The promise of the first day

Bar near Honfleur

It’s now just under four weeks until our holiday in Brittany, and we are getting very excited. We are going for three weeks and are investing a ridiculous amount of expectation into the holiday, in terms of how relaxed we are going to feel afterwards, how much we are going to reconnect with our lost or forgotten selves, the new and exciting things we are going to see, how much our french will improve. You get the picture.

We have started making mental lists of everything we need to pack, the best route and timetable to Plymouth, how many stops on an eight hour drive with a toddler we need to make, how we can avoid being stung by the extortionate motorway services. Do we take a laptop and spend some time in an internet cafe halfway through to post pictures to facebook, blogs, etc, or do we disconnect completely from our normal lives? How many novels can I write in those three weeks? How many days can we spend on the beach? Because obviously it will be nothing but clear blue skies and warm sunshine the whole time.

The picture above was taken on the first day of last year’s holiday. We had travelled Dover to Calais (instead of Plymouth to Roscoff, which is much closer to where we are staying) and drove down the west of France to Brittany. We forgot about the restricted lunch times, and drove through packed, touristy Honfleur and a couple of other villages before realising that if we didn’t stop soon it would be four o clock before we could eat – not an option with a one year old! We found this bar and sat drinking locally brewed Normandy cider out of bolĂ©es with our food. The weather was exactly as we had hoped, the quiet village was idyllic, and we still had the whole of our holiday ahead of us. If we get a day like that this year, I will be a happy girl.

Incidentally, shortly after leaving the bar and resuming our journey, we got completely lost, ended up very stressed and upset, and arrived at our gite about three hours later than we’d hoped.

So it may be foolish to invest so much in the first day, but I’m willing to risk it.

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