8/28/2007

Moirax



D and I went for a visit in the country when I first arrived here. We went and stayed at his Mothers house while they were away to the mountains. While we were there we went up to the town nearby called Moirax.



Standing in the center of this town is a church that is approximately 1000 years old.



Now I don't know about you but I have never been inside a building that old. Where I'm from they don't make them that old ^__^ Next to the church is an old abbey and a huge courtyard between the two.



I really enjoyed my visit and just love the architecture. I think this is when it finally started sinking in. Yes Diane, you are FINALLY in France!
BTW~ I took a lot of fabulous pictures while I was there but D has put Linux (Ubuntu ) on the comp. Since he has done that all my pictures show up in their file as being right side up, but half of them when loaded are sideways. I cant for the life of me figure out how to turn them right side up. Damn I miss windows sometimes. I wouldn't even have to think about it then, it would take 2 seconds. >.< So...sorry but you're left with the ones that loaded right side up.
8/26/2007

French Lesson

My sister sent this to me today and I know it's a bit old but I certainly found a few laughs from it *^_^* Enjoy!


8/22/2007

we'll be riiiight back....

Sorry for the small delay in updating this blog. I feel like I'll never catch up. I still haven't written about our visit to the old church in Moirax or our visit to the mountains. The truth is I barely spend any time on the computer these days and when I do it's been on my language software. I am going CRAZY not knowing French. I hate going places and not understanding anything. We had to go do our blood tests for the marriage Friday and I sat there listening to D and the doc talk and didnt understand a word. I HATE IT! Seriously. I'm beginning to wonder if my methods are even going to work. I guess I am being a bit hard on myself though. I have only been here a little over a month LOL! Anyway...I'm back to practicing French, I promise I'll tell you all about my travels soon ^___^
8/17/2007

of Raclette and wandering into the countryside

I am slowly starting to get my frog legs! I have already ventured out for a dinner with one of D's friends and then we had a dinner party ourselves. We had a raclette night! D's good friend from Moirax is on vacation and he and his girlfriend drove up to see us. Since they were coming D invited another friend over also and decided raclette would be perfect. Raclette is a type of cheese but it is also this sumptuous feast of potatoes and cheese and different types of meat (like different luncheon meats mainly), etc. They have a special appliance that has a grill plate on the top and a second tier below that you stick little trays into with your cheese sliced up into them. They sit there and bubble away till they melt into wonderful cheese goodness, then you take the tray out and pour the cheese over the top of your meat and potatoes. The grill on top is to heat up different selections of bacon, etc that you might want to include. This stuff is divine! :p I swear though...I couldn't move afterwards *grin*



All in all this evening went well. Everyone was very kind to me and after warming up a little with an apperro they all tried out their English on me. Good thing as my knowledge of French is still so tiny I cant really even speak sentences yet.
After an enjoyable evening our guest bedded down in the livingroom and we all prepared for an early rise in the morning. We were going to stay for a week or so in Moirax at D's parents house. They are spending a month in the mountains so the house is just sitting there empty.
The drive to Moirax was quite fun (more work on my French :p) I finally had an opportunity to view some of the countryside. On arriving to the parental home...who do we see but this little old man watering away around the house. D's grandfather was there taking care of the flowers and such...so here I get to meet him without even getting a chance to get all nervous and such. D tells him immediately that I don't understand French. He says "Not even a little?" With a shocked look on his face. I sadly shook my head. Well, that didn't seem to phaze him at all. He took one good look at me and started rambling away in French with a big grin on his face! D tried to translate as much as possible and I have to tell you, he is a charmer. Funny as can be! I really enjoyed his company and I cant wait to learn French just so I can talk to him. LOL!



The countryside there is beautiful and we enjoyed many long evenings of peace and solitude with a few barbeques thrown in ^_^



I think D is in love with the idea of Barbeques since we have had several since I've been here.



I got a chance to know his friends a little better as we had several evenings with them. Also one wonderful afternoon meal with his grandfather at his house. I commented on an old kerosene lantern that he had there. My father collected lanterns but I had never seen such an unusual one. Well...he tried to give it to me...and then he tried to give me half the other dishes in his kitchen! HE served a very tasty meal of white fish, potatoes, tomatoes and...some of his very own foie gras. He insisted I needed mre and more until D took the plate away and put it in the refrigerator(also taking back some of the huge pile he had stacked on my plate) After filling my glasses several times with a red and then a white wine, he brought out a bottle of brut and a bottle of Almondnac ( and yes Im SURE Im misspelling this one) His eyes lit up as he told me how wonderful this drink was...and that two would knock you on your ass ^_^ I think D's grandfather was trying to get me drunk! Well I have to admit, after a few glasses of that and the walk back to the house, I took a nice LONG afternoon nap. Ah I am having way too much fun ^^
8/16/2007

Bordeaux

On Friday, after resting up the entire week, D took me into the city center to do some exploring. When we got off the tram at the square it was full of little booths. They were mainly of clothes and shoes and we wandered down the street past them and tried to steer through the HUGE crowds of people. D explained that it was Friday afternoon and most people got off work early and they were all out enjoying the beautiful day. We finally arrived down in the cities center and found a nice plaza where we sat down at one of the many cafe's located around the edges and imbibed in a drink. I had much fun people watching. The atmosphere here is so different from back home. Everyone seems so much more relaxed.

