Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Thoughts from France

Hope you all are doing well.

"YES" there's plenty of room in our apartment! Come on over. Here's our address: 1090 Rue de Commandant Dubois, Btmt. E Etg. 2, 73200 Albertville FRANCE. Drop by any old time.

I've got a day off- Wednesdays are free in France for most schools. It's a day for sports and clubs. Then, they have a 1/2 day of school on most Saturdays to balance it out. It's kind of interesting. We're not sure how to feel about it. I do know this... when Wednesday rolls around, I'm usually always ready for a break!

We unpacked all the stuff from the packages that finally arrived from the states (4). It's so so so nice to have some more of our stuff from the states. Alace whipped up some mashed potatoes with "Mrs. Dash" (one of the items in the pkgs.). That was a little taste from home- good stuff. I think some customs or UPS workers helped themselves to at least two things from our stuff- our DVD collection (big bummer) and our wireless router (that thing with the bunny ears to make your internet wireless in your house). There was a lot of craziness the last couple of days in the states, so it's very possible that we put them in storage instead of in the packages, however, I'm 95% sure that they were in one of the boxes. A little sad.

Good news... my HP printer works great and we already put it to use making some copies. Also, the Starbucks and Scuttlebut (York brand) coffee was in one piece. The French drink little espressos at meal time only, so the coffee will be nice to have at our home.

I'm off to a decent start to the day, today. I walked with Joey to his school (6-12 grade on one campus- a little intimidating) with another girl from a family attending the language school. I had to drop off some paperwork (the French LOVE paperwork!!!) and then, on my way back to the language school (where I am now), I found a little cafe/bakery that had some great cafe au lait and donuts! I'm going to start making a list of creative excuses to have to walk Joey to school, now!!! They will even serve their coffee TO GO! This is very unusual for a French cafe. They view beverages and food as social items- when your partaking of them, you do so with other people sitting down.

Speaking of eating with French people (am I venting?), we had a SEVEN HOUR LUNCH with our landlords last Saturday!!! NO JOKE!!! The good news is, they live on the side of one of the Alps about 30 minutes outside of Albertville, so the kids had a blast exploring and hiking. They didn't mind one bit. We had cheese, then the bread, then a salad, then a drink (thought it was cider, found out later it had a little touch of alcohol in it- called Panache... who knew!), then some vegetables, then some meat, then some more bread, more cheese, more drink, and so on and so on. I was stuffed to the gills. They made so much food and the expectations were very high for the Americans to feast. I think that's their impression of us... probably a true impression, however, they went overboard.

They're a very nice couple; Marcel and Liddy (pronounced LEEDY). We're renting their apartment in A-ville for about $1200 a month- and we're told that it's a great deal! That's almost twice what we had budgeted for lodging. We're a little disappointed at the school for not giving us fair warning about this. They wouldn't tell us where we were staying until the last moment. They said that this is necessary in case there are those whose visa's fall through and they need to relocate some. Hmmm....

Ok, enough venting. Hope all is well with you. It's a chilly morning here. A reminder that we'll need to start getting serious about finding a car soon. We're looking at a van this weekend.

We miss you all alot!

Come visit some time! Don't be a stranger! Love, Steve