Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Le mois d'août (The month of August)

For those of you practicing your French, that’s pronounced (approximately!) as so: luh mwah dewh.

I suppose that if you had to pick a month to come back to France, August is not so bad. It’s a bit like stepping into a slightly aged postcard. One where you see folks enjoying pizzas on café terraces and (if you’re lucky) the sky’s so blue that you think it must have been retouched. There’s also a sleepiness about everything, probably because half the city’s inhabitants are on vacation themselves. There are virtually no lines in the government offices, or then again, there might be if all the staff is on vacation. Numerous family-owned shops have lowered their exterior plastic blinds and posted their signs saying “fermeture annuelle”, or annual closing/holidays. This can be anywhere from one to three or maybe even four weeks.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m certainly not over my post-vacation blues, but I figure the best way to readapt to my adopted country is to act like the rest of them. And at this moment that means, continue to be on vacation. So simple, I wonder why I didn’t think of it sooner. So last Sunday we took Remi’s granddad, or Dédé, to a bay/beach town for a day trip. Of course, this was a day spent at grandpa/bébé speed, so not very fast. He gave Remi directions to take the Very Scenic Route (i.e. very windy roads but cute landscapes and villages) and of course there was the obligatory stop at the very quaint town of St. Riquier for a quick coffee. Remi took this cool 360° video of the main square. That’s an old abbey you see. Then another good stretch of driving to arrive at Le Crotoy. Most of our time was spent eating and sitting on a bench. No playing in the sand this time but it’s always nice to get out of your own surroundings and see some calming landscapes. We came back tired after all that driving, but our heads filled with all we’d seen.

If we can reserve a reasonably priced-hotel room we’re going to try and do a real beach trip this weekend. Let Juliette make use of her little shovel and sieve on the sand. We’re lucky since the beach is only about 2 hours from us.
So my advice to all of you still bummed after your vacation, don’t end it! Keep staying on vacation until the money runs out. It’s the only way to get every last drop out of summer and keep you warm with memories come September.


Lindle said...

I thoroughly agree with your recipe for beating the summer blues: just say "no" to the concept of ending the vacation mode. Wouldn't it be great if we could make each day feel like the beginning of a holiday?
The town you visited looks really lovely and quaint (especially from Google Earth)--glad you had a good time with Remi and Dede and Bebe.
Love you,

Anonymous said...

Dear Milam,
I love seeing the beautiful old buildings in France. Nothing like that in the USA so take it all in for us and we'll hang out at Walmart for you. O.K? In this case I think you're getting the better end of the bargain.
Can't wait for the coming attraction of Juliette at the beach.

Love you,