Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Fete d'Hendaye 2013

In 2005, I took a trip to Europe with Maggie.  She was in Paris for a study abroad program and had a second program that summer in London.  We traveled for 2 weeks between the two in France, Spain, and England before going our separate ways for the rest of the summer.

The day that we left Paris, we found that we had misread the reservation tickets for our overnight train to Madrid, and showed up at the Paris train station at the time we should have been switching trains at our next stop.  We picked up reservations and jumped onto the next available train.  It was the middle of the night and Maggie (She's the French speaker; my foreign language is Spanish) fell asleep.  When the conductor came by, it was clear that there was something wrong with our tickets, but it wasn't clear if we needed to move.  I tried to wake Maggie up enough to talk to the conductor, and I later learned that I was rather less successful than I thought I had been. She said we could stay where we were, so I assumed we were in the wrong class, but we had been allowed to stay because the train wasn't full.

I fell asleep.

Hours later, when we woke up, and attempted to determine how far we were from our transfer point, we discovered that the train had split in the night while we were sleeping...and we were on the wrong part of the train. Luckily, we hadn't gone too terribly far, so we disembarked and re-boarded the next train in the opposite direction.  We were told to switch trains in Hendaye.  Unfortunately, we had no idea how far that would be and how many stops between there and where we were.  We kept asking about Hendaye and paying close attention to the announcements.  We were determined that we weren't going to go past our stop again.

Judging strictly by that criteria, we were successful, but we didn't make it to Hendaye either.  I couldn't understand what the announcements were saying in French, but we both heard the word Hendaye and jumped off the train just before it rolled away.  In retrospect, it seems obvious that they were saying "Next stop: Hendaye" as they rolled out of the station, but that realization only hit after we were off the train in the wrong place and there wasn't another one coming for hours.

At this point, I was done with France.  I just wanted to get across the border to Spain where I could understand the language.  My feelings must have been written on my face when we talked to the person at the information counter because she told us there was a commuter rail line that ran every few minutes.  We could take it to San Sebastian, Spain where we could catch a train to our next destination.  I didn't need to be told twice.

San Sebastian turned out to be a lovely little city.  We had good food and ice cream.  We hiked to the top of a hill with a statue of the "Corazon Sacrado," took a photo safari, and dipped our feet in the ocean.  It was a beautiful day.

This passed weekend, we had our 8th annual Fete d'Hendaye to commemorate getting lost in France and learning to love the moment.  We always have wine, cheese, bread, fruit, and cured meats...a proper French picnic, always in a beautiful place the better to take some great pictures.  Food, wine, beauty, and a camera is a recipe for an excellent time if I ever heard one.

We got a ton of great shots this year, but these pictures of Maggie and Lilah rolling down a hill called to me first, and were the basis of my first Fete 2013 layout.  When I chose the photos, I expected to tell the story about Maggie and Lilah rolling down the hill, but instead, I was compelled to write about how important our friendship has been to me during the last 15 years, and that I love how much she cares about my girls.

I used my November Counterfeit Kit (Fete d'Hendaye) to put this layout together, and I love how it turned out.  What do you think?  The CKCB is an awesome inspiration blog for using up your supplies.  I'd really encourage you to stop by and check them out if you haven't already.