Monday, August 9, 2010

Beach and bay bums

Any vacation is a challenge to a sort-of perfectionist. You’re out of your comfort zone and have to accept that there will be moments that sinks won’t be handy to wash sticky hands or that your backpack will wrinkle up your jacket and the thing you most need will always be at the bottom of the sack. But when it’s a beach trip those challenges multiply! Sand and water come into the equation. On the other hand it’s a bit liberating to realize that’s just the way it is and that in fact going with the flow is the whole idea of holiday time. And luckily I’m not that OCD to let the little things get to me.

Such was the case Sunday when we had a little beach time in Fort Mahon. After slathering ourselves with sunscreen, we set Juliette down barefoot on the sand to let her splash around. But she’s become quite the dainty thing and doesn’t know what to think of the moist sand now. Her legs curled up rigidly against my hip as I tried to put her down- like magnets that were repelled by the sand’s opposite force. Little by little she agreed to walk on the sand. But this time she didn’t want to go into the puddles that the waves had formed. Instead she collected shells for the first time in her two-year life. I encouraged her to put her newfound shells in the half watermelon-shaped pockets of her dress. It’ll come out in the wash, I told myself. She’s only two once and there’s only one first time to pick up seashells.

Compare this video of her running with one from about the same time last year. What a difference a year makes. I think she's saying "wa-wa" for water and then something like buoy as I was telling her that's what the big yellow thing was.

The day before we hung out in the bay towns of Saint Valéry sur Somme and Le Crotoy. It was a bit rainy for most of the day, but we strolled around as best we could and checked out a few shops. The architecture in St. Valéry is so very picturesque. Took an old style steam train to get from one town to another. The next day we took a boat ride in the bay and were lucky enough to spot some of the gray seals that make their home there. I used Juliette’s booster chair belt to keep her attached to me on the boat for the moments we couldn’t keep her quiet in her stroller. Yes, mom, there were life jackets available.

Lest you start thinking we are rich to be on vacation so often, let me tell you otherwise! In fact we've only really been travelling a week total this summer if you add it all up. We just cut it into mini-trips of two days here and there. Kind of nice that way as it does spread out the fun. We're all too good at spending money. Wish we could find more ways to save.

So here are a few pics:
Where water and sky meet. Always so nourishing for the soul.

Very yellow shutters in a bed and breakfast in Le Crotoy.

Juliette in the light of the setting sun, with a bouquet of statice. It grows naturally at this boggy part of the bay.

Sunset on the bay.

The thing to eat at the beach (but I'm not into it)- mussels. You pick out the little meaty part and make a nice pile of the shells aftewards. That's Remi's friend Vincent.

Posing with Remi's friends. Vincent's wife was checking out stores so not pictured.

I can't guarantee we won't be tempted by another day at the beach, considering it's only two hours away. But trust me, we'll be brown-bagging it.


Lindle said...

Gorgeous photographs!!!! Even though it looks chilly, it looks like so much fun. I can't get over how Juliette runs with an "almost-sense of abandon" now on the beach, then becomes a dainty timid explorer as she approaches the big yellow beached floater.
Glad you got to be a beach bum again. We should seize those moments whenever we can get them---

Amber said...

She is such a beautiful little girl! the picture of her holding the flowers is just striking.