Have Suitcase, Will Travel

I think you could say that “have suitcase, will travel” is a saying that I could live by. My husband says that he thinks that I could live out of a suitcase for a year and never complain. You know what…I think he is right. I enjoy reading about different destinations. I like trying to find wonderful hotels and restaurants with great food. Finally, I like the actual planning of a trip for us. Sometimes we take friends along with us and sometimes we go it alone.

For the last few weeks, I have been planning a trip to Europe for the two of us. The planning has taken me away from visiting and commenting on my favorite blogs. I have had fewer posts…I do hope that you will understand.

If you have read my profile it says… “spend a few minutes with me as I travel the back roads of New England and occasionally further. I’ll share with you great food, interesting places and enjoyable pastimes that I find along the way.”

I’m inviting you to spend a few minutes with me in the coming weeks as I travel with my husband on the back roads of Europe. We will be traveling through France, Italy, Austria and Germany before returning to our home in New Hampshire. I hope to give you a glimpse of places that you may wish to travel to in the future. If you have been to any of the lovely places where we are traveling…then I hope the blogs will bring back fond memories. What I hope most is that you will enjoy with time spent with me on this wonderful journey.

After twenty-two hours, three airports and a great amount of walking, renting a car and driving, we have finally reached our first destination on a hilltop above the town of Vence, France.

Arriving at Chateau Saint-Martin, Vence, France

View From Our Balcony

Welcome Gift of Fruit and Cookies

The Chateau Saint-Martin is between Nice and Cannes. The hotel is said to have been the former residence of the Commander of the Knights Templar. The hotel has beautiful grounds loaded with flowers, olive trees and rosemary hedges. From many spots there are wonderful views of the Riviera on a clear day.

Being jet lagged from so little sleep, our first day was spent just enjoying the hotel. The next day we spent exploring the back roads. There are many lovely small, medieval towns within an hours reach. I would say that one of the most well known is Saint Paul de Vence. It is lovely but hundreds and hundreds of tourists are dropped off by tour buses each day to visit the town, its art galleries and boutiques.

We prefer the wonderful small medieval town of Tourettes sur Loup. Walk through one of the remaining rampart gates and you step back in time. It is one of the most picturesque places that you will ever visit. There are just a few tourists walking along streets so small that cars cannot drive down.

Original Gate to Medieval Village of Tourrettes sur Loup

Narrow Street in Tourrettes sur Loup

We took many photos here but I won’t bore you with all of them. Here are a few just to give you a feel of everyday life for those that live here.

Home in Village of Tourrettes sur Loup

Cafe in Tourrettes sur Loup

Beautiful Produce

Fresh Crispy Bread and Pastries

Before returning to the hotel, we had lunch in the small village of Colle sur Loup at the Hotel and Restaurant Alain Llorca.

Lunch at Alain Llorca with View of St. Paul de Vence

Alain Llorca, is a Michelin star chef that I had the pleasure of meeting and taking a cooking class that was given by him when he visited Florida. His restaurant sits on a hilltop that looks across to the village of Saint Paul de Vence. It was a fabulous meal that will be long remembered.

Tomorrow we are off to Santa Margherita Ligure on the Italian Riviera.

Until then,

Bon Jour

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About Karen

I travel the back roads of New England and beyond, sharing great food and interesting places.
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48 Responses to Have Suitcase, Will Travel

  1. You make a wonderful tour guide! I feel I am with you – enjoying every moment, too! Enjoy your trip!

  2. Candace says:

    Oh how fantastic! I, too, feel like I am with you! Thank you for sharing your trip with us.

  3. allidriscoll says:

    I traveled, in high school, to France with my art teacher who’s modo is, “I came, I saw, I ate.” I too can pack a suitcase and go, as long as there will be good food to eat.

  4. Monique says:

    I am envious..I know that sounds bad but oh I am..
    Thank you for taking us along..what a beautiful hotel!
    Gorgeous..
    We LOVED Tourrettes-Sur-Loup..every inch…the violets and pawprints embedded in the street:)
    Have a wonderful time..there is actually no reason to wish you that..you will!!

    Enjoy~I am going to enjoy your posts so much.

  5. Kristy says:

    Oh Karen! How absolutely wonderful! And to think, before reading your post I was getting an itch to go to Europe…my itch is certainly going to grow even more seeing your lovely photos. Enjoy your amazing getaway!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Kristy, Thank you. We are having a wonderful time and it has just started. It’s really hard not to want to travel to Europe. Hope you enjoy what is coming up.

  6. Sue says:

    The food. The buildings. All so LOVELY. I miss Europe. It’s so CLEAN over there. What a life they lead………
    Enjoy!! And keep the beautiful photos coming!!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Sue, You are right…it is so lovely and clean. A man was washing the streets while we were visiting Tourrettes today. We don’t see them washing streets back home.

  7. Charles says:

    I had no idea you were in France – will you be stopping by Paris? That place you’re staying at looks fantastic – I must look it up maybe for next summer.

