In the middle of September, the boys and I took off for a little French adventure. When M and I started planning it, we had no real criteria apart from 1) no planes, 2) SUNSHINE, and 3) good food.
Naturally, we came up with France. I found a little Beach House (more on that in a separate post because oh dear God it was amazing) in the West of France, and so we based the trip around that. We decided to do a mini city break at the beginning in Bordeaux as it's an easy trip on the Eurostar, and then head to the beach.
So this is Bordeaux. I had no expectations, knew little about the city and was really just looking forward to a glass (or 5) of good wine. We *loved* Bordeaux. All three of us.
We stayed at a lovely Chambre d'hote where the hostess made us fresh pastries and jams every morning and suggested the parts of the city to explore. We would make a rough schedule for the day, pack up our bags, and head out into the sunshine. We wandered the city, stopping for pastries or ice cream as we fancied because that's what you do on holiday. Sachin debuted his 'I'm going to run away from you at every opportunity!' trick here, which wasn't ideal or relaxing. He was just *so* happy to be there, his legs taking off in any direction with a look of utter glee on his face at all times.
We found a beautiful park with a deep green river and swings and places to picnic. We visited the Museum of Contemporary Art which is definitely worth a visit, if not for the art but the most beautiful building with a roof top that serves wine to tired adults and peach ice creams to tired little ones. We splashed by the side of the river that runs through the middle of the city, and walked through it's gorgeous wild flowers. It's a city full of beautiful architecture and the most amazing cheese shop I have ever encountered. Sachin exclaimed on walking in 'I want to get out, it's too stinky!' All good cheese is darling, all good cheese is.
On our last night in Bordeaux, we were told about a Jazz concert in the Botanical Gardens across the river. We all got dressed up and at sunset we all walked through the city to the park. We wandered through the gardens, following the signs to the Jazz and the sound of people. We got to what we thought must be it - a stage at the edge of a wide green space, people with picnics and kids running around as the sun went down. Someone came and gave us free wine, and we gratefully took it. We weren't entirely sure we were in the right place. When the Indian boy band took to the stage, we knew we weren't. Sachin danced and ran around with the other children, M and I drank the free wine and ate some left over bread and cheese we found in a bag whilst laughing at what the little community of people (who all knew each other) thought the crazy English people were doing there. It was really rather perfect.
At night, as we were all sharing a room, we would collapse into bed, switch off the lights and say goodnight and I love you. Never has our family felt more like The Waltons.
On the final morning we packed up, and headed for the beach.