Saturday, November 20, 2010

1 month

Gaillac Vineyards

We've been living here in St. Antonin now for 1 month, exactly.  It seems longer, seems almost like home. Fall has arrived and the colors are beautiful.  We had a pretty warm October and November hasn't been too bad except for the last week or so.  We have had rain and cold temps.  Our belongings are still either on the boat or held up in England, we hope to get them sometime in December.  I think once we do, it will really feel like home.  I can't wait to get our stuff.  First of all I'm tired of wearing the same thing.  I keep telling people that I do have more than 2 sweaters and 2 pair of jeans.  I could only bring 1 suitcase and with my boots, heavy jacket, sweaters and such it didn't leave much else.  But luckily I'm not in Paris, people here don't care.

We've been social butterflies, which is pretty unusual for us.  Back in Los Angeles we rarely went out, except with our best friends E and K.  Once in a while we'd go out to dinner (just the two of us) or meet a friend for a drink or go to someones house for dinner, but it wasn't all the time.  This is a very social village and everyone is so nice and friendly.  We've seen some of our old friends and had dinner at their house, we've had dinner at some new friends house and we always go to quiz night once a week.  Basically we're beat.

Last week was our 14 year anniversary.  We got married on the 11th of November, which was also the day of our first day way back when.  We stayed in, made nachos and drank wine.  It was lovely.  It's strange 14 years has passed, it's gone by so quickly.  It still feels like new to me though, even though Bruce and I spend 24x7 together and have since we met.  When I'm not with him, I miss him.

We went down to Ikea the other day to purchase some much needed things.  I love Ikea.  We picked up everything for an office for me (desk, chair, storage, etc...) and everything for a studio for Bruce (table, chair, lighting, etc...).  So I now have my office and he has his studio.  He been drawing every day which is wonderful.

The Village

The Village

Everyday I spent about 2-3 hours on the business - Raison d'Art.  Either sending emails or brochures, working on itineraries for the camps, coordinating activities, or some type of marketing.  We already have kids signed up for camps #1, #2 and #3 which is very exciting for us.  Nobody yet for the women's retreat in May.  I hope it will be something we can do, because I think it will be truly unique and inspiring for women.  Most women put themselves last, so their kids can come to camp or do this or do that, but their needs are on the back burner.  I'm trying to get women over here to unplug, do yoga if they want (we have the most handsome yoga teacher too), paint, do wine tasting, chill, visit villages, etc... focus on themselves for 10 days.  Put themselves first for once.  Work can wait, kids can wait, shopping can wait, driving all over can wait but this shouldn't wait.

We are planning on attending some camp fairs, which I think will be really good for us.  Meet prospective campers, get our name out there.  There are a few in the states (New York, New Jersey, Michigan, Florida).  There is one in Montreal, one in Madrid, one in Milan and 3 in Paris.  We are trying to figure out the one's in the states, but we know we'll do either Madrid or Milan and Paris.  These are at International Schools, so I think they will be good.  We are also trying to break into England and have someone there who will be working with us on getting into camp fairs and getting people interested.  It's a 1.5 hour flight from London and a really inexpensive flight, so we have to try and break into that market.

We finally have internet, television a land line phone and a mobile phone.  Which means we exist in France.  It took 3 weeks to get everything set up and I'm glad I don't have to spend hours down at the cafe trying to work.  I actually really enjoy having a land line phone too.  We haven't had one since we lived here in 2008.  I like the idea of a land line phone, being in one place, great connection, solid, grounded.  Most people just use the cell, but I always go for the land line.  I also miss my daytimer.  I know, most people don't even use those anymore, but I'm going to get one again.  I don't like everything on my computer or phone.  I like to organize it, open it up every day and see what I'm to do, have my addresses written down in my handwriting.  I know, I'm old-fashioned, but they are the best!

It's been a very interesting month and although the weather is getting cold we still bundle up and run with the dogs.  They love it and so do I.  We climb every day that it's dry and when our bikes come in December we'll start cycling again.  Everyday is an adventure or a learning experience and I'm thrilled we took the plunge.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

A day just for us!

 wer'e going up there...

The other day we went rock climbing at an area called Amiel.  It’s 10 minutes from the house, which is incredible.  It’s about a 20 minute hike up to the cliff, but so worth it.  The cliff is south facing, so it is in the sun all day.  It was about 60 here in the village and a bit windy, but up at the cliff it was about 75 and hot!  I had shorts and a tank on and Bruce had his shirt off.  It’s a perfect winter cliff.  We even said that if we are not climbing and it’s a bit cold here in the village we just might go up and hang out in the sun.  We took the dogs with us, they had a great time running around and just being with us.  We both haven’t climbed in about 8 years.  We stopped when I injured myself and after we moved back from Las Vegas (yes, we lived in Vegas), because the climbing there was pretty amazing too and coming back to Los Angeles, you have to drive so far just to climb.  We also started surfing and then eventually cycling.  I met Bruce through rock climbing, 15 years ago.  He was my private coach for a year before we had our first date.  He introduced me to camping and every weekend we’d hop in the car and go away climbing.  It’s nice to be back in nature and climbing again.  Moving here we knew we had to start climbing again, there are about 10 amazing cliffs within 15 minutes of our house.

The view from up at the crag

 Just hanging out in the sun

Stella too

After coming back from climbing we went to our friends Tyrex and Henriette’s restaurant called Browns for Quiz night.  We met T&H about 2 years ago when first lived in France.  They had a table at the Sunday market here in St. Antonin and they sold Indian food.  We bought some excellent curry dishes and then became friends with them. Their new restaurant is a 3 minute walk from our house.  Quiz night is what it sounds like; it’s like trivial pursuit.  There were 3 teams of 4 people and Tyrex gives us random questions and the team writes the answer on a piece of paper.  There are 40 questions in all, but we do 20 and then score each other’s paper and then break for dinner and then continue with the other 20.  Tyrex did a nacho night and I brought guacamole (because you have to have guacamole with Mexican food).  The nachos were so so good.  Our team consisted of Rob, Carl and Bruce and I and…we won!  Quiz night is once a week, we’ll be back this week to defend our title.


(Update:  we went back again this week for quiz night and our team “the bush/blair haters” won again!)