    Also – “Welcome Gift of Fruit and Cookies”… lol, don’t let any French person hear you calling their precious macarons “cookies” :D Have a wonderful trip!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Charles, Loved your comment. Yes, my cookies are indeed macarons and I won’t let the French know what I called them. I would highly recommend our hotel for next summer. We aren’t visiting Paris this trip…just a short time in France. On our way to the Italian Riviera.

  8. spicegirlfla says:

    Karen, you could never bore me with all your photos! I’m thrilled and excited for you to have this trip and can’t wait to read all about it! I’ve never been to Europe, it’s definitely a dream of mine and until that dream comes true, I will travel along with you!

  9. Lea Ann says:

    Beautiful photos. Really like the welcome gift of the fruit and cookies. And that home in the village. To me that’s the perfect house.

  10. What a great trip. I love seeing your travel photos! You picked some great places.

  11. Mary says:

    What a beautiful journey. Hope you have a wonderful trip.

  12. Ann says:

    I AM SO excited! Keep posting – I LOVE it! I can’t wait to see more pictures…have fun, fun, fun!

  13. Oh, Karen! How wonderful! Love the rampart gate, and can’t wait to see Italy through your camera lens!

  14. Karen, these beautiful photos of your travels are getting me inspired to start planning a trip “abroad” for me and my partner, Wouter, who is from The Netherlands…maybe a winter trip to the North Sea and beyond. Have a wonderful time on your trip…eat good food, love life and share with us as you go along.

    • Karen says:

      Hello Teresa, Thank you for your lovely comments. It seems everyone is enjoying the trip with me. That makes me happy. Planning a trip is almost as much fun as going…well maybe not quite as much fun. You are brave to want to do a winter trip to the North Sea.

  15. ChgoJohn says:

    How exciting, Karen! It looks like you’ve started your tour at a perfect spot. Thank you for taking us along and I cannot wait to see what’s next. Safe travels!

  16. lulu says:

    Nice transition between Maine and New Hampshire. Your are traveling in some of my favorite places so I will enjoy seeing your photos and smiling over what is familiar. Have fun!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Lulu, Yes…I know I’m not in Maine and New Hampshire when in look out at this scenery. We have picked some of our favorite places this trip. I hope to bring back fond memories for you. Some places never change and some change only in the fact that they have been discovered.

  17. Oh, oh, OH! Have a wonderful time. Do not think for ONE MINUTE you are boring me (or anyone) with too many photos. I am insanely jealous and would love to be there right now. I would to LIVE there right now. xxBliss

    • Karen says:

      Hi Bliss, Glad to hear that lots of photos won’t bore. It is so nice that when you have a digital camera you can just keep shooting. It’s hard picking out what I think people will enjoy. I need a big bus and could take everyone along. No come to think of it…I wouldn’t want to be in a bus on some of the roads we have been driving on.

  18. cabinet stew says:

    Wow wow wow! I have my passport out and I am on my way!! What a great post and I look forward very much to following your travels. I traveled myself a bit before I was married and younger- including trips to Europe. It is really great to see old places through others eyes and new places too. It really just “takes me away” for just a few minutes a day!! I am on the edge on my seat to see where we go next!
    Bonsoir!

  19. Bon jour Karen. Pleased to hear you are having a wonderful time, the south of France is gorgeous. We’ve spent many happy hours on the backroads of France, so I’m with you (metaphorically) all the way! A bientot

    • Karen says:

      Hello Claire, You are lucky that you don’t have all the hours of flying to get to France. It is gorgeous and we just love the food. Happy to have you along.

  20. Tandy says:

    the markets …. We have just come back from France! Thank you for sharing your holiday with us :)

  21. lvaletutto says:

    Looks like a lovely part of France you were staying in! I especially like your photo of “Home in Village of Tourrettes sur Loup”. What a beautiful place! Where in Germany will you be traveling? If you will be near Cologne, which is about 10 km from where I am living, I know of some lovely small towns along the Rhine you might like to visit. Have fun!
    Laura V.
    Bergisch Gladbach, Germany

  22. I’m in love with your photography..please share as many photos as possible..they are breath taking..a road trip through Europe is high on my wish list :)

    • Karen says:

      Thank you for your lovely comment. It appears that everyone thinks that more photos is a good thing…so by popular demand future posts will have more photos.

  23. CorkAndSpoon says:

    Super jealous! France looks like an absolute fairly tale! Can’t wait to see more pictures and hear about your adventures :-) ~Ruth~

  24. Michael donofrio says:

    Wow so nice hope you had a great time love mike

  25. Terrific photos! What a lovely French town!

  26. Michelle says:

    Have been catching up on your fall travels this a.m. We must have passed each other on the roads of Northern Italy! Love Photo No. 3 above—there’s nothing like the sight of that little Relais & Chateaux fleur-de-lis to get the travel juices flowing.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Michelle, It is a small world. Relais & Chateaux is a wonderful group of hotels and this was one of their finest. Everyone was wonderful and made us so welcomed.

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