If we were in Toronto today we’d probably be up at Horseshoe Ski Resort (if they had snow left) with the kids doing a make-up ski lesson from their just-about-to-end session of classes. On the first Saturday night before this all begins when we’re attempting to pack everything up and make lunches (one of my domestic chores I loathe) I’m usually thinking “Why are we doing this? We’re so busy during the week we should be staying home and relaxing …”. Then when the alarm goes off the first Sunday morning and we’re scrambling to get out the door by 7:45am I’m usually thinking we’re really nuts. But then we get there and we’re outside making the most of Ontario winter, I change my mind and I’m glad we signed up, packed up and did the drive.
Usually there’s one weekend when we skip going because it’s way too cold and we’re not that hard-core. That first Sunday feels like found time and we stay up late the night before and revel in chance to sleep in. But sometimes there’s a second Sunday when we don’t go because the drive will be horrible or its raining and by then I am usually thinking “what on earth would we do with all this time if we didn’t ski on Sundays?”. Committing to skiing for 8 weeks makes winter go by faster, is fun and means that together, as a family, we are out of our house, away from email and work and the piles of laundry doing something outdoors that is fun!
Today we did a day trip to this amazing place called the Camargue. It’s about 1h15 minutes drive west from us and its home to wild white horses, bulls and one of two natural habitats in the world for flamingoes. We met up with dear family friends and headed off to see what we could see. Mother Nature shone favourably upon us today – it was warm, sunny and within 10 minutes of arriving we’d seen bulls, white horses and the famous flamingoes at the bird park.
After our easy-peasy bird watching we headed to Saintes Maries de la Mer [editors note: no, I did not spell the town name wrong. It's named after two Saintes named Marie with a mystical story about arriving by rudderless boat from Palestine and eventually meeting up with another woman Sara] for a leisurely lunch, a walk along the sea, a visit to a church and a gelato. We had great company, a lovely time and our 9 hour day trip felt like a holiday.
On the way home Chris and I were talking about how it is just so good to go away for the day on a Sunday. In our part of France (and probably many others) there are innumerable day trips to be taken and we’ve done many. I usually feel the same way here as I do at home during ski season before we get out of the house. I laughed at my grumpy self when I “packed” our “snack” for today’s adventure. I grabbed a baguette I bought this morning, a jar of nutella, some napkins and a butter knife and threw it all in a bag. You know France is wearing off on you when …
Traditionally Sunday has been called a day of rest. For our family with girls who are growing up quickly, when there’s always more work to be done, and the piles of laundry persist in accumulating, instead of a day of rest we’re finding a day-of-away brings many good things. Happy March Break to everyone at home in Ontario!