Thursday, August 28, 2008

Our Plan

I just moved to blogspot (and love it) but because I posted a "new" post I don't think I can add my previous posts from Typepad,  they would end up being first instead of last...hope that makes sense.  I also know I have some new readers so I just wanted to take a minute to let everyone know why I started this blog and what our plan is.

My husband and I own a children's art studio here in Los Angeles.  We have had it almost 10 years and we offer after-school fine art classes and summer 1/2 day camps to kids. We currently have about 100 kids that come to us weekly for classes and about 144 kids that come to us over the summer for camps.  We only work part-time - 20 hours a week.  Most days we don't go to work until 3:00, so we have time to work on our art (i'm a potter and Bruce is a painter) and cycle.  It's a great gig and we are very lucky, but we are restless and a bit burnt.

6 years ago we went to France (first time for Bruce and 2nd time for me).  Bruce fell in love instantly, the first time I was in Paris I felt so comfortable, like I had been there before.  We knew that we wanted to move to France, someday.  We decided to make it a goal - we would move to france in 6-10 years.  We have been back 4 times since, to many different regions.  We have been to Paris, the dordogne, provence, the languedoc, the aveyron, and the roussillon.  We fell in love with the dordogne and the aveyron regions.  We knew we'd go back to one of these. Last September we spent a month in the Aveyron region and knew that was the region for us. We met some great people and wanted to see them again and the countryside is so beautiful.

When we came home we were ready to sell the house and sell the business...get out of dodge.  But after thinking it through, we figured it would be better to test the waters first.  So we decided on a  1 year sabbatical.  We knew we needed a break from teaching.  There is a reason teachers have the summers off or take sabbaticals.  The longest break we have had was last September for 1 month.  So we made our decision that we would leave in September 08  and come home (maybe) in September 09.  We have a good friend running our studio for us and just hired 2 assistants.  We have faith in them...although it's a bit scary leaving your business in the hands of's been just bruce and I for the past 10 years.

The picture above is of the house we rented in the Aveyron region, near Sanvensa.  How lovely is this house?  It's on 2 acres of land in the country.  Oh, how I cant' wait to live in the country. Thanks to no regrets for me we found and purchased a car (a cute 1985 Renault Stationwagon), one owner, a little old lady who only drove it to the market, it has 50K miles on it and is in perfect condition.

What will we do?  Well, we'll cycle (all over france and we plan to do the major cols), I will take pottery lessons/workshops and cooking classes, Bruce will draw, paint and write, we'll become fluent in french (we have been taking french for 3 years), we'll get to know what living a simple life is like, we'll make new friends, we'll welcome old friends for visits, we'll take many naps, take our dogs on hikes & into restaurants, eat good food and drink great wine.

We leave on September 22nd.  We are flying from Chicago to Paris.  Why Chicago?  Well, we are taking the dogs (Dashell the golden retriever and Stella the terrier-mix) and they will fly under the plane in their crates and the flight from LA to Paris is 12 hours and the flight from Chicago to Paris is 8 hours.  I felt better with 8 hours and Bruce has never driven across the US, so we'll rent a car (after selling our car here) and we'll take a road trip to Chicago.  We leave Chicago on the 28th and will arrive in our new home on the 29th.

That's the plan.  Sorry for those of you who know the plan already, but figured I'd let my new readers know what's going on.  We will update our blog while we are spending our year in France.  We don't have a return ticket, we'll see how it goes.

If you want to check out my other blog that I have had since November 07, you can check it out here, it will be up until the end of September, but I won't be updating it.


Megan said...

Well, you can cut and paste each entry and just change the date at the bottom to the date it was posted in typepad.

Rowena said...

I can't wait to read more when you finally step on french soil! A toast will be in order!! This sounds like a grand adventure, especially for the dogs. Please update on their trip over!

Randal Graves said...

Oh. I had no idea you were arty farty, frog-lovin', work-hatin' hippies. Well, back to the American salt mines. Grumble.

Be sure to give us bitter folks running updates of this very cool happening. ;-)

Our Juicy Life said...

megan - cut and paste and change the date...thank! will try that.

Rowena - a toast WILL be in order. Ah, the dogs will love it, running in the country off leash, can't get much better.

Our Juicy Life said...

Randall - yes, work-hatin' is right. I wasn't always arty-farty though. Sold computer software for 15 years before I met my arty-farty guy..he changed me, my life and the way I looked at it. When I quit my stressfull job selling software (out of the blue/at the boston airport), I said that i would never work full-time again, so what do we a studio where we work with kids. 20 hours a week with them is like a 60 hour work week. I love them, but they suck the life out of me, I leave after 4 hours completely exhausted.

I can't wait for my first post on french soil.

Betty C. said...

What a great photo on your banner! You'll be here soon, wow! We'll have to "do lunch!"

Randal Graves said...

That's frightening. My two kids suck the life out of me. I can't imagine a class full of them. You should apply for one of those Presidential Medals of Freedom. :)

Our Juicy Life said...

Betty - we will be there so so so soon! Yes, we'll have to do lunch. Can't wait to meet you.

Our Juicy Life said...

RG - Now you know why I don't have kids of my own. Too selfish and I couldn't do what I do and have kids, I'd be in hell! I love spending a few hours with them doing art but then I get to send them home to their tired parents.

Non, Je ne regrette rien said...

can't wait to visit and hang out by the pool with some sort of delicious libation involving french alcohol!!!

Our Juicy Life said...

Kim - can't wait to have you over to hang by the pool, we'll have plenty of wine.