After our drink we wandered down to the water mirror, which is an amazing area along the river where they have created a large surface area covered by about 6 inches of water. It is constantly refreshed by pumps and it looks like a large mirror. There were many people wading through it when we arrived and so we joined them ^_^
Bordeaux is truly a beautiful city and I really think I will enjoy living here. We wandered for hours through the winding little streets seeing MANY beautiful sights.



Afterwards we dined at an interesting little mexican restaurant on the plaza outside. Once again it was a plaza with several establishments having their tables and chairs set up around it. This one with a small church on one side.



During our meal a small group of musicians set up in the middle and serenaded us. The appetizer was brought out on what looked like long cutting boards with handles on them. They had 8 small bowls hollowed out of the surface and in each one was either a small tortilla filled with different ingredients or an ingredient to top them with. IT was delicious. They also brought us a large pitcher of Sangria with two VERY LONG straws. They were so long we couldn't really use them (about 3 foot long) but it was very funny to try. After our main course (steak and chicken fajitas) D informed me that the meal included two desserts 0.0 I was so full I could barely move but who can resist their first dessert in France? so..I indulged ^_^
All in all it was a wonderful first visit into my city. I think I will enjoy living here and I cant wiat to do more exploring!
8/15/2007
Well having slept forever that first day and night, the next day D was desperate to get out of the house for food. Having arrived at the apartment on Saturday July 14th and it being a holiday, there had been no way to stock up on food for the apartment except to run out to one of those small epiceries which is much like a corner store back home in the states. So...Monday I set out on my first adventure in France...the grocery store ^^. We are quite lucky in our location as we are within a short distance of THREE grocery stores! All in opposite directions. On arriving to the first on ( I will end up visiting them all that week) I was completely overwhelmed with different foods and words, words, words that I didn't know. I am so dreadfully not ready for this. I really enjoyed wandering the aisles though, trying to figure out what everything was and deciphering words that seemed familiar...but not quite. D loaded our basket with goodies, and I've felt quite spoiled. I have to say that I find the grocery stores here QUITE different, although of course they have some similarities. One of the things I noticed is the HUGE section devoted to Yogurt. It's a whole aisle and the flavors sound absolutely sinful. D bought us pistachio and vanilla yogurts and the pistachio was absolutely divine! Also the bread section...but I'm sure you already expected that. The breads here are beautiful and tasty, and the pastries...Oh My! They do have some sliced bread like back home...but I've found that I just don't care for it anymore. Why would you want it when you can have something so much better? Another thing I noticed is very little foreign foods, such as chinese, mexican, etc. They do have some selections but very little. It will be difficult to recreate some of my recipes but I don't think I really mind as I have plenty of new ones to learn. So yes, quite an adventure for my first real day here. I guess I have a lot to learn before I can find my way around a grocery store here :p
8/13/2007

On Flying to France

The trip to France
Saturday, July 14th
I was surprised this morning by Renae bringing me Orange Juice and coffee to my bed. What a treat ^^ She is such a sweet person! After taking my time waking up, we sat down to a delightful breakfast consisting of an asparagus omelette, apple chicken sausages and a nice bowl of Rainier Cherries and pineapple. After our meal it was off to the airport. I was so nervous! We stopped in to buy me a crossword puzzle book for the flight and a few snacks and then I went to line up for security. It went quickly. The flight to Detroit was uneventful and soon I was waiting for my flight to Amsterdam. Upon boarding the plane I found myself sitting alone through almost the whole seating process. I was beginning to think I would be lucky enough to have both seats to myself but at the very end along came this family of four...the husband, who was a rather large sweaty man sat next to me...his wife sat across the aisle, and oh lucky me (sarcasm here :p) their two little ones. One of them being approximately one and a half. Needless to say the trip across was horrendous. The one time I did get up to go to the restroom I scraped my leg on the back of his seat. He constantly hogged the arm rest and I felt cramped down in my little space. The little one was consistently trying to unplug my headphones and making a fuss. My legs felt on fire! By the time we landed in Amsterdam my feet had swelled up like balloons...as had the rest of me. It felt funny to even walk. I went immediately to my next gate...a journey that required me traveling across the entire airport and standing in line to once again go through a security check and unpacking my carry on. It was the WORST flight I have ever been on! ON boarding the plane to Bordeaux, the stewardess took one look at me and asked if I was alright. After assuring her that I was only VERY tired she immediately brought me a pillow and attempted to make me comfortable. The plane to Bordeaux was quite surprising. For one thing the room was fantastic! Here I was on a small city hopper and I could stretch completely! The stewardess were very friendly and helpful and everyone seemed very relaxed. There were children playing on the floor of the aisles with their cars o0, and the food was relatively good for airplane food. They offered coffee and tea twice besides the drink we had at first and they served a full meal...on a two hour flight! If this is European service, I'll take it ^__^ By the time I reached Bordeaux I felt much better. Seeing D again was the best thing ever! I missed him SO much. The trip home was hard. We had to take a bus, then a tram and then...walk home about 5 big blocks. Normally this wouldn't be a problem but with two very LARGE suitcases, a carry on with a computer in it and my GInormous purse...not so fun. D tried to be the gentleman and take it all but my purse but I put my foot down and took one of the cases. They were on wheels so it wasn't that bad but it was very hot. Upon reaching the apartment, I literally passed out and slept forever. I didn't even really look at the apartment. When I woke up D gave me the grand tour, and I have to say, he did a fantastic job of making things ready for me. Especially considering he only had one weekend and the day before I came to do it in. What a sweety! Our new apartment is very comfortable and nice. I think it will be perfect for us. So now the adventure begins!



