23 June, 2011

Half relaxed, half TOTALLY NOT!

We're finishing up a 2 week camping trip. We spent the first week in Marseillan on the French coast and now we're here on our favorite spot on Lake Garda. On the whole it's been a nice vacation, but the boys have been spending time with friends on both campgrounds and haven't wanted to leave, so we've spent an inordinate amount of time hanging out under trees, reading books and staring out at the water. And that's fine for a while, but now I"m feeling itchy and restless and really, really, REALLY need to get off of this campground before I snap. Anyone want to bust out with me?

**I've got plenty of nice things to write about the last two weeks as well, but I'd better do that at a moment when I can actually sit STILL...

17 June, 2011

A hike-- and a show!

This week we're camping in Marseillan Plage, at a campground which is right on the beach. I'm long past the days when I enjoyed baking in the sun, and spend my afternoons reading in the shade instead. I've been getting up early every morning, though, to take a couple km hike with D up the beach to a nearby pier, and it's been fantastic! I'd forgotten how much I love the smells and sounds of the sea, the feeling of the cool water and the soft sand under my feet!

My first day out was especially astonishing! I couldn't believe the empty expanses of the coastline, the small crabs scuttling about, and the really ancient guy who somehow managed to stay way ahead of me, despite his advanced years and his deceptively shuffling gate. As I got closer I was a little surprised too at his saggy flesh-colored bathing suit.

Hey wait a minute-- that isn't a bathing suit, those are his bare buttocks! ???!!!

Upon closer inspection I realized that he was buck naked!

When I finally managed to pass him him, he nodded serenely and I returned his greeting. Within a couple more minutes another elderly person passed walking in the opposite direction. He'd remembered to clothe himself... in a canary-yellow thong bikini! He waved and shouted something jovial to me in French-- I think it had to do with D being faster than he is since she has 4 legs and he's only got 2.

The next geriatric fellow was sans lingerie, but had at least remembered to put on his cock-ring before leaving his campsite. Thank goodness! (Can I even say that word on the Internets? I have a feeling that now my search term hits from Google are about to go through the roof!)

The further I got down the beach, the more bizarre my walk became-- I passed a bronzed, surprisingly well-muscled septugenarian who was competely immersed in Tai Chi, and another happy guy playing a clarinet in the buff in the dunes; a couple of women who must have been sisters who were talking simultaneously nonstop, and a woman who'd seen fit to shave her dog, which gave the illusion that he was just as naked as she was!

Turns out our campground is right on the edge of a nudist vacation village! Ha! I haven't had this much fun people watching since Carnevale!

16 June, 2011

Communicating on two totally different wavelengths

B has been coughing for a couple of days. It sounds awful-- he'll empty his lungs of air and then continue to sputter and gag until tears stream from his eyes and his face turns an alarming shade of scarlet. I have a sneaking suspicion that this doesn't happen when he's alone, though, if you catch my drift, so I'm not overly worried.

Today we were exploring Barcelona when he suddenly had another attack. At the next opportunity we ducked into a pharmacy.

The pharmacist smiled and greeted us in Spanish.

"Hi" I tried in English and pointed at B. "He's coughing." And I fake coughed helpfully to illustrate my point.

"How old is he?"

This caught me off guard. "What?! Nine?" I turned to B "You're nine, right?"

He nodded, smiling, looking relaxed, tan, and perfectly healthy. I turned back to the pharmacist. "Do you have any cough drops?"

He disappeared and then returned a few minutes later with a bottle. "This are the drops for the coughing."

I don't recognize the active ingredient, so I decide to try again. "Ha, no sorry, I don't mean those kinds of drops, I mean something to suck on."

"He is too young."

"What?! No, I mean a lozenge! UNE SUCETTE! To suck on!"

"He is too young. Maybe some water?"

I gave up. Smiled, thanked him, took B's hand and left. On the way out the door a rack caught my eye. It was stacked with 5 different kinds of Hall's cough drops...

10 June, 2011

Oooooppppsssssssss! part 2

Yesterday I was chatting with some new neighbors and told them M and I would liquidate each other if necessary on the ride down to France.

You should have seen the looks on their faces!

I'd blanked out on the German verb used when two people switch off to relieve each other when driving, doing shift work, etc, so I just jimmy-rigged the Dutch word, slapped a German accent on it, and VOILA! Instant consternation!

The problem is that in these situations it's often too complicated to explain how I came up with such a glaring error in the first place, so I often don't even try anymore. Maybe it's not a bad think if the neighbors think I have a sinister side-- might come in handy when I go over to talk to them about trimming their hedges... (Mwahahahaaaaaa!)

09 June, 2011


I just got an email from M with this as the subject line:

"Marseille, or Marseillan Plage, same difference..."

We've had plans for months now to go camping for a week with friends at one of their favorite haunts. This morning I mailed the address to M so that we can plug it into the GPS and not just drive around and hope we get lucky and find the campground on the first try. Turns out this is a good thing, because the campground is NOWHERE NEAR to Marseille, which is where I've been telling everyone we were going all this time! And we'd even made plans to visit my brother and sister in law who will be camping "nearby". Whoops! Big blunder!

I sent a reply back saying: "Whoops. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAA!" and M replied that I might want to put the vodka away. I'm glad he's got a sense of humor, or I would have been snuffed out long ago! ;-)

03 June, 2011

Blood and Roses

Does anyone else remember this song by the Smithereens? Brings back all kinds of great memories-- I'm going to have to go dig that CD out of storage and play it this weekend. (really LOUD! ;-) )

Blood: A brand new playground paradise has been built near our house. Along with the usual slides and swings, it's also got interesting stuff for older kids, like a skateboard park, bmx track, zip lines and a climbing wall. S and B have been spending a lot of time down there and come back looking the way boys should look: sweaty, dirty, and with impressive scrapes that they can show off to all their friends...

Roses: My new garden is GORGEOUS! A friend called it a "botanical paradise", which on the one hand is fantastic, but on the other is a big responsibility! I'm so afraid of doing something wrong and screwing up 25 years worth of loving care!

In any case, for the first time in my life I'm interested in flowers and regularly bring them in for fresh bouquets on the dining room table. This week the roses started blooming. I must have 15 different kinds out there and every day it's a surprise what color / form will bloom next! What a treat!

And now, for your viewing pleasure, to fit in with today's theme, here's the Smithereen's slightly shallow but no less kick-ass song, Blood and Roses. :-)