Thanks to my retirement in early January, theTravelsketcher and I have enjoyed a year chockablock with travel! After 35 years working as a project manager in medical research, plus additional time prior to that working as a nutritional counselor, I was ready to retire. We achieved our retirement dream of moving to France to enjoy life in our favorite country, and to more easily travel throughout Europe; a dream come true!
Before moving to France however, we took a trip to Sonoma County, CA. We had to go to San Francisco to apply for our French visas, so we included a few days in Sonoma while in the area. Sonoma is not only stunningly beautiful, but also has great food and wine. Not long after our appointment, we were crossing the Golden Gate Bridge on our way to Healdsburg; you can read about that here.
In March, not long after arriving in France, we took a trip to L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue in Provence to meet up with dear friends, Shirley and Jim. This lovely market town situated on the Sorgue River is an inviting place to spend a few relaxing days, particularly if you’re into shopping. You can read about our time there, along with a few other stops, in this post – A Week In Photos.
In May, other dear friends, Tim and Lisa, arrived from the US and the four of us enjoyed visiting sites in Normandie, the Loire Valley, and Brittany. Tim had a particular interest in seeing Les Alignments in Carnac. I had never even heard of them, but am so glad we visited. Apparently, they are older than Stonehenge and much more numerous as well. There are close to 3,000 stones covering several miles.
Check out these blog posts for more about our time with Tim and Lisa:
In July we visited Bayeau and the D-Day Beaches. Since both our uncles were here on D-Day, and our fathers served in WWII, it was particularly poignant for us to visit. I was touched to see that people still leave flowers at the base of this monument.
In September we visited Le Mont Saint Michel and spent the night in the village. I never get tired of seeing this amazing place.
We took multiple trips in October, November, and December. We visited Spain twice, along with Italy, Greece, and Malta. Seeing the Acropolis in Athens was an absolute highlight for me, as well as spending five days in Rome.
It was a fun filled year of travel and we’re looking forward to 2023 when many family and friends will be visiting us here in France. First to visit in just six weeks (not that I’m counting the days or minutes), is our daughter, Alexis, and son-in-law, Joe; we can’t wait to see them in person!!! Alexis will get to spend her birthday in Paris. Other family and friends will also be visiting throughout the year. In addition, we have an ambitious travel agenda including Portugal, Spain, Gibraltar, Morocco, Croatia, Scotland, USA, and possibly Norway, and Holland; whew!
I hope you have a Happy New Year and that 2023 brings you much happiness and some grand adventures too.