Montpellier #2 - Out of our Comfort Zone

Montpellier #2—Out of our comfort zone 

 A new city, a new place to settle in, a new feel, a new place to explore, and a new place that tests you to go beyond your comfort zone. Zoe and I arrived a few days before Jean and have been acclimating ourselves to the tram, the pools, the beaches, and where to buy fresh fruit and legumes.  Underlying it, however, we miss him and we miss what we have known about living in France. Exploring a new place without our man is just not the same.  As a family we have always been close, but our time living in France made us even tighter and without him we feel like a limb is missing. On the bright side he arrives tonight (unless his plane is delayed which is possible based on his last text at 1 am).


Why, when you are somewhere new do you miss what you chose to leave? Settling into a new city, a big city is testing us and making us wonder why we choose to make changes. Yes, we miss Uzes and the small village we lived in, St. Quentin la Poterie. We miss our friends from that area and the familiarity of saying Bonjour to people we have known for years. We miss, we miss, we miss.  And then we discover. 


Yesterday, we discovered the 20-minute bus ride from the Place de l’Europe (a few tram stops away) to the beautiful beaches of Languedoc. Unlike the beaches of Cannes and Nice, the Herault’s spread of miles of long sandy beaches  dotted with beach towns such as Palavos –les Flots , a fishing village, Carnon and the larger summer community of La Grande Motte which was built in the 1960s as an entire beach city 10 miles long for the French, German, Dutch, and English who drive down in masses in the month of August.  


Our bus dropped us off at the Petite Travers, a  2-mile long slice of sea and sand that was left untouched from development that reaches to the larger villages. Splurging our first day (and not having an umbrella or chairs with us) we decided to rent one of the beckoning lounge chairs and umbrellas that made a day at the beach feel like a 5 star resort.  As the bar boys fluffed our cushions and layed out our towels we read through the menu for lunch; a salad of our choice and a drink for an additional 10 euro. Who could resist?  Before I know it we were wading into the beautiful Mediterranean, smooth as silk and swimming out beyond standing level. No rocks, a few ripples of waves, and water that was actually warm enough to swim in.  Lunch soon beckoned us and were served a fantastic chicken cesar salad that was one of the best I have had in a long time. Maybe it was because we were hungry or because it was on the beach, but the fine white chicken, specs of ham, corn, and a mélange of flavors mixed in their special dressing was divine.

Living close to the sea definitely has its merits and one reason we moved this direction. Yes, we miss the constant beauty of seeing the countryside change with the flowering of red poppies, sunflowers and lavendar, but the liveliness of the city, the fantastic weather, and the sea is quite wonderful!