View all posts filed under 'Moving'

This Blog has Moved

Tuesday, 12. January 2010 8:58

Making It Home

This time it’s the blog that is finally moving. It’s time to stop paying for our internet access in France and bring the blog over to its new home in California.

The new blog will be called Making It Home and you can find it at, so please adjust your bookmarks.

Category:France, Moving, Re-entry | Comments (1) | Autor: Erica


Wednesday, 23. December 2009 0:06

Julien and Aiden are taking their naps, Ali is at work, and Joe has taken the rest of the gang out for a drive. I have been baking biscotti and trying to get the house cleaned up before our guests arrive for Christmas.

It’s nice to have a quiet moment to blog. I haven’t done that in a while.

Paul, Ali’s husband, has arrived for the holidays which means that the adults are no longer outnumbered by the children. That is a welcome change.

Our furniture showed up almost two weeks ago. That was an even more welcome change! The buffet that I had convinced myself would be damaged beyond repair had a few scratches, but nothing major. We did have some damage to a bathroom cabinet, but that wasn’t an item that I was really attached to. I spent the day of the unpacking exclaiming over things like can openers and knives and scarves. Joe kept getting on my case about being such a materialist while he busily set up the television (so no, I’m not the only materialist in this household).

It’s nice to have our stuff and it’s finally starting to feel like home again. Just to have a couch to sit on feels like a little luxury. Many things are finding their way back to where they were before we moved, but we’ve also been making a conscious effort to rearrange things a bit. And, heck, there’s also a whole lot of stuff that is just lying around because it hasn’t found a home yet.

Oh, sounds like someone is awake. I’ll wish you all a happy holiday season now, just in case I don’t get another quiet moment soon.

Category:Moving, Re-entry | Comments Off | Autor: Erica

Overheard: Aim High

Monday, 30. November 2009 0:55

We are purchasing a new mattress, but need our phone numbers in order to arrange delivery the following week. Since we just got new phone numbers and don’t know them by heart yet, Joe is running back to the car to get our number while I wait with the salesperson.

Salesperson: So, you just moved back from France, huh? Welcome back to the United States!

Me: Thank you.

Salesperson, a look of panic striking her face: Wait….France isn’t in the United States is it?

Me: No.

Salesperson: Whew. Well, welcome back to the United States.

Me: Thank you.

Salesperson: So, do you speak French?

Me: Yes.

Salesperson: I’ve always wanted to speak a second language. Did you speak French before you moved there?

Me: Well, I took it in high school, but had forgotten a lot of it.

Salesperson: I wish I knew another language besides English. I’d really like to learn Australian.

And to that I really had no response.

Category:French Language, Moving, Re-entry | Comments (5) | Autor: Erica

Camping, anyone?

Saturday, 28. November 2009 23:42

Ali made us dinner the other day and as we were enjoying our meal, she looked at us slyly and asked, “Aren’t you going to ask me how I opened up the cans?”

We are not well equipped in our house right now. We have moved with or purchased what we consider to be necessary for our basic survival, but are reluctant to purchase many things that will then be showing up in our cargo container in 6-8 weeks. The end result of this reluctance is that we are constantly coming across things that we need, but don’t have. Ali ended up using a Swiss Army Knife in order to open up the canned tomatoes. It has been used several times since. We don’t have any spatulas and only one wooden spoon. We have borrowed cookware and tablecloths. We are sleeping on air mattresses and the kids are in their portable beds or cribs.

But I have a wine opener.

I have my priorities, you see.

Category:Moving, Re-entry | Comments Off | Autor: Erica


Friday, 27. November 2009 23:33

In the midst of all of this chaos, Julien turned 2.




I am continually being amazed at his new abilities. He is becoming quite a talker and can be the perfect parrot of his sister. There are times now when we don’t know who said what because he can repeat what she says so precisely. He wants to do everything that Sophia does and she is quite content to have someone to do her bidding. As a result, most of his play revolves around mommies and daddies and babies with some horses thrown in as well. He is perfectly willing to be the monster, dinosaur or dog, but there is not a whole lot of boy stuff happening around here.

