The 17th century houses are made of brick and flint,
surrounded by beautiful rose bushes and vines
In the evenings we eat outside and grill fish, vegetables and fruit (have you ever tried grilled peaches? so delicious!) bought at local markets.
there is no internet. no television. no DVD player or xbox.
Our family chats and jokes at dinner, plays dominos and then goes off to read or sleep.
In a world with so much screen time, driving and traffic, we need this time to relax, walk and disconnect.
my son and I feed the mare & pony carrots every morning
and then hit the beach
We also work in time for culture
including the gothic Bayuex cathedral that is so elegant and massive and truly mind boggling.
As I've written about here traveling with my son who is Autistic can be difficult.
But lately I've found that indulging his desires (beach time, visiting the horses, carousels, french fries with lunch!)
makes him more willing the following day to indulge in our interests - cathedrals, tapestries, palaces.
Before we enter a church (or abby or museum) I tell him "20 minutes" and we look at our watches and note the time. For the next 20 minutes my son knows its not time to be loud or disruptive, but to look around quietly at fascinating things. Sometimes he likes it and is eager to join me, other times he wants to pass the time alone on a church pew or museum bench. And sometimes it doesn't work. at all.
We've come very far with his ability to be flexible and do what mama & papa want to do! I'm hopeful that 20 minutes will turn into an hour over the next years and one day we scarcely won't need to look at our watches...
Our vacation in France is also a great opportunity to spend time with my mom. Mother-daughter relationships arent always carefree, but away from daily life and stress, we shop together, laugh and explore.
I feel so lucky to have this opportunity with my family each year as it's so vital to our mental health. I hope all of you have a chance to relax and enjoy time with your loved ones this summer.