Summer Vacation

This is my response to the earlier Flashback Track Friday prompt, where today we are thrown The Swimming Song and asked to answer:

What is your most memorable swimming experience?
A photo pf my daughter, taken underwater, on vacation at Centerarcs

It’s May-time again,
A Strong indication,
That we’ll soon take the plunge,
Into Summer Vacation.

We’ve all looked at the maps,
To determine location,
As we’re limbering up
For our Summer Vacation.

I’m away from my desk,
For a fortnight’s duration,
I’ll be floating away,
On my Summer Vacation.

The middle of France,
Is our firm destination,
We’re about to dive into,
Our Summer Vacation.

All that sunshine and heat,
An unusual sensation,
Yes we’re lapping it up,
During Summer Vacation.

Took a day-trip to Paris,
Where we found elevation,
So we’ve paddled around,
On our Summer Vacation.

We dined at The Frog,
Helped us fend off starvation,
We were lounging about,
On our Summer Vacation.

Two weeks of pure bliss,
Of pure recreation,
Rehydrating ourselves,
In our Summer Vacation

Then our fortnight was up,
So I’ll end my narration,
Of my shallow dive into,
Our Summer Vacation.

When I read the prompt today, my first thought was the image I placed above. This is my daughter, underwater, aged five, in 2005. At that age, we holidayed in May/June each year, although we observed the school timetable as she got older. We were on vacation at a place called Centerparcs in the middle of France. I’ll dig out some more photos to show at the end.

Centerparcs is a very European phenomenon: they take a large area of woodland and build a load of holiday chalets on it. They’re smart in how they build them, because you never realise that you even have neighbours, although there are several thousand people on the site. They’re very successful and have around ten sites dotted around Europe.

Central to everything is a large, tropical swimming pool called “the dome”. There are a half dozen shops outside and the pool itseld has things like hot tubs and a solarium, plus an “outdoors” part. One of the shops is a small supermarket, so in theory you can arrive and stay on-site for the duration. That’s possible, but restrictive. Also, you pay “Centerparcs Prices” for your groceries.

Centerparcs is badged as car-free, cars are only permitted on pick-up and drop-off days. However, we saw some cars all the time, so I’m not sure if they police that. I guess it is like most things – 80% observe the rule, 1% are legit, and 19% don’t give a shit..

The Centerparcs we visited was called Hauts de Bruyeres, in a foresty area called La Sologne, in the middle of France. The nearest village was called Chaumont-sur-Tharonne, which amazingly for such a small place, boasted a Michelin-starred restaurant (La Grenouille or The Frog). That’s what’s so good about France.

Other excursions included the city of Orlรฉans, plus we visited Paris for the day. The chateaux were also days out, although the only one we visited on this trip was Cheverny.

We were so impressed with this place that we returned the next year. That’s the only time we ever went back to the exact same place. We day-tripped to Paris each time. The first year, we went up the Eiffel Tower – because with a young child, that’s the law. The next, we went up Montparnasse Tower, which affords brilliant views of the Eiffel Tower and feels a darned site more sturdy.

Incidentally, this was also the first time my daughter rode her bike without stabilizers. Proud girl!


    • With a child that age, it is superb. They lay on all sorts of activities, many of which you have to pay extra for, but at least they lay them on. So there are always things to do. They like your money, though.

      Liked by 1 person

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