We loaded our Kia Carens, left our Paris apartment, and said “farewell” to the barista we’d seen every morning for a week by 9am on Tuesday, June 13.  It was time to head west. Just over an hour later, we pulled up at Giverny to see Monet’s gardens.  If this looks like a scene belonging in an impressionist painting, you’d be correct: Once the crowds got unbearable, we reboarded our vehicle and headed nearly 3 additional hours west, to Omaha Beach, site of the Allies’ liberation of France…

After our 3 days in Disney parks and L.A., we took our Kia Sedona for a 1000-mile road trip to explore some of the natural beauty of southern California, starting with Channel Islands National Park.  Have you ever been to Channel Islands National Park?  No?  You should fix that. We got up early Friday morning and boarded the ferry for Scorpion Cove on Santa Cruz Island for a guided 3-mile (or so) hike across America’s equivalent of the Galapagos Islands (i.e., they were never connected to the mainland…