The lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer in Saint-Jean-de-Losne reminded us of some of the resort areas near San Francisco that we knew as kids, like the Russian River or Lake Tahoe, where the days were long, full of simple pleasures and time passed slowly.
Relaxing on our back deck one day, we watched a small parade of bateaux vapeurs, steam engine boats, glide by looking very Monet-like among the lily pads.
One festival after another filled the warm evening air with music and laughter. Sitting by the river during a performance of Le Club Country, the local line dancing group, we all tried working on the lyrics for a country western tune with the title of Stuck in Saint-Jean-de-Losne, Again or The Boatyard Blues.
One of our favorite nearby towns is Dôle, and we decided to go there for the national music festival which is held in every city, town and village each year on the summer solstice. Just like last year in Paris, music was around every corner. The European champion youth brass band played in front of the church, and people listened from their balconies. There were rock bands and jazz groups everywhere. As in Paris, everyone was out enjoying the evening.
The next evening, we moved out onto the Saône to enjoy yet another festival on the eve of the blessing of the barges. There was a local contest for selecting Miss du pays Losnais, baton twirlers, carnival booths and a country fair atmosphere.
After mass on the local restaurant boat that was serving as the church, the priest, alter boys and choir, along with local dignitaries boarded a launch. They sailed out onto the Saône behind us and with his hand raised the priest sent a good sprinkling of holy water flying towards us. He blessed our barge and our flag as well. We gave a sigh of relief and immediately felt better, confident that we could continue cruising without having any new problems.
Back in the harbor that night, the sun set on a beautiful day, we said so long to our friends, and the next morning we cast off and began, yet again, our summer cruising adventure.