France, the sixth day

We returned to Sète for the day today, and somehow, every day in this coastal city feels magical, and blue, and bright. We began by parking just outside of the town and taking the “boat bus” down the canals to the center of town for the market. The boats are the city’s way of making the market more convenient, as Sète has become a very full and busy city and it would be much harder for people to get to the market (especially from the outlying villages) without the “taxi”. The boat is also an attraction for tourists, and we happily took our place among the crowds.

The sky was so blue, the canals and the colored houses picturesque, and the children were absolutely delighted by the whole adventure. We were glad to have Alina with us too, as she does not have school on Wednesdays.

We met Axelle’s mother at the market, and of course, she insisted on pastries to begin the excursion. Edith and Alina got matching ones.

How I prefer to do all my walking.

Edith had the chance to pick out a dress from the market for a gift, and she immediately went to a dress she had seen Alina wearing a few days before. There was no changing her mind, and she wanted to put it on immediately. Her connection to Alina and their companionship has been so sweet to watch. It makes me want to find an older playmate for Edith immediately. I also love that Edith answers to “Édit” whenever Alina calls her name. She and Alina have become quite good at communicating, as Alina knows a bit of English and has tried very hard to learn the words she needs to ask Edith if she likes something, or if she wants to come look at something, or if she wants to be held. I will get a picture of them in their matching dresses before we leave.

We made a stop at the cheese shop on our way up the hill for lunch. As you can see, Edith made faces in the mirror and John Henry read about all of his cheese options. We truly are something to see, everywhere we go.

We returned to the car by the boat bus, which no one was complaining about.

We returned to L’Escarpée Belle, the home of Axelle’s parents (and a beautiful B&B if anyone is looking to visit Sète!) for lunch. Between me and my family members, we must have a hundred photos of this view, but it just never gets old.

Lunches in France have inspired me to forget all of my angst about lunch. They truly make it as much of an event as other meals, but somehow it is simple and not a lot of work. We had a lovely salad of boiled potatoes, green beans, tomatoes, radishes, and a vinaigrette, along with leftover chicken from lunch a few days ago, baguette, cheese, and melon with prosciutto. Maybe it is just this woman and this family, but every meal has been simple, yet lovely.

After lunch and some regrouping, we headed à la plage (to the beach) as my one request was to put my feet in the Mediterranean. We did more than that, and the children were delighted by the waves and the sand.

Yes, the water is this blue. Even bluer. After some delightful floating in the water (which was freezing… Edith was shivering thirty seconds into it), the children warmed up in the sun and enjoyed the sand. Edith discovered all of the seashell pieces in the sand and took to collecting only seashells and putting them in her bucket. I love how in all of this traveling and craziness, the children are still developing and growing and surprising us. A few months ago, she never would have differentiated between what she was putting in her bucket. She was not at all pleased with the rock that John Henry attempted to contribute.

We left the beach as two grumpy toddlers and one very satisfied mama. I love the Mediterranean, I love seeing them have such a good time, and I love being on the way home again, because on such big days like this, home means bedtime and bedtime means 6:30 p.m. Sweet John Henry couldn’t wait until then.

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