Wednesday, June 06, 2012

going going gone

A day of packing, keeping it light, very light, no tents, no inflatable canoes this year. Just the two of us, with now years of traveling together, knowing where to bend for the other, knowing how to think about our time together elsewhere.

We’ll be flying to Barcelona (in a roundabout way), the third June in a row now, then driving up north, with the goal of getting to Sorede, France by Saturday.

Sorede. Any longtime Ocean reader will remember it. This will be our third visit to this small Catalan village, stuck somewhere between the Pyrenees and the Mediterranean. Sorede – in the southern most part of the beautiful region of Languedoc-Roussillon.  Where Provence has been overrun with moneyed summer people, this piece of heaven is humbler. I have yet to spot a beautiful inn, certainly not in the deeper south and I don’t hear much about must-eat-there places.

In July and August -- the two French vacation months (and how grateful I am that the French all pile into their south-heading cars no sooner than June 30!), the towns dotting the sea here are chaotic. Full of holiday villages, carnival like playgrounds, cheap food, ponies to ride, boats to rent – it must be rather crazy and, depending on your inclinations, noisy and cramped. As I said, it’s a humbler piece of paradise.

But in June, ah, in June, this region is, to me, the closest I can get to perfect loveliness. Everything about it makes me smile.

And so we’ll be returning there for two weeks and I can’t tell you how many times I’ve thought about it on the toughest weeks of the year.

After, we’re roaming a bit – without a car but with an agenda. But you’ll have to wait for that. I’ve said too much already.

In the meantime, we eat our oatmeal on the porch, we stock up on groceries, we run to fix my suddenly broken power strip (really!), we do laundry, we do all that I find so essential before leaving.

And my nephew and I pause for a final peanut butter and jam on the porch.



And we wave good bye to him, my sweet nephew (thanks, all who have offered to help – he may call on you yet!) and we take off.