for the week of 07/17/16.
Sun, 07/10/16. Cala Osalla.
Ok this place is amazing. We're staying in a campground, where there are lots of tents but we have our own little private cabin with two tiny bedrooms, two bathrooms, and a kitchen, and it's surrounded by trees. It reminds me of Yosemite lodge, but a bit nicer accomodations, and instead of waterfalls there are amazing beaches. We drove to one called Cala Osalla, recommended in our guidebook, and it was incredible. The water was the perfect temperature, and it was like a cove so it was really shallow, only up to our waist for a long way out. It's sunny and like 88 degrees out, so the kids just immediately splashed right into the water and stayed there for hours. We got a little sun umbrella and had a nice picnic out there. We saw schools of little grey fish in the water, and buried each other in the sand. This place is kind of the opposite of Paris, or at least it seems to have super high amounts of almost everything we were missing in Paris, other than family and friends. It's all nature, and very casual, family friendly, everyone is smiling and happy to see kids, hot, sunny, and with beaches, sand, and swimming. We are loving it. Last night was the finals of the Euro Cup soccer tournament, and also the finals of Wimbledon. I went to the bar in the lobby of our campground to see if either was on tv, and it was showing the pope making a speech. However they did show the soccer game later and there were tons of people watching. During dinner, Jean got a beer called ichnusa, and the waiter said it's the old word for Sardinia before the Italians took over the island. I asked the waiter if he felt more Italian, Sardinian, or Ichnusan, and he kinda looked around to see no one was listening and said "I feel Sardinian". We then asked whom he wanted to win the Euro Cup and he looked around again and whispered "Portugal. I don't like French people."
Sat, 07/09/16. Luggage problems.
After packing long into the night, we woke up early and packed some more. Despite our best efforts, there was just so much stuff we couldn't seem to part with that we had a ridiculous number of bags to bring to the airport. We had 2 suitcases, 2 bags we thought we'd use as checkins, and then 4 backpacks full to the brims, Max and Gemma's two tiny suitcases, Jean's small bag, and then a huge overflowing ikea bag filled with stuff. We thought we might have trouble fitting into a taxi, and had trouble even calling a regular taxi let alone an oversized one, but luckily when I went out to the quai to look for a taxi I quickly found a big one and flagged it down. When we got to the airport, more than 2 hours before the flight, we decided to buy another suitcase at the airport and put everything from the ikea bag into it. Still, this left us with 8 carryons among 4 people, and I'm sure some of them were overweight. We had more trouble with our checked bags though. When we went to check in, where it was pretty slow, the guy said two of our pieces of luggage were overweight and we'd have to pay, even though the other two were way under the weight limit. So we were going to pay, but he said we had to go to the Alitalia office to pay there, and then come back, and it was obvious we were gonna miss our flight if we did that, so we pleaded with him and he helped us out a little, calling Alitalia and checking in our luggage but he said we still had to go to Alitalia to pay before boarding, so we did. Taking our hand baggage through the metal detector, though, some of our items got stopped and we had to open them up. We were kind of freaked out as it was 20 minutes before the plane was scheduled to leave, and on our tickets it said the gate closed 20 min before leaving time. It turned out they stopped us for a kindle in Gemma's bag and handcuffs in Max's bag. The security personel were up in arms about the handcuffs and I laughed it off showing them it was just a toy. Then we rushed to the gate and barely made it. We were the last ones on the plane. On the flight, Jean was sitting next to a guy who looked just like Van Gogh, and Gemma said "Maybe it's Van Gogh's son." We then got to Sardinia and went to our rental car place, but it was clear we had too much luggage for the car I'd reserved, so we upgraded to a bigger car and it still barely fit. So, with hundreds and hundreds of Euros thrown at a new piece of luggage, charges for overweight luggage, and upgrades on the car, this vacation is becoming really expensive. However, it's so incredibly nice here in Cala Gonone, Sardinia. It's hot and sunny, and the drive here was incredibly scenic, with winding roads, farm animals all the way, rolling hills with olive trees and desert in parts and then lush vegetation in others. Cala Gonone is really small and incredibly charming. We had a nice pizza and pasta dinner sitting outside with a view of the sea and right across from the church which was doing a Friday night mass as we ate. The book said everything in Sardinia is disgustingly crowded in July, but Cala Gonone seems quite empty, compared to Paris at least, and on the drive here we hardly saw a car. Here in town we haven't heard any English or French, and it seems to be mostly full of locals or Italian tourists. It seems like it's gonna be a fantastic week.
Fri, 07/08/16. Last day in Paris.
Today we got up early and did what Max and Gemma most wanted to do on their last day here, go to Disneyland. It was a beautiful day and we did it just right. We got there at 8:14am, did a whole bunch of rides, and then at 10am when it started getting crowded, we just did Pirates, Small World, Alice's Labyrnth, and the chairs by Alice's Labyrnth, and then a little shopping and left. We were at the RER station by noon. There was an empty boat behind us on Small World so the guy let us go twice in a row, which was great. We also got to stay in and go twice in a row on Pinnochio and Dumbo. In the afternoon we packed and did some last min errands, and then Reille came over to do a final walkthrough. Later, Jackie and Sebastian came over to take all of our leftover crap, including all our food and drinks and stuff we would otherwise have thrown out. Jackie's patisserie is just about to open, and is called A La Croix. However the last few weeks before opening day are proving stressful to her and her patissier boyfriend. Later, Eva came over to say one last goodbye and drink some champagne with us. We'll really miss them and hope to see them again soon. We talked a lot about what we will miss in Paris and what we won't miss, and how we feel about moving back. I thought after a year we'd feel a little French, but honestly we don't feel French at all. French culture and society still seems very mysterious to us in fact. However, it has definitely been a great year and we will miss it a lot. It will be weird going back to LA and not seeing any old buildings or anything, only speaking English, eating American food, and not having millions of amazing sights and really unique international people at every turn.