Our 4th Annual Summer Adventure Plans!
Yep, this is the SECOND time this blog title has been used! Back in early 2020 I announced our plans for our 4th annual Summer adventure BUT ya know… 2020 veered a little left for all of us shortly thereafter and 99-100% of all of our plans for that year went kaputs along with it! But…. EEEEKKKKKKKK… this year we are back in business!!! Exactly one week and two days from today we are picking the girlies up from school and are heading to the airport for our 4th annual Summer adventure… one full month in Italy, France and Croatia!
Our original 4th annual Summer plans consisted of a more northern European adventure from Amsterdam to England to Ireland. However, we’ve decided to change things up and do a little bit of a revisit of our 3rd annual Summer adventure. For one, I am a sucker for sunny skies and warm weather. For two, the boys will be with us and they are DYING to see Italy since their family on John’s side is from there. And for three, we just might be looking at a little real estate while we are away and we will be visiting my dream spot to do so!
Nine days, eleven hours and twelve minutes from right this very second we are flying to our first destination for this year… Rome, Italy!
As I’ve chatted about in quite a few travel planning posts (LINKING ONE HERE), I plan every trip around a good, major fly-in and fly-out city. Almost always I book a multi-city ticket with different fly-in and fly-out cities so that we can truly wander the Earth! Or in our case this far, Europe.
I’ve been to Rome twice now and I truly do love it. I will always say that big cities aren’t really my jam but Rome is up there on my list. Although the girlies, John and I have all checked off the must-see touristy spots in Rome, the boys have never been so we will be spending our first few days letting them take their pick of the sights they’d like to see.
Let’s be honest, the real reason we chose Rome as a fly-in is to see the Amalfi coast!!! Three summers ago now, I signed divorce papers and hopped on a plane with my two girlies to spend the summer of a lifetime in Europe. We spent almost 6 weeks in the dreamiest of places from Amalfi to Santorini and had the absolute time of our lives. A summer I will never ever forget!
I will say though that the entire time I was in Amalfi and Santorini, I dreamed of the day I would be able to take in the beauty and romance those two cities have to offer with someone I loved by my side. And as some of you may know, I got to do just that in Santorini on my honeymoon last July. Although choosing a favorite between Amalfi and Santorini is nearly impossible, I chose Santorini for our honeymoon just because it’s a wee bit more relaxing. Amalfi is of course crazy amazing but it is an absolute ton of walking and stair climbing and I decided to save that as an adventure with the kiddos… so here we are! John and the boys have never been to the Amalfi Coast (well, the boys have never been to Europe at all!) so they are in for something incredible!
Praiano, Italy (Amalfi)
During our time on the Amalfi Coast, I chose to stay in the city of Praiano once again. I did an absolute ton of research the first time we went and I was super happy with my choice! Although Positano is amazing, it is much too busy in my opinion. We visited there for the day but were happy to hop aboard a bus and head back to the quaint, quiet city of Praiano for the remainder of our stay. It is an easy-ish walk to the beach (if that’s even a thing in Amalfi). A beach that in my opinion is prettier and much quieter than Positano. There are also so many adorable, quaint little family owned restaurants peppered throughout Praiano that we enjoyed during our week there. I found an amazing Airbnb with incredible ocean views, a huge outdoor patio and green space as well as a little pool/hot tub. We plan to sit back, relax and enjoy our week in the Amalfi sun!
Staying in Sorrento was a super last-minute decision since we felt we had done everything we wanted to do in Rome our first two days.
Next up, we are renting a car! Although I won’t include Rome, Italy again right here, we are heading back up to Rome to spend another couple of days where the boys will then fly home after our time in Amalfi. From there, we actually chose to rent a car at the Rome airport after we drop the boys off and make our way slowly all the way into the south of France! We are staying a couple of nights in Tuscany and then another couple up in the Ligure area along the coast of Italy right around the little panhandle. John has been to Florence but the girls and I have never been so I am super excited! We plan to also see the Leaning Tower of Pisa as well which the girls are extra excited about! We got adorable Airbnb’s in each of the cities north of Rome (Tuscany and Ligure) that I will absolutely share on stories once we arrive!
