Annecy, France | Europe 2017

Europe 2017: Our Itinerary (+ Posts)

After spending a few days in Loire Valley, we hopped in our rental car and drove to Annecy, France! About a 5-6 hour drive, it didn't feel too long, simply because the scenery was so beautiful. Before our trip, I'd heard of Annecy because several travel bloggers I follow shared their trips to this breathtaking spot. But when Daniel's twin and his family visited Annecy and adored it, a few months before our trip, they so highly recommending it to us and we knew we needed to see it! It did not disappoint. We arrived at our hotel in the later evening (we stayed here -- it was cheap and it was a tiny little room -- but, it was safe and clean.) It's always exciting to arrive somewhere in the dark and wake up to the sunlight in a brand new, fresh spot, ready to explore! 

We got ready for the day and wandered out of hotel room almost straight into the longest, lushest, vibrant Sunday farmer's market of all time! (I later found out that Annecy's market is known to be one of the best in all of France!)

I gasped. It was purely, truly breathtaking: the cobblestone streets full of tables, full of bread and cheese, every colorful vegetable and every bright fruit. Early morning and few people mulled about, the morning sun hitting the turquoise water of the canals and shiny cobblestone streets. 

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The dreamiest.

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As we wandered through the market looking for coffee, we came upon a water fountain full of colorful rubber duckies! Weston lit up. There were even little fishing rods for kids to play and "fish" for the ducks! Happily, it was situated right beside an espresso cart cart! As Mama and Dada sipped coffee, baby bear played to his heart's content with the ducks in the fountain. That morning in Annecy still stands as one of the happiest I have seen my boy!

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The market was sprawling -- it just kept going and going, every street we turned on. The biggest one we've seen yet. (And we're from Southern California, so we've seen our fair share!)

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Stumbled upon the loveliest street artist, which we highly appreciated, Daniel being a busking musician, himself . These paintings spoke to me! 

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West loved the swans.

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Pictures don't do Annecy justice. The beautiful buildings, each tall and unique. The dreamy shutters. The flower boxes. The swans. The sidewalk cafes. The rosé. The fondue. Mmmmm!

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Look at this darling park! Our brother and sister in law helped us out by telling us all about this spot and a few other great ones to see and visit, thanks guys! This park was so perfect! Weston enjoyed running around and playing with the sweetest French children.

Tip while traveling with littles: find a park or some open place for them to run free and play, each and every day! They'll be so much happier.

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Shop after shop after shop -- full of charming, delicious, pretty, good things.

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A wall painting I noticed.

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My guys.

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After a lovely morning strolling the market, eating bread and cheese, sipping divine espresso, and watching swans in the canals, we took Weston back to the hotel for a nap and then went out to take a boat ride on Lake Annecy. Absolutely breathtaking and fabulous! The green and still snow-capped mountains above, the crystal clear and turquoise water below; sunshine, blue skies, warm air. The whole area reminds me so much of June Lake area in California (the area of the world the holds my heart the closest.) 

Let it also be known that I personally hit a travel-wall at this point in the trip haha ;) I've used the word "magical" very often in describing these places we visited and it's no exaggeration -- it seems that every time you turn around in this part of the world, you encounter some new wonder! And we appreciated every delightful moment and thing. We feel so so blessed to be able to travel, especially at our season in life, and every moment together, seeing the world is a treasured blessing. And yet, traveling has it's challenges and things that aren't "hard", they're just effort expended (for travel, perhaps it is: security lines, not sleeping in the comfort one's own bed, long days walking and in regular life perhaps it is: taking out the garbage, dish washing, getting gas, driving through traffic to work...) It's not all unicorns and fairies ;) While Daniel is a very adaptable, easygoing personality who thrives on newness and change, I am a natural homebody who adores adventure, but finds getting out of my comfort zone to be tricky and scary, at times. And so, as much as I treasure and thank the Lord for all the beautiful opportunities and blessings of being able to take these trips, I sometimes hit a wall and just plain miss home! That happened this afternoon, and I want to be honest about it because it seems there are scores of bloggers on the Internet who post flawlessly lit, beautifully styled travel photos that just scream "perfection and ease" and while those picture-perfect moments do happen in life and travel, the not-so-glam ones happen, too. Like, breaking down in tears because you're tired, being hangry, missing your bed, trying not to be cranky, etc. So know, I am human, we are human, and it's okay to hit a wall, need a nap and some water, and maybe a hot shower,  and get right back up with grace and a good attitude, and keep on enjoying and smiling! :) 

This water!!!!! We could've stayed out here all day, mostly watching my boys' happy, glowing faces.

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 A very well-supervised baby I was holding tightly to!  :) 

A very well-supervised baby I was holding tightly to!  :) 

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A memorable day!