Friday, February 11, 2011

On Vacation Much?!

That’s right.  In France we get two weeks off in February.  We also get two weeks off in April, in October, and in December/January for the holidays.  Then we’re off for the summer at the end of June.

For those French people who don’t work for the school system, vacation time is around eight weeks total on average.
That’ s two months paid vacation a year.  And they can take it all at once if they see fit.

Which is why, I suppose, the French make such a big deal out of ‘going on vacation’  or ‘Les Vacances!’.

It’s something you have to do- a part of the yearly circle of events. 

In the summer, most of the French population gravitates towards the south of France.  In the winter, they go to the Swiss Alps for skiing. 

Don’t have the money?  The Center for Family Allocations will PAY for your family to go spend a couple weeks in the south so that your children can get out of the city for some fresh air.  Yes, the French Riviera is a necessity for normal childhood development.

THAT is how important vacation is to the French.  It’s downright sacred.

Now, growing up in the U.S., we had plenty of summer vacation time.  But that’s a little different than actually going somewhere on vacation.

We didn’t go on vacation, vacation came to us!  There were carnivals, fairs, 4th of July barbeques, shopping mall trips, and days at the beach or the lake.

When I tell this to my French peeps they look at me with such pity.  ‘Oh you poor thing!  You’ve never seen the south of France?  We’ll you’ve just never been on vacation!’

In truth, I don’t feel like I missed out.  Most of my vacation was spent hanging around my neighborhood, going swimming in our little above ground pool or in the neighbor’s pool, running barefoot through the woods by our house, or going for walks with my best friend across the street and waiting for the ice cream truck. 

Yes, the ice cream truck.

If you didn’t ever experience the wonder of the ice cream truck, Eddie Murphy just about sums it up in the skit below.  (Oh -If swearing makes you skittish…um, you probably shouldn’t watch.)




Have a great weekend everyone!

*CQG*

36 comments:

salarsenッ said...

OMGosh, I so HEART U! Ice cream and Eddie!! I seriously have tears pouring down my face. Hah.... Thank you. I really needed this today.

Oh, and I'm moving to France.

Katie Mills said...

LOL, it's such a classic n'est pas? I couldn't mention the ice cream truck with eddie!

Vicki Rocho said...

That's it! I'm moving!

Justine Dell said...

I'm with Vicki--I'm outta here!

~JD

April said...

Wow, France sounds soooo great! But it's probably one of those things - we're used to childhood summers in America - the ice cream truck, riding bikes around town, playing hide-n-seek at night, and getting a week at the beach. Or at least, that's how it was for me, and I loved every minute of it, never wishing it were any other way.

Now, I work. It's a bit different. I am earning 6 hours of annual every 2 weeks, so it's almost 4 weeks of vacation. Plus sick leave and Holiday leave. But, I could never take all that at once. Not only would my boss not allow it, but it'd be impossible to leave and come back and not be so far behind that I might as well quit.

My point is, you like what you're used to. Even if kids ended up with year-round school, they'd enjoy their 4 weeks vacation in winter and summer or however they worked it.

Melissa Gill said...

I'm always stunned when I hear these things about France. I knew everyone got the month of August off for vacation, but I had no idea about all this other vacation time. (Of course it seems like the kids here get more time off than we did as kids too.) What a deal.

I couldn't agree with you more about vacation in the US. I spent my summers riding bikes, going to the pool, playing on the playground, and waiting for the ice cream man! What a treat! We usually went on a trip for a week to Colorado.

Stina Lindenblatt said...

Eight weeks would be nice . . . but then I wouldn't get much writing done because everyone would be under foot.

Oh wait! They are anyway. There seems to be more days off school now a days (in Canada) than I remember when growing up. My kids have Thursday and Friday off next week, plus the following Monday. Grrrr.

Summer Frey said...

Hmmm. My husband already wants to visit France. If I tell him about this, we'll be moving next week. :)

Suzyhayes said...

I wish I lived in France. Period.

Kelly said...

The U.S. could learn from France about not working people so much and having more vacation time!
I went to Wisconsin one week a year for vacation growing up. Simple, fun times!
I LOVE that Eddie Murphy clip! I watched that comedy bit as a teen so many times!

Emily White said...

We STILL get the ice cream truck in my neighborhood! And yes, I do still squeal like a little child when I hear its tinkling bells. :)

Laura Pauling said...

That pretty much sums up my summer vacations too. Though I don't see the icecream truck around as much as I used to.

