Before I forget, I have to share an amusing translation issue again!  It is common for Americans to say, “in a little bit” or “just a little bit” . . . so imagine our horror when, after a year for my American co-worker and almost 2 months for me, someone finally bothered to tell us that “bit” is a slang French term for male “parts.”  Even funnier was watching the French guys die laughing about it, “little bit, little bit . . . I was wondering how does she know?”  Yeah . . . be warned that “pine” as in pine tree is also off limits!  This conversation came about as a result of us telling them that they could NOT translate a product as “nut bag” (or nut sack) in English since it can either mean a crazy person or, well, slang for other male “parts.”  Ah yes, the fun that comes along with words having a much different meaning in other languages!  Even more awkward is needing to have them at WORK to ensure there aren’t language snafus for your coworkers or company.

So, despite being ill, I started my day off by driving to the island of Île de Ré.  First off, the main attraction here is apparently a lighthouse, which was really nice and all . . . but it costs 8 Euro to get onto the island.  I promise you the lighthouse is not worth 11.20 Euro with the entry fee!  If your only interest is a lighthouse, go to Biarritz or something.

Having said that, I’d recommend visiting, but for more than just the lighthouse!  There are lovely beaches, old abbey ruins and a couple of adorable towns . . . plus, donkeys in pants apparently!  While the donkeys had no pants this time, they are super shaggy and adorable!  On my way to the abbey ruins, I stopped by a coffee shop and had my now usual “French breakfast” – pain au chocolat and espresso.  I should note here that while I was between the 2nd & 3rd hole on my belt when I arrived, I now have to use the 1st hole (smallest) – again, how can you not love a country where you eat chocolate for breakfast and dessert with virtually every lunch, yet lose weight?

After soaking in a bit of the sunshine, it was off to the abbey!  Somehow in my many adventures here, I’ve yet to visit an abbey, so these ruins were my first.  It was actually rather stunning to see it because they’ve kept the area cleared – you can pull out to take a photo of it at a distance or walk around inside.  I opted for the close-up trip!

Upon approaching the lighthouse . . . well, that is nearly an 11 Euro view!  What a gorgeous day!  And it really does stand out nicely against such a blue sky!

This is about the point when I started wondering what I’d gotten myself into, especially with being sick!  Really?  A lighthouse?  Who climbs up a lighthouse sick?!?

Having made it to the top though – what a view!  Again, *maybe* an 11 Euro view . . . maybe.  I haven’t seen any other lighthouses here yet, so it’s hard to compare!  The first view was of the “old” lighthouse, which is funny since the “new” lighthouse is from the 1800s.

Ah . . . not so bad when this is the beach that is 90 minutes from your house!  On my way down, I had to take one more picture of the lovely staircase and the date on the floor at the bottom – 1845 is the year of the new lighthouse, to be specific!  Shortly before this shot, the young boy in the photo was well in front of his group and moving quickly when he tripped and started to fall past me . . . years of being an older sister have apparently left me with quick reflexes though as I caught him before he fell too far!  He was solidly in the middle of the adults after that!