Île de Ré

There were a few places left on my note "check out" before we fly home.  On the top of the list was Île de Ré, recommended by my French friends back in Berkeley, Lucie & Laurent.  The island, reached by bridge, is a 2-1/2 hour drive from our house so we decided to make a weekend of it over Father's Day.  We decided to try something new and depart at bedtime (8pm) with the kids fed and in their jammies.  I've heard how dreamy this travel technique is for other families and I was all prepared to dive into my Lively Show podcasts I had downloaded.  Well... in true Fontaine-kid spirit, nobody slept and everyone was excited and wild when we arrived at the house at 10:30pm.  The upside... our first hedgehog sighting at 10:30pm in the yard of the house we rented.

The island is known for it's green shuttered homes and hollyhocks which were bright and in bloom at this time of year.  

The beach was beautiful, the weather perfect- sunny but not too hot, and the water was surprisingly warmish.  We found a couple of boogie boards in the garage of the house and the kids enjoyed "surfing" on them.  

Île de Ré is where fleur de sel is harvested and the town of Loix (where we stayed) is surrounded by the salt fields.  On our last day, I asked Doug to stop the car in the middle of the road (no traffic) so I could snap a few photos of the stunning fields.  I was secretly hoping to see a farmer with his big sun hat and wheelbarrow.  No such luck on Sunday.

It would be the perfect spot to rent a beach house one summer.