Sunday, September 21, 2014

My French Adventure!

Hey guys!
Sorry I've not blogged in ages - I wasn't at home for the first half of September, and I've also had really bad writer's block as well, but I should be back now!
I also want to mention in advance that there will be a lot of photos included in this post, and all of them are taken by myself. 

As you may already know, part of the time I was away was when I went to stay at my aunt's house in France for 5 days - I hadn't been abroad in around eight or nine years, so I was massively excited to have some time away!
I was staying with family for a while before and after the holiday, which was lovely - I hadn't seen them in ages, so it was nice to catch up with them and chill for a few days! I barely slept the night before our flight, though, I was too excited and I just couldn't sleep anyway, haha!
Me and my aunt flew out from Stanstead early on Thursday morning – I do believe our flight was at around 7.15am – and I was excited yet nervous, as I hadn’t been abroad for around 8 or 9 years and I knew that I used to feel really sick when flying. However, all my worrying was for nothing, as I was fine for the whole flight, and even managed to eat something and flick through the Ryanair magazine without feeling nauseous! When we landed, it was blazing sunshine and so hot, worlds away from the mist and coldness in the UK that morning! We sorted out our hire car, and we were off – first stop was to have lunch with some friends of my aunt’s, who she’s known for years, and who I’d met years before, and it was a lovely afternoon. My aunt also had to sort out some things about her house, so we spent that afternoon and the next morning trying to sort things out so we could enjoy the rest of the holiday. I didn’t go with them the first afternoon, however, as the lack of sleep from the previous night and the heat made me sleepy, so I ended up falling asleep, oops. After we left their house, we popped to the supermarket to get some essentials, then headed back to the house and pretty much just had a lazy night in, and an early night, as we were shattered after not sleeping the night before and the heat and everything.
The next day, as I briefly mentioned above, was spent trying to sort out some things. After everything was pretty much sorted - which wasn't until mid afternoon, but once everything was sorted we took a walk around the small village where my aunt’s house is (which is where we were staying) and I took some photos, then we headed to a pretty stream which is about a ten minute walk down a pretty tree-lined path, and where me and my brother used to go paddling and catching small fish when we were younger and used to holiday there every summer. There was a shaded picnic table there, so we sat with an ice cream each and let everyone back home know that we were okay - it was, surprisingly, one of the few places in and around the village where we could get signal (the main place for me being on the church steps, haha). Eventually, we took a slow stroll back – as we needed to go back to the village shop to get a few things, and the shops close at 7pm there – and decided to watch a film, so we watched The Notebook - up until then I hadn't seen it, but everyone I knew who had seen it raved about it. It was a beautiful film, but it was sadder than I was expecting it to be! We also decided to make up most of our picnic that night, as we were heading to the beach the next day and didn't want to spend loads of money going to a cafe or restaurant there!
Saturday was beach day, so we packed up the car with everything we needed the night before, and set off bright and early in the morning so we could spend the day. We popped to the shops there first, as my aunt needed flip flops and we both needed sun cream, then settled fairly near to the water’s edge, and unpacked everything (we had so much stuff – a blanket, body board, tent, umbrella and even more, haha) I am ridiculously pale, so I was hoping I'd manage to catch the sun a bit and get a hint of a tan at least...unfortunately, although I did catch the sun, I ended up catching it a bit too much, and burnt my back - oops. I went in the sea for a while – which was beautifully clear, so you could see the fish swimming around your legs and everything – but sadly, the waves weren’t big enough to go body boarding, which is what I really wanted to do. Once we'd had enough of the beach, we went back to the shops quickly, and I picked up a really cool lighter (I don’t smoke, but I light a lot of candles in my room, so I’m forever running out of lighters) and some postcards - one for my mum and one for my dad - before we decided to sit at a cafe on the seafront, sipping lemonade and watching the world go by. We also noticed that there are loads of dogs in France, we saw so many different breeds! We decided to stop off at McDonald's on the way home so we could use their free wifi and check in with people, which was nice. When we eventually got home, we decided to watch another film, so we watched 8 Mile - which was better than I was expecting it to be - before we got another early night, as we were both exhausted from the past few busy days.