Pieve Ligure, Italy
Well, I think I jumped the gun a little bit and chatted about this above but this is where we are staying along the drive into France. We have a couple of nights here and I truly have no idea what to expect! It looks like a small, quiet little town and I simply chose it because it was along the route and seemed like a good place to stop!
In chatting about this magical little city, I think I instantly light up and become a kid in a candy store or more like a kid on Christmas morning. To say that I am beyond excited to visit Antibes this summer is an absolute understatement! This will be my fourth time in the city and I will finally get the chance to show John my very favorite city in the world that I have been raving about for the three years I have known him now.
Antibes in my opinion is pure magic. It’s like the “hidden gem” of the French Riviera. I am absolutely in love with every single thing about the south of France and this city is just the cherry on top! I discovered it quite a few years ago now and absolutely fell in love. It is bustling but also quaint, it is walking distance to the beach and literally 30 minutes from absolutely everything… from Monaco to Nice to Cannes to Saint Tropez and the magical little town of Eze, France.
I am also beyond excited to share that we are also doing a little real estate shopping while we are there. Maybe like five years ago now, I made myself a little personal dream bucket/wish list. Something to strive for and work extra hard for… some of it not as crazy and some well… a little off the wall I guess. It included staying in and paying off my home (which I checked off back in early 2020), acquiring, renovating and keeping a cabin in our favorite mountain community in North Georgia which as y’all know we did last year, and then of course the craziest of all… buying a flat in the town of Antibes. I know I am a crazy dreamer but it was just something I added to my mental list and was determined to try and make happen one of these decades. Nothing crazy, just something small and cute. I truly believe the key to crossing things off my list all began with paying off my house. From there, I can save save save and then we pay cash for our next investment until that makes money and then roll it into the next. And since taking out a French mortgage was one big “no thank you” for me, it’s taken me some saving and planning to say the least.
I absolutely love spending the summers in Europe and the thought of getting to do so from whenever that purchase could happen into retirement with John just seemed like the dreamiest crazy goal I could ever imagine. So, although shortly after my divorce I was certain I would have to forever cross that dream off of my list… this Summer I just might be making it happen! I have gotten everything in place over the last year but just need to find the right place for us. As you may remember I hinted at this last year when we transferred the cabin into John’s name. It’ll be something small and hopefully really cute but what more do you need when the city looks like this! Hope y’all will follow along!
Although Antibes is my personal little dose of magic, Eze, France is the true definition of just that! Sitting high high atop a mountain in the South of France, Eze is a medieval city that will literally take your breath away! We hop in an Uber and make a trip there every single time we are in Antibes and it never disappoints! Cannot wait to share one of our favorite stops with John in a few short weeks!
Speaking of having no idea what to expect, our last stop is Split, Croatia! I am not even sure why but I have had Croatia on my bucket list for quite a few years ago now and this Summer we decided to make it happen! We are hopping aboard a plane on June 18th which is actually our one year wedding anniversary and heading to spend our last week in the stunning city of Split. We are clueless about this one so if you have suggestions… DO TELL!
Hope y’all will follow along!!! @addisonswonderland
P.S. I will also be sharing on TikTok this time too! @addisonswonderlanddesign
Before I go just wanted to share that I am so excited to be one of Google’s paid early testers for their Thank with Google pilot program! Thank with Google is an experimental feature that allows you to purchase a virtual sticker and directly show your appreciation for content on this website!
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You can find the Thank with Google feature in multiple places on my site, including in the sidebar and as a button at the top and bottom of this and all blog posts. If you try it out, let us know what you think! Thanks as always for your support.
XOXO, Brittany Palazzo