Travel seems to come so naturally here in France that I'm often astounded when I sit down and account for all the places I've been recently.
I was reviewing client e-mails in order to update them on my whereabouts and saw one where a client wrote, "Have fun on your trip." I was momentarily startled that I'd already told him of my trip to Portugal. Instead, it was the six-day trip to Normandy and Paris that I'd taken in October/November. He didn't even know that I'd headed off to Portugal by way of Biarritz and Salamanca (Spain) for five weeks.
My friend Innis and I decided that we could pay for the month of February in southernmost Portugal, actually the westernmost section of Europe, for essentially what we would jointly pay for our heating for the month. Mind you, February is hardly the severe month that I've grown up knowing in New Jersey, New York City and Connecticut. When I left the last week of January, my daffodils were already about five inches high, leaving me to wonder if I'd miss their entire blooming period if I didn't come back until the first week of March.
But leave I did, heading first to Biarritz for the first time for several days. I knew of the reputation of Biarritz as a long-reigning spa resort and indeed it still is although it's a shadow of its former glory in a day where such places were completely out of reach of 'regular folks.'
We stayed in a dog-friendly hotel just a block or so from the beach where a stunning compound lies, one which my friend told me was frequented by Napoleon and his Josephine.
One visit and I could see the magic of Biarritz. It was but a short stay but it surely won't be my last.