We were there to spend a week on the Canal du Midi, in the south of France, on a couple of barges. We spent our days slowly meandering down the tree-lined canals, sometimes cycling along the banks, and eating lots and lots of delicious food. Mostly cooked by all the amazing aunts and uncles who'd been banded together on one barge.
It was pure strategy of course - my cousin Joel and I had independently decided on the sleeping arrangements so that the majority of the 'kids' ended up on one barge. Because that would be much more fun, of course. And boy did we have a lot of fun.
I remember breakfasts - baguette and pain au chocolat bought from whichever village we'd stopped next to the night before. I remember castles, and winding streets, and beautiful old cemeteries. I remember the locks, where we'd jump out to tie the boats to the side, and then the water would gush in, flooding around the boat, lifting us up and up and up, and onto the next level. I remember lunches, and dinners, where we'd pull the boats over to the side, and tie them together to put two tables on the deck they created, or on the banks, under the trees, to eat whatever delicious meal the
I remember a talent show. I remember sleeping out underneath the stars. I remember my little cousin Daniel falling into the canal, and everyone running to get him out. I remember falling into the canal myself, spluttering, wet, dirty.
So this time, no canals. A holiday by the seaside, in a house, on the ground. It's much more reassuring.
But one day again, I'd love to do that trip down the Canal du Midi again, even if it means falling in a canal.