Yesterday we woke up to thunder, lightning, and torrential rain, whereas today it was windy – insanely windy!  I didn’t sleep well last night because I could hear the wind whistling through all of the windows and it was really loud.  There are advantages and disadvantages to being on the 15th floor of the only tall building around…

The kids were up early and eager to hit the beach before it got too hot and crowded, but it was so windy that there were only a few brave souls out there.  From our vantage point it was interesting to watch the wind whipping their towels and hair around, and most people didn’t last very long.  That kind of wind is exhausting – the flags were standing straight out as if they’d been starched in to place!

So, once again we needed to figure out a plan, and again the plan involved lazing around waiting for; 1) the weather to change, or 2) someone to come up with a decent plan.  Around 11 a.m. I looked out a side window and there appeared to be a market of some sort within walking distance.  We excitedly hurried down, but we were disappointed to discover that it was more of a bathing suit market – I’m not sure how else to describe it but there were mobs of women digging in baskets of bathing suits.  So, onwards we went…  We decided to walk in to the church that forms a very significant part of the landscape around here – The Basilique Notre Dame de la Victoire (Our Lady of Victory).  It was a cute little church, and when we walked beside the confession booth Julia turned to me and asked if it was a photo booth.  Apparently she is not inside of Catholic Churches very often…  A photo booth is a great idea though, and I think the congregation would love it!

As it was now past noon we headed towards a Vietnamese restaurant that Jeff had noticed on the drive in from Ste. Maxime yesterday.  We had such a good experience in Nîmes and hoped to recreate it.  Unfortunately we should’ve left our French-Vietnamese experience with just one restaurant, as this one was not even half as good as the other one.  We became a little leery when Jeff noticed that our beers expired in January.  I gave them the benefit of the doubt and thought that maybe they just don’t get a lot of beer drinkers here?  It is France, after all – most people drink wine at restaurants.  The food arrived and it was… mediocre.  A few things were decent, one was really bad, but the kids loved their soup so that was the important part.  Jeff and I struggled through a rice vermicelli dish and then cleansed our palates with a sprig or two of fresh mint that came with the soup.  I think the mint saved us.

We headed back in to the wind in the direction of our apartment, and the kids were more than excited to grab an ice cream at the ‘Pinocchio’ stand.  They have a great display, and Chloë has been asking to go there all week.  She has eaten her fair share of violet flavoured ice cream here and doesn’t seem ready to stop.  This is a picture of my family eating ice cream in gale-force wind!

We got up the nerve to head down to the windy beach (by this point it had eased up a bit); we finally had ourselves set up after Jeff and I struggled with the beach mats and towels in the wind.  There always had to be at least one person lying across the towels to ensure that they didn’t accidentally end up in Italy.  The actual air temperature was really hot today, and the wind made the beach tolerable because you never got too hot.  (Granted, this is also the prime time to burn as you never really feel the full intensity of the sun!)  We stayed for about an hour and a half, while Julia happily made sand sculptures and both girls jumped waves and did the general frolicking that young people do.  I left a bit before the others to get back and make some snacks, and as I walked through the sand to get to the sidewalk I noticed something stuck and dragging behind me.  “Oh no!” I thought, as I kept walking.  “Something is stuck to the bottom of my shoe!”  No luck – I was barefoot, and I was dragging a massive piece of warm, gooey pink gum behind me.  As I walked it got longer and heavier, and I was thoroughly creeped out!!  I had to quickly break it off with my fingers, and then I went up the stairs and started dragging my heel all over the brick sidewalk.  I must’ve looked like a freak – but I wanted that goop off of my foot!  I did as much as I could, but as I walked home my flip flop kept sticking to my heel as a nasty reminder.  I got in to the shower the minute I got home, and after letting my foot soak for a minute or two, I used the handy foot scrubber we bought and cleaned that gunk off.  Ugh!   (As I re-read this description I am glad to have such a bad ‘problem’.  It could be much worse!!!  This was yucky though, and I didn’t enjoy it.)

Dinner was really delicious tonight – I had smoked salmon lollipops!  It said 'sucettes de saumon' on the menu, but I didn’t realize it would be taken so literally.  Very cute, and very tasty.  We all enjoyed our meals despite the chain smokers at the table beside us… we are thankful for the city bylaws in Calgary that prevent this.  That’s what makes travelling so interesting – you gain an appreciation for places that are different, but you also appreciate the finer points of the place you call home.  :)


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