Even the keys of my keyboard have been a holiday as it has been a few weeks since I wrote something that was saved to stay. In our family, we were all overwhelmed by a general feeling of summery laziness, the so-called ‘laissez faire’ or ‘drop everything you can’ to enjoy the wonderful Mediterranean sea and the warm weather that does not seem to stop.
It actually started with the school holiday. Boom. The fixed rhythm of 7 AM wake-up and driving to schools followed by a walk with the dog along the beach was gone. Getting up early was suddenly not necessary anymore and surprisingly we exchanged that school rhythm just as easily for the rhythm of summer: get up when you feel like it and think while standing with your feet on the warm terrace if you would start the day with a lazy bomb or a sporty dive in the pool.
During the afternoon, when the sun is roaring, we embrace each other and the ritual that is called siesta while the children look for a shade near the water. They live these weeks on the beach with friends and come sunburnt home at the end of the day; tired of laughing and full of stories. That is usually the time for a barbeque or a large salad.
Of course, work is still being done; writing and talking about new plans, and talking with project developers who have purchased a new piece of land wherein 2021 a beautiful apartment complex appears. We drive around the backland to the sea and back with clients from all over the world and listen carefully to the stories of buyers from abroad; people who all live nicely, have a good job and still want to reward their lives with a second summer house in the South of France. When we ask about the reason for their purchase, the answer is certainly and clear: ‘South France means enjoying life and offers many possibilities in the immediate vicinity.’
And so it is; it is exactly the reason why we do not leave here anymore. The beach in Tahiti will undoubtedly be more beautiful. But can you also ski there? And the restaurants in the Florida Keys probably have better service and larger steaks, but is the environment varied enough? And in the Amsterdam Vondelpark you can have a nice jogging run, but is it ever quiet? And Portugal has beautiful beaches, but is the water warm enough to swim? The beauty of the Alpes Maritimes region is that it has a place for everyone and for every wish. From a perfectly constructed 18-hole golf course to dizzying water slides and from stylishly strolling on the boulevard to a tough walk through the rugged mountains in the hinterland. It’s all possible on the Côte d’Azur and always accessible within an hour.
Meanwhile, we roll into August and the temperature is now also 30 degrees at night. In a house, without air conditioning, the fans hum on each floor and the dog is panting in the coolest spot. For the animals, it is a tough period and a cooling walk around a lake in the mountains is a nice distraction for all of us. Before we know it , we get up at 7 o’clock again and schools start. And then, the second part of the summer begins. For parents, September and even October is the most beautiful month of the year.
The ‘Indian summer’ means that the parking places near the beach are empty and the sea still beckons invitingly. The permanent beach clubs are happy to see you again; locals who are in no hurry. A pan Bagnat on Plage Salis in Antibes tastes best when the sand is not so hot under your feet and you can park the car normally on the beach front. We roll out the Sup and paddle along the coast over a calm sea while looking at the mountains. Behind it, there lies Europe with the bustle of overcrowded motorways, madness, and polemics. We look at it and praise us fortunately that we can enjoy peace, space and beautiful views at the bottom of Europe.