Wednesday, July 25, 2018


Last September I had the wonderful opportunity to accompany the Madison's on a Grand European Tour. We were gone the entire month of September and visited towns in France, Italy and Austria. The entire trip was like living in a European dream. Bethy was our main trip planner and spent months researching and making reservations for hotels, airbnbs, all sorts of transportation, events, meals etc. She did an AMAZING job. I have been so excited to share my photos from this adventure with all of you! I'm so excited I am finally caught up to posting about it!

The main reason for this trip of a life time was to celebrate our cousin and his fiancé at their beautiful wedding. The wedding festivities took place in his fiancé's home town of Sainte-Maxime located in the French Riviera. I hadn't ever heard of this little beach town before this trip, and now it's one of my favorite places I have ever visited and I day dream about it often. This is where our adventure began.

We arrived a couple of days before the wedding so that we would have time to acclimate to the time change before the big celebration. We rented an Airbnb that was right in the middle of town and just about a block away from the beach.

Our apartment was the top floor of the grey building pictured below.

V taking a picture of our front door

I loved this airbnb so much. It was spacious, comfortable and full of natural light

Reece got this adorable horse balloon for V on our first night in town. We named her Maxime after the town, and she graced our kitchen with her majestic presence for the duration of our stay.

There were two bedrooms downstairs that the Madisons shared between the three of them

I had a lovely little master suite upstairs with a nice, large bedroom and an attached bathroom.

Across from my bedroom was the door to our balcony. We spent a lot of time out there enjoying the gorgeous views of the town and the sea. We would have meals and nap time out there as well as relaxation/hang out time.

On our first night, we were tired, jet lagged and exhausted from our long trip, so we wanted something close by for dinner. We wandered into town and the first place we spotted was an adorable pizzeria and we were sold. There is nothing better than pizza when you are tired and hungry.

Beth and I shared this white pizza that had several different kinds of cheeses, chicken and honey. It was the best pizza I have ever had in my life. I'm not even joking when I say I think about it sometimes, ok I think about it often.

We also split a salad to make us feel like we were being healthy ...

Then we said goodnight to the beautiful town of Sainte-Maxime and fell quickly into a deep and sound sleep.

We took it nice and easy our first morning. We slept in, had a nice little breakfast out on the patio, we had made a visit to the friendly, neighborhood market the night before to gather some provisions. For breakfasts we got almond yogurt, peaches and cinnamon bread.

We spent most of the morning relaxing in our apartment. V gave us make overs, which turned out stunningly.

Ready for my close up ... it was fun to let V put lipstick on us, she got so much joy out of being able to do it herself. We didn't fully think it through which lipstick we let her use, until it was time to wipe it off and do our make up for real, it was then we realized we had given her the 24 hour lip stain that doesn't come off easily. We had to scrub long and hard to get it off, from them on we only let her put on the clear lip gloss or chapstick on us.

We introduced V to the wonder of snap chat filters on this trip, and she loved it! We ended up with so many cute pictures with her.

After our luxuriously relaxing morning, we headed off to the farmers market. 

Dog spotting in Sainte-Maxime is prime. There are adorable, little fluffs everywhere!

These Tropeziennes were every where, since the town of Sainte-Tropez is just a short ferry ride from Sainte-Maixime. We made sure to get one from the market to try  out. It consists of cream filled brioche, so obviously it was amazing.

After the market, we headed back home for some relaxation and nap time. The first few days of our visit here were extremely hot and humid, so it was nice to spend some time in our air conditioned apartment.

V found this bird sculpture on our balcony and it became her best friend. She named it Jenny, and she would feed her treats, show her the view from the balcony (pictured below) and tuck her in at night. Jenny was a very lucky bird (statue).

At night we would walk into town and wander down this adorable street full of charming sidewalk cafes. We could have easily stayed a couple of weeks and eaten somewhere new for dinner every night. It was so hard to choose which ones to try on our free nights.

This pup lived at one of the restaurants, so we made sure to always look for him when we passed by

One night we dined at a little eatery named La Bicyclette, it was soooo good.

We shared two appetizers, fried zucchini flowers and melted cheese drizzled with honey and served with crackers. They were heaven.

V was not the biggest fan of the long, relaxing French dining style. She got creative with ways to entertain herself when we were busy eating ...

I got a thai noodle bowl for my entree and it was divine.

This gelato stand was one of the highlights during our stay in Sainte-Maxime. It was located at the end of our street, so we would pass by several times a day. We got gelato there a couple of times, but we also got waters and energy drinks there often. We got to know the owner and he got to know us and would greet us every time we passed by.

On our last day, we stopped by to get some gelato and home made churros to take with us to the beach!

I got the flavors Violet and Rose as a nod to my childhood when I would name every single stuffed animal Violet Rose. I thought it was the most elegant name in the world

The beach was a quick 10 minute walk away from our apartment, we passed by kitties, puppies, and fun shops on our way.

We rented three loungers under umbrellas and set up camp. Reece played with V in the ocean, while Beth and I enjoyed laying on our chairs in the shade soaking in the beautiful sights and the blissful weather. V had fun running back and forth between the chairs and the ocean.

V loved using her sunglasses as mermaid shells. She thought it was so silly and fun.

I did put my feet in the water for a little bit. I'm not big on swimming in the ocean, but I love being at the beach.

We made a quick stop at a near by gas station to get some beach treats. Getting treats from a gas station on vacation is a simple pleasure that I adore, for some reason I think it's the funnest thing

Perrier sparkling water, MOJITO 7 up! (yes, it was amazing), and European cookies

After swimming, V serenaded us for a nice long while with songs of her creation. She was one happy little beach baby.

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