In a couple of weeks we're taking our family summer vacation.  Last year at this time we were packing to go to Tuscany and Paris.  I just emailed a friend who leaves for Paris tomorrow, some photos of our apartment rental and the shops and bakeries that became part of our daily routine.  Before I tell you about this years trip (think complete opposite!) I thought I'd share a few of the photos.  Some might be repeats from a post last year…hope you don't mind.

France apt

Our apartment building

Street sign

The street we walked along to get to our favorite markets

Fruit stand paris


The bakery where we got our croissants every morning and baguette on the few evenings we ate at the apt.



Brasserie Stella

Our favorite place for dinner was Brasserie Stella. Only a few blocks from our apt on Avenue Victor Hugo, we enjoyed two delicious meals there.

In Italy, one of the places we spent a few days was the small town of Greve in Chianti.  It was serenditpity how we found the Villa (click here for Villa info), and it is now in our top three favorite places to stay.  Driving up the looong dirt road to get there including a wild boar sighting, I was getting very nervous about booking a place I'd never heard of online. Fortunately, we were pleasantly surprised.









This summer vacation we will be exploring some new places too…  We're taking a road trip to visit my father in Biloxi, Mississippi! We contemplated driving from San Francisco but since there are many places in the Southern States that we want to visit the trip got too long, so we decided to fly to Texas and rent a car there.  

I have never been south – except Southern California (I know that doesn't count!!!) and Atlanta once. So, I'm looking forward to seeing a part of our wonderful country that I've never experienced before.  Our trip is as follows:

Southern states road trip map

*Fly into Austin, TX and stay there for 2 nights.

*Austin to New Orleans for 2 nights.

*New Orleans to Biloxi for 2 nights. (Biloxi isn't on this map, so it looks like we're staying in Gulfport but we're not).

*Biloxi to Nashville for 2 nights.

*Nashville to Memphis for 1 night.

*Memphis back to Austin.  Fly home same day.

My son got a banjo this year and has been teaching himself Bluegrass.  Between him on the banjo and my husband on the guitar, it's sounded like Deliverance around here lately 🙂 So, an idea we had to make the trip more interesting, was to try to hit a music venue in each city. We hope to hear some great live Country music, Jazz, Blues and Bluegrass (probably in that order).  Not exactly what is on our ipods, but a great way to learn an aspect of American history.  

Of course food will be the top priority. We are all looking forward to trying some authentic barbecue, creole, and southern food. I will pack my running shoes, but who am I kidding – how many miles to run off a beignet?

So, my dear readers from the Southern States, I would love your suggestions! Where can we get great pie?  The best ribs? Are there antique shops or fairs along our route? A place that is not to be missed?

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