We woke up in LA Rochelle to a travel day. We were making our way to our SECOND to last sleep before heading back to Canada. That sleep would be back in the quaint little hotel we stayed at in Orléans (at Brodies request). Although it was a bit of a stretch from La Rochelle to Orléans (about 4.5hrs on the A10), it actually was the perfect spot before heading back into Paris for our last night before our flight back to Canada.
We made our way down for the fabulous breakfast, packed up the room, packed up our little (full sized) car, and checked out of our quaint little hotel. Since we had some time befoer we “needed to drive on”, we decided to check out the surrounding area. We talked to the hotel concierge about places to see and the recommendation was Ile de Re´.
When Mike booked La Rochelle he said it “was a place where people from France go to vacation”. Now while I thought La Rochelle was a pretty little town….. I wasn’t 100% sold on the fact that “THIS is where the French go to vacation”…… That is, until we were directed to Ile de Re´. Now….. at this point in the vacation… knowing it was coming to an end quickly, and living out of a suitcase for almost 7 weeks, with not many laundry facilities close at hand….. I will admit (shamefully so) that I was looking forward to unpacking my bags on Canadian soil, and settling in for the duration of the summer in our Yaletown condo.
Bring on Ile de Re´ and a BIG change of Heart.
Ile de Re´….. a beautiful 30 km island connected to mainland France by a 3 km bridge with beautiful sandy beaches. It sounded devine. We said our goodbyes to La Rochelle and made our way to Ile de Re´ and all it had to offer.
As we were driving over the bridge I thought to myself… that “YES….. THIS is where the French go to Vacation!” It was maybe about 30 minutes from La Rochelle. There was a hefty toll to get across the bridge but it was only a one way toll (thank goodness). The beauty and quaintness of Ile de Re´ caught me right away. The island is filled with cabin and bike trails…. really if you were staying here that would be the best mode of transportation you could be on. We made our way to one of the many beaches on the Bay of Biscay, with nothing but water between us and North America.
With the waves rolling in, the quaintness of the small town and island life, it really reminded me of Tofino, on the West Coast of Vancouver Island. The waves were huge and constant, and with that magical sound as they crashed upon the sandy beaches. The 4 of us were in HEAVEN! It was ashame that we hadnt known about this the day before as there probably would have been no melt down…. just a picnic lunch and a lot of sand digging!
It was at this point I said to Mike, forgetting totally about my earlier desire to get back to Vancouver and clean clothes….. that we should call the airline, change our flights, and add another week to the vacation. I was more that willing to stay in France another week or so…..Ile de Re´ is just that MAGICAL!
We spent a fair amount of time on the beautiful sandy beach, but we had to say good bye to the ocean and make our way for lunch, so we wouldn’t be driving to Orléans in the dark! We made our way to the other side of the island where there were more restaurants and shops, than sandy beaches. It was later in the day so our first restaurant of choice was closed until dinner service. We then found a cute little pizza “pirate” place in La Flotte that was open. After a quick bite it was time to hit the road and get on our way to Orléans. After all the playing in the sand and surf both kiddies (and Mike) were looking like a nap would do them some good!
Back over the 3 Km bridge, we made some good time driving the toll roads towards Orléans! There were number of “Pit Stops” all which included automated coffee machines, but we were happy to arrive back at our little hotel “just off the highway” in Orléans in time for dinner.
The kids were super happy to see the hotel and the grand backyard over looking the Loire River, where races would be run around and around the Merman fountain….. I was pretty happy that there was unlimited wifi, and that this would be THE final organizing of the kids, and my suitcases before our flight home!
It was time to curl up and sleep before our last travel day and our “do over” night in our old ‘hood on the streets of Paris and I couldn’t wait!
Enjoy your (not so) Daily Dose.
3KM Bridge to Il de Re
Sandy beaches to the left
Sandy beaches to the right
Heading to the Bay of Biscay
Wow…. so AMAZING.
Lets dig a hole……
Beauty and the beach
The Little Miss
I *heart* Paris too!
You go girl!
ahhhhhhh…. the waves crashing in!
Me and my Kiddies!
Two favourite boys!
Paddle on in my friend!
another carousel…. it was closed when we saw it! 😉
…. of course
Bye bye, Il de Re… thanks for your hospitality!
do people actually still use these?
Hahaha… LOVE this!
iPad in hand
Other iPad in hand!
Ile de Re´