Ile Tudy, a tiny port town filled with memories of my mother-in-law’s childhood and adulthood, where she would spend every summer in their family home right on the ocean. A magical place that I just love going to when we have the opportunity. This time ’round we came for Christmas with Louis, absolute perfection with the fireplace, good movies and baths in the enamel clawfoot tub. I was very grateful to be able to share this place with good friends post-Christmas, it was truly a pleasure. Here we indulged in delicious local seafood, good wine… we played games, strolled on the beach, ran into the wind. My in-law’s, my lover, Rachel, Haleigh and Anne were the perfect company to long late lunches.
It’s a special place, right on the sea, where you can actually give yourself time to relax and breathe in the fresh air. Sometimes you just need to hear the waves crashing as you’re falling asleep to re-emphasize how small we humans are in this world, eh?
The funny thing about Bretagne – like all seaside climates – is the weather can be just as nice in the winter as it can in the summer. No joke, this Christmas at Ile Tudy we had afternoons far nicer (& warmer!) than last August. It’s a crazy world. Thank goodness in this crazy world there are such beautiful quaint places to make memories in.
To wrap up the summer season, Louis and I were so excited to bring some friends to the house in the countryside. It’s the kind of place that is certainly worth sharing- and besides, who doesn’t want a weekend getaway outside of the stress of the week and Paris? (I mean, we all adore Paris, but let’s be honest, getting to somewhere calmer for the weekend is fabulous and anyone who tells you differently is lying).
So, Haleigh, Marissa, Ylenia and their beaus came down for a weekend amongst the flowers. It was a weekend to enjoy some nature, and to make some time to cook delicious things with garden finds, to pair with our perfect BBQ goodies.
Sharing such a beautiful place and a place we love so much with friends really made my heart all fuzzy. It’s kind of like sharing a little part of yourself in many ways, a place where so many memories are made and where more will continue to be made with dear friends.
Our recent escapade to Brittany on the Western French seaside was as relaxing as ever. This is a very special place. Something about it is just far too charming. On the seaside in Brittany. You close your eyes and you hear the sound of the waves when the windows are open. There’s always a fresh breeze. The house was built by my boyfriend’s paternal grandfather, on land that belonged to his lover, just on the seaside. The house itself is a subject of reoccurring family feud, haha, but something about that makes it that much more special.
This house was always meant for vacation. A place to relax and be with the [big] family. There’s a whopping one and only one enamel bathtub to go along with the house that sleeps 13 or so. In the summer everyone rinses off after being in the ocean in the outdoor showers in the front yard… so bohemian they are indeed. There’s no carpet, no empty walls, and no shelf without an old photo framed or vintage trinket or some kind. There is one long table in the living and dining area, for enormous feasts with cousins, their families, and friends. Long story short, this place is filled with so much love, and has been since the 60s.
I’m not sure why, but a place with so much history and family fabulousness makes me think more and more about the future. Ironic? How we’ll come here often, hang out with the other cousins and their families as per usual, perhaps come here with our own family someday. It’s a place that’s engraved pretty damn deep into Louis’s DNA, and I must say, I don’t think I’ve been somewhere quite as peaceful. Perhaps it’s because my family in the States doesn’t have this sort of place that my childhood self knew, or that existed before the existence of my siblings and I on this crazy earth. It’s that familiar feeling of being in this kind of space that I’m not quite used to, but I sure do like it.
I know, another post from the countryside, but I can never really resist, I love sharing this beautiful place.
Can I take a quick detour to talk about life as a workin’ girl real quick? This 4 day weekend in particular, I really needed a little getaway to rebuild my sanity. It’s hard to disconnect with work sometimes. In Paris the days can feel long when the sun isn’t shining and it seems like sometimes days consist of waking up, going to work, leaving work, going home, whipping up something to eat, and then going to bed. Just to start all over again. It’s probably not a healthy cycle, but it’s so easy to get caught up in it when work is busy and the days fly by… one minute it’s Tuesday afternoon and the next it’s Friday EOD. It find it increasingly important to know when to say, “no, this can wait until tomorrow”, wouldn’t you say? There will always be something to do or to advance on within a project. I’ve decided that I need to stop and smell the roses, cos I certainly don’t want to be that person that can never do anything fun because of work. Do you have that fear of your career taking over a little bit too much? Work is a lame excuse for not making it to fun times or to not spend enough time with dear ones, or cancel on people unexpectedly (of course sometimes it happens and you can’t do anything about it), even when working for a beautifully creative and notorious luxury house. I think these coming months for me are going to be about adapting my productivity within my project scopes and daily missions, controlling my reactions and recreating balance in the case of stressful times. Thank goodness the people I work with are snazzy souls. But it’s time to take it easy and just ride the wave, sweet Jesus, I’m only 25… *giggle*
That said, this long weekend was pure happiness: filled with sunshine and for the occasion of a double birthday celebration. The camellias were in bloom and we had the barbecue lit for every meal, which is just the best. When in the countryside, I sleep like a baby. The nights are darker and the stars are brighter. There’s a whole different level of quietness. It’s a place to disconnect and have time to relax and just think about all things lovely and spend time with my in-laws. I look forward to spending many many summer weekends here now that’s we got la bagnole.
Now that the freakishly late ending of summer has passed for good, we’ve quickly moved on to the chills. For once it feels like there was actually an autumn before moving to the super cold and rainy winter months, no? Chilly weather I just love, but man, the rain sometimes just doesn’t cut it for me. On a sidenote, it’s funny, because as a kid, winter started in October basically. I feel like in Paris the true cold kicks in well after the start of the new year. As I bundle up now before heading out, I think about the last sunny weekend in the countryside with some of Louis’s closest pals, and their lovely ladies who have become friends. I just love coming here, and sharing my in-law’s beautiful home and art de vivre. I sure am anxious for the next warm seasons to bring my girlfriends here to soak up the sun and eat from the garden. For now I’ve got to enjoy the winter, probably my favorite season as a Colorado girl. Too bad the Parisian wet winter just doesn’t compare to the blue skies and powdered snow of the Rockies…. Paris has another cozy charming winter to offer.