For Sunday's adventure, we set off bright and early to go to the castle in Carcassonne - there’s loads of cool little shops and cafes within, which is really nice! I bought some postcards and a metal sign from a really cool little stop which sold loads of vintage inspired stuff – I could have stayed there all day and spent all of my money, haha, it was amazing! We also found a really nice restaurant to get some lunch at, and ended up getting a three course lunch! I had goats cheese salad, duck and chips, then chocolate mousse for dessert, and my aunt had sausage salad, duck and chips too, and she chose creme brulee for dessert. We spent some time wandering around and looking at the architecture as well - it's such a gorgeous castle. When we got home, I fell asleep again (all the early starts and the heat were making me really tired) and my aunt decided to go outside to soak up some more sunshine and read her book, as she really wanted to tan some more. Eventually, once I woke up again - rather reluctantly - we watched The Help (definitely a book I want to read soon!) and I started reading The Book Thief, as I’ve wanted to read it for ages but hadn’t got round to it yet.
Monday - our last full day, sad face - was reserved as a shopping day, so we hit all the various big retail shops. I won’t list everything I bought, as I don’t want to bore you all, but I got some stationery (of course) a Skelanimals bag and a thin studded jumper, which will be perfect both in the summer or layered up in the winter. The weather wasn’t as good that day – in fact, when we were at a supermarket complex thing after grabbing some lunch (I had paella, it was amazing but not quite as seafood filled as I’m used to back home) it started pouring with rain (to the extent the roof started leaking, eek) and there was loads of thunder and lightning. Luckily, by the time we left, it had stopped, and was getting sunny and bright again. We also popped back to McDonald's - there's quite a few of them around, haha - to check emails and stuff again. The film we decided to watch on Monday was 50 First Dates – which I really didn’t enjoy, for whatever reasons – before packing as much as we could before the next day, as it was our last night in France, hence why we packed so much into the days we were there.
Tuesday was the day we were coming back - boo - so once we’d dropped off some presents for my aunt’s friends and done a few last minute things that we needed to do, we took the hire car back to the place near the airport and waited around for our flight home – which, sadly, was rather packed in the end, even though we were told it was going to be a pretty empty flight. I was a bit worried about flying back, as on the way I’d taken some travel sickness tablets before the flight and I didn’t have any with me, but I was fine the whole way back, so fingers crossed that I’ve outgrown getting travel sick! It was bittersweet landing back in the UK - it was nice coming home and seeing everyone again, but I also really missed being in France, as it was lovely getting away from everything and being able to relax with no responsibilities! I really hope I can go back soon.

 Pretty mountain roadside path ^_^
 A tree that was struck by lightning!
 ....I don't even know, haha
 Selfie near the stream
Sunset over a pretty little town we saw on a drive :)
 Beach essentials!
 Pretty plants in the castle
 Beach selfie
 Part of the castle
 Iced tea in a can! (is this a normal thing because I'd never seen it before, haha)
 Stream just out of the village
 Really low hanging clouds after the thunderstorm
 Part of the castle
 Bonjour from the beach
 Bed of the stream
 French stamps - so much cooler than English ones!
 Some more of the castle!
 The beach ^_^ so pretty!
 Part of one of the vineyards
 Selfie on the beach
 I really liked the castle, it was so pretty!
 Pretty sunset over the mountains <3
 Tree lined path to the stream
 Iced tea in a small carton - also something I hadn't seen before
 Another shot of the beach
 Another path near the stream
 ....butter with chocolate chips in it. Would you try this? (we didn't, haha)
 Sunset again!
 A view of the mountains and some pretty scenery from the road in the village
 Final day selfie
Pretty fields and mountains near the village!

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