“Boy, those French. They have a different word for everything.” – Steve Martin
Back on the road. Ooh. La. La. We’ve really run out of time this week to sort through our N’s. NO time. From Nebraska to Nikko, Nepal to Nagano, Nagoya and Nevada… and so many others. Honestly with a few big weddings being edited along with some stunning family & portrait sessions, we totally have our hands full. We are firmly and very happily in the season. So today we throw 2 of favorite N’s at you. Japan and France (re: today’s la quote…) We know we’re being a bit naughty downsizing, but they are pretty nifty, in this never-never land of life and it’s journeys.
Technically Nijima is still designated as part of Tokyo. And it’s the perfect place for a weekend get-away or even longer. Much longer, if we had our way. Once, back in the day, it was known as pick-up island. These days it’s lazy island vibe, empty beaches with pristine water, waves, nature, the free hot springs, friendly locals and a very delish bakery always beckon. It’s a world away from Tokes. And the questionable hooking-up reputation has found another island to play host. We’ve been more than once. The 2nd time with a typhoon some way off still bringing winds strong enough to channel our inner Mary Poppins and have some concern our little attempt at glamping in our tent may take us skyward. It never did. But we had some moments. Memories include: hiking all over, surviving the camping, hanging out at the beach, almost floating off to China in our floatation island, blowing up floatation island & hauling it island-wide, the endless tanning, the sunsets, takings the camera’s everywhere in our darling & dilapidated, spidery rental-cycles, those fabulously eclectic Easter-island inspired sculptures, the lookouts, the scenic points, the bbq’s, that bakery, the little local festival, Trace’s water-in-the-ear fiasco and the ensuing stand-up comedy show at the local drug-store to procure drugs. Niijima. We love you and are always island-dreaming.
France. The Normans produced great soldiers, none more famous than William the Conqueror. Then there was the invasion of June 6, 1944, which ravaged much of Normandy. But now – driving through Normandy reminded us of a Millet landscape, with cattle grazing in fields and wood-framed houses alongside modern buildings. Normandy is where Monet painted his waterlilies. Here and there are stained-glass windows and Gothic architecture that survived the bombardments. We saw Normandy’s wide beaches, Rouen and its old town and cathedral, with Joan of Arc history all around. One of our favourite memories is at the mouth of the Seine opposite Le Havre – Honfleur. One of Normandy’s most charming fishing ports. The working port looks like an antique. Honfleur is 500 years older than Le Havre, dating from the 11th century. Artists, including Daubigny, Corot, and Monet, have long favored this township. Memories: Pont de Normande, sunset at Etretat, Mont St-Michel, the beaches and white cliffs, Rouen, Veules-les-Roses, staying in Fecamp, our delicious potato ham and cheese dinner, bowling, a wonderful trip.
Have a fabulously nice and never-ending weekend.