Thursday, June 26, 2014

First Dip

I stood in knee-deep water clutching my shoulders and moved about an inch deeper every 2 minutes. I looked back at the old woman on the beach. She was staring at me with concern, probably because I looked more like someone contemplating suicide than someone about to go for a swim.

I've been in France for more than a week now and I figured it was time to face my fear of "cold" water and just go for it. After all, how could I (pardon the pun), fully immerse myself in this country if I didn't soak up (there I go again) every bit of it... including 18°C water. Okay, I exaggerated, maybe it was around 21°C, I don't know.

I gazed around one last time, at the vast parking lot filled with holiday camper vans, at the senior citizens tanning beside their striped beach parasols, at the sparkling water in front of me with little boats bouncing up and down, and then up, at the clear sky with the sun toasting my skin. It looked like summer. It was summer, but the f*cking water didn't get the memo.

Oh well, here we go
. With one deep breath I finally took the plunge, wiggled around the water for a bit and then got out. It wasn't that bad. In fact, it felt really nice. Refreshing and awakening, as proven by all the hairs of my skin standing at attention. 

Like many of my experiences here so far, this was another first time.

You know that famous motivational question: "When was the last time you did something for the first time?" Here, my answer is always: yesterday or just a while ago or just now.

It's been really wonderful seeing, tasting and experiencing things for the first time. Most especially the things that Arnaud only used to tell me about. "One day we'll take my van and drive to the salt area of Guerande and you will see, it's really nice."

It wasn't nice, it was for me, breathtaking. And realizing right then and there that I was experiencing something that I only used to imagine in my head, that was really something. And so, continues (as our friend JonJon says) "Les Aventures de Denise Nicole". To many more firsts and to many more dips for the rest of this trip... I'm ready. :) 

France is full of lovely homes. This one belongs to the equally lovely Reitzer family. 

Merienda time in their lush garden

First time: raspberry picking (plus other fruits from the Reitzer's garden)

Camper Van Culture in Quiberon - we live in a camper during weekdays too (it belongs to Arnaud's mom)

Sailing in Saint Nazaire

Sun worshippers of Quiberon

The boys at the Marais Salants, Guerande

 After work beer and sunset

Arnaud leading me to the "secret spot"

Finally, overlooking THE secret spot (which I'm not allowed to show here :)

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