Bonjour from La Baule, France!
We left Nantes Tuesday morning and drove about an hour and a half to the west coast of France for a 5 day training camp. When we arrived we went directly to our President’s adorable beach house to have lunch. Her and her husband (who also works for the club) are so sweet, and so nice to us. The French really know how to eat as we had a few courses: started as tomatoes with egg as well as baguettes and the best french melons; then slow cooked pork and melt in your mouth vegetables; followed by fresh cheeses and peaches/nectarines/apples; and last but not least coffee and tea.
We made a quick walk (2 blocks) to go see the beach and put our feet in the water. I have never been on this side of the Atlantic Ocean before. I’ve been up and down the east coast of America, especially the Jersey Shore, and now I get to see it from the west coast of Europe 🙂 I thought that was so cool.
At 12 kilometers long, La Baule is the longest beach in Europe. Our coaches teased us about running the entire thing for pre-breakfast workout… NOT. La Baule is an old getaway for the French and Europeans. It seems to have a lot of history here with really cute homes, bungalows, and beach houses. Right along the beach there are tons of hotels and apartment buildings, all looking to be the perfect location. Really, there is no bad part of this beach. It is clean, the water isn’t too cold, and its quite picturesque. Coop, Kristy, and I took a walk after our first practice to check it out in the evening. And what did we find? Just a bunch of people riding horses during the sunset, no big deal.
However, as exciting and wonderful being at a beach is, we are here for training camp. So for our first full day, we had 45 minutes of conditioning in the sand to start, ate breakfast, went kayaking in the ocean for an hour and a half (workout + fun team activity), lunch, 2 hours downtime, then a full practice in the afternoon, followed by dinner. We are beat to say the least. But that’s also a great thing, it means we’re working hard, getting stronger, fitter, and trying to get better. We get to grind until Saturday afternoon and earn that day off on Sunday.