We try to come to France every summer, to see my mom and eat as many crepes and croissants as possible. Typically, we head to the Loire Valley where my mother lives and spend some time strolling the streets of Paris, but this summer, we’re hitting the French and Italian coasts.
Bella, Jack and Juju are used to transatlantic flights by now. They know the drill: twist their little bodies into cozy positions and fall asleep quickly after the plane takes off, without waiting for the disappointment of the airplane dinner. They’ve learned that they’ll be jerked awake all too soon, blankets yanked away by bleary eyed stewardesses with expertly knotted scarves around their slender necks. Baby Sophie was the only one too young to get the briefing. We may have to return to the States by cruise as her name has been placed on no fly lists across the world.
We landed in Milan, some of us more rested than others and headed to the agenzia di autonoleggio. Everything seems smaller in Europe, including minivans, and we had to upgrade to a full van (monovolume) which we promptly dubbed the Druckman Mobile. Our massive truck is not the typical vehicle whipping around the curves of the French Riviera roads, but it’s the first Mercedes-Benz Steve has gotten to drive.
We drove straight to the Italian coast and turned West to head towards France. In Liguria, we maneuvered our monster mobile into a tiny spot behind a row of leaning vespas and had a lazy lunch by the ocean. The heat overwhelmed us as soon as we stepped out of the van, like stepping into a dry sauna. We were instantly sweating, but it felt right somehow. Our heartbeats slowed down from the frenetic American pace and we began our two weeks of Dolce Far Niente with some crisp rose and a long, delicious lunch.