All of that is about to change.

Joe’s sister, Ali, has also moved to the Bay Area. In fact, she and her two sons, Tyler and Aiden, moved into our house two days after we did. Tyler and Aiden are the same ages as Sophia and Julien, so it’s a bit like having two sets of twins around — all under the age of five.

Three adults and four children in a barely furnished house. This could get interesting.

Category:Julien, Moving, Re-entry | Comments (3) | Autor: Erica

We Made It

Tuesday, 24. November 2009 17:35

I have some catching up to do! The next couple of posts will be about the move back to the US and I have a few other French ones that I still want to write. I’ll be moving the blog in the next couple of days, too, so be on the lookout for the new address.

San Francisco Airport

This photo shows Joe and Julien at the San Francisco International Airport. Some of our luggage can be seen in the foreground.

We ended up reserving our own Super Shuttle in order to get us to our hotel in San Mateo and then just barely fit ourselves and our luggage into it. That has been the theme of the past couple of weeks, apparently.

Joe’s Dad, Rick, came out to France to help with the move and I don’t know how we would have done it without him. He was able to watch the kids while Joe and I took care of everything move-related, and he only packed a carry-on so we were able to get two more bags onto the plane without paying for them! The man has far more patience than Joe or I do when dealing with our children.

Jesse made it through customs without a glance. Seriously. Not even a glance at all his paperwork saying that he had had his rabies shot and that he was in good health. They confiscated his food, though. And Rick’s orange.

But we have all made it to California safe and sound, with all of our luggage and ready to embark on our new adventures.

Category:Julien, Moving, Re-entry | Comments (1) | Autor: Erica

It Fit!

Wednesday, 28. October 2009 19:45

Just barely!

The Truck is FULL!

The movers showed up yesterday morning. They knew that we were tight on space and I walked them through the house and showed them all that we wanted to take and then also showed them an area that was reserved for things that we would like to take if there was space available. They assured me that they would try to conserve space while they were packing up the house and went to work.

When they were done for the day, Joe came up to me and said, “I just did a really quick calculation of the boxes they’ve got done and we’re already over. I didn’t even count the garden furniture.”

So I spent today pacing the house and pointing out furniture that could stay behind if it had to. I also pointed out to the team leader that while he had been packing things in order to conserve space, one of his workers had been emptying all of the drawers in order to make furniture lighter. I was preparing to throw down — in French — if I had to leave more behind than I had already planned. I had gotten rid of a lot of stuff and felt that if we didn’t fit then the problem was either with their estimating or their packing.

I didn’t have to pitch a fit in the end because it all fit — even all of the items that I had said could stay if necessary. Phew!

I will be curious to see how this all looks when it gets to the US. I already know that the buffet will need to be repaired as they dropped it on the way to the truck. We’ll see if the china that was inside it is in a few more pieces than it should be…..

Category:France, Moving | Comments (5) | Autor: Erica

Vide Grenier

Monday, 19. October 2009 10:01

Vide Grenier. Flea market. Literal translation is “empty attic.”

The vide grenier took place last Saturday. I had packed up the car the night before and was quite proud of myself that I had fit everything in it. Then as I was brushing my teeth to go to bed, I remembered that there was a small pile of items in the garage still that I had completely forgotten about. Drat!

Joe was able to fit a bit of that in the next morning and I was off before the sun came up to set up. I shared a table with my friend, Kavi, and Renu and Joelle had the table next to us which was perfect because we could cover each others tables so that someone could go get lunch, do some shopping, etc. Oh, and as they sold through their stuff, I was able to expand into their space!

Here’s a photo of Renu and I at the vide grenier:
Vide Grenier

I will admit that I am not really a flea market person. I have romantic notions of going to flea markets, finding that perfect, neglected item that I can fix up to be fabulous, and telling everyone my tale of how I had rescued it. In reality, flea markets start far too early for me and I’m not a good shopper anyways. I tend to pick things out and then talk myself out of them before I even get to the point of purchase.

So how the heck do I have so much stuff in my home?!?

