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.


Anne in Oxfordshire said...

Hi do you have a link for the Retreat ... would like info.

It must be a lovely place to feel like home already. I have lived in our house 5 years and it still doesn;t feel that way ... I know a home is there somewhere for me , not sure where though.

Great that your village is friendly , not where I live, and Brits( I am British) keep themselves to themselves you daren't even say hello sometimes..loved it when in france everyone says Bonjour regardless.

Notre Vie Juteuse said...

Anne - the link is on the page...Raison d'Art. but you can go to and go under women's retreats.

are you in France now? Our village is lovely, french, dutch, english and everyone are friends. Bonjour to everyone and they say it back. Everyone also speaks French here, it's not like some places where you move and nobody learns the language.

Anne in Oxfordshire said...

Hi No I don't live in France :-( live in the UK.. near Oxford. I love the sound of your village , what a fab place to live.

Anne in Oxfordshire said...

I just looked on the map to see where you are and I cannot believe I was so close to where you live.

Food, Fun and Life in the Charente said...

Glad to hear you are settling down, it will be even better when your furniture and clothes (!) arrive. We have found the French in our little hamlet are so friendly and as I am usually there on my own they will do anything to help me. I just love, love France.

Anne and I have discovered we live in the same village in the UK (I am here for winter) and she is so right people are not friendly here. I have been extra busy with the family over the past month but I am looking forward to seeing Anne again soon. She is a great person. Diane

Nadege said...

I checked out "Raison d'Art" retreat. The price is very reasonable and it would be such a great way for someone who is not familiar with the language or who is on a first foreign trip to really immerse into the culture.
I am happy for you that you now feel at home. It is such a lovely region of France.

Leesa said...

Hi Alisa...

Wow! You guys are all settled in now and it's really great to hear all the news over the past month! Such exciting things!
Happy Belated Anniversary to you and Bruce! TIme flies, doesn't it?

It's so great hearing how you have both assimilated into the culture and that things are going well...
Take care and enjoy!

Rowena... said...

Things are certainly looking up in your corner of the world and I'm with you both on taking the plunge. You all sound like you are having a blast!

About the doggie coats, check out for Tcoat Orlèans. I wish they came in a variety of colors but for the price (I paid 9.99 for one and 10.99 for the other since my dogs needed different sizes), it is worth it.

Non Je Ne Regrette Rien said...

hello on the day planner thing...I am tactile, I like my magazines, books, journals, newspapers and cards in the paper form. we need to slow down and really sometimes i think the estuff is just an excuse to be lazy... :P there I go again with my opinions ... ever the

Byron said...

Alisa - I am ecstatic to have discovered your blog! Thank you so much for writing such lovely, engaging posts & for uploading your beautiful photos. They have given us (my boyfriend and me) just the emotional boost we needed.

May I tell you a story???.............
In September of 2009, we visited St. Antonin Noble Val for the first time. We immediately fell in love with the village and the surrounding area. Neither of us had ever heard of St. Antonin before, but somehow, we felt "at home" there. Quite an unusual experience, especially given the fact that I had chosen it almost at random after discovering a link to some photos on a travel forum. I will now fast forward a bit....

For several months after our return home, we talked and TALKED and dreamt about how or if we could possibly make a life changing move - a move to St. Antonin. Well, we did it!!!!!! Or rather, we are *in the process of* doing it. Almost exactly one year later, we made a trip back to view properties. We ended up making an offer on a house right in St. Antonin. The closing of the sale has been a bit...delayed (long story). We've been rather down in the dumps about it, but after reading your entries, we've been reminded that it will all be worth it!!!!

Our excitement & motivation has been rejuvenated, and we thank you for that :) Also, it seems we have a few things in common. We too are Americans (currently residing in Austin, Texas) looking to make a life change. boyfriend is an artist as well! In addition to that, we also have two dogs who are *definitely* coming with us. Reading about your experience moving with them has been reassuring. At times the amount of paperwork and preparation seems overwhelming. But we just continue to remind step at a time, one step at a time.

We look forward to reading your future posts & hope to meet you one day in the near future!!!

Michelle & Byron

Notre Vie Juteuse said...

Byron - you can go to our business website and send me an email then I'll email you back and we can talk more. Where in the village did you buy? What agent did you use? When will you come? many questions.

Marisa M. said...

Just submitted a note via your business site! Look forward to hearing from you!

- Michelle