Friday, January 16, 2009

4 Months in France

So, we've been here for 4 months and it seems to be going really fast. We are anxiously awaiting printemps (spring) and looking forward to many visitors. My sister, her 2 kids and my mom are coming in March. Our friends S&L are coming in April and we'll be going up to Belgium to watch some of the spring classics (bike races), our friends A&A are coming in May, we are going to Paris for 4 days (my sister will be there with some students of hers), we'll celebrate Bruce's 40th birthday in June and in July is the Tour de France (so basically the whole month is shot) , our great friends K&E (and their daughter K) are coming over in July and our friend L is coming in August. Once March hits it’s going to be very different around here.

Here are some thoughts, things we have done and things we have seen in the 4 months since we have been here.

1. We have visited the following cities/villages; Albi, Montabun, Cordes, Cajarc, Caylus, St. Antonin, Najac, La Fouillade, Toulouse, Gaillac, Rodez, St. Cirq, Figeac, Millau and probably 10-15 other smaller villages.

2. We became the proud owner of 1 cat (Maillot) and 3 chickens (Fanny, Rhoda and Lefty). And I just love them.

3. We have rode our bikes a total of 1,098 miles (so far)

4. We have road our bikes in 30 degree weather

5. Saw snow for the first time in 15 years

6. We have started more fires than I can count (agrh!!!)

7. We have learned that 45 degrees can seem pretty warm (I can’t believe that I just typed that)

8. We started a new business venture Two Wheels Good Tours

9. I don't wear a watch anymore and don't set my alarm anymore

10. Sometimes we forget what day it is

11. We have 2 of the happiest dogs, they love it here...the door opens and off they go running in the meadow or woods

12. We have made some really great friends

13. I take french lessons 2 x a week

14. We have drank X number of bottles of wine (actually it's best if we don't keep count, let’s just say it’s a lot)

15. We have learned that a Kerosene heater is your best friend on cold days/nights

16. Have woken up to frozen pipes 4 times (that's a first for us)

17. Am so happy that I brought my UGG boots

18. We have not had television for 4 months (I so miss Grey’s Anatomy)

19. My husband cuts and colors my hair (oh my!)

20. One of my favorite words is SMARTWOOL (socks, leggings, shirts, hat, gloves)

22. Found a great sports store - Decathalon

23. Love the Thursday & Sunday morning markets

I can't believe that we only have 7-8 months left. The first month was lovely but November & December were a bit challenging, the rain and cold has taken us a bit by surprise and we had an especially hard time in November (since it basically rained the entire month). The wood burning stove (not too cook on but to heat us) has been a nightmare, we finally have it sorted out (by keeping a fire going all the time) so that the house doesn't fill with smoke when we open the door to add more wood. I do have to sweep and mop every day or every other day because it's muddy outside and we have 8 little dirty paws running in and out, but that's ok. Other than that, it's great here and we are so relaxed and loving every day. Life is good or should I say "juicy".


Leesa said...

Hey there!! Glad to see all the fun things that have been going on during your stay here... WOW!! I do sooo agree with you about the 45/46F weather, too... When it was in the 20s I was soooo cold and now it's warmed up to the low 40s/mid 40s and I think that it's finally WARM again!! Go figure!! Love my UGGS, too!!!! We L.A. folks have a lot in common!!!
I hope that maybe when you are in Paris we can get together, though it sounds like you'll be busy.. Maybe we can meet you all for lunch... a few of us Paris bloggers who you know through blogging.. Either that or Alex and I can take a weekend trip down to your area to visit you... although it sounds very busy too, with lots of guests coming.. HOW GREAT, might I add.... I love guests... So, we'll have to figure out a good time .. I really want to meet Betty, too.. as I mentioned before..
Anyhow.. great to hear how everything is turning out so wonderful... I can guarantee that when spring hits in full bloom (hehe) you won't ever want to leave France...
Take care, Leesa

Barbara said...

Hi Alicia & Bruce,
My, have we been busy or what?!
Great list ! Glad to see that being in France has been anything but boring ;)

I also second the notion to do a blogger meeting when you will be in Paris. But, that will depend on yourselves & the time available.
I would also love meeting you both.

Take care :)

Randal Graves said...

It certainly sounds like it was worth it, in spite of the frozen pipe/scrambling for heat escapades. Though no football? I don't know how you guys manage. :)

La Framéricaine said...

Congratulations, Alisa & Bruce!

Your shared life in France sounds truly idyllic. Tossing the watches and alarm clocks must have felt heavenly.

I wish you the very best in the months to come as you share your new life in France with old friends and family should just be icing on the cake.

Two thumbs up on the twice weekly language classes, the new cycling venture, and the in-house art lessons for the neighbor kids.

Happy Trails, or should I say Bike Paths?

Notre Vie Juteuse said...

Leesa - we are coming to Paris for 4 days but my sister has a group of students with her, so I'm sure we can get together for lunch. And if you come down for the weekend (actually our friends in May have rescheduled for August) we'll show you around.
What's up with thinking 45 is warm, my sister in Michigan was amazed. UGGS they are the best, yes? People thing they are strange looking but they haven't put them on! Once you do, your sold. We do want to stay, I'm sure when spring hits and then summer we will be sad when September comes, more of a reason to get our tour company up and running.

Notre Vie Juteuse said...

Barbara - not working and not doing anything would be a crime. It's been so nice to just relax and enjoy the day. I'm sure we can squeeze in a blogger meet-up in June! Can't come to your city and not meet you and Leesa!

Notre Vie Juteuse said...

RG - yes, it has been worth it, although if you asked me in November I'm sure I wouldn't have the same was a hard hard month for us. Football...what? We don't even watch football in the US..only cycling! sorry.

Notre Vie Juteuse said...

LF - things are just lovely...everything is coming together, i'm sure it will be even better when it's spring and summer. Can't wait for you to get over here!

Megan said...

Sounds like you guys are having a great time. Hope it isn't too hard when it comes time to leave though.

Becky said...

Sounds wonderful! So good to read your updates. Hoping you have a fun spring with all your visitors!

La Belette Rouge said...

I am so happy for you. And,like Becky, I so enjoy reading your updates and living vicariously. I am so thrilled that living in France is as juicy or juicier than you imagined.

Cindy said...

You've had a busy 4 months! A year does seem to go by faster with each one that passes doesn't it?

Michelle said...

Wow, what a four months!

I've been wobbling around town on my daggy old ladies pushbike lately and I often think of you and wonder if I'll see a photo of your day when I log in. lol- I have long way to go before I'll be cycling 1000+ miles anywhere over only a few months, but the idea of becoming fit enough to at least do a little cycling in France is gaining much appeal.

Cindy said...

you are indeed living a juicy life! Sounds like such a nice way to spend a year... I hope the next 8 months are equally as wonderful.

We're looking ahead to spring here as well, although the weather people are currently talking about snow returning this weekend.

Notre Vie Juteuse said...

Megan - we are having a blast and I'm sure it will be hard to leave, especially after the lovely spring and summer, don't want to think about that right now.

LBR - living in france is lovely and we are happy we went for it.

Michelle - i hope you can come over and cycle too, it's so beautiful and there are many places where it's not super hard, just flat and lovely scenery.

Cindy - I'm sure the next 8 months will be lovely and juicy...especially when it warms up. Argh..more snow for you!!!!

Betty C. said...

4 months already? Where has the time gone?

I was thinking of coming and seeing you in early April...might you have some time in your busy schedule?

Non Je Ne Regrette Rien said...

mmm...ugg boots saved me too, although they are looking a little are you inspired to stay?