I’ve had some great vacations where everything goes according to plan and the trip just feels effortless. My time in the South of France and Monaco? The opposite of effortless. In fact, if something could go wrong, it did.
Maybe it was because I was in Europe for the first time (and at the end of an amazing 2.5 week vacation). Or maybe it was that my sister and I were traveling with my mom, who seems to have some really bad European vacation ju-ju. Whatever the reason, it was a long and painful 48 hours on the French Riviera.
We experienced a mélange of mishaps while there: my mom left her bag on the train and all her jewelry was stolen; we were deemed undesirable by the doormen at the Hotel de Paris in Monte Carlo and turned away; my mom sat on her sunglasses and broke them (and later dropped and broke the replacement pair); and we got in a car accident while parking in an underground lot – this all in just a few short days.
And yet, this trip serves as a great reminder that even when things go wrong, great things can come out of it. I had two of the best meals I’ve ever had in my life (paella in Nice at a sidewalk café, and my first real gourmet experience at a super swanky restaurant). Our drive along the Côte d’Azur left me awestruck. And I have some hilarious stories that my sister, mom and I laugh about often. My only regret is that I let my frustration that everything didn’t go perfectly get the best of me – and I probably didn’t enjoy it all as much as I should have. Guess I have a reason to go back.