Well, it's been 1 year to the date since we moved here to rural France. The beautiful Aveyron region, our little house "Les Costes" in the woods. It has been an amazing journey and we are changed people. We would love to stay here in France and start a new life, but timing just isn't right. The economy, the exchange rate and most important our business back home, Art-Works Studio. It needs us. It misses us. And it's time to go back and take care of business and get back to teaching kids art. We are refreshed and our creative juices are flowing. I'm not saying it was an easy decision. In fact I think it's the hardest decision we have ever made. We love it here. Love the people, the food, our life, the countryside, etc... But we have been very lucky to be able to take a 1 year sabbatical and move to a foreign country. We are packing up right now, getting our year into 2 suitcases. We have 2 bike cases, 2 dogs crates, maybe 1 cat crate and 2 suitcases, oh and 2 carry-ons. Oh my.
Here is a highlight of our year here in SW France.
1. we arrive exactly 1 year ago today
2. our house is called "Les Costes" but the people here in the area called it "the house of fear"
3. we road our bikes about 6700 km (which is about 4,163 miles) this past year
4. our first 30 days here were lovely, then on the 31 of october it snowed.
5. most of november it rained
6. december we were thinking - "what have we gotten ourselves into"...we were freezing
7. early december our 1st cat Maillot adopted us
8. we had the coldest winter here in 12 years
9. road our bikes in 32 degree weather
10. met so many people who are now great friends.
11. some of our friends here have never met an American before
12. got 3 chickens (fanny, rhoda and lefty) had them for 8 months and then, well....
13. in the winter i think i mopped the floor ever day, dirt, wet, dogs = mopping
14. visited so many places: Toulouse, Bordeaux, Albi, Paris, Belgium, Provence, Montpelier, Beziers and countless villages that were all breathtaking
15. saw (6) stages of the tour de france LIVE
16. climbed (3) major mountains here (cols) the tourmalet, col d'aspin and Mt Ventoux!
17. met "no regrets for me", who I can now call a great friend and a wonderful lady.
18. my family came to visit in March
19. our friends Lisa & Steve came to visit in April
20. took french lessons 2x a week, 3 hours each class, no english! loved it.
21. drank many many bottles of amazing vin rouge.
22. July our 2nd cat appeared...Mr. Fancy Pants
23. changed as a person. So much for the better.
24. had one of the best years of my life!
We'll be back in France, we both know it. It's where we belong. But right now it's back to Los Angeles and to the studio. We are looking forward to seeing everyone. I'm probably not going to update the blog anymore, not until there is something "french" to report. So all I can say is thanks to all of you who have followed "our juicy life". I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I had writing it.