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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

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

Going Away Party

Wednesday, 21. October 2009 21:23

Kavi and Don hosted a Going Away party for us on Sunday afternoon. We had a lovely time and will miss them all.

Vincent was our photographer for the day so I will share a few photos that he took for us:

Going Away Party - Julien

Going Away Party - Joe & Julien

Going Away Party - The Adults

Going Away Party - The Kids

I’m sure you can imagine how long it took to get a photo with all of those kids in it!

Category:France | Comments Off | 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

Things I Will Miss: The Cheese!

Friday, 9. October 2009 14:49

One of my favorite quotes from our visitors here in France was my friend Irene who, on describing a quick trip through the supermarket said, “…and then I saw the wall of cheese!”

The Cheese!

This photo doesn’t begin to show you how big the cheese aisle is. This shows about half of one side of the aisle, so multiply what you see here by about 4 and then you have an idea of what is displayed in the packaged cheese aisle. There is another whole section for freshly cut cheeses.

I have done a bit of exploring in this aisle and have discovered the cheeses from the Basque region — Etorki being a recent favorite. Since I do sometimes just pick a cheese at random that I haven’t tried before, I have had guests ask me what kind of cheese I am serving and is it any good. My usual response is that it is a French cheese and that I haven’t tasted any bad ones! That usually has them quickly digging in for a taste.

The reason that this photo doesn’t show more of the cheese aisle is that you’re not supposed to take photos in the stores so I was trying to be stealthy. I’m not sure of the reason for this rule, but I certainly won’t miss those types of random rules that a non-French person wouldn’t normally know about.

Category:France | Comments (3) | Autor: Erica

Courir Pour Une Fleur

Monday, 5. October 2009 13:25

I did it! I ran a 10k race yesterday around the Cap d’Antibes. They hold Courir Pour Une Fleur (run for a flower) every year and Joe has done it a couple times. My goal going in was to not be last and I had no trouble there. I came in 174th out of 270 in my category. I have decided that’s not bad for a first timer.

Here is a photo of us with some of Joe’s friends from work after the race.

Courir Pour une Fleur

Joe ran it this year, too, but he did the 20k race so I was able to snap a picture of him as he was coming into the finish line.

Courir Pour une Fleur

Category:France, French Language | 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

Things I Will Miss: European Travel

Tuesday, 29. September 2009 21:41

I will definitely miss that we can’t just hop in the car to go to Corsica or Lyon or Barcelona for the weekend.

This weekend we’ll be taking the ferry to Corsica. It’s one of the places that we wanted to visit before we left, so off we go.

Bon weekend!

**OK, I meant to post this last Friday before we got on the ferry but didn’t in the rush to get out of the house. We had a lovely time and I’ll post pictures of our trip tomorrow.**

Category:France, Travel, Travel: Europe, Travel: France | Comments Off | Autor: Erica

Things I Will Miss: Les Oliviers

Thursday, 24. September 2009 13:57

Les oliviers. Olive trees.

I thought I’d start a little project of blogging some of the things that I will miss when we move back to the US. They won’t be in any particular order, just what I happen to be able to photograph for the day.

Les Oliviers

We live near the Mediterranean and have enjoyed the climate and food enormously these past four years. Neither one was a huge change for us, but the olive trees that cover this area are definitely not seen in the same numbers in California.

Our property alone has about 20 olive trees. I love that they are craggy and covered with ivy and moss and that they look like they have been here through the ages. I have no idea how old these trees actually are, but many have split into multiple trees and now provide secret places for the kids to play in.

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