Well, our week at The Villa is coming to an end and I've been asked to post a blog on our exploits for the family back home to read.
For those outside the family let me introduce the characters (bottom to top): my two sons David (28) and Michael (27), Angela's first daughter Rebecca (24), her partner Charlotte (24), and second daughter Emily (23).
The week got off to a flying start when Angela and I bought the local Carrefour supermarche to a standstill! Stocking up for the week we had two trolleys overflowing with produce when at 1:00pm they announced the store was closing (it was Sunday after all!). When we arrived at the checkouts the cashier gave us a look that would have killed us on the spot. Now the last customers in the store, we had four attendants helping us to check out and pack. None of the staff could leave their checkouts until we had gone, and the exit was the opposite end of the checkouts! A few smiled as we passed, some were less understanding, but we made it out alive.
The next challenge was fitting it all in the Porsche, which we did, just! Angela had cakes and other goodies in her footwell and eggs on her lap! We cranked the air con to full to turn the car into a fridge. We got home and it all survived, just about.
That evening the kids' flights arrived pretty well bang on time though they had a bit of fun with the hire cars which involved a bit of swapping around. We missed their arrival, delayed by TomTom, who had served us so well thus far, taking us on a detour through a gated, private estate including across a golf course (fore!). Eventually we all met up and made it back to The Villa just before midnight, then the party started!
We've seen good weather all week, sunny and mid-30's every day. It has been cooled slightly by a persistent 'mistral', a strong wind that blows from southern France into the northern Mediterranean. Indeed it was blowing a gale when we arrived on Saturday but has been only slightly gusty the rest of the week.
For the early part of the week most of the focus was on lounging and drinking (well you have to keep your fluids topped up!). Most of the exploits involved the swimming pool. A supposedly warm 28C, it was a good place to cool down. It was also the venue for various activities including synchronised swimming, surfing (!), volleyball and so on, mainly for the girls it has to be said though Mike has ventured in quite a few times!
Did I mention it was HOT?! I don't do very well in the heat, nor does David - he's stayed in the sanctuary of the air conditioning most of the week. I've been out for short periods but it soon becomes too much for me as well. Of us boys Mike seems to handle it best sitting out for long periods reading or swimming. But it can still be very exhausting just sitting around doing very little ....
Mealtimes at The Villa were a mixture of DIY, communal cooking or eating out - at times the kitchen area was a tad congested but everyone mucked in ...
Thursday we chartered a nice Jeanneau speed boat for the morning. We jumped aboard and the skipper took us on a quick cruise showing us Port Grimaud, built with channels in a Venetian manner, popular with boat owners as most properties come with their own berth.
There were also some nice looking boats! (Four 300HP engines!)
We anchored out in the bay so the girls (Emily and Charlie) could do a spot of swimming and diving off the boat in the clear blue waters of the Mediterranean. Due to the mistral the warmer waters had been blown offshore so, according to Charlie, the water was @*&^%$ FREEZING!
After a spot of lunch in Port Sainte-Maxime we returned to the marina through some quite choppy waters!
And so our week is drawing to a close. This evening we're all having a meal out in Cavalaire-sur-Mer before the kids head back to the airport first thing tomorrow morning and Angela and I resume our tour heading for Carcassonne - only a short drive away, honest!
Highlights: Granny (AKA Angela) trying to 'mount' a lilo (the movie of which will be broadcast later), you know when you get the giggles...apparently I found it hillariously funny!!!...the villa is fantastic and luxurious, the air con is room specific so David can hide in his dark ice cave and me and the girls can bask in the warmth of our own rooms...haven't done much apart from chilling, which is fab (not an Alpine pass in site!)... it's been lovely having all the kids here and playing ... although I'm not sure I really needed to buy enough food for 10 families, the kids have set themselves a task of eating and drinking as much of it as they can today ... no need for me to have packed so many sundresses either as I lived in a swimsuit ... the pool has lights!!! so I had a swim in the dark one night...
p.p.s... I'm not coming home!