Huang Family Circus

My family friends are visiting and to spend a weekend away from the restaurant, in the [French] Pays Basque with [legitimate] baguettes from the local boulangerie and [legitimate] croissants made with know-how, is heavenly. Like the Partridge Family, the eight of us packed into a boxy van (in Chinese we say ‘bread car’ for its shape) in search of le picnic. We ambushed a tiny, local boulangerie, picking up des sandwiches, des pains au chocolat et plus. We may have also given the boulanger une crise cardiaque, assuming he has never 1) seen so many Asians in his life 2) had to fill an order of 8 sandwiches (avec jambon de bayonne, chorizo, fromage, saucisson, all of which he sliced to order), 8 pain au chocolat, 1 pain de campagne, 6 cannelés et 4 croissants. Apparently I was having too much fun watching and forgot to take fotos, but here is our picnic on the side of the road.  

fermentation is everything

la rue

Like any vacation with the Huang Family Circus (a name they have aptly chosen for themselves), this was already une aventure bizarre, and dangerous, to begin, on the side of the road here. 

After scarfing down two gigantic sandwiches, 1 cannelé and half a pain au chocolat, I was comatose. By the time I woke up we had arrived at our destination: La Dune de Pyla, also known as my post-coma afternoon workout.

La Dune

The hike to the base of the dune was a ten minute stroll through a French jungle where dinosaurs used to roam. No joke. Is it my tracasaurus imagination speaking or my recollection of the abundance of ferns? This is historically logical since the land here used to be covered by ocean. A treasure trove of hidden fossils are yet to be discovered in these ferny jungles, I bet!

Anyhoo, once you get past the tourist stands selling imported [likely from Asia] beachware, souvenirs, ice cream and cold beer, you’ll see the stairs to heaven.


And once you climb those stairs (barely a workout compared to the dune climbing we did in the Gobi Desert in Xinjiang), you’ve made it to paradis.

Someone could make a killing selling cold beers and ice cream up here.

Many visitors lazied around, enjoying the sand, weather and view, as anyone who visits La Dune should do. Some came prepared with towels and puppies and set up camp to stay a while. I suppose if you’re looking for the sandy, blue skies, lacquer-myself-in-oil-because-I’m-physically-closer-to-the-sun, vista del mar benefits of a day at the beach without having to get yourself wet, this is where you go. Me? I’d prefer to fly away from those bronze bozos:

Or play in the sand with this tyke:


A great place to sink your toes in the sand and later run down a 45˚ incline, the Dune de Pyla is fun for all ages and levels of daring.


A beautiful spring afternoon taking in some rays with the closest thing there is to la famille around here:


Et oui, we did end it on a sweet note.


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