27 June 2005

Schools and houses

We visited the school in Baillargues that Nathan and Celia will be going to in the Fall. It was still in session which was great for us to see. The kids were all very friendly and all spoke perfect English! Nathan thought that the kids looked just like any kids at his school in California! They start school part time the second week of August and full time September 1. The lunch menu held the most interest for the Faigle clan as you all probably could have guessed! I asked if I could come daily to eat in the canteen! Four courses of yum yum yum! Definitely the biggest difference from American schools!

We also have been house hunting. Celia's main demand is that it has a piscine (swimming pool). Most houses are listed avec piscine or piscinable. The latter must have the language academie in Paris rolling their eyes and shaking their heads! We have a lot of time to search, but our favorite so far has planted visions of many parties and dinners out on the veranda cooked in the summer kitchen next to the mosaic pool with water fall from the spa. It also has a salle de jeu (game room) that is actually the game floor as it takes up an entire level. Suffice it to say that Celia and Nathan are IN LOVE with this house and use it constantly as the yardstick for all other houses we see. Mike said it was a true Stan Brusa kind of place!

Best to all of you! Hope your summer is starting out relaxing and full of friends and family!

22 June 2005

Bonjour from La Grande Motte

It took us a while to get to blog again, but here we are! It is nice and warm here. The sea is incredible. From deep blue to grey and all the hues in between! The beach is beautiful.

Celia and Nathan act as if they have lived here all of their lives. They swim and build sand castles. In the morning they go to the boulangerie and buy the daily baguette.

The French live in the outdoors. Last night we went for a walk at 9 pm and the whole world was out for a walk. Jazzy seems to be the star of the show! The French love him and his attitude. Other dog owners take it as a challenge to see if he will attack their pet. So far he is all bark and no bite. Everyone wants to talk to us about him. It is a very nice ice breaker. Many people have relatives in the US or lived there themselves and love to tell us the tales.

Setting up a household here is a lot like playing the game of LIFE that we loved as a kid...take one square at a time and you cannot jump around. To get a bank account you must have the notary's (like a title company) letter...to get a contract with EDF (the electric company), you must have a bank account. To buy a car, you must have a contract with EDF. To get a phone or internet, you must have a bank account. We patiently step through the maze and are meeting such nice people along the way.

Yesterday, we went to present our visas (the passport paper, not our credit cards) to the police department as is required. We met a very nice policeman (Celia and I thought he looked like Uncle Will's twin separated by birth) who told us I LOVE the USA!! He took us back and showed us his locker that was covered with FDNY and PDNY stickers and posters from his trips to the US.

Although we miss our American friends, we are having a great time discovering this country and meeting new friends. We have been so fortunate to have met some incredibly nice people who help us each step of the way.

10 June 2005

Final Days

On the way home tonight from a wonderful fairwell dinner with some of our favorite people in the entire world, Celia was singing along to Carol King. She thought this was such a wonderful thought to leave with our friends that she asked me to post it on the blog. Although we will miss everyone terribly, our friendships live on! À bientôt, nos amis!!

When you’re down and troubled
And you need a helping hand
And nothing, whoa nothing is going right.
Close your eyes and think of me
And soon I will be there
To brighten up even your darkest nights.
You just call out my name,
And you know whereever I amI’ll come running
To see you again.
Winter, spring, summer, or fall,
All you have to do is call
And I’ll be there.
You’ve got a friend.
If the sky above you
Should turn dark and full of clouds
And that old north wind should begin to blow
Keep your head together and call my name out loud
And soon I will be knocking upon your door.
You just call out my name
and you know where ever I am
I’ll come running
to see you again.
Winter, spring, summer or fall
All you got to do is call
And I’ll be there,
Hey, ain’t it good to know that you’ve got a friend?
People can be so cold.
They’ll hurt you and desert you.
Well they’ll take your soul if you let them.
Oh yeah, but don’t you let them.
You just call out my name
and you know wherever I am
I’ll come running to see you again.
don’t you know that,
Winter spring summer or fall,
Hey now, all you’ve got to do is call.
Lord, I’ll be there, yes I will.
You’ve got a friend.
You’ve got a friend.
Ain’t it good to know you’ve got a friend.
Ain’t it good to know you’ve got a friend.
You’ve got a friend.

01 June 2005

What wonderful music! Thank you, Specs! Great job Celia, Christy, Sarah and Laura!! We knew you when!! Posted by Hello

Bring it on, Susie! Posted by Hello

What a party!! Posted by Hello

Memorial Day Festivities

What an incredible weekend! Fabulous friends, music, food and fun at the party pad of Stan, Susie and Jack Brusa. Their friendship and hospitality continue to amaze us! It was one of the calendar landmarks that were in our minds as a countdown to our departure date.

June 14th is now two weeks away! According to Celia...Excited is the word of the month! She has been asked by everyone "Are you excited about moving to France?" The answer to this question is definitely a mixed one. We are very excited to begin a wonderful new adventure! We are very sad to leave all of the wonderful network of friends that we have. We feel that we are merely stretching this network a little to test its strength. We have no fear that it can withstand any test.

Everyone who celebrated with us at the Brusa's...Thank you!! A big huge thank you goes out to the Brusa's, Specs (we LOVE you!) and the incredible family we have at the Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd in Corral de Tierra!

PS Did you catch that up and coming quartet singing at the party? Weren't they something?