A picture taken out our front window.

My Visit to Illinois

I had a wonderful time in Illinois visiting my sister and my kids. The first two days I basically laid around and slept. I've been running on empty for days on end and I think I was on the point of exhaustion. I took TWO naps one day!


On Sunday the kids and I went to visit my brother and his wife and daughter. They had a wonderful BBQ for us.


Stormy cooked up a wonderful meal and we had a good time visiting. Lauren has grown quit big and she is quite the comedian. ON relating to her one story of my brothers pranks on me as a child, she leaned over and whispered to her Mom, "My dad is evil!" LOL what a cutie ^__^ The day after the BBQ I went out to lunch with my dear friend Renae. It was soo good to see her and catch up on all thats been going on. I really enjoy her company and we had a fantastic day together. After that day my sis and I just took it easy a few days. We spent them all alone and just took time to sit and talk awhile. I miss my sister much. She is one of the few people that I truly feel comfortable with and I really enjoyed our time together. The next to the last day of my visit I took the kids out for some IMO's Pizza. Now Imo's Pizza is ONLY my all time favorite pizza in the world so far (D has told me of some pretty good pizza in France though so I may soon change my opinoin) We also stopped to visit one of my other sis's Sandi. She was working away as usual at her shopped. Chained to her sewing machine. She took us on a whirlwind tour of all three of her shops...the dress shop, fabric shop and of course the costuem shop. What an amazing place. So much fun! I think I could get lost in that place forever and never come up for air. Just the costmes alone are overwhelming. The upstairs has row after row after row of itemized, catagorized groups of costumes. Some for theatrical presentations, some just labeled "1920's", "pirates", etc. It was great fun and I wish I had more time to spend with her...but we had a fun dinner planned with all the kids that evening so I rushed off to get there on time.


We had a nice dinner with all of the kids...hers and mine...plus their mates after that. It was good times and good eating ^^. My sis makes wonderful pulled pork and the pot of brats and italian sausages was overflowing. I think everyone had a good time, I know I did!



The last day before I left my friend Renae returned again and took me home to spend the night with her. She had offered to take me to the airport the next day and it was so nice to get to spend one more evening with her and her husband also.



They cooked a wonderful meal of Salmon with a pistachio paste on it, asparagus, tomatoes and Rainier Cherries.The next morning she woke me up with OJ and coffee in bed! How spoiled can I get? After a great breakfast of omelettes, sausages and mixed fruit I was off to the airport to continue my journey to France. I was so nervous I couldnt stop shaking. Soon I would be with my honey ^____^

The journey begins...

These next few posts are ones that I wrote before I received the internet. I left Seattle to go to my sisters house on July 4th.


This is a shot of the Grand Canyon as I flew over it.


SO finally the day has arrived and I travel to my sister's house in Illinois for a 10 day visit before going to France. OMG has it been a crazy day. We prepared all the boxes for shiping and my daughter and her boyfriend carted them to the P.O. one by one to send them off. They returned shortly with bad news. For some reason, the USPS has decided to do away with parcel post to France...how nice >.> so instead of approximately $150 to ship my boxes it turned out to be closer to $400. This was a big disappointment, but since the items in the boxes were ones I seriously needed I went ahead and paid the cost. I had planned ahead of time to take a hotel next to the airport for the last night so Carly and I would be well rested. They had a free shuttle to the airport so it made life even easier. My good friend Shelly stopped by at 7 and took us to the hotel..what a sweetie! I booked a jacuzzi suite so we could both relax away our sore muscles with some much needed soak and bubbles. When first arriving I ordered pizza for the hungry masses and we devoured it in no time at all...after that a nice long soak and sleep, sleep and more sleep! The next morning the shuttle whisked us off to the airport. We had a short layover in Arizona and MAN! was it hot when we stepped off the plane. I was glad I wasn't going there. We arrived quite late to St. Louis and my niece picked us up and took us for the long drive out to my Sis's house in the middle of nowhere. It was so good to finally be there...I haven't been home in 5 years.
8/07/2007

I have arrived!

Just thought I would let everyone know I'm here! D has had me running around like a chicken with it's head off and I've barely had time to get used to our apartment. We are leaving again today for the mountains but I promise after I return I'll take time to sit down ad post all the things I've jotted down during my travels. Ciao!

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