My Summer Vacation

I chuckle as I write that, wasn’t that the topic of the first assignment we wrote in first grade???

I’ve had a great summer so far, in Europe with six of my kids. We’ve spent time in Paris, seeing friends, going to dinner in little bistros, doing some shopping (there are GREAT sales in all the Paris stores in July and January). We just hang out together, and enjoy each others’ company (cards, Scrabble, movies on DVD, and casual lunches and dinners out, or cooked at home). I revel in the joy and blessing of being able to spend time with my children, and am so grateful they are still willing to spend time with me!!!

From Paris, we went to the South of France, as we do every year and have since the children were born (and where I spent childhood summers too!!). The south of France is one of the main vacation spots in France, the weather is hot, the water (the Mediterranean) is lovely, it’s very crowded since many people vacation there. We used to go for several weeks, and now only go for 3 days, more as a tradition, because it reminds my children of their childhood. And each of them brings a friend now, and we stay in a lovely old hotel on the sea. The food is terrific, and the family atmosphere among us is great. We stayed there for a weekend, and then every year for several years, we take a boat to Italy, and we had a fantastic time together this year. We started in built up and modern looking, right on the edge of the sea. It’s where the car race the Grand Prix is, and there are casinos, for people who like gambling. It’s a principality, and there is a reigning Prince (who lives in a castle). It’s where Grace Kelly married Prince Rainier. Her son is now the reigning prince. We only stay there for a short time at the beginning and end of our trip.

From there we sailed to Portofino, an enchanting little village with a picturesque little port. It’s one of our favorite places. At night, from the port, you see an old fort all lit up on top of a hill, and a church on another little hill. It’s one of the prettiest places I’ve ever seen. After that, we sailed to Elba (where Napoleon was imprisoned), and from there to Sardinia, which is a very popular vacation spot for Italians. It’s an island and you can only get there by boat or plane. We ran into a bit of a windstorm, but we had fun anyway, and on the way back we stopped in Corsica, which has beautiful waters for swimming and fishing, and it’s a rugged looking island that has remained relatively unspoiled. And then we sailed back to Monte Carlo/Monaco. It was an absolutely terrific trip. And now I feel like Cinderella after the coach turned into a pumpkin and the coachmen to white mice.

We all came back to Paris together, and one by one, my children have left and are leaving. We had a great vacation together, and the best part of all was being with them. No matter where we are, I am grateful to be with them, but I am also very grateful for these lovely summer trips we take together every year…..I’m counting the days now til the next vacation with them next year!!! I hope you’re having a good summer too!!!

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15 Comments so far
  1. Deana Pendragon August 14, 2009 5:30 am

    Happy Birthday!

  2. Gabriela August 14, 2009 5:45 pm

    I’m so happy your having such a wonderful time w/your children, despite the tragedies you’ve had this year. I hope the remainder of the year is spent w/much happiness w/your family & friends. I would love to see some pix’s of some of the beautiful places you visited.
    Thanks again, for keeping us up to date w/all your life events, I love to hear from you!

  3. Judy Stovall August 14, 2009 6:08 pm

    Hi Danielle – Glad you are having a great summer with your children. You deserve the best!!! Wishing you a HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! Hope you and the children did something special today, August 14th.

  4. Judy Stovall August 14, 2009 6:19 pm

    Hi Danielle – Just saw a photo by Eric Holtzman and was wondering if he might be a relative, my maiden name was Holtzman.

  5. Judy Stovall August 14, 2009 6:22 pm

    Hi Danielle – My Grandmother’s brother, Clarence Holtzman, lived in San Francisco. Our family went there a lot when we were young. I remember it being cold and foggy. Now my younger brother, Tommy Holtzman (Carmichael, CA) takes his boat fishing there.

  6. Avanti Scriven August 15, 2009 11:52 am

    I’m so glad that you had fun and spent time with your kids. I love reading about the South of France and Italy, and I’ve always wanted to go. I’ve been to Italy and it was beautiful, is seems like I can relax more in Foreign places for some odd reason. I feel more at home. Or maybe I just love Europe in general : )

  7. Kimberly August 15, 2009 8:42 pm

    Sounds enchanting! Thank you for sharing… 🙂

  8. daniela August 16, 2009 1:42 pm

    I’m happy you enjoyed Italy, my country. Come and visit us soon again.

