In the great American tradition of year-end top-10 lists, Doris and Louis are saying goodbye to 2017 with our … top 5. Each. After all, 5 + 5 = 10 and, after being together non-stop for two and a half months, there has to be something we don’t negotiate.
We excluded destinations we visit because family members live there since nothing on earth could be better than being where your loved ones live, riiiiight? Travels that came too early in the year to make the newborn Partout counted.
Before the drumroll, we want to thank you all for coming along virtually and ask you to share your favorite experiences all over the place in 2017. It’s not all about us — really! Post a comment on the blog or on Facebook or email us with what you came up with from your own travels near and far.
Until then, without further ado….
#5 for Louis: Sandpoint, Idaho
“Because of the friends I met and the beauty of the place and because I feel we have a home there. I like the weather and the different type of life. For the first time in a long, long, long time, I enjoyed the difference between a peaceful small town and a big city.”
#5: Doris – the Netherlands (beyond Groningen)
(since Groningen would violate the family exclusion)
To be honest, the Netherlands was never on Doris’s hit list until the Fuller3 moved there. However, familiarity is breeding affection. There really is something about all that Dutch gezellig. Whether it’s the Vermeer Museum of Delft, the cheese of Gouda, the canals of Amsterdam or the primates of Apenheul, there’s just a lot to discover and enjoy.
#4 for Louis: California
We were nearly a month in California in the spring while the Sandpoint house was in its early stages of rehabilitation and uninhabitable in the process. Louis found the variety and experience of visiting San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco and the wild coast highway north of there all in one year, interesting and different.
#4 for Doris: Paris at Christmas
With all its lights and many friends, Paris made it possible to experience the season more weightlessly than in the other Christmases since Natalie died. A nice relief that was also a sensory and social feast. And that’s all without factoring in the food.
#3 for Louis: Paris
Louis says, “I feel a bit at home here. It’s within my culture and language. I like to shop for food in Paris — the displays, the knowledge of food, the conversations you have around it. It is different from anywhere in the world. And we spent time with friends, so we were able to share it all. In Paris, whatever weather it is, even in terrible weather, we still have places to go and so much to see.”
#3 for Doris: Andalusia
You probably have to go to Istanbul to find another European city where two great cultures and their art and architecture go back so far and have bloomed so intensely as they have in Andalusia. Throw in world-changing history, yummy regional food, good wine and sunny skies, and Southern Spain (visited twice in 2017 for nearly six weeks altogether) is hard to top.
#2 for Louis: Lisbon
“Porque no?” It was a shock how different Lisbon was than what we expected. We were out every day exploring new neighborhoods. The hills, the access to the sea. Lisbon wasn’t bombed during the war so it is unchanged for a long time. Plus, there is a lot to see in towns nearby. And then there is the food and wine.
#2 for Doris: Lisbon
(looks like there’s a return trip cooking for Portugal)
Lisbon was the biggest surprise of the year’s many travels for Doris. Friends who had grown up in three different countries all agreed over dinner in Paris that Portugal’s profound impact as a colonial power and distinctive artistic and other traditions were largely overlooked in our childhood educations. Along with its welcoming locals, amazing octopus and great wines, this makes the country a discovery in a way few European countries remain at this point in our travels.
#1 for Louis: Andalusia
It’s endless what we can see and discover, in good weather, with good food.
#1 for Doris: Sandpoint, Idaho
It may not be exotic, but Sandpoint’s natural beauty can hold its own with any place we visited in 2017 (see Louis’s photo above) and, for Doris, there was no place like home. Despite the rigors of remodeling and all the other complications, the nearly four months we spent settling into our future summer retreat, surrounded by near and dear friends and visited by faraway family and friends, could not be topped.
In the rearview mirror
Of course, nothing can top a family destination. 2017 was a rare year for Partout because we saw all our immediate family members in their homes in three countries on two continents.
- St. Petersburg, Florida, to see Joelle and Chris
- Montreal, Quebec, to see Antoine
- Groningen, the Netherlands, to see Greg, Carole and Abby
- Trinidad, California, to see Doris’s brother Rick and his wife Suzie
Coming soon: Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Oman, Zanzibar, Serengeti, Nairobi, Mombasa, Sicily (and that’s before spring)
HAPPY NEW YEAR!