Beach Life


The island near us, Ile d’Aix, doesn’t allow cars. You see an occasional one, or a business van, but there are no gas stations so you have to have brought enough fuel. The ferry will only hold one vehicle as well. When people who are staying on the island arrive on the ferry, they are pulling suitcases all the way to a hotel or rental house or they use little carts available to load up with their belongings. I saw a lady who I guess was going to be feeding a lot of people wherever she was going, with boxes of what looked like china plates, cups and saucers for twelve. She had a lot of food too. There is a small grocery store on the island along with a boulangerie, but I guess renters bring much of their own food. It’s a small island and you can rent a bike and ride around the island in two hours or so. It’s all flat and there are views of the water as you ride along, pine trees, a few horses in fields and a few places to eat but sometimes when on a road you feel like you are the only people there-Robinson Crusoe on a bike, with a cell phone.

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A view of what is called Baby Beach.

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White horses in a field that we later saw pulling a carriage.

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In the small cemetery.

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In the crypt in the small, charming church. There is a plaque here commerating the death of over 400 priests here left to basically starve to death on boats during the French Revolution.

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Two sleepy horses.

Ars is the name of a village not visited as much as the other villages in Île de Ré but it is charming. It was once very prosperous and has some really lovely buildings left from that time.

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The church there with the unusual steeple to guide sailors.

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The church there has this enormous piece of needle work of Île de Ré.

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Loved this bike in front of a hotel.

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We went into this very nice hotel, the Hotel le Sénéchal, and it looked like a great place. Another lobby that I liked.

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Fresh pink flowers in front of a red chair in the garden.

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Behind the scenes-sheets to iron and fold.

We took our company to the capital of Ile de Ré, St Martin. It’s an elegant, perfect place.

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This was at an antique store. Good things happen to those who bate. Ha. Sorry the ends got cropped out. My Ipad has issues.

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Ile de Ré has their own breed of donkey and they are known for their culottes, first done to protect them from fly bites. They are there in the village all dressed up ready for hire for rides.

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As you can see, they are rather wooly.

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The entry to the harbor that we entered last week by boat.

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The picturesque light house there.

We had company recently and we took them the Île de Ré the first day. It is always charming to visitors and they start asking themselves if they might buy a place here.

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Bicycles and hollyhocks abound.

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A fabulous market is at la Flotte. Here you can see a man tasting a cherry before buying. I’m pretty sure the vendors don’t like this.

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A glimpse of the sea through a doorway.

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I love taking a look at the lobbies of hotels.

Not too much exciting here at our beach place now that Bastille Day is over but I have a few photos of various things.

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A sail boat in the sun.

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A sunset from our terrace.

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I am always drawn to blue and white stripes. Why is that?

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Beach shower.

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We have company for the next few days and I decided to make a salad plate similar to the one I had at Rose Bakery in Paris. I had potato salad, white bean and pepper salad, taboule, lettuce salad, eggs, avocado, some grilled veggies with a yogurt drssing and some grilled shrimp. It was pretty good if I do say so myself. Very healthy

July 14th is Bastille Day in France which commemerates the storming of the Bastille with the ending of the monarchy and, eventually, the beginning of the Republique which exists today. It’s similar to the Fourth of July celebrations in the States. I used to miss the Fourth like crazy, along with Thanksgiving, when I first moved to Paris but those feelings have faded with time.

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Our Bastille Day actually started on July 13. We went down the beach and had a huge drink with the sun shining on the water across the way. We went to the casino in town too and lost twenty euros in the slot machines.

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That night we saw the fireworks which were just across the beach in the harbor across from our apartment.

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They were very impressive.

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The next day there was a huge military parade (the largest in Europe) in Paris. My favorite part is when the jets fly over with red, white and blue smoke behind them. As you can see, I took this photo of it on the TV.

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The fireworks at the Eiffel Tower were just fabulous with special lighting that made it look like the tower was dancing and fireworks coming out that made it look like the tower was swishing her skirts or twirling a scarf. The fireworks must have lasted at least thirty or forty minutes and there was great music that played along too. One of these days I may get there in person although I hate crowds. We saw them from Montmartre once but it was too far away. This photo was from the TV too and doesn’t come close to showing how spectacular it was.

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