Marleen, the lady we stayed with in San Sebastian, listened as we talked about how expensive France was going to be. We told her about spending several hours trying to find cheap accommodation, but there was nothing. Hostels were few and far between, bed and breakfasts were expensive, and we hadn’t heard back from any hosts on couchsurfers. At the moment of deciding we could only go to Paris for a night or two and would not be able to see any other part of France, Marleen said “I have a house in the South of France if you want to stay there.”
Sometimes, things work out in our favor, and we headed to the South of France to a little town called Moliets with Marleen and her son.
After driving for a couple hours and going through about five tolls, we stopped at a small pizza place for lunch. It was nice spending quality time with Marleen and her sweet and thoughtful son, Carlo.
We arrived to the house and it was wonderful. It was small but perfect for Bryan and me. There were two small bedrooms, a kitchen and dining room, one bathroom, a living room, and most importantly, a TV for the France vs Sweden European Cup match. Marleen was about to take a nap and Carlo had grabbed his bike. Marleen just about asked Carlo to take us and show us the beach, but he looked like he was on a mission, so we said we could find it ourselves. Carlo sped off.
Bryan and I explored a little of the resort type city. It reminded me a little of the Pacific Northwest as it had just rained and there was the smell of pine needles everywhere. It was nice to be home for a bit. The house was next to a lake, golf course, and of course a wonderful sandy beach.
We grabbed our traditional dinner of meat, cheese, fruit and bread on the way back. It was a small French town, so we weren’t expecting much in the way of options from the little grocery store. There were two kinds of sausage (one being Spanish) and a limited fruit selection. On the flip side there were a few dozen different types of cheese and a little stall with a half dozen fresh-baked kinds of baguettes. Every culture has their own priorities.
We got back to the house a few minutes after Carlo and together we’d accidentally woken up Marleen.
Carlo had a big smile on his face, and shared with us the fruits of his mission . . . beignets. Begniets are deep-fried pieces of dough about half again the size of a golfball and reminded me a bit of a donut. Carlo had grabbed four different kinds from a local bakery: strawberry, apricot, apple and chocolate. They were fresh fried and had been put in pieces of paper wrapped into a cone.
Marleen and Carlo left later that evening and it was kind of sad to say goodbye. Marleen commented on how fun it was to have us (Bryan, me, and the Portland couple) stay with them and how we sort of became one big family. We agreed.
The next morning we basically spent the day at the beach relaxing. Later we had a great idea and walked to the lake to hang out for awhile. We stayed for about ten minutes before realizing I was being bit by a million mosquitoes. In case you haven’t heard, I am Bryan’s repellent. We then went back to the house. The mosquitoes ended up being a blessing in disguise as a thunder and lightning storm rolled in rather quickly. We went back to the house where Bryan made his famous mac and cheese. It was a perfect night.
Having someone drive you to a destination means you’re not quite sure how to get back on pubic transportation. In our situation, there was no public transportation at all. Oops.
When we first arrived to Moliets, we met Marleen’s neighbor who is French but speaks English well. She helps take care of the house for Marleen and offered to help us figure out the best way to reach the train station which was about 45 minutes away. She originally told us there was a bus stop about 15 minutes and she could take us there before work. However, the day before we left she knocked on our door told us due to the fact it was not quite high season, the buses weren’t running until the beginning of July. She was very sweet and helpful and eventually told us our only option was a taxi as the train station was the other direction of her work.
We paid 60 Euros to take a 45 minute taxi ride to the train station. Sometimes, things don’t work out in our favor.
Next stop, Paris.
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