Olive (my step-daughter) just finished her first year away at college so she flew over the Atlantic to come visit us. The little ones are still in school but last Thursday was a holiday here in France so we made a day trip to La Dune du Pilat, the largest sand dune in Europe. The dune was in fact huge and the views were incredible. A green forest landscaped the backside and the Bassin d'Arachon spread out in the front. It was the perfect day to fly a kite.
We made a few mistakes in planning our adventure, we packed WAY too much. I had a bag of sand toys, a picnic lunch, towels and an extra change of clothes for each kid for when they get wet. I noticed the crowds leaving the parking lot were empty handed except for maybe their camera or a small bottle of water. Hmmm, odd I thought, but just chalked it up to possibly another difference to life in France. As soon as we exited the pine forest and saw our first glimpse of the dune, I quickly realized we were tackling this adventure all wrong. We decided to picnic at the bottom of the dune and ditch half our stuff behind a tree. I played cheerleader to the kids who regardless of their short stature, had to hike this one on their own. There is no way I was carrying anybody up the hill. Doug managed the sand toys, which ended up being worth the haul, attracting the other kids on the dune to join our party. It cracked me up to hear Wilder, who has perfected the French pronunciation of the "R" (which ain't easy), adapt to conversing with the local kids. He even adopted a British accent on the fly when he and a little English boy decided to carve a slide into the dune. "Project Immersion" is coming along quite nicely.