Angelina Rain said...

I want to move to France! I want some paid vacation time! I haven’t actually gone on vacation in like two years, and the last time I went it wasn’t so much a vacation as it was helping a friend move out of state.

Nicole Zoltack said...

Wow, so many weeks off! It's amazing how different things are in Europe versus the US.

Candyland said...

Except for writers...there's never a day off:/
Other than that, I'm moving in with you.

Janet Johnson said...

The French know how to vacation, for sure! I didn't know about the Center for Family Allocations, though. Meals and vacations. I tell you.

Caitlin said...

We never had the money to go on family vacations when I was younger, but during summer it didn't matter because we were FREE! Travelling every year does sound pretty awesome, but there's definitely something to be said for not having to pack and unpack.

Stephanie said...

Wow! That's really awesome!!!!!

We too never really took vacations as kids. Our family wasn't real well off, but we camped a lot. We even had a seasonal campsite at a family campground and camped every weekend May through October.

Old Kitty said...

Yay for French vacation times!!! How lovely!!!! If there's one thing that needs exporting here from France, it;s this concept!! Sigh!

Anyway! Ice cream vans!! I still get giggly happy when one comes round with their bell dingly chorus during summer times. I'm there waiting for my 99 - ice cream WITH flake!.

I better save the lovely Mr Murphy for when I get home!! LOL! Take care
x

Matthew Rush said...

All Europeans have life figured out way better than we do over here, but the French are the best at it.

Elle Strauss said...

I have a friend who lives in France now. No wonder he loves it!

Melissa said...

Oh I am so envious of all that vacation time and...that is SO awesome. I think I'm really enjoying the french idea of vacation....

Kindros said...

Vacations for us were more time to wind down. We did take a few trips, but not every year. We certainly do some strict thing. I still hope Siesta catches on in America. :)

Gina said...

OMG I love Delirious!! My husband and I quote it constantly... he especially loves the bit about the "big brown shark".

I am dying for a vacation after reading your post.

Shannon O'Donnell said...

Wow! That's some serious vacation - love it! And I LOVE Eddie Murphy's Ice Cream!!!!! :-)

Colene Murphy said...

That is some seriously awesome vacation time! Jealous of the French for sure!! (though I really do love those relaxing vacations near home.)

Raquel Byrnes said...

On a plane to see my brother in Seattle last year, a sat between two Aussie guys on "Holiday." They were on their way to the annual Zombie Walk.

They commented on how little traveling Americans do. I was shocked that they've been to parts of the US that I haven't. They've seen OUR constitution, the statue of liberty, and other monuments.

I've been mostly camping. 0_0

With a teacher husband, and being a stay at home mom, we gut LOTS of vacation time...but we usually stay in California. Mountains, beaches, desserts, forests...why leave?

Edge of Your Seat Romance

Nicole L Rivera said...

More importantly, what is he wearing?! Lol.

There were so few kids and houses in my neighborhood (AKA the middle of no where, I can reach out and touch the Everglades, we grew up with gators as pets, I could go on) the ice cream man came by for like a month then never showed again.

But, yea! France is on vaca and so am I. I feel so French, but I'm not going to the south of France (though I would LOVE to), I'm off to Puerto Rico. I guess that's the equivalent for going south from Miami.

Have fun on vaca!

Carolyn Abiad said...

What a lovely proposition - eight weeks of vacation plus 35 hour weeks, chocolat in a bowl every morning...I'd leave the ice cream man for that! :)

Wendy Altschuler said...

France has the right idea-C'est la vie!

roxy said...

I haven't heard an Eddie Murphy routine in forever. Very funny! I definitely think the French have the right idea. Everyone in the world ought to have a holiday in Nice or Cannes. I know I want to!

Christopher said...

Why on earth am I not French? I could be so good at vacation.

WritingNut said...

Ahhh.. I was just discussing this with a friend the other day.. I'm so jealous! :)

I have a feeling a move is somewhere in my future ;)

WhisperingWriter said...

Oo nice.

I could definately use a vacation.

LTM said...

ok, now THAT part of the system I could totally get used to. Esp. the paid vacay to the south of France... whee! So do you go? :o) <3

Anonymous said...

We also have the 35 hours week. You wouldn't like to live in France. The unemployment is horrendous and the French are so quick tempered and lots of men are 'macho'. I left Nice to come to live in England and I am glad I did.

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...