After a winter and spring full of what seemed like nonstop rain and clouds, summer is just about here so we took full advantage. Tom, Dagny and I packed a bag, hopped in the car and headed west to the Vendée region of France that boasts the beautiful Atlantic coast. Here are some weekend pics for ya…
La Vendee beaches
As a kid, summer weekends meant heading down to the Jersey Shore — something I looked forward to for the Italian ice, trips to the arcade and lazy afternoon beach naps. But as I grew up and eventually moved to France, the trips to the Jersey Shore became less frequent as life’s busyness took hold and priorities changed. But luckily, I still have the beach an easy drive away and while it doesn’t resemble the Jersey Shore in the least, it still makes for an awesome weekend.
I love France’s rugged beaches and finding a dog friendly one can be a challenge, so first stop? A very small town called Bretignolles-sur-Mer. Not a huge tourist trap and taking advantage of the fact that the big vacation season hasn’t started yet, we leisurely walked along the rocky beach at low tide much to Dagny’s delight. Rocks, little water pools, seaweed and cliffs welcomed us and we had the place to ourselves.
After about an hour, we sat down on our blanket to take in the view. But Dagny had other plans. You see, she gets excited after arriving at fun places like the beach and has to be on the move until she’s a little tired, so sitting on the towel wasn’t what she had planned. And yeah, I get it, a stick is super cool and all but when you get a giant piece of wood wedged in your gums and Mom thinks you’re choking because you stop moving and decide to hold your breath, it’s not that fun (I’m talking to YOU, Dagny). Ah, but after a mini flip-out and digging around in her mouth, I found the culprit and she was back to her frisky self as happy as could be discovering the treasures in the sand.
Then it was on to another little nearby town called Saint-Gilles-Croix-de-Vie that has a nice little port and town center complete with outdoor restaurants, tourist shops (what’s summer without a friendship bracelet??), and of course, a baguette vending machine. 😉 We had a leisurely lunch and walked around a bit.
Then we were off to Les Sables d’Olonne for the rest of the afternoon.
Les Sables d’Olonne
Les Sables d’Olonne is a bigger seaside town than the other two and is extremely crowded during the summer, but we lucked out since it’s still June and managed to find a parking space right near the beach. We strolled down the main drag stopping for ice cream and taking in the sights. No dogs are allowed on the beach here from April on so we took in the view from the pedestrian path near the street and Dagny scrounged around for any fries that a careless passerby may have dropped.
And to finish up, here’s a really stylish carousel we saw on the way back to our car.
Hope you had a wonderful weekend!