France Day 10 - Catherine & Pornichet
Trip Start Jun 25, 2008
77Trip End Sep 01, 2008
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We get the bags packed and in the car and then head in to town to gas up (our first fueling experience in France goes smoothly) and I buy some Ray-Bans at a local eyeglasses store. The exchange rate hurts on the glasses purchase, but with the amount of driving I'll be doing in the next three weeks, its a must. And then we begin our drive on our longest road trip so far (roughly 2 hours)... to visit Catherine, Sandrine's mother, in Pornichet, a small coastal town reputed to have wonderful beaches.
After running in to a bit of traffic, we arrive and find that Pornichet has a wonderful small town feel ..
We head inside and are warmly greeted by Catherine (who looks very young!) ... she is happy to see us, and relieved that we found her home easily. Catherine has two brochures waiting for us to browse talking about the local area, all in English! So kind! ... She tells us many times that she does not speak English, but we come to find out that she is very very modest. Her English is so good that we don't use the dictionary even once during our whole time with her. She also tells us that she is not a good chef, but believe me ... these photos don't lie. It was a treat to eat the food she prepared for us. The original plan was to arrive near 11am so I could help cook, but with traffic we are over an hour late and by the time we arrive she is already nearly finished cooking lunch. After the tour of her beautiful home (where she and her late husband raised all three children), we sat down and enjoyed a feast of skewers of a small fowl of some type with oranges and white rice on the side, and for dessert a homemade cake ... and of course, cheese and bread! After lunch, the children are thrilled to find that Catherine has a house FULL of toys. Its a great mix of older toys from when her children were young ..
After an hour or two, Catherine shows us how to get to the beach and we get ready to go. She has to run an errand, so she won't be joined us ... she has a jacket to deliver to her sister's clothing store in a neighboring city. As we prepare to go, Samuel has a little meltdown about something or other, and its obvious he is super tired. So tired, he actually ASKS for a nap! WOW! I lay him down upstairs and scratch his back until he falls asleep. Catherine volunteers to stay with him while Janice and I walk to the beach with Ella, with a plan for me to come back in thirty minutes so Catherine can run her errand.
Janice, Ella, and I walk down the street, through a field and viola! We are at the beach. The beach is fairly empty because the skies are cloudy, ... but its a wonderful scene. There are several large rock areas that jet out in to the ocean, and several people can be seen carrying buckets and rakes scavenging for mussels and longostinos. The ocean provides some small waves, and the sand is smooth and inviting
As the sun began to slide towards the horizon, we cleaned up and walked back to our home in Pornichet, where Catherine was working on our dinner of artichokes! YUM! Over dinner, we learn more about Sandrine's family, about how Catherine's husband passed away just three years ago from cancer (very sad), and a bit about Pornichet and the surrounding area's history.
We end the night relaxing at the house. Janice goes to bed a little early while Catherine and I stay up looking at Franc and Sandrine's blog. A great day for all of us!