  9. Jane August 16, 2009 7:27 pm

    I am having a good summer as well. I have recently read Journey and Bungalow 2 after not reading a novel for a long time. I read probably 10-15 of your books while in college. I then got married, starting having children and found myself with no time to read. 4 children and 9 years later, I am thrilled to have “re-discovered” your gift of writing. I usually stay up all night reading your books; one, because they are too good to put down and two, because it is precious time for me to be alone and lose myself in your characters. I have never been to Paris or any of the other beautiful places you vacationed this summer. But, my summer has been wonderful simply because I picked up 2 of your books at my local library. I am going back to the library tomorrow to re-stock my bedside table. May God continue to bless you and your work.

  10. Boots Domingo August 18, 2009 2:12 am

    18 August 2009

    Dear Ms. Steel,

    I just wanted to greet you a belated happy birthday after having found out that we share the same birthdate — August 14 — together with Russell Baker, halle Berry, Steve Martin Magic Johnson, the English novelist John Galsworthy and biologist Ernest Everestt Just.

    I have read some of your books; don’t feel bad that I haven’t read all of them because, even if I wanted to, I live in the Philippines, and back here, we don’t exactly get the best books, although the popular ones are available, i.e., those which are made into movies; like it took me years to find Pete Hamill’s “Snow in August.”

    I hope you read this email; it will mean so much for me to get a reply from you’ and I’m hoping it won’t be a computer-generated one hahahaha.

    Keep well, Ms. Steel. You’re a beautiful woman outside and from the way you write, I’m quite certain you’re as beautiful inside, too.

    God bless you, Ms. Steel, and take care,


    Boots Domingo

  11. Holly P August 18, 2009 12:32 pm

    That sounds fantastic! It sounds very much like a dream come true…so relaxing! I’m glad you had a blast with your children. That is always encouraging to hear someone enjoy the time they have with family.

  12. Paolo Luccioli August 19, 2009 12:14 pm

    Happy to hear that you were in Italy and liked it.
    I’m a 39 year old civil engineer (I mostly deal with constructions), happily married with three daughters.
    If you have not been here yet I suggest you to visit my region “Umbria” in central Italy.
    I read “The House” last weekend. I found that book casually in my home’s library.
    I had a really stressful working week before and reading your book was a real pleasure and very relaxing. I almost felt like living in San Francisco.
    Congratulations and thank you.
    I read quite often but rarely novels.
    Of course I had seen your name before in bookstores but this was the first I read.
    Congratulations again as a writer but also as the mother of a beautiful family.

    Paolo Luccioli

  13. BJ von Netzer August 27, 2009 10:01 pm

    Dearest Danielle, you are still as beautiful as ever. I think of you often, keep in touch through Carla, and hope to see you someday soon. It’s amazing to see the photos of the girls, I sit and try to figure out who is whom! I think I can pick out Sam and Victoria. You should be so proud of your family. Sending loving thoughts your way, Warmly, BJ

  14. Anamaria Nagy September 21, 2009 2:22 pm

    Hello Danielle,

    I was just reading that you used to spend your summer holidays with your children in the south of France. I spent my summer holidays for the first time there this year (I’m from Germany), I just visited Nice, Cannes, Monaco, Antibes, it was just wonderful! Now I understand why you kept going there over the years, the places are splendid, especially the colour of the water is unbelievable!

    During my holidays I read two books of yours, (I’ve been a very big Danielle Steel fan since I was 10 – now I’m 27): “Matters of heart” and “Message from Nam”. The former I read for the first time, the latter for the second time. I liked “Message from Nam” the first time I read it, when I was a child, and now I loved it again. You surely researched a lot for it, I myself think that it is your best book! Although I love lots of your books! But this one has something special, it’s as if one could feel your love and passion for writing on every page of it. I think you are very talented at writing and that you do it from your heart. Besides, your books are never boring, are very well researched and each of them is about a different topic. I’ve read lots of books of other authors in the last years and I almost always have the problem that I can’t finish them, either because they are boring or because they don’t offer nothing new to me to learn. And all these books have been on the bestselling lists in the last years. Why?? I ask myself. Anyway, you are different. I love your books and your talent, you are really special.

    With love,
    Anamaria from Germany

  15. saadatu babangida September 25, 2009 6:23 am

    hi danielle!
    how are u hope u are great my name is saadatu i have never been intouch with u but i love ur books reads alots of them and i am thanking u for touching alot peoples lives keep the good work pls cos the expectation from u is very high.