Sunday, September 5, 2010

Getting ready for the movers

5 Weeks.  35 Days until we leave Los Angeles.  Let the countdown begin.  We are starting to get ready for the movers, who come in 2 weeks.  We are using Rainier Overseas Movers.  We had California Relocation services come to the house to do a survey of the things we were taking.  They work with both of the companies we looked at, so they both had the same information.  We decided on Rainier because they were a bit (not much) cheaper and No Regrets for Me also used them when she moved to Brantome.

We are looking at what we have, how much it's worth and if we should pay for it to be shipped or could we buy a replacement in France.  Things like the old couch won't go, we'll get another at Ikea.  Things like my cookware and such will definitely be going.  It's not cheap to ship your stuff and since we are paying for it ourselves, we have to smart about what we'll be taking.  I'm not a hoarder and really have no sentimental ties to my "stuff",  so getting rid of things is no big deal to me.  There are a couple things, like these etchings my mom got in New Orleans about 50 years ago, an antique dresser and a few other things that I would never give away, but that's about it.  I don't like clutter and believe in less in more.

Once the movers pack us up, we won't see our stuff for 75-90 days.  Luckily the village house we are renting in St. Antonin will come furnished until our stuff comes.  The hardest thing is that we will be  without our bikes for 2-3 months.  We'll have to run, rock climb, do yoga and join the "club du musculation" the local gym in Villefranche so we can stay fit.

We'll leave Los Angeles and head east to Michigan to see my family for a few days and then we'll drive down to Chicago.  When we left on our sabbatical in 08 we drove to Chicago and left from there, because it's only 7.5 hours to Paris, 12 hours from Los Angeles.  We have the dogs and 12 hours is a long time.  7.5 isn't too bad.  They have done the trip before and they were fine.  We are flying United again, since they took such good care of them last time.  We have decided to fly to Brussels instead of Paris this time.  We are going to spend 2 days there looking for a used car.  The used cars in France are very expensive and they are not so in Belgium.  We are looking for a good reliable car, a bit newer than Claude (our 1985 Peugeot station wagon we had last time we lived there).  We are thinking of a Peugeot 305 estate (station wagon) or a Skoda estate.  We had great luck with Claude and all the french mechanics know how to work on Peugeots.  We want a wagon, so we can pack up the bikes or the dogs and still have a bit of room.  Once we find a car, we'll drive down to St. Antonin.  I have heard that the Brussels airport is so nice and easy, CDG in Paris is a nightmare!

Claude our 1985 305 estate

A new 307 estate

I'm also going to start throwing pottery again.  I haven't thrown in almost 2 years.  I couldn't find a place to throw when we were living in France last time and then when we came back to the states last October, we didn't move back into our house (my studio was in the garage) and I had no place for my kiln.  I sold my wheel and just sold my kiln and slab roller.  We'd like to find a small space to rent in the village where we can have our studios.  I'll throw and Bruce will paint.  We are also going to offer some art classes on Wednesday and Saturday for local kids during the school year.  We'll focus on our art in the winter/spring and hopefully get it into some galleries/shops.

some of my pottery

For late spring/summer we'll focus on Raison d'Art  our new business.  We'll have women's retreats in May & September and Summer art camps for tweens/teens June-August.  Our first trip this July was a huge success and we know that we can offer kids a very unique experience, something they will never forget.  We'll take kids from all over the world, but the focus next year will be on the US and England.

Right now I'm a bit nervous but super excited.  Our one year sabbatical was amazing and life-changing and we knew we wanted to go back for good, but when it's only 5 weeks away it's a bit scary.  No turning back.  The business has been sold, the movers are coming, the one-way tickets have been purchased...we are so ready for our new life!

1 comment:

The Watermelon Radish said...

I loved Claude but the new estate looks pretty handsome too. Make sure you have enough room for your pottery!! xx