France La Finale!

Heading into the last week here in France… We have a pretty full week of stuff planned and I’m already starting to feel the push to the Camino. The excitement is building, I’m itching to be alone and see what that is like, meet my tribe, just get out there and walk.

For now, I’ll write about what we’re doing for the final last days of our stay here.

Last I posted we were in La Doire, high in the cool French mountains. (I’m writing now from Antibes again where it’s 30 degrees. Man I miss those cool French mountains.).

I believe the following day we went to look for the river that Luc found the day before in the canyon. It was beautiful but FREEZING. Being a pisces, I can’t turn down getting wet in a body of water, so of course I had to go in. We read a sign later that said we really shouldn’t be swimming – more rule breaking!

That night was a lightening and thunder storm. So so so cool. It’s a common occurrence here. Kind of like fireworks for some reason.

The following day we drove to Castellane and visited the market and the quaint little town. So beautiful and picturesque. We meandered home and had a quiet evening.

The next day we cleaned the house and drove back. I really really appreciated so much being able to stay in Luc’s aunt’s house. It was a wonderful break from the heat and it provided some much needed space for everyone I think. We got to play a lot of board games and just hang out and ‘be’. It was wonderful watching Violette catch grasshoppers. She didn’t ask incessantly to watch the iPad but instead asked incessantly to go outside and catch grasshoppers. So enjoyable to watch, and I think she really built a wonderful memory going out and being alone with nature.

We returned back, but not before passing through Grasse and visiting a perfumery called Molinard. Last time I was in Grasse I visited Fragonard (another perfumerie). We went on a little tour and learned about perfume and how its made. Fascinating. This was more what I would call “world schooling” for Violette. Visiting somewhere in the world and learning about the region, history and what their primary product is. I fell in love with a bottle of perfume called “Les Amoureux”. I didn’t buy any (49 euros) but I sure wanted to. If anyone can find me a small bottle of this and ship it to Canada, I’ll pay you back.

Back to Antibes where immediately I was struck by the heat. The Swiss frolicked in the pool, while I had some alone time.

The following day was a day for errands. We went to an outdoor sporting store that is as big as Costco. We don’t have anything like it in Victoria. We bought Violette a pair of hiking boots perfect for hiking the Swiss Alps. Two bike helmets for les Swiss (Luc and Vivi) and a pair of head phones for me. I’m not sure how they are going to get those helmets home in their luggage (there’s hardly any space). They might have to wear them on the airplane. LOL!!

Then dinner at Luc’s cousin’s house. She lives on a super steep narrow road that caused me much stress as Luc drove and I was SURE he was going to drive into someone or something. We got up to her 7th floor apartment and the views were extrodinary! The sun was just going down so it had this wonderful orange light on all the buildings over looking the Mediterranean Sea. We visited and ate like kings and queens while enjoying and meeting more new family.

The next day we set out for a museum tour for Violette – learning and understanding about architecture in this area in an old castle. We went for a little walk in the hot hot heat and then finally found a wonderful place for lunch under some trees. Sooo good and delicious.

The next day was big. We went for a kayaking expedition in the Cape d’Antibes with Remy our guide. Luc’s cousin (yes he has a few) works at this place and managed to get us free kayaking! Thank you so much Jerome! Luc was in his own single kayak (as he should be) and Violette and I were together in a double. We learned about sea grass and different houses along our route. I found out what a sea tomato was and we met a cool crab. The water was very wavy, turquoise, beautiful. I wasn’t sure if I was going to hurl from seasickness. It was super sunny but we came prepared with hats, sunscreen and water.

We had lunch (sandwiches) and then walked down to the water again and snorkeled around. Unfortunately, after a while, Violette’s snorkel wasn’t working well (water kept coming in) so we abandoned that idea and headed home.

That night we spoke with Jaedyn and I coached a client and I caught up with Leah. It was a great night of connection.

Today is the day before our last day together. It’s a bit of a sad day. Violette had to have a small incision done on her ear as the infection from her ear piercing has come back. Vivi hasn’t had an earring in her ear since March but it’s still causing problems. Parents, think good, long and hard before you decide to get earrings in your kid’s ear. This has been nothing but a nightmare for us and torture for Violette.

Poor thing. Last night we put on this freezing cream that the doctor said to put on (we’ve been to the doc already once). Then we had to put on a big massive bandaid that folded her ear all night long and held the freezing cream. Turns out that you’re supposed to apply the cream 1 hour before the operation. So the bandaid and the cream were useless. We tried to take the bandaid off in the morning and apply more cream “just in case” but she cried bloody murder at how much that hurt.

We arrived at the clinic. The bandaid is ripped off by the doc and Vivi cries… it breaks my heart. I find out from Luc that they are going to give her laughing gas. I’m holding an ice cube on her ear while the doc preps his tools. the mask goes over her nose and face. He cuts into the back of the ear and she squirms and cries and screams. I’m about to lose my shit as well. It’s so friggen hard to see you daughter in so much pain. The gas doesn’t seem to do anything.

After he squeezes out the puss (sorry all) he dresses her ear. She seems…. ok. She get’s up, we use the bathroom and I ask her “did it hurt?”. “A little.” A little? Are you kidding me? She says “what does it mean when the nurse said she would forget about her ear?” I realize that she doesn’t really remember the pain she endured when it was actually happening. I think back to when I had laughing gas when I was in labour… I remember it hurt, but not really how much. Ok, it’s been 7 years (19?)…

We head to the pharmacy and then to the boulangerie (to get a wonderful pastry of course) and then home for the day. We need to relax. After all, there’s only 1.5 days left until we part ways.

Things to note:

  • It’s hot again…. but I’ve been watching Victoria and the smoke there has accompanied the heat here… I’m grateful I can breath clearly which I know some of my friends and family back home are struggling with.
  • The coolness of La Doire (in addition to the alone time) has contributed to me feeling more myself and being able to appreciate and enjoy exactly where I am at. It’s amazing what these two things together do to help me be more myself. I will remember to check these two things when I’m feeling out of sorts first, because I know that my wellness depends upon them.
  • I’m getting excited for what comes next. While I’m so grateful for being in la cote d’azur, I’m ready to move onto the next part of the journey: being, being alone, being myself, practicing self love, practicing connecting with other humans and whatever else shows up in my space.
  • I’m about to move outside my comfort zone again: Luc does the planning and I do the approving and following. Now it’s all going to be in my hands…
  • I can’t wait to get to cooler temps! Phewf.
  • I’m studying Spanish and the voice in my head says I’m no good. We’ll see how I go.
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