An Epic French Road Trip with a Yorkie, Episode 495

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Category: Family Travel

What makes an anniversary road trip in France truly epic? In An Epic French Road Trip with a Yorkie, Richard Miller recounts his 50th wedding anniversary adventure, traveling across France with his wife and their 14-year-old Yorkie, Pocket.

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Having visited France multiple times, the Millers aimed to explore beyond the usual tourist spots. They spent two months driving around the country, meticulously planning their journey to ensure a pleasant and restful experience.

Hotels recommended in this episode

Hotel D – Strasbourg

What we liked about the hotel:  the hotel staff was amazing; location; room size.

What we didn’t like:  our room was a little dark – it needed brighter lights or more colorful décor.

Hotel Le Choiseul – Amboise

What we liked about the hotel:  room size – we had a lot of space; the bed was very comfortable; location – easy to walk to town and the Amboise Chateau.

What we didn’t like:  it would be nice if the bathroom fixtures were more modern; the Wi-Fi was weak – sometimes you had Wi-Fi, sometimes you didn’t.

Le Canberra – Cannes

What we liked about the hotel:  everything

What we didn’t like:  nothing

Hilton Garden Inn – Bordeaux

What we liked about the hotel:  on-site parking; the restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner; room and bathroom are modern.

What we didn’t like:  location

Bel Ami – Pacy-sur-Eure (Giverny)

What we liked about the hotel:  hotel is modern; plenty of parking; good view of the garden from the bedroom; view of the river from the bathroom; restaurant was good; location.

What we didn’t like:  no elevator and we had to carry our luggage up another winding staircase.

Hotel les Rives de Notre Dame – Paris

What we liked about the hotel:  location; very comfortable and well maintained; very helpful staff; breakfast buffet was great.

What we didn’t like:  it would have been nice to have more outlets for charging our electronics.

Bringing a Dog on an International Trip

Richard explains that traveling with Pocket, their Yorkie, influenced their choice of accommodations, opting for dog-friendly hotels. Despite being a seasoned traveler, Pocket's presence necessitated additional steps, such as securing a health certificate from the USDA and obtaining a pet passport in France. Richard notes the significantly lower cost of veterinary services and pet-related expenses in France compared to the U.S.

Journey Overview

The Millers began their journey in April 2023 and returned in June. They landed in Paris but saved exploring the city for the end of their trip. From Paris, they drove to Metz, where they enjoyed a cathedral visit and a train ride. Richard appreciated Metz's non-touristy charm and university atmosphere. Their next stop was Strasbourg, a favorite for its food, architecture, and overall ambiance.

Traveling Logistics

Richard shares their strategy for navigating France, highlighting the benefits of renting a car equipped with Apple CarPlay and Waze for seamless navigation. They used their U.S. T-Mobile plan for data, which incurred no extra charges. This tech-savvy approach eliminated the stress often associated with road trips, such as getting lost.

Highlights and Insights

Their journey took them through the Loire Valley, Avignon, Arles, Nîmes, Saint-Tropez, Cannes, Nice, Carcassonne, Bordeaux, Saint-Emilion, Mont Saint-Michel, and Giverny. Richard emphasizes the value of meticulous planning, which included pre-booking hotels and major site visits, significantly reducing stress. He recommends using tools like the Rome to Rio app for route planning and cost estimation.

Favorite Stops

Strasbourg: Richard could have spent even more time in this vibrant city.
Amboise: A pleasant surprise with its charming chateau and Leonardo da Vinci's residence.
Saint-Tropez: Known for its celebrity appeal, they enjoyed a boat ride and upscale shopping.
Cannes: Rated highly for its cleanliness, convenience, and picturesque streets.
Giverny: A dream come true for Richard, especially visiting Monet's garden.

Practical Tips

Richard underscores the importance of planning for laundry and varying weather. They faced challenges with laundromats and credit card issues but found these manageable with foresight. Understanding local holidays and some basic French also helped navigate their travels smoothly.


Richard concludes that thorough planning and flexibility made their two-month road trip through France enjoyable and stress-free. He values the experiences they had, especially the unexpected delights and the ease of traveling with their dog. This epic journey marked a high point in their 50 years together, filled with memorable sights, delicious food, and the company of their beloved Yorkie.

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More episodes about traveling off the beaten track in France


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Discussed in this Episode

  • Paris
  • Metz
  • Strasbourg
  • Amboise
  • Avignon
  • Arles
  • Nîmes
  • Saint-Tropez
  • Cannes
  • Nice
  • Carcassonne
  • Bordeaux
  • Saint-Emilion
  • Mont Saint-Michel
  • Giverny
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If you enjoyed this episode, you should also listen to related episode(s):

Richard Miller, Katheryn Miller and Pocket the Yorkie
Read more about this episode
Transcript Guest Notes 

Category: Family Travel