Post-Vacation Captain’s Log

by Rebecca A. Watson on October 13, 2014

in 80s rock, blessings, food, music, travel, water

I’m baaaaaack! Obviously I did a very good job of staying away from the computer, as evidenced by my lack of posts for the last few weeks. Yes, I did work a bit and kept in touch with sober pen pals, but for the most part I was far away from the Internet.

Vacation success.

Since I’m only just acclimating back to real life, trying my best to avoid post-vacation blues, I thought I would do a quick summary of our trip. Sante helped me write most of this while in the car on the way back home. And yes, Freiburg — Germany — is home.

Life success.

The Plan: 

  • Annecy, France to …
  • Finale Ligure, Italy to …
  • Nice, France to …
  • Fréjus, France

I realize that might be a little abstract (it was for me — my geography skills are only a little above-average American) so here’s a map:

road trip europeRoadtrip Soundtrack: The car we rented was described as a sound system with wheels at the four corners. After a little trouble figuring out how to play music without a USB or auxiliary cable hookup, we jammed.

  • Loads of hip hop thanks to an excellent German playlist
  • A playlist called Hipster International (whatever that means)
  • Christina Aguilera (thanks to Sante for tolerating me belting this out)
  • The Fugees
  • Eminem (his 2013 album is inspiring)
  • Ed Sheeran (isn’t everyone these days?)
  • An ’80s playlist that was the closest thing to what I had synced on Spotify to feed Sante’s rock craving (“You’re not very rockin’ “) — to be fair, we had Metallica’s Ride the Lightning, but we weren’t feeling it
  • The Black Keys, which is excellent driving music ….

On the Menu: Before I say anything, I want you to know that I was a little afraid of French cuisine. Like almost everything French, it’s intimidating. At least to me. That being said, we ate like kings, which should come as no surprise considering our mutual love of food.

  • French fries (duh. I am the potato monster.)
  • Beef tartare with raw egg — that’s right. Raw egg and raw beef. Together. It’s an American germaphobe’s nightmare and we ate it. More than once.
  • Salmon tartare
  • LOTS of seafood. Being landlocked after living next to an ocean is tough. We took advantage and ate all sorts of fish and fruit of the sea, notably a St. Pierre filet (oh dear lord so delicious) and some white fish I bought from an Italian fish monger. How did I choose it? I watched what the old Italian ladies in front of me bought. Excellent trick 🙂
  • Gluten-free pasta (the Italians do it right)
  • Lebanese food
  • Way more hamburgers than is probably right for an American traveling in France. In my defense, the French love their beef and it’s rare to find a burger or steak or much beef at all in Germany.
  • Oh yeah, sorbet. Fruchteis. Glaces. Whatever you want to call it 🙂
sante sorbet


Reading Material: Even as we were getting ready for this trip, Sante and I decided that our next trip would be a beach vacation. We just never seem to relax on the shores anywhere. (When we went to Gran Canaria, we didn’t even touch the ocean!)

But it would seem we were already on our beach vacation, because everywhere we went, we managed to spend some time next to the water. And so, we read.



On the Agenda:

  • Lots of writing!
  • Knitting
  • Couples massage — happy sigh!
  • Got up early for sunrises
  • Slept in other days
  • Hiked
  • Worked (just the minimum, I promise)
  • Raced bike for a minute (Broken bike in both races…sad!)
  • Swam in the Mediterranean, Lake Annecy and a lovely infinity pool
  • Played tourist — shopping, taking pictures, provoking swans … you know, the usual.
  • Attempted to speak French (Wait, when do you pronounce the ‘s’?”)
  • Cooked
  • Drove (thanks to Sante for being the chauffeur)
  • Picnicked on the beach

Crisps and Coke. According to Peep Show that’s a picnic.


  • European, or Toll road trip: “You want to drive through this tunnel? That will be 40 euro please.”
  • Swimming in the Mediterranean (for me)
  • Squat toilets (France has a lot of rest stops. But not a lot of porcelain.)
  • Driving a French car — Sante: “Wait, the cruise control is where? *in a French accent* We take your ideas, and we make them French.”
  • Enduro World Series race for Sante (obviously)
  • Going topless on a beach (me, obviously)
  • Hearing the U.S. national anthem in France (wait, what? Thanks Whitney Houston)
  • Using Air BnB … awesome for staying in vacation homes and the like. Waaay better than hotels. Sign up here and I get travel credit 🙂

Overall, I would say our trip was a success. And we even traveled over Mercury Retrograde! Huzzah!

I had lots of amazing epiphanies I will share more in depth later, but for now, I’ll leave you with a picture of one of my new favorite places,  the Côte d’Azur. It’s like the sea and cliffs of Big Sur smushed into the volcanoes of Ashland, Oregon.

Côte d'Azur

We’ll be back.

CC Photo Credit: Paco CT

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Maryn October 15, 2014 at 8:47 am

How amazing! Welcome back and can’t wait to hear more about your trip.


Rebecca A. Watson October 17, 2014 at 6:36 pm

Hey girl! Thanks so much 🙂 I had a blast. I have been so off-the-back with reading your (and everyone else’s) blog…headed over there now 😉


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