Have passport, will travel.

Once upon a time, there was a girl with a passport and a pocket full of dreams. There was nothing that captured my imagination more than the idea of filling my passport with stamps, evidence of adventure and wanderings.

So much so that a degree which began as Forestry eventually switched to Geography, matching my learning with the syllabus that offered the greatest potential for travel.

And travel I did. Stretching my perception of the world to allow my own perception of myself to be forever changed. It’s a view I wish for every young person. To see the world through shifting lenses. To always remember that your current lens is not the only lens, or one that is fixed. And above all, to remind you of the importance of home.

Then one day my travel stopped. Or rather shifted, to a smaller scope, shorter distances, less stamps. I accepted that my days of grand adventure through travel were behind me. Cherished memories; the good old days.

We traded plane tickets for a motor home and set out to explore our own backyard. The adventuring didn’t stop, it just evolved to a phase where stamps were no longer collected.

And yet here I am, once again holding a passport that is becoming decorated and dog-eared once more. My love of travel has come full circle, proof that not all memories are behind us.

And when things line up just right, we can capture some time together where Manolo and I can reminisce about our back packing days, while laying the foundation of wanderlust for our kids.

The kids’ most recent school holiday aligned well with a conference I was attending in London. The marvel that is the Chunnel meant a long weekend in Paris for the Garcias!

Manolo and the kids explored much more of France before I joined them, in true Garcia style.

Their western most point, to the coast of France.
Proud Canadians, visiting Juno Beach.
My great little lady, inspired by the great women who went before us.
Garcia style road-trip accommodation. Unfortunately this set-up doesn’t fit Mom. Three’s company only.
While they explored rural France, I boarded a train in London to join them.
A quick train ride to our hotel. Right in the heart of the action.
Check out our view Ma!
When in Paris on Valentines…one must bend the anti-valentines rules. My Valentine and holiday-itinerary planner extraordinaire.
Even pretty roses from my Valentine for our room.
Why not head into the heart of it all with the rest of the romantics!?
It really is so spectacular.
The view from below. We did it old-school and took the stairs up.
Good morning Paris! The sunrise from our room.
A little hotel breakfast before our day of exploring. Trying on a lifestyle that doesn’t quite fit right…
Luxury hotels at the Arc de Triomphe are nicely discounted thanks to the unruly yellow-vest frequenters.
Blue-bird day to set out exploring.
The center of Place de la Concorde, the Luxor Obelisk. On our way to the Louvre.
Pausing for a rest now & then.
I pride myself in capturing photos that paint a picture of uncrowded space. The reality was much different.
Why so serious?
Oh that famous scene.
She really is quite lovely. In such a pretty setting.
The kids, appreciating all the art.
Here’s the truth…tired, bored and so ready to bust outta there!
Worth the wait. Our first Paris charcuterie.
Food always revives.
Sharing a bit with the birds.

Inside the spectacular Notre Dame.

There’s nothing I appreciate more than a soundtrack to my exploring. Music is everything.

Our strategy is this; walk until we’re done. Drop the kids at the hotel with take-out so Mom and Dad can enjoy an exquisite date night.
Wine paired with each course. Divine.
Thanks Ma for the Christmas money for the dinner.
Another morning to explore. See Manolo is our window, top left?
Up top at the Sacre Coeur. So beautiful.
Winding our way through the impossibly French streets of Paris.
Pretty lane ways and alleys.
I love it when the imagined stereotype lives true.
Too many adorable places to choose.
Can we inspire future artists by visiting Van Gogh’s residence?
Poor kids, posing for both of us constantly.
Moulin Rouge – no can-can dance for this crew.
Even the over the top French decor is so great.
The wall of love. We checked off all the cliche sightseeing spots.
Even took in the space age self cleaning toilets. I’m so disappointed I wasn’t here when Manolo accidentally got trapped inside during the cleaning cycle.
A definite Spring feel to Paris.
Me and my boy.
A stroll along the Seine. Bliss.
We’re that family. Snapping photos at every turn.
There are rare moments when they like each other!
Our last morning in Paris, perfect, early morning bliss.
French market happiness.
Spring indeed.
Fromagerie perfection.
Poor kid, has no idea what filth awaits him at his hostel when he returns here in 8 years.
I sure hope this view will await me again one day, it was bliss.

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