The last summer sun holiday we went on as a family was spent in the beautiful town of Uzes in southern France. Back then, we were a family of three and Florence Martha was just a twinkle in her daddy’s eye.
Sam was three, and although it wasn’t the first time he’d been on a plane, it was the first time he really got the excitement of it all. We loved taking him to new places, showing him new sights, giving him new experiences and just taking time to be together.
He fell just as much in love with the region as we did that week. The night before we reached our apartment, we stayed in a town called Aigues-Mortes just 70km south of Uzes. We took a tour on a miniature train, took turns riding on a carousel, mooched around the markets and ate dinner outside at dusk, before settling down in a lovely little hotel just off the main square.
I say settled down – we were settled, Sam had other ideas and I remember I fell asleep long before he did! The next morning, we ate breakfast in the sunlit courtyard and Sam’s face lit up when he saw his first continental buffet – aka ‘the choosing bit’.
We travelled to Uzes on the day the Tour de France was to pass through the town, relaxing in a bar nearby until the peleton zoomed by. That was the year the race was won by a Brit, Bradley Wiggins, our new national hero.
Our base for the holiday was just a five-minute walk from the town. With a delightfully French iron gate at the end of the driveway, the apartment we stayed in was joined onto a villa owned by a French family. It had its own pool, something we all made the most of and we often had the garden area to ourselves. On the occasions we did see the family, they invited us to sit on their veranda and drink Pastis with them as Sam played with their children.
A short drive away was the beautiful Pont du Gard, a Roman aqueduct across the Gardon River. The first photo in this post was taken there on the pebble beach beneath the bridge where we paddled, picnicked and played.
Sounds idylic? It really was. I’ll never forget the holiday we had at the place Sam named ‘the swimming pool house’. If we knew then that this was the only chance we would have to holiday like this, I still don’t think we could have made the most if it any more. Now my husband has passed away, I am just so glad of these memories and the photos I often look at of our happy times in France.
I’d love to take our children to another swimming pool house, to let them feel the sun on their skin, the cool water between their toes, and see happiness on their faces. I’m hoping this will be the year.
This post has been written as an entry into the #SummerLove competition run by James Villas.