Hello! Autumn is here, it’s official! So, great time to look back at our summer in France. You may have seen that each of us made our own Bucket and Spade Lists for the things we wanted to do this summer. How did we get on? Did we fill our buckets with fun and adventure? Take a look:
Mum’s Bucket List:
- Visit French Markets and Brocantes/Vide Grenier – we definitely managed the markets, several times (see our post 6 Things to Love About French Markets), although not the Brocantes/Vide Grenier this time I’m afraid, apart from the ‘Charity Shop’ Hope Foundation barns in Lezay which have lots of exciting treasures.
- A trip to the Marais Poitevin – YES my lovely husband actually took us here without telling us where we were going! As it wasn’t an organized visit we didn’t go on a boat as we had the dog with us, but I can tick it off my list anyway, and it was very pretty. I also shared a ‘My Sunday Photo‘ here.
- Visit the coast (La Rochelle area)- we didn’t get here this time, but we’ve been before so not too disappointed.
- Do a Cognac distillery tour – we decided against this as we thought the kids would be bored!
- Take the children to a theme park – We didn’t manage this either. Paul reckoned it would probably kill me, and he’s right, especially considering how hot it was!!
- Take some photos of sunflowers (I haven’t taken any so far in all the time I’ve been coming here – unbelievable!) – I managed a few, but only on my phone and not the close-ups I was hoping for. I shared some in Sunsets and Sunflowers Abound, and here are a couple more.
- Do some crafts and have quiet times with the boys – Yes, I managed to do some crochet, and Toby did a lovely painting on canvas. Hugo started to make an Egyptian Sarcophagus, but didn’t finish. It got so hot that, to be honest, none of us felt like doing very much really.
- Have dinners outdoors- Yes we did, although not as often as you might think! Extreme heat and extreme flies meant we were often forced indoors.
- Do some star gazing with the boys – What a brilliant night! We viewed the Perseid Meteor shower by going down to the swimming pool at just before midnight, lying on sun loungers together all cuddled up, and marveling at the wondrous sight that nature provided. Very special!
- Have a lakeside picnic – well, kind of! At the Marais Poitevin we did try, but although there was a lot of water, there were very few places along the way to stop for a picnic. Eventually, we found a place which wasn’t quite ‘lakeside’ or ‘riverside’, but the river wasn’t far away!
Dad’s Bucket List:
- Go canoeing on the Charente river – sadly not. We all changed our minds about this. I think we got more tired as the days got hotter, and all decided it was too much effort in the heat!
- Make our garden nicer – yes, I did lots of jobs in the garden when I could. Nothing major, but some lovely flowering plants which I wish we could have brought home, and lots of cutting back as the trees and bushes grow at an alarming rate!
- Have some family picnics – yes, see Mum’s list above. Maybe not as many as we thought we would, but a few anyway.
- Visit French Markets eg Lezay – Absolutely, we went to Lezay several times and I bought some lovely breads and my favourite cheeses and olives!
- Visit a night market eg Villefagnan – Oh no! We didn’t get around to this and I’m really sorry as I’d have loved to. I think we were always too tired by the evenings!
Hugo’s Bucket List:
- Go to a theme park eg Futuroscope – Nope (see Mum’s list above)
- Do some crafts – Well, we started but didn’t quite finish (see above again)
- Make some videos for YouTube – Yes! Hugo did a review of a diving mask he bought, and tried recording some games on the Xbox. We also started a ‘How To’ of the Sarcophagus but didn’t finish it.
- Have a family picnic – yes, see above
- Play on the new inflatables in the pool – oh yes! This is what they did most of as the weather was so hot!
- Go on a jet ski – sadly you have to be a bit older, so we’ll save this for another year.
- Try quad biking – we need to be a bit older for this too.
- Visit the seaside – we didn’t get there this time, but we live by the sea so we’ll do it at home!
- Read the whole of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix – we finished readig this and also started the new book ‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’
- Go to Lezay Market and the ‘dog charity’ place – yes, we managed this a couple of times, and Hugo got another Harry Potter book and the local version of Monopoly Poitou Charentes and Game of Life.
Toby’s Bucket List:
- Canoeing/Kayaking – we gave up on this idea (see Dad’s list)
- Go to Zoodyssey (we’ve been before but Toby loves it, especially the foxes and raccoons, and holding the snakes) – yes, we did this again when Nana and Grandad were here (Mummy stayed home with the dog!)
- Pool activities and games – lots and lots! We had so much fun in the pool, as it was often too hot to do anything else!
- Go to a restaurant – Toby chose the restaurant as he wanted it to be ‘quite posh’! We went to Cafe PorteBleue, a gorgeous English-run restaurant in Vertuille which we love, and had a lovely time. We also went to the Mad Hatter’s Kitchen a few times too, which we always enjoy, and a beautiful place in Brantome.
- Make a vlog video – Hugo did most of the vlogging this time, but Toby did take part in a Go-Pro bike ride video which we still need to edit (*reminder* Mum, get editing!!)
It feels like we didn’t do too much for 6 whole weeks away, in fact we probably did more in the May holidays in 2 weeks. It was really, really hot though, and quite often we just couldn’t bear the thought of trailing around somewhere in such heat. Plus Mummy’s heart gets quite poorly in the heat so we have to be careful. We didn’t do too bad with our Bucket List though, did we? We’ve certainly made lots more happy memories to treasure from our time in France.
Now, what to do in the Autumn? Have you made an Autumn Bucket List? If you’ve blogged it, leave a link – we’d love to read it. Or tell us in the comments what you have got planned.