I long for the days when I could peacefully have a cup of tea or take a long shower without hearing “Mommy, can you help me” or “Mommy is my breakfast ready” or “Mommy can you play with me” “Mommy I can’t find my this or that” or “Mommy I don’t want to go to bed.”  Being the solo parent is overwhelming for me because I truly am a loner. Nothing is more pleasing to me than time spent alone.  However, solo parenting is the temporary job I took on when I chose to come to France.Just 6 weeks into our France adventure (early November), I needed a vacation from my “vacation.”  While Andrew was on a school break we took a mini vacation.  I wanted someone else to be in charge of making up the beds and preparing the breakfast.

Following a recommendation, from my friend Sonja, we headed to the Provence region.  Provence is known for its growing of lavender.  We visited a city on the coast called Cassis.  Upon arrival we purchased tickets for a boat tour through the nearby coves.  It was a chilly day on the water, so Andrew and I huddled together in our seats.  There were eight passengers in total.  A couple with their two children, an oddly dressed man (he was wearing Bermuda shorts) with his toddler, Andrew and me.

We’d chosen to take the 45 minute tour.  There was a choice of having a 90-minute tour but considering how chilly it was, I’m glad we opted for the shorter cruise.

Our day out on the waters near Cassis

Our day out on the waters near Cassis

Whenever we would return to the sea from one of the outlaying coves, it would be a rocky time.  The waves would crash into the relatively small craft with fury….that’s why I was surprised with the boat’s captain motioned for Andrew to come over and steer.

I watched as my little guy bobbed and weaved along the deck, balancing himself with his arms extended from his sides, to stay upright on his way to the helm.  He confidently steered me and the other passengers through the choppy waters.  The other passengers were laughing and smiling.  I had a look of terror on my face.

Andrew and the Captain with nerves of steel

Andrew and the Captain with nerves of steel

We spent the night in an amazing port town called La Ciotat.  Many French people don’t even know of this lovely place.  I now consider it my hidden jewel. Here we found floating crafts of all kinds from fishing boats to luxury yachts.  The port is surrounded by restaurants – where patrons “People watch” and observe docking boats.  It’s laid back and unpretentious.  La Ciotat makes the list of places I will visit again.

We completed our mini vacation with a visit to Aix En Provence – which is a lively university town and a stop in Avignon – which is a magnificent place for shopping along its narrow European cobble stone streets.

Street in Cassis

Street in Cassis

Andrew at the dock in La Ciotat

Andrew at the dock in La Ciotat

Fishing boat at La Ciotat dock

Fishing boat at La Ciotat dock

sailors statue in La Ciotat

sailors statue in La Ciotat

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