Most days at the office, I don’t leave for lunch. I get into doing my work and I usually just end up eating my lunch at my desk and just keep working through lunch time. Sometimes I’ve even forgotten to eat lunch! Very American, right?? There have been only a few occasions where I’ve said, “This bites and I’m going to enjoy my lunch time”, but those have been few and far between occasions.
Well, the other day, Dude and I decided to cash in on my lunch savings and we headed for the local boulangerie. Like most boulangeries these days, they have something called a Menu Formule where you can have a sandwich or salad, along with a drink and dessert for around 7€50. That, folks, is a steal.
Dude opted for a salad, ice tea and a tarte framboise while I got the poulet cesear sandwich (which is oh so delicious with the dressing and feta cheese), a bottle of water and a tarte fraise with Chantilly on top. Grand total was 15€. Money well spent, I would say.
Then we headed off towards the beach in La Ciotat which happens to be about 5 whole minutes from my work. Luckily, the tourist season has not quite started yet and we were able to find some free parking close by. We only had to walk a short distance and we found a nice bench under some trees to shade us from the sun. Viola, a two hour “vacation” with a spectacular view.
It’s times like these while I’m quietly enjoying my lunch and looking out onto the Mediterranean that I ask myself why I don’t do this more often. I don’t think I’ve quite transitioned, yet, to the mind frame of taking a proper lunch to rejuvenate myself.
I was never able to do that since in The States you’re lucky if you get a whole hour for lunch (I have friends who only get 30 minutes!) and that doesn’t leave much time to enjoy your lunch when that one hour includes drive time to get to a restaurant! One always feels like their rushing and can’t really enjoy lunch let alone digest it.
I do vow to take more two hour vacations this summer. With this sort of view, how can I not?!
In France, there are a lot of households that hang their clothes out to dry from their window. I always thought this was a bit odd since there is so much dust and dirt from the cars driving by, not to mention all the times people have forgotten their drying clothes and left them out in the rain (unless that was how they were being washed), and of course, there’s the wind that’s always blowing here in Provence. That alone means there’s a good chance that someone might lose an article of clothing every now and then.
Well, some suspicions came true the other day while walking through a local village. It seems that someone had lost their “chonies” while hanging them out to dry! What a great surprise for the neighbor it must have been when he went to open his window the next day and saw his neighbor’s underwear stuck on his volet holder! He probably got a good chuckle out of it.
I’m sure it happens quite a bit here. I guess you can’t be a person easily embarrassed if you live in a village house!
If it were me that had found the underwear on my volet holder, I would have told one of my kids to go stick it on their head, run upstairs to the neighbor’s and when they answered the door, to just point at their head and say, “Ummm, you missin’ something important?” Knowing my son, he totally would have done that!
With summer upon us and the days in Provence becoming increasingly warm, we have opted to stay indoors during the mid-day to keep cool and venture out for our travels in the cooler evening hours. The bonus for us is that by the evening time most of the crowds and tourists have left and we get to enjoy the scenery with only a few others.
Last night our choice for an evening outing was to Le Pradet, a small village in the Var that is situated just next to the Mediterranean Sea. The village has installed a nice walkway along the water that stretches for about one kilometer and they have also put in benches so one can take a rest and just gaze out at the ocean. There are two restaurants in close proximity to the walkway, one it L’essentiel and the other is Le Samana.
Continuing south you will find some hidden away stairs leading down to the rocky beach. Once on the beach you can head left and you will come upon a Sentir Littoral. This is one of the many located here in Provence and it is a nice path that follows the ridge along the water on which you can stroll. Last night we only encountered a hand full of people, but mostly we were the only ones enjoying the lovely view of the sea from this advantage point.
The end of the trail leads you down to the port where there are a few restaurants. We stopped in for an evening snack of crepes abricot and refreshing drinks.
After our “dessert before dinner” snack, we followed the trail back to the walkway with the benches and finished the night off by watching the sun set. A perfect end to a relaxing evening.