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Our grandsons, Atticus and Roman, were on spring school holidays in
early May 2013. Erica's vacation time at her job at the University of
London in Paris didn't coincide, so Ray and I offered to take the boys
for one week. Eurocamp, a British run system of self-catering camping
parks in Europe, was suggested. It sounded like a holiday the boys would
appreciate. We found one on the internet at Esterel, near St Raphael, in
the south of France that sounded good. We could take a train from Paris
to St Raphael and rent a car for the duration. We booked a three bedroom
pre-fab cottage for six days. In the meantime, Erica found if she took
just a few extra days vacation she could accompany Andrew to his
conference in St Kitts in the Caribbean. The timing worked perfectly,
especially since Ray and I had reserved places to join friends on a two week bicycle and
barge trip in the Netherlands, starting mid-May (see
As they say, the best laid plans go astray. In mid-April, just two weeks before we were scheduled to fly to Paris, Ray and I and our friend Morris Davison went for an early season bicycle ride in anticipation of our forth coming bicycle holiday. There were a few patches of ice on the bicycle path that had not melted yet. We managed to avoid most of it, but one patch caught Ray's bicycle and down he went. To make a long story short, Ray had fractured his pelvis. It was a clean fracture that didn't require surgery, but he was to be restricted to crutches for the next six weeks. His trip to Europe was no longer possible.
What were to do? We didn't want to disappoint our grandsons or our daughter. The answer came from our friends, Ric and Joan Potter. They had moved out of their condo so that their son and family could live there while their own house was being extensively renovated. We had offered our house to Ric and Joan for the month of May. Joan immediately offered to take care of Ray if I wanted to go to France myself. I contacted the owner of the biking tour company to see if there was a single woman willing to share a room with me. There wasn't. The night before I was to leave for Paris, I asked Joan if she would like to join me. She quickly agreed. We booked a flight to Amsterdam to coincide with my arrival. The husbands would be just fine on their own. It was settled.
I flew to Paris the next day, spent a few days with the family, took the two boys on the train to St Raphael and drove to Esterel Caravan Park. We had a great time. Our cabin in the extensive park was very comfortable. There was an inviting pool complex on the camp site and the weather was just warm enough to spend part of every day swimming. The boys played ball in front of our cabin and we discovered a good soccer and basketball court to use. We did take one excursion to the Meditteranean about 10 km away, but we prefered the facilities at Esterel.
Erica and Andrew were waiting for us back in Paris, having enjoyed the sun in St Kitts. I stayed for the weekend in Paris before boarding a train to Bruges, where I spent a few days before continuing on to Amsterdam.
To read a short writeup and see photos of Bruges, click Bruges.
To read a short writeup and see photos of my bicycle trip click Netherlands bike tour.
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