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Southern France
Lynn Deasy is a freelance writer, author, foodie, and garden tinkerer. She lives in a 600 year old house in southern France with her husband, Christophe. Currently, she is looking for a literary agent for her memoir CA VA? STORIES FROM RURAL LIFE IN SOUTHERN FRANCE which examines the oddities of French provincial living from an outsider’s point of view through a series of adventures that provide more than a fair share of frustration, education, admiration, and blisters…. yes, lots and lots of blisters. Lynn blogs every Monday, Wednesday, and sometimes Friday.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Why does all of France vacation at the same time?

It’s that time again: the whole of France is on vacation.  Northern France is facing rains and record chills, while we in the South have had endless days of sunshine without a hint of precipitation.  You know what that means?  That’s right, all of France is here along with the thousands of RVs, camping hitches, and overflowing mini vans they drive.   France, along with Belgium, The Netherlands, Germany, and England (Hey, not everyone wants to be right next door to the Olympics). Camping is hugely popular and I often find myself behind an RV moving so slowly that traffic builds for a mile behind it.  I’m convinced those in the South stay put during the summer holidays and quietly sneak away during the off season.  Until then, they lay low in their gardens and only venture out early in the mornings when everyone else is still sleeping.  It works; I was a beach at 9 in the morning and only four people were there.  I had a swim, but didn’t have to worry about someone walking off with my beach towel because they were all in the water with me.  When I left a noon, the cars were starting to stream into the parking lot filled with parents toting everything from floaties to boogie boards and excited kids lubed head to toe in SPF 50.

Vacations are great.  I have wonderful memories of the beaches in Southern Michigan with my family.  Our neighborhood was a revolving door of who is watering whose plants and taking in the mail.  Sometime by mid-August, most everyone was back and the neighborhood kids swapped stories of where they went and what they did.   I don’t knock the people coming here wanting to create meaningful memories for their children to remember, that’s normal.  What I still have a hard time wrapping my head around is why everyone in France vacations at the same time.  I mean, how many people are welcomed home by dead plants?  Does a neighborhood elect one family to stay back each year to keep an eye on things?   For Pete’s sakes, who is taking in all this mail?

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