Friday, August 16, 2013

Begles Plage et Begles Lac....a summer retreat close to home! - & Life Out of The Box!

Bordeaux - Begles Plage
& Life Out of the Box

We decided not to take a big vacation this summer as we wanted to save money to head to the States next summer.  We do live in a beautiful area, so we decided to explore around here and find local things to do.  One of the neatest places we found was right here in Bordeaux!!  On the Southwest side of the city is a section called Begles - there is a beautiful small lake located in this town.  It's not huge but it offers a lot for families.  It's even accessible by the tram out of Bordeaux.  For us - it's a mere 15 minute drive - Perfect!!

There is a sandy, life- guarded beach available.  It's usually pretty crowded by late afternoon - but the water is nice and there are 2 sections - shallow and deep.  The water is refreshing and not too cold.  We've had a very hot summer here - so it was great just to sit in the shallow water and stay cool!  People come in the afternoons, set up their spots with towels and umbrellas.  There are trees on the side and behind for those who want to find some shade.

Also in this park are other activities - volleyball, fields, a playground and tables and grills for picnics.  There is a paved trail that goes all the way around the lake - great for a causal walk, bike ride or jog.  Great family park!!
In addition to all the regular park attractions - this little lake also offers use of small boats - kayaks, stand up paddle boats, surf boards and a sail boat.  Use of all of these boats are FREE to the public.  Each person just has to register and pass a swim test - basically the equivalent of a pool lap.  This test can be completed in a life preserver.  (This was great - as my 5 year old is still a non-swimmer but is super comfortable in the water with a preserver.) Once the test is completed, you are good for the summer - when you arrive to use the boats, you just give them your name so they can verify you are cleared for use.  This is wonderful - my older girls spent lots of time exploring the use of the different boats.

The boats are just adjacent to the swimming area and are also well supervised.  I could be at the swimming area with my youngest and see my older daughters enjoying themselves!

If too many people showed up to use the boats - the supervisors would paddle out and round up everyone to come in after 15-20 minutes.

Life out of the Box 

I also wanted to share with you a wonderful concept that we recently learned about - a company called Life Out of the Box.  These are two Americans in their mid-twenties who wanted to make a difference in the world - so they moved to Nicaragua and created a business to try to help children.  

Life Out of the Box is a socially conscious "product for a product business". For every handmade product that they sell, they give back school supplies to help educate kids in Central America. The unique aspect to this business is that they actually show their supporters the effect they have by emailing the them a link to photos & a brief description of the exact child they gave school supplies to from their purchased bracelet(s). 

A quote from their site:
"Each bracelet is assigned a unique number so that it can be associated with a unique child that is given school supplies. It's important to us that our supporters get to feel the connection as much as we do when we give the gift of an opportunity to a child because there's really nothing more rewarding than giving a child the tools to help them succeed. It's what motivates us to keep doing what we're doing."

My girls were so motivated by this concept that they each picked out a bracelet and have had tons of fun this summer wearing them!  My twelve year old was also so excited by their idea that she messaged them on her own and told them that they inspired her a lot and now, she wants to do something like that when she's older. 

They sent her a beautiful personal message back  - which excited her even more! We are thrilled to share about what they are doing.  I have always had a passion for children & education - this is such a great way to share how to make a difference in another part of the world, with my kids.  

They mail their bracelets worldwide and ours arrived in about a week.  A couple weeks later, I received the email that matched our bracelets to the kids that were directly affected.  My girls are still talking about "their" children.  It worked out perfectly also that each child was similar in age to my own children.  My girls were fascinated to read their names, ages and current interests.  It's raised many interesting questions in our household about life in Nicaragua and Central America and how it is different than our lives.  (Thank you Quinn & Jonathan!! - Your passion is contagious!)

To learn more about Life Out of the Box, check out their website
To shop LOOTB, check out
To see the children you impact, check out LOOTB Gives
Follow them on FacebookTwitterInstagram, & Pinterest!
Happy end of the summer for everyone.  We are still enjoying the sunshine and warm weather.  We just returned from a mini vacation visiting family in the Dordogne region and I'm  will be sharing more posts about that trip soon.  Have a great day and weekend!!


  1. We had a similar swimming lake we went to back in New Jersey, no boats though. Looks like fun, and close!

    1. Yes, it's actually a lot more fun than I thought it might be. At first I thought is was too small - but after going there and enjoying many afternoons - it's fast become one of our favorite local spots. Who would have guessed?...Have a great weekend - thanks for commenting.

  2. Too many bodies for my comfort, but by the looks of it the children are having a blast. I would d love to try paddeboarding. It looks like so much fun. Awh, to be young again and have a body of a teenager!

    1. Yes, it can get a bit crowded...that's the downside...but 15 min. from the house, for a couple of's hard to say no. Yes, I know to be young again...


  3. It seems that saving money is the new black when one moves to Europe. While Victoria had business in the States, I just made it to Austria for a fraction of what a second ticket would have been.

    But yes, I am even considering EBAY for making extra $$ to pay next year's trip for the whole family


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