One of my favorite movies growing up was Gigi, the coming-of-age story of a girl at the turn of the century who turns from schoolgirl to courtesan except the rich man she loves marries her rather than let her become a courtesan. As my father once told me, “You realize this movie is about pedophilia right?” Anyways, when she is but a schoolgirl he takes her to Deauville for a weekend by the sea with her grandmother. Whenever B takes me to Deauville, I always think of that movie and get happy.
Before we said our adieu to this summer, we decided to escape Paris for the weekend and soak up some sun in glamorous Deauville. I’m not kidding about the glamorous – it’s rich people’s playground, there are as many luxury stores crammed on Main Street as there are on Avenue Montaigne in Paris.
I loved being near the ocean. It reminded me of home. Just looking at it always makes me feel like life is full of infinite possibility.
B and I headed straight for the beach the minute we got there. It was immediately obvious that one of us grew up in California and was eager to feel the sand between his or her toes. It was also obvious that one of us grew up in the 13th arrondissement of Paris where the nearest body of water is the Seine, whose embankments are made of concrete. The latter refused to take off his or her shoes and spent his or her time gingerly walking around the water so as to keep them dry. I’ll let you guess which is which.
On Sunday, we grabbed brunch at a place called Dupont avec un thé which impressed me when the waitress narrowed down their 200 tea options for me after asking me five questions. The Russian tea she picked out for me hit just the right spot. Plus there were pastry skewers. I mean really could there be a better beginning to a Sunday morning?
After brunch we headed over to Trouville, Deauville’s seedier cousin. Well, at least it’s seedy until you hit the beach and the houses start looking like dream dollhouses.
One of them even has my name on it! I almost climbed over the fence to let myself into my home, because clearly it belonged to me, but B held me back. Can you believe it?
Because it’s so fancy, the beach does not permit gyrating naked torsos. In San Francisco, they used to condone it. Cultural differences!
Before we went home, I insisted we get ice cream cones from Martine Lambert. She’s this artisanal ice cream maker who has two shops in all of France. One of them is in Deauville and one of them is on the rue Cler in the 7th arrondissement of Paris, a block from my old apartment. It used to be my special treat on sunny afternoons when I was grocery shopping. Here we come full circle, here we come…
Too soon our weekend was over and we had to head back to Paris. A few weeks later they’ve turned on the heaters at my office and we complain nightly that our HOA hasn’t done so at home. But I think our memories from a delightful weekend at Deauville still keep us warm.