So, at the end of my last blog the machine that is The Cyclist and I, had returned from our epic adventures of 3 grand tours, and I had dedicated the last blog to my dad, MM_Scimitar. Well that was in the second half of September and on 8 November that most admired and wonderful man had no fight left. I always feared these days and as it turns out, everything I thought I may feel is happening ten fold.
Without lessening my fathers worth or what I feel, it became time to consider a holiday for 2014. While on our adventures last year, the Cyclist had said that if I wanted a holiday in 2014, then I had to pay for it all. I was also told that as a reward/thank you for my support, it was the only time ever that I could choose where we went, so if I wanted a dream holiday of my choice, it was 2014 or never.
A dream holiday. Wow. How can I narrow all those wonderful places I have ever dreamed of going or doing, to one holiday. Dream holiday. Top of the list would be a white sandy beach, azure clear sea, palm trees, sunshine, amazing room, space for time for ourselves and no screaming kids and hardly any people. So I looked at Sandals resorts, adult only all inclusive luxury hotels in Cancun and the Indian Ocean. I even looked at Vietnam. However all these places had to be weighed up against the fact that the other thing I wanted was a long restful break and the fact that no matter what the cyclist said, he would be bored senseless holed up in a resort and he hates the beach.
So then with the realism that I needed longer to save for a butler serviced room somewhere tropical, I began to look closer to home. I decided on Corsica. I missed it last year as Benbino was due and late if you remember, but the photos I saw looked so beautiful. The sea is true Med blue., the beaches beautiful and they are French. I found an amazing villa with private pool and thought we could have a week in two different parts of the island. I even sorted the ferry to Sardinia so we could have a couple of nights on Italian soil too. My mistake was telling the Cyclist. He wasn’t happy as he said I didn’t really want to go and Corsica was a place to tour with him on the motorbike. Back to the drawing board then.
So. Maybe Italy. Lake Garda or Lake Como with a stay near the Stelvio pass so the Cyclist could do the stage of the Giro 2013 that he couldn’t cycle due to 6meters of snow. Or maybe the south of France, mixing Cote D’Azur with the coast in the foothills of the Pyrenees. Both areas we visited previously and fleetingly and I would like to return. It has the added benefit of being France. I love the country and the language plus it is warm and sunny. That’s it. Decided. So I looked at villas or houses just inland of the beaches. Villas because it ticked a major requirement on my list. Privacy. For eating, sleeping and sitting by your very own pool, plus it would be near/in the mountains so the cyclist could go out and break his cabin fever. Perfect. Not my dream holiday but one that would keep us both happy.
After weeks of research and lots of emails to owners, I decided that a longer stay in one location would be better for us. I plumped for Provence as it’s near the Alps and drivable to some of the passes the 2012 & 2013 Tour de France missed out. The next decision was one place/location or two? And I was also looking at places at the bottom of Mont Ventoux In north Provence. Eventually I decided on one villa and a stay at Mont Ventoux too so the Cyclist could have another shot at cycling up this monster mountain. If you remember he cycled with the Squadron Leader for that stage of 2013 Tour and there was a hailstorm as he cycled up it.
I chose a lovely 4bed villa/house in the Hills near Grasse that has a pool, tennis court, games room, tenpin bowling alley And both indoor and outdoor kitchens for Al Fresco dining. Despite the overt lack of enthusiasm for a holiday, the Cyclist has been plotting routes to cycle, mountains to summit and has said he will cycle all four routes to the top of Mont Ventoux in one day.
I have been out on my bike trying to get fitter again as my cycle is going too. If I want to cycle to the coast with the Cyclist, I need to cycle the equivalent of climbing Clee Hill to get back to the villa. That’s some hill! So until we go I am focussing on my hill climbing cycle legs as they need serious work. I push Benbino in his heavy pushchair up hills to help fitness and scoot up steps from the depths of the London Underground rather than use escalators. It won’t get me up Clee hill but I am going to try.