It was time to say good-bye to San Sebastian, our beautiful sandy beach and warm water. We were in our last week of our extended holiday, and making our way towards Paris for our flight out later that week. Our second to last stop before Paris was a small coastal town … La Rochelle.
After packing up our room and fitting everything into the car, we spent the morning at the Barceló Coast (ice-cold) pool, swimming, and soaking up the sunshine before having lunch and making our way north towards La Rochelle.
Funny thing about San Sebastian is that it is literally 20 minutes from the border into France. Had we not had to pay a toll, I just may have totally missed even entering France….. it was that quick!
Our drive took us north on the A63 through one of the most famous wine regions in THE ENTIRE WORLD …. BORDEAUX. I seriously had to laugh. Here we were…… 4 of us in a car driving past some of THE most fabulous vineyards and wine in the world, without even the slightest desire to stop! HA…… Mike and I were on a mission (and with 2 kids 5 and under… I guess it was reason enough NOT to stop) get to La Rochelle….. QUICKLY! Sigh…… the vineyards and wine of Bordeaux will have to wait for another trip!
It was about a 5 hour drive to La Rochelle from San Sebastian, and driving on the toll roads…. well……. it’s never a cheap day on the toll roads of Europe! We arrived late afternoon and were directed precisely to our hotel by Darth Vader and our trusty Tom Tom app on MIkes phone. The hotel was super cute and was everything you would expect in Europe….. an old non-descript stone building, that once you entered, blew you away with all its loveliness! There was nowhere to park on the tiny road that lead us to our fabulous hotel so we were parked half on the sidewalk. Had we been on our first week of the trip we would have totally stressed over the situation of “where to park”…. but after 6 weeks we were starting to feel like locals and pulled “kinda off the road and half on to the sidewalk”…. It just seemed like the normal thing to do.
What a fabulous room we had. Mike had been booking a lot of our accommodations off of Trip Advisor, and this one, like all the rest, (the exception being Lourdes) did not disappoint. We looked into the courtyard and had a tiny view of the old town. After the long drive we decided to get cleaned up and head out to investigate the town and find a yummy place for dinner.
La Rochelle is a pretty little town. Tons of restaurants and shops in the old town with beautiful cobblestone roads and walkways. Leaving the “gates” of old town, there was a great little night market, with tons of artisans showing their goods. We did a little walk about while looking for a place to eat with the kiddies. There were so many amazing options. Walking along the street surrounded by all these amazing restaurants it was hard knowing after we looked at the menus that there was really nothing that the kiddies would eat…. Uuuugghhhh….. so frustrating knowing that we were missing out on some AMAZING food. We had almost lost hope on where to eat when Brodie spotted a sushi restaurant.
If you know the Bain Family…. you know that we are addicted to sushi… kids included! Seriously… we go for Sushi every Friday (or Saturday) since the kiddies were born. Sushi was not really something we had come across during our adventure, so with Brodie begging to go there for dinner, we went and got ourselves a table.
The restaurant (I think it was called Koi) was a funny one. From the moment we arrived not one person looked happy or smiled. Mike and I assumed it was because we had 2 kids with us, but as time passed on it was clear that the waitresses just were not happy people…… they were treating every table the same…. no smiles and just plain crabby! I don’t really remember the sushi and if it was good or not, but I do remember being quite happy that the kids weren’t eating pizza or pasta! Since this trip I have noted that the kiddies will do well eating in Italy or Japan!
After our sushi experience we decided to do a walk about and look at the towns military towers that were so pretty all lit up. Afterwards we headed over to investigate the night market that was happening just outside of old town. As we were walking through the tree covered night market we heard a crazy squeaking sound. It turns out that the trees covering the market were filled with bats just “hanging out”, and Brodie thought this was über cool. After our bat experience we decided to hit an ice cream shop for a “before bedtime treat” and made our way back to the hotel for a good nights sleep.
It had been a long day of driving and the kiddies were holding up rather well given that the day started in Spain!
So much to do….. so much to see!
Enjoy your (not so) Daily Dose
Loved this hotel!
Why must little Miss always sleep perpendicular to me….. that girl does laps in her sleep!
hanging poolside… topless of course!
This pool was ICE COLD!
Hello France (and toll booth)… we are coming!
HAY… in Bordeaux
Sunflowers…. in Bordeaux
More Sunflowers…. in Bordeaux
Shocking… another toll booth!
Our Hotel…. SO AWESOME!
Would totally stay here again… so great!
NOT Super happy… its been a long day!
La Rochelle…. Old Town
Koi…. Interesting little Sushi Restaurant!
Wanted to take home Kois’ Bar statue… she was so cool!
Restaurant row at dusk… Old Town
La Rochelle Tower
Clowning around just outside “Old Town”
After a long day…. chilling together! *Love*