In January the kids and I hopped on an overnight flight to Paris, ready for our 6 week year-opener in France!! We left a few days before G because his vacation time hadn’t quite started yet, so I was on my own with the littles for the first five days of the trip. Sounds awesome right?! I actually LOVE traveling with my kids, I’m the oldest of six, and my parents always made traveling with us look so easy, that it’s never seemed [too] overwhelming to me to jetset off on a crazy adventure. We were starting the trip with a week in Bretagne with G’s mom, it’s one of my favorite areas of France, so I decided to rent a car with the kids and drive due west to the Bretagne coastline.
This was where the adventure really started… The town she lives in is TINY, and the gps in the car didn’t recognize her address, just the general location of the town. So off we go, ready for a 5-6 hour drive across the country. She warned me via text that the news was predicting heavy winds and some rain, so drive safe and keep her posted. Guys. I’ve never driven in ANYTHING like this before. It started raining while we were still in the Paris area. And then the wind kicked in when we got to the autoroute. [I’ve never driven in wind that strong before. Ever.] And then it started raining harder. And harder. Flash flood style. And then it started snowing. Whiteout style. By now we’re about 4 hours into a drive that’s only supposed to take 5.5, but we’ve only gone the distance of 2 hours. We had started the drive in the evening, so by now, I figured we’d probably have to get a hotel room. So we searched, and searched. And searched some more. We were in a chunk of France where there are almost NO hotels… And my phone had died, and the car GPS didn’t have the capability to search by category, and then… dun dun dun… the car started blinking empty. And at the only gas station we could find, my credit card was declined… Cue the tears.
So we inch along slowly down the autoroute and praise the Lord, we found a hotel shortly before the gas was completely gone. It’s 2 am, I manage to get inside with the kids, and the hostess shares that their hotel policy is, “one child per room”. I looked at her and laughed. “Um, excusez-moi madame…” I explained that the car was out of gas, my credit card was not working at gas stations, and that we literally had nowhere else to go (I would have slept in the lobby at this point!), and after about a 10 minute wait in the lobby while I charged my phone, she walked over and said that she guessed I could take a room, but the children would need to stay quiet. (2 am remember… our goal was SLEEP!!).
And sleep we did. The next morning, rise and shine, we picked up a shamefully American drive thru breakfast, filled up at a station with a different type of checkout machine, and off we were. It was sunny and the Moana soundtrack was blaring. And it was hailing. Yep. You read right. We finally made it to my mil’s, and after 3 trips around her town trying to find her street, we were there!! BEST start to a vacation ever in my book!
I LOVE Bretagne, the rocky beaches are stunningly beautiful, and it’s so peacefully calm that I could spend an entire day on the beaches, even in winter. She lives right next to the Rose Granite Coast, where the granite for Paris’ sidewalks comes from. (Have you noticed that most of them are blush colored before?!) It feels like you’re in the middle of nowhere, and for the most part, you are. It’s a calm and secluded area of France, but one I HIGHLY recommend traveling through if you love the rugged scenery! Bretagne is also known for it’s crepes, so… enough said. (If you ever make it to Lannion, France, you must eat at Le Moulin Vert. *And you must make a reservation!)
One of my favorite parts about Bretagne is that everything closes from 12:30-2:30. Everything. So that people can take a lunch break, a real one, where they go home and eat a lovely meal. It’s a slow paced region of France, and it’s just darling.
Next week, Paris!
Stay classy, K