You’re Standing in Quicksand -But Wait- Let Me Get a Picture of This!

About five years ago, I took the girls on a month long journey through France. The exchange rate was great and I was convinced the Euro would rise, so I wanted to buy a second home in my favorite country. It would be an investment. A fun one. I just didn’t know exactly where in France to buy. So this trip was to find THE place. Actually, we took about 4 or 5 different trips that year and hit just about every major region of the country.

We did this month-long trip by car. This was the time we went to Normandy. Although it was an off the beaten path type of trip, we did swing by Mont St. Michel, a heavily touristed area, yeah, but it was something to see because this place has one of the highest tide differentials in the world.

The first thing we noticed was how much this place looked like Hogwarts. I guess everyone knows this now, but for us, then, it was a discovery. There were other things to discover in a place like this.

On the other side of the Mont, we went out for a walk. There were warning signs posted about how quickly the tide comes in. I’d read it travels as fast as a galloping horse, but the sign said it was at the pace of a brisk walk. Which meant my kids would have to run from it.

Hard to believe that hours earlier this beach was under thirty feet of water. Equally difficult to comprehend that it would be underwater again in a few more hours. Walking around “under the sea,” there were jellyfish and other forms of sea life scattered about, left behind by the tide.

This is about how far out we walked before heading back.

Another thing we discovered was quicksand. Somehow we missed those warning signs. Not that I would have believed them anyway. What I understood about quicksand was what I’d seen in the movies: It’s in the jungle, it looks like liquid mud, and all that is left of a bad guy who falls in is his safari hat.

Look closer. Here, I’ll zoom in for you. My kids are sinking.

The more they moved, the more they sunk. I don’t have a photo of them up to their knees because I was busy pulling them out before the damn tide came in.

Don’t believe it?

Look at this dude:


photo: Claude

It’s at the same place we were.

Quicksand is not as scary as made out to be in the movies. You can learn more about it here.

Here is Mont St. Michel while the tide is in.

Photo: Puzzlehouse

Besides finding “Hogwarts” and quicksand, I found out a lot of things on that trip. Things I could not learn in a book. Mainly that my daughters did not want to be raised in France. I also realized that while the countryside and its people are amazing, it is not for me. Paris is THE place.

Just not for now.

Some people might think I’m crazy to travel to a foreign country alone with two little girls. It was difficult at times because they were at the age when they were at each other’s throats so much. That’s the only trouble we had.

I’m not afraid of the unknown. The only things that scare me are the things I do know. And the girls? They are the same way.

This post was highlighted in Best of Holidailies.

Thanks, Holidailies.

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23 thoughts on “You’re Standing in Quicksand -But Wait- Let Me Get a Picture of This!

  1. We just came back from a trip to Europe and spent a week in France. We had hoped to go to Mount St. Michal but ran out of time. Looks lovely though. My children did pretty well together but my husband driving…..Well, he gets a bit cranky.

    If I ever get back there I’ll remember the quicksand.

  2. Those round-abouts and lane splitting motorcycles will make anyone cranky. Other than that, the French drive exceptionally well compared to the people around where I live.

    Normandy is beautiful. You should try to make it there next time.

  3. Looks stunning, but the quicksand is like some dark and dirty secret. I think you’re pretty brave to travel round like you do, especially driving in London (!)Paris and such places. (have you tried Rome?) I travelled a bit and was braver in my distant youth (called folly of youth), but the world was a kinder place back then. These days I worry about everything. Your girls will have the most fantastic memories of their childhood. They might not appreciate it so much now, but they will when they get older.

  4. No, I have not driven in Rome, I’m scared enough just riding on a bus over there.

    Blane drove in Venezuela and wow, people don’t even slow down for the red lights there. Cars come at you head on while you’re in a hairpin curve…

    The girls have finally begun to appreciate travel. Last time, they helped me decide where to go and things we should do while there (hence the concerts).
    Now that is something I learned from them. How to experience “back door travel” by mingling with the locals at a music festival.
    I would never have thought to do that.

  5. Yeah, I’m such a great fixer……..he-he. If something bad had happened I would have gone over there and/or done what I could. You have given me a few worries( and do I worry!!), but you’re very level headed and capable.

  6. Thanks Julie and Hemipowell.

    Liv, I am thinking about that 2AM phone call, “Help! I am driving around in circles, how do I get out of London?!

    Anita, just make sure you tell your “friend” to wiggle around after you push them into the pit.

  7. I loved reading this, really interesting. Travelling on your own is a lot of fun. I have travelled through India, Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Poland, into Russia and over quite a bit of Europe on my own (not all at once, mind you). Such great experience that you would not have had you travelled with others. Well done.

  8. I had visions of you being kidnapped by Albanians or ending up driving in circles for days on end… You’ve no idea how hard I prayed. (that you came back safely, not that you got kidnapped!!!)

  9. VegeYum, you are braver than I. That is some major travel you’ve done on your own. I’d do it if I had to, really because I can’t stay still. Have to go, go, go at full speed. I have no trouble talking to strangers (my own mother taught me to do that, but also how to do it wisely) so there would have to be a lot of that to ward off feelings of isolation.

    Liv, I remember your warnings about the kidnappings. I taught the girls how to send out evil defensive vibes {{{don’t fuck with us, we are evil}}} if they felt threatened.

    We also practice basic street smarts. Never wear a scarf (that is a potential strangulation device) and if anyone ever tries to abduct you, drop to the ground. The kidnapper will choose a more cooperative “victim.” Oh, yell “fire!” that gets people’s attention way more than screaming. Kids scream “help” all the time while playing and people tend to ignore that if it is coming from a kid.

  10. Always carry a small, but sharp, pair of nail scissors. Stab into balls, kidneys, guts or wherever he doesn’t expect.
    It’s true. Attitude is very important. Or from my own experience, as a young and naive girl, new to this country, let your instinct take over and throw a right hook to the chin and land the bastard. I’m still surprised by myself!!!

  11. Liv, I bet being a gymnastic star helped too. I could see the high kicks and back-flips.
    Oh, and not to mention that self-defense class we took that time from that undercover cop dude at the apartment complex.

  12. Oh, I SO understand “you’re in quicksand, but wait until I get a picture” first! It’s the story of my life! (Got your link from Holidailies and am delighted to have found this entry)

  13. Thanks for stopping by, Bev. That is pretty much the story of my life too.
    Got that sinking feeling, but I’m not really sinking and I’m laughing my way out of it at the same time.

  14. Cut out the “star” bit, it’s not true. No high kicks or back flips, just an instinctive solid right hook, perfectly landed. The self-defence class from the undercover cop, (how do we know he was a cop if he was under cover???) came many years after the knock out.

  15. Pingback: Off Road Guide to Holidailies « The Show Must Go On

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