Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Family Memories in Biarritz

There's a line in our family's favorite children's book, The Gruffalo, that keeps coming to mind whenever I think of our time in Biarritz in May.

"You lead the way, and I'll follow after."

My kids are oblivious about the nuances of travel. As long as their bellies are full and they can run around a bit, they're relatively content. That's true whether they're at a highway service station on a road trip or a gorgeous, five star resort on the beach. Makes no difference to them. Whereas we adults sometimes get so caught up in whether or not our hotel lives up to its TripAdvisor reviews or if the service at the restaurant was too slow.

Our only full day exploring Biarritz was a great example. Here we were, in one of the poshest cities in Europe. Passing by stores with names like Herve Leger and Hermes (thanks to excessive watching of the Rachel Zoe Project when Little Arrow was a newborn, I at least recognize these names!) People sitting in cafes, wearing sunglasses worth more than my entire wardrobe, sipping fancy drinks. Surfers, with their six-pack abs, clutching their boards ready for a day hanging ten. My kids didn't pick up on any of this. They simply knew this place had a beach, and therefore it MUST be amazing.

So they happily pranced out to the Virgin Rock in their dusty, hand-me-down crocs, as if they were running to catch that perfect wave.

They munched chocolate macaroons on the beach as if it were caviar.

They stared in awe at the enormous fish tanks at the Musee de la Mer as if it were a fashion runway show.

They desperately tried to get a good look at Spain (those mountains in the distance), as if they were the paparazzi on the hunt for an A-list celebrity.

We can learn a lot from our children. We should worry less about what we look like on a beach, and more about whether or not our little brother is going to ruin our sandcastle. We shouldn't feel embarrassed that our shoes aren't designer, and instead enjoy all the beautiful places those shoes can take us. And let's stop obsessing about our travel budget limitations, and instead focus on all the amazing things we can do with the money we do have.

We had such a memorable time in Biarritz. Is it the go-to spot for young families? Probably not, although I don't see why it couldn't be. Are we as fancy or as muscle-toned as most of the other visitors we passed on the sidewalks or saw on the beach? Certainly not. Did it lesson our fun in any way? Absolutely not.

Biarritz is for the chic. The surfers. And the families barely getting out the door in the morning without snotty noses and dirty diapers.

Just try to let your kids lead the way, and you'll follow after, enjoying all the joyful and messy moments along the way.

Planning your own trip to Biarritz? Read more here:

Ideas for Visiting Bordeaux and Biarritz with Kids at Ciao Bambino

Beach Bumming in Biarritz

Disclosure: My family was hosted by the Aquitaine tourism bureau during our stay in Biarritz. We paid for all expenses while sightseeing, however, and all opinions are my own.

This post is a part of Friday Postcards at Walking on Travels.

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