do washing, wee ones get through clothes.
After a wonderful few days in Northern Italy we headed north through the Dolomites these mountains were stunning and it was one of the most scenic drives we have ever done. We stopped the night in a tiny mountain town called Brenner Austria it was a cold rainy evening and only two restaurants were open near the old historic hotel. The owner of one was lovely though and proudly told us about his part of the world and Knödel. A tasty bread dumpling from this region. Earlier in the day we had stopped in Bolzano (Italian) and Bozen (German) this stunning town was originally part of Austria and folks spoke German but after the war, Italy took it over hence the mixture of Italian and Austrian influences you will even find both cuisines on the menu.
Its well worth a visit amazing architecture and great shopping the day we were there I was treated to a stroll around a food market.
As our road trip adventure comes to a close we drove to Munich one of our favorite German cities to take our flight back to Charlotte, the weather was pretty bad the day we were there but took umbrellas and enjoyed strolling around the city, we also had lunch in a cool historic beer garden that even had a kids play area where folks watch your kids for you, how cool.
So next time your planning your trip take the kids its so doable and wonderful memories and experiences are there to be had. Happy travels.
Thanks Rebecca for sharing your amazing road trip!