But I digress….I didn’t sell everything, but I did get rid of more than half of what I had brought with me and I made 186 euro — not too shabby.

Category:France, French Language, Moving | Comments (4) | Autor: Erica

This Could Get Ugly

Friday, 16. October 2009 13:49

Joe was looking in the closet the other day and asked, “Are all of those shoes going back with us?”

Me: Uhhh, yeah.

Joe: It’s just that you never wear most of those.

Me: That’s true, but if I’m working in the future it might be nice to have some shoes.

I don’t think he was convinced, but he dropped the subject. I later learned that he thought I had a whole other row of shoe boxes behind the visible ones, which I don’t. Upon learning that I had 21 pairs of shoes less than he had thought, he quickly backed down from any suggestion that I needed to sort through them further.

We are still in the process of sorting around here. It’s all a bit chaotic. I’m trying to figure out what we don’t use, what we’ll need during our stay in the hotel and what we’ll need during our stay in our house while we wait for our furniture to show up. We also have to sell both cars, all of our appliances and a few other pieces of furniture in order to fit into the smaller container. I find myself walking down to hall to start a project, stopping when I realize that I should start a load of laundry first and then grabbing a toy to put it back in the right place before starting that whole process over again. I do that a lot these days.


Joe, in the meantime, is still working. They announced last week that they will indeed be shutting down the office, but that they won’t give out their layoff letters until next week. He may be required to work additional days after he receives his letter. So what was supposed to be Joe and I working together to get everything ready for the move has become just me, and Julien — he’s not a whole lot of help, really. Joe, of course, is doing what he can on the weekend, but there’s a lot to do and we’re facing a deadline.

Whatever happens, this will all be over in the next couple of weeks. And then our new adventures will begin…..

I will still be blogging after our return, although our adventures may be much more of the domestic variety — we shall see. I was thinking that I’ll need a blog name change since the French title won’t make as much sense. Any suggestions?

Category:France, Moving | Comments (1) | Autor: Erica


Sunday, 4. October 2009 16:57

Phew! It’s getting busy around here. This past week has been a swarm of activity with confirming movers, listing furniture for sale and figuring out logistics for hotels, etc. both in France and the US.

So our trip to Corsica already feels like it was ages ago even though we just got back on Tuesday!

Corsica Ferries

We took the car on the ferry from Nice to Bastia. Those ferries are HUGE. On the return trip, we got to watch them unload the ship and counted 5 or 6 tour buses and at least 15 semi-trucks before any of the passenger cars came off. The trip is about 5 hours long and we were rewarded with this sunset over Cap Corse on the way.

Sunset over Cap Corse

We stayed at the Dolce Notte hotel in Saint Florent and spent part of each day on the beach. The La Roya beach near Saint Florent was perfect for the kids. Check out how far out they are and the water still only comes to Joe’s knees.

Plage La Roya

We took a driving tour of the Nebbia region on the first day we were there. The plan had been to drive to the first town on the list and stop for lunch. We had been warned that driving in Corsica was of the twisty-turvy type, but figured that is couldn’t be too different from what we’re used to here in the Alpes-Maritimes. We were wrong, it takes a long time to get from one place to the other in Corsica. Add in a kid who gets carsick and, well, we didn’t do as much exploring as we thought we would.

Anyways, we stopped at the first town. Got out at a bar and asked about lunch. They had no food and when I inquired as to the nearest place to get lunch the woman said, “I don’t know. Maybe in Saint Florent.” Since that was where we had come from, we kept on driving. Each town was smaller than the last until we finally gave up and ate what I had packed as a snack for lunch. We stopped by this lovely little church near Murato.

Eglise St Michelle

Oh, and we passed this cow on the road.

On the Road

In addition to exploring Corsica, we got to meet up with Cara and her family for dinner. The kids had a great time and Sophia has since been asking if Ayva, baby Ayva, Daddy Ayva and Mommy Ayva can come to our house to play with her toys (their daughter, Ayva, is about a year younger than Sophia).

Category:France, Hotels, Moving, Travel, Travel: France | Comments Off | Autor: Erica