I asked about fishing, then about living in their enchanting region of Bordeaux in southwest France. They described lives barely touched by time. Lives that follow the slow seasonal rhythm of the vineyards with the same ancestral predictability as the river current is regulated by the tides of the distant Atlantic Ocean.
It's the July 4th weekend. My wife, Kathy, and I have a bag full of red, white and blue pinwheels, some Stars and Stripes-brand snack cakes and a packet of mini-flags. We're nearly set for a holiday blowout in the country. Strangely, none of the stores is stocked with hot dogs or chips. No one around us seems to be doing the same.
The wine's fresh cut grass aromas and frisky acidity perfectly pair with the wealth of scrumptious oysters harvested further south in Cap Ferret, a seaside resort adjacent to the Arcachon Bay, often called the Hamptons of Bordeaux. I can still taste the fat juicy oysters exploding with creamy brininess, like kiss of fresh sea air.
Whether it's a packed cruise ship unloading throngs of boisterous passengers, or a mob of thirty college students tearing through town, an excess of tourists can make a destination go from in-demand to insufferable, just like that. Consider avoiding these played-out locales and shift your attention to nearby spots that are lesser-known, and more worthy of the term "vacation."