Aug 30, 2019


For the last leg of our trip we finished up our time in Italy and headed to France!  We were supper excited about all the fun we would have, but sad to leave Lake Como and this view!
 We drove to Savona and walked around the board walk and grabbed lunch before heading to Monaco.
The view driving into Monte Carlo was everything we imagined! 
 Our first stop was the Casino.  The cars parked outside were entertaining enough!!
Since we had the kids with us we were only allowed in the front of the casino, but it was still so cool to see.  Bobo kept referencing the Cars movie when they have a scene inside the hotel haha!
Cafe Paris is right next door and a great place for a drink and snack!
One of the items on the boys bucket list was to drive on the Grand Prix track!  Well we checked that off!!!  Since we knew we would visit while on this vacation, we recorded the Grand Prix and watched it one night with the kids.  Seeing the race and then visiting in person made it so special!
 More gelato!

And finally the one thing Bobo asked to do on our trip...visit the Prince of Monaco's car collection museum.  I am sure you can tell from his face, but he was in heaven!!!

 And this adorable car was my favorite....I would love to cruise around Nantucket or Watersound in this cutie!

 Ellie's favorite car was this purplish one.  She kept asking us to buy it:)

 This was such a fun place to visit.  The amount of money in this small country blew my mind.  So many fancy cars, yachts and shopping!  Bobo loved the cars and Ellie kept asking to see the Princess.  Overall there was something for everyone to love about Monte Carlo.

Aug 29, 2019

Bellagio, Lake Como

We drove from Parma to Lake Como next!  This was a fun, windy, and scenic drive!  Once we arrived we had a light snack and drinks while soaking in the view. 

 For the rest of the day we walked...or climbed stairs...and shopped around Bellagio.  Ryan and I found several pairs of shoes here and they also had tons of leather goods.

 Bellagio was the perfect place to stay on Lake Como for a family.   Nothing is too far to walk to, gorgeous views, great dining options and hotels with large rooms. 
 It got a little hot during the day and then cooled off around dinner time so we loved walking to dinner!

 The sunset from La Punta restaurant was stunning. 
 The next day we went to Lido di Bellagio which is a private club...we thought they had a pool, but they didn't.  We swam in the water for a bit and let the kids play in the sand and then drove to pick up our boat for the day!

We had the best day just boating around the Lake.  I didn't realize how big the lake was!!!  We would stop in each little town and jump in the water and blast some fun music.  We took turns driving and napping and snacking:)
 Here is Bellagio behind us.

 Boat2Go was the company we rented the boat from and they gave us a map of the entire lake and labeled things to see like the James Bond house behind Ryan and the kids in this pic.  We also saw several other recognizable landmarks and George Clooneys house! 

 After a long day on the water we took a rest and then showered for dinner out.  We went to Ristorante Silvio on the water and had delicious seafood and watched another amazing sunset.

Aug 28, 2019

Parma, Italy

Next our our trip was all about the food!  Modena is known for their Balsamic vinegar and Parma for their Prosciutto di Parma and Parmigiano-Reggiano. We signed up for two factory tours while staying in Parma.  First up the Prosciutto factory!!!  We were able to see the process it takes to make that delicious melt in your mouth prosciutto!

 If you could only smell this room.  Ryan joked and said they should rent out a room with a cot to sleep in because it smelled wonderful!!!! 

And the reward in the end was a table full of food to try!  After this tour Bobo was named the "Prosciutto King".  I couldn't believe how much he loved the tour and how much he ate!
 For the rest of the day we checked out the city of Parma.  We had so much fun just exploring and shopping and eating our way around the city. 

 In town their is an old library and theatre which we all enjoyed seeing.
For dinner we made reservations at a Michelin star restaurant, I Tri Siochett.   Again this city is all about the food!

 More meats and cheeses and pasta!  As you can see on the table most of the time we have some sort of quiet activity.  When we sit down we make the kids look over the menu, decide what they want and then order for themselves.  Then I let them color or whatever until the food arrives.   Sometimes if we want to finish our drinks or dessert I let them color again at the end, but this is how we manage 2-3 hour dinners at nice quiet places with two kids!
The place we stayed in was called Palazzo Dalla Rosa Prati and Bobo loved taking the stairs and seeing the beautiful courtyard.  Most of the places we stayed had two bedrooms and a kitchen with nearby parking.
 Day tour we went with the same guide, Mateo, to a Parmigiano-Reggiano factory.  We most importantly learned this is the real Parm cheese!!!  This is the good stuff.

 We were here all morning and got to see how they start the process of the cheese barrel.   We have so much more appreciation for the food after seeing what a traditional and tedious process it is to make it.

 Our guide grew up in the house attached to this factory and this is his dad "The Cheese Master".  We learned how hard he works....14 hour days and has taken one day off in 40 years!!!
After all the walking, tours and tastings we were ready for our next stop and some down time.