After a pleasant week by ourselves (no we did not miss the boys!) in Cancun – thank you Dede ! – for a rather busman’s holiday (from beach and sea to sea and beach) we left very early on the 23rd for 3 months in Europe.
The flights via Mexico City, Madrid and finally to Nice all went smoothly, though the boys had definite ‘square eyes’ after being glued to the TV screens all night. Our very good friends Antoine, Paola and young Daniel proceeded to look after us like royalty, in their home in Monaco and their wonderful unit in Limone, Italy. The mountain walks, amongst the receding snow, were exceptional along with the fabulous Italian food, and restaurants.
The boys required new passports, so we had to make a trip to Paris. Via TGV a quick 6 hours passed by pleasantly – the boys more interested in playing games on their Kindle. After a night in the ‘smaller than a shoe box room’, Melissa sensibly moved us to a larger one. Trying to get over the cost of food and lodging we managed, surprisingly, to get the passport stuff done. One hiccup was that the helpful consular woman requested that we take additional passport pictures of the boys – her concern was that my original ones (around the shoulders) showed no clothes !!! and might have been rejected by Canberra. I was flabbergasted to say the least – if this what Australian bureaucracy has come to I am glad to be out of there. What a bloody joke, as there were so many restrictions on the photos they should have included this.
We managed a delightful few days wandering around central Paris, and took in a couple of sights – great to have no plans. As we now ride the TGV back to Monaco we look forward to another week in Limone and then onto Amsterdam.