Benjamin’s room here has no curtains, so he and I were up first thing, just after 6. We started off our foggy morning playing in the yard and watering some (already damp) flowers.
Today was our day to explore this part of France-that-isn’t-Paris. Our first stop for the morning was the beach. B has been asking to go, and we figured it would be a chance for some fun freedom for the boys, even though it was cloudy and chilly. On the way, we stopped in the cutest village ever for quiche and baguettes, and then the drive to the shore was very pretty (Dan especially like the houses with sod roofs — some complete with tulip gardens on top). Once we arrived in the seaside town of Deauville, it was fun to see the difference between a French beach house (looks just like a French country cottage, just at the beach) and an American one. We got to the town, found parking, and took our excited boys to the beach. They were so excited to walk in the sand, pick up shells and run towards the waves. It lost its allure after about 2 minutes. (We convinced them to stay for 5. B had me set a timer so we didn’t stay too long.)
We carried them back to the car, got them strapped in to their car seats, and started off to our next destination. I was a little disappointed that they hadn’t enjoyed the beach more, and that they hadn’t gotten to spend an hour or so just running around.
But, less than a block from where we’d been exploring the beach, we came upon a huge play area, with ride-on toys, trampolines, gigantic inflatable bouncy contraptions and (ironically) a big sandbox.
It was a huge hit. We played for an hour. They rode on tractors and motorcycles. They dug in the sand (really). They bounced. B jumped on a trampoline and climbed up the huge slide. They ran, they played, and got to be free and make all of the decisions for a little while. They were really happy.
After we played, we drove to Honfleur, a picturesque town on the water, near Normandy. The views along the way, out into the English Channel, were so stunning that we pulled over a few times just to stare.
Honfleur is small and very cute. We walked through the streets and tried ice cream from three different shops (all good). It’s been a long, fun week, though, and it wasn’t long before we got tired and headed for “home”.
Tomorrow we’ll pack up, drive to Paris, and fly to Vienna. Our trip has been a success, and as much as I’ll be glad to be home, I’ll definitely miss being on vacation. I think the boys have had fun, too. Tonight, before dinner, before the end-of-vacation meltdowns began, Benjamin asked, “Can we stay here forever?”
I kind of feel that way, too. (But I miss my bed. And my shower. And our dog. So, Vienna it is.)