April through June, 2016

The second two weeks of the vacation were much less constrained. We rented a house whose roots dated to the 13th century. It was in a small village and the remainder of our guests could come and go as they pleased rather than be confined to boating duties. The house had large kitchen and dining room, a living room and 4 bedrooms, each with a bath. An ancient stone spiral staircase wound 71 steps up from the laundry room and “basement” to a small room at the top where one could lounge with a 360° view of the countryside and the Mediterranean Sea. The only thing taller was the nearby church steeple (there is probably a law about that). The church bells rang on the hour and half hour, so there was no need for a watch. The village was well-placed for interesting day trips to historic sites. It was equipped with satellite TV so we could watch Wimbleton and the soccer matches in the evenings. In such a small village we felt safe teaching the grandchildren enough French that they could go by themselves to the local patisserie to buy pain au chocolat, croissants and baguettes for the morning meal.