Sunday, August 24, 2014

Maine Spa Treatment

Christmas Cove, South Bristol,Maine

I needed to recharge as we say… the batteries… Could not think of a more beautiful place than my husband's family magnificent spot on the coast of Maine. This is no near as far as Roque Island, our beloved Island way up North in Maine.

Recipe for my "get in shape" in 5 days program:

Be present in the moment, absorb you surroundings, breath in the fresh scented air, feel the ocean,
leave behind newspapers, computers, TV. Listen to the music of the birds.

Up early, I eat a  healthy breakfast of home made bread and jam, scrambled farm eggs with freshly harvested Chantarelle mushrooms and chopped bacon strips all topped off with a glass of fresh juice.

Then onto the bike for a challenging ride. Starting at 10 miles on the first day to 20 miles by the fifth day. The ride is rigorous with steep hills, fast descents, curved lanes which makes it  an interesting and fun work out while  burning calories and  great leg and thigh workout.

Back to the house for a light snack and ready to hike the beautiful wooded trails along the coast. Along the walk, I love to explore in search for beautiful moss and some more Chanterelles which will be perfect for a light lunch. The paths are covered in the most stunning varieties of  moss. The air is richly scented from the pines, the sea, the humus. Breath in….breath out… clean the lungs.

A kitchen with a view

Back at the house, time to collect blueberries that will be transformed into delicious pies.
A lunch of fresh crab salad on home made bread, local peaches for desert, and a strong espresso.

Time to lounge by the pool or on the grass, looking at the bay, a nap, a great book…moment of bliss.

Part two of the "perfect healthy day":

Off to our dock to get the kayaks in the water. I love kayaking, it is a contemplative exercise, silence only broken by the cries of the birds, the sound of the wind. We have had some intense kayaking as well, being caught in some rapid currents. The Maine waterways and ocean is treacherous and one has to be very aware of the change in tides, winds and storms surging. I try to kayak for at least one and a half hours... it is a great exercise for the shoulders, arms and upper back.

Then comes my final ritual, not for the faint of heart: swimming in rather cold water. I always swim in the late afternoon to early evening high tides, when the water had a chance to warm up to a roaring 60 degrees. (Roque island water is in the low to mid 50's…) I have a strict method of counting each stroke. 1000 strokes is close to 1 mile and that is my daily goal, it takes about 1 hour. If the water is too cold, I unfortunately cut it to half a mile to avoid hypothermia. I feel euphoric from the swim, it is truly an amazing feeling. The water is just so cold, so pure, the scent in the air is incredibly fragrant, the nature surrounding me is magnificent and I forget the world….

Last part of the day is running on the dock to get as fast as possible to my well deserved hot water shower. It does take a little while to bring back the body temperature.I dress comfortably and warmly, light a big fire, serve myself a glass of rose and get lost into the sunset.

Dinner is usually clams, lobsters, oysters, fish…all food from the sea and local vegetables.

The day is gone...walking back from the main house to our smaller cottage, we stop to stare at the stars,  They are brilliant in the unpolluted sky.

I thank God, kiss my husband goodnight and enter the world of dreams.

A Bientôt,



  1. This is my idea of heaven. I love the sea and everything surrounding the sea. And, you are amazing to do ALL that exercise in one day. I think I would be a goner before lunch. I could never swim a mile!
    I am so proud of your committment. This is why you are such an inspirational and beautiful person, Francine. I am inspired !!

  2. Sounds perfect!You enjoy for the rest of us too!!!!!!

  3. I can't imagine much of anything more wonderful.


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