Today was the first day of what I am sure will be many in the near and far future where Stefani gets important people in her life lost (both literally and metaphorically). But before we spoil the story, the original plan was to walk three hours in the morning to La Calanque de Morgiou, and all was going well. We were following the blue route, as indicated by the blue dashes on rocks along the way, and then to turn left onto the red route, and that was when all hell broke loose, and this happened:


Please tell me. WHO MAKES FIVE ROUTES OF FIVE DIFFERENT COLORS AND EXPECTS ME TO KEEP TRACK OF WHAT GOES WHERE? The French. Only the French. Also experienced hikers such as my father, being forced to wear my UV protective hat:


However, being lost was not a large issue, considering the fact that I am sitting here blogging about it right now, and also because the view and the hike was absolutely breathtaking. The Calanques follow the ocean with a hike along the cliffs, and is beautiful, the way it drops down into the water, and gives you a view of all the water, the beaches, and the boats along the shore. To the left we were able to see the entirety of Marseille in its splendor.

I think a big part of me has never been able to communicate what the Camino de Santiago did for me as a person, what it taught me, and why it was so beautifully simple but life-changing all the time, and a huge part of that hit me today, when my dad, at the top of the mountain, as we were eating tomatos and biscuits and stopping for me to take a pee break, “其實有時候很便宜的東西也可以很開心。” (You know, actually, sometimes the cheapest things can make you so happy.) I almost blushed. I realized that I get most embarrassed when the truth comes out, and the truth is, I guess this is what I’ve been trying to share with my family and the closest people to me all along, that happiness has nothing to do with the things you own or the people you have connections to, but the experiences you can find in the simple joys of life, such as hiking with your dad and eating tomatoes, and offering them to him only for him to reject them because he says they will make him need to go to the bathroom in the wild (neither of which happened, to my father’s relief).

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And even after we got lost and tried to descend into La Calanque de Sugiton, we were able to see a panoramic view of the cliffside from a viewing point higher up, where I graciously offered a young couple to take their photo for them, which they expectedly declined (also because I already saw them take a very large-faced selfie) and then offered to take a photo of the two of us (which I already anticipated, and graciously accepted as well):

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Here is a photo of me pretending to understand the French, much less the geology and science of the calcification of rocks at the Calanques:


And here is a photo of me next to a suspiciously phallic rock that is also simultaneously beautiful:


On our way back, the best part of the afternoon was seeing two little old ladies in matching blue polka dotted dresses, which made me want to understand why I was born without the French sense of style:


Later in the afternoon, after grabbing some food at Café Simon with a waiter whose name was most likely not Simon, and my father feeding a large and very fat pigeon, we decided to go to La Basilique, which was gorgeous, with its view over the city, and a cathedral with hanging sailing ships as decor:

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Hello Kitty film camera in hand, my dad and I went to a lovely restaurant nearby, Un Table Au Sud, to have some amazing seafood, which makes a lot of sense considering the fact that we are living by the ocean, where lobsters and codfish are no rare specimen. It was a really nice end to a very long, but rewarding day. I’ve never been able to spend so much time with my dad doing things that are enjoyable for both of us (last time we hiked, he had a heat stroke and almost killed me), but while also being able to share with him a sliver of what is very important to me these days and something I’ve learned this summer on my own. These are the small things I haven’t been able to share with some very important people in my life, and which I was very sad about when I got back to New York and found that a lot of people, even while they want to understand, can’t quite do so especially when we live in such a fast-paced, production-based society. We also had a bottle of delicious red wine from Burgundy, which my father decided had gotten me drunk because I was walking along the road and not the pedestrian sidewalk (but let me tell you, the road really got more of the seabreeze than the stuffy sidewalk, and I can most definitely hold my liquor better than my dad can – don’t tell him, though he’s probably reading this as we speak).

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Tomorrow we go back to hiking, but along the ocean, and hopefully will be able to get down to the beach and take a little dip! Until then, au revoir!