There aren't many people up in Deauville in June. And when I say that, I actually mean that there's nobody. Here's what our setup looked like on the beach:
We were pleased to be by ourselves. We had escaped Paris, after all, to get away from people. We were pleased with the partially sunny skies and pleased to be back on a beach. What we weren't pleased with was the sadistic wind hellbent on destroying us. Coco nearly blew away several times.
I'm outta here, suckas! whoot whoot!
Have you ever tried to set up a tent in gale force winds? It's ridiculous. It involves a lot of spinning around and yelling at your significant other. Depending which direction you're facing, the tent is either puffed out like a parachute, the force of which nearly pulls you across the sand, or it's plastered against your body. It took a lot of effort, but Alex and I finally got the tent set up and staked into the sand. We chucked Coco in fast before we lost one or the other.
There goes the stroller
This may be hard to believe but sometimes I can be quite crabby. When gale force winds are threatening to blow my family across the beach and ruin our much anticipated weekend, I can be extremely crabby. As we stood there on the beach trying to have FUN in the middle of a beach tornado, I took my crabbiness out on Alex. I wasn't very nice to him. I was convinced it was Alex's fault that it was windy -- that it was windy because Alex is a sinner.
Alex snapped at me a few times, too, and then drew a deep breath. He realized something had to be done before our family life veered off into the ditch. There was only one solution -- Matthew McConaughey impersonation.
Several years back, we were watching Best Week Ever, our favorite snark-filled pop culture show, and they showed a video of Matthew on a beach holding large palm fronds, hopping around and flapping his arms. Alex and I watched the clip over and over; it got more ridiculously surreal with each viewing. Since that fateful day, whenever we've needed a moment of levity, it's common for one of us to bust out "the Matthew."
So there's the context for the horrible (awesome) photo I keep posting -- Alex was trying to shake me out of my foul mood before our marriage was irreparably damaged. It worked, too. After he jumped around, flapped his arms and yelled into the wind, "I'm Matthew McConaughey, bitches!," I very, very reluctantly started to laugh. Crabbiness over, we then started treating the wind like an old friend, laughing at our wind hairdos and seeing how far we could lean into it before we fell over.
Make sense now? This is a rational man trying to save his marriage.
Deauville is a pretty little town. It's a highbrow place, known for its horses and esteemed film festival. Many Hollywood bigwigs have come through Deauville for the film festival; some even lived there for awhile. Without even trying, we found some of the stars' homes right along the beach. I guess Deauville must be pretty expensive if this is all Jack Nicholson could afford:
And these guys are his neighbors. It's weird they label their homes in such an obvious way, with no hint of security. I guess Deauville must be a pretty safe place, too.
I wonder how Forest feels about them spelling his last name wrong. Sounds like he's going to whi-TACK somebody.
We enjoyed wandering around Deauville. We picked up dinner at the local farmers market and got ice cream no fewer than a dozen times. There was, of course, a fake choo choo (just like in Montmartre and Rouen and Trouville). It was a very cold ride once the wind kicked in again. It was so cold, in fact, that Lucien begged to bail halfway through. We bailed, but then immediately walked over to get more ice cream. I realize that doesn't make a lot of sense.
Walking around town, I saw many signs pointing the way to the Hippodrome. I finally asked Alex what Hippodrome meant in French. He said it was a racetrack. I asked him why they were racing hippos in Deauville. He looked at me like he didn't love me anymore. I quickly did "the Matthew" in the middle of the street to win back his love but it didn't work that time; he just walked really far ahead of me.
This is Lucien hiding
The high point of our trip, I think, was our final morning before we left to catch our train. We were playing with Lucien's hacky sack outside our ground floor hotel room. Lucien threw it up in the air and it landed on the balcony of the room above us. There was nobody up there and Lucien's bottom lip started to quiver. Were we going to have to leave his favorite ball behind in Deauville?
Hell no, not on our watch. Alex boosted me up. As he held onto my feet like a man cheerleader, I clawed my way towards the ball but could barely touch it with my fingertips. I yelled at him to boost me higher. Alex groaned loudly. I dangled from the upstairs balcony by my elbows while he readjusted. I was finally able to grab the ball.
As I yelled triumphantly that I got it and he could start letting me down slowly, I saw there was a family very quietly watching us from their balcony. I also saw that Lucien had taken the opportunity to pull down his pants and start peeing on a tree.
As Alex let me down, more "not slowly" than "slowly," I scraped both my elbows on the edge of the concrete balcony above. I fell to the ground yelling and bleeding. The quiet family went back into their room.
Coco, you remain the only respectable member of this family. Don't let us down, girl. And good luck.
P.S. We did some normal things in Deauville, too. Here are a few pictures. Nice place. We'd definitely go back if they'd have us.
I'm Matthew McConaughey, bitches!