Blog Archives

Green alert

The Aude river through Carcassonne

Recognizing the importance of saving the planet from global warming, the French government now offers a 4-year grant to individuals who want to move to France to continue their research, studies, and/or instruction in fighting climate change.The program is open to citizens around the globe but was announced immediately following the withdrawal by the United States from the Paris climate agreement. Read the rest of this entry

A sporting weekend

Arriving riders with the castle behind

It seems as if there is some kind of festival here almost every weekend. They typically revolve around food and/or drink so to use up some of those calories, sports are often featured. This past Saturday the entire country celebrated La Fête du Velo and locally, hundreds of bicycle riders showed up at Carcassonne’s Place du General de Gaulle to participate. We got there early to see all of the colorful jerseys arrive and to check out the vendors who were promoting bikes with an electric motor plus a refund for buying one. Read the rest of this entry

You can run, but….

Tax office

By living 4000 miles (6400 kilometers) from Washington, DC we can escape some of the news that revolves around the White House but once people here learn that we’re from the US they definitely want to talk politics. That’s been the case over the last 25 years that we’ve been visiting France no matter who the president was/is. So while we may be a long way from the Oval Office at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, there’s an address right next door at 1500 Pennsylvania Avenue that’s as close as your bank account. The Internal Revenue Service knows where we live. Read the rest of this entry

Chocolate bunnies, eggs, bells, and fish

Chocolate fest poster from the city’s website

Carcassonne has many shops that sell just one product: chocolate, and we’ve been to most of them. Naturally we’ve had to sample the goods at each location in the interest of being able to recommend to visitors where they should go. Since we’re still in that decision-making process, we returned to some of these boutiques for a second opinion. As you might expect at this time of year, the window displays all featured what we typically think of as treats at Easter: colorful eggs, long-eared bunnies, plus cute chicks and hens. But what about those bells and fish? Read the rest of this entry

Set in Sète

The Canal Royal in Sète

The Canal Royal in Sète

The Canal-du-Midi that runs through Carcassonne was built 350 years ago to help connect the Atlantic ocean with the Mediterranean sea. One long river, a second canal, a bay, and an estuary all combine together to link Bordeaux on the west coast with the port city of Sète on the east. You can rent a house boat and glide along at no more than a leisurely 8 kilometers (5 miles) per hour to arrive at the Mediterranean a couple of days later, or spend just one euro and get there in about an hour on the train. Read the rest of this entry

Wine high school, our sophomore year

A lycée (high school) devoted to agriculture, including wine making

About this time a year ago, we had lived in France for only three weeks when an announcement on the city’s website regarding an event for that weekend caught our eye—Wine Fair! We knew that we had moved to the world’s largest grape-growing area but we didn’t realize that there was a high school devoted to the craft just a few minutes’ walk from the house. With the promise of 30 wines, 6 beers, and 2 ciders, we just had to go…for a taste, of course. Read the rest of this entry

Universal language

Free tickets to the concert

When you move to another country where the language is something other than the one you grew up with, communication takes center stage. We’ve lived here for a year and we are far from fluent in French despite continued classes, studying, audio files, reading, and daily contact with everyone who speaks it without effort…that is, everyone except each other. If we lived in a true total immersion situation, by now we’d be fully understanding news reports on the radio, TV sitcoms with all of their slang expressions, films with rapid fire dialog, and those dreaded phone calls from utility companies, delivery services, and even telemarketers. Outside our house we’re in a French world so we do our best with the “language of Moliere” but safely back inside with the front door shut it’s more about Mark Twain, William Faulkner, John Steinbeck, and David Sedaris (!). Read the rest of this entry

Renestance

French Retirement Dream

A year in Périgord

Tales of a Brit who stopped in Lille on his way to Périgord – and stayed

Southern Fried French

Two American Guys & Their Dog Move to France

wcs

Two American Guys & Their Dog Move to France

Chez Loulou

Two American Guys & Their Dog Move to France

The Vicious Cycle

A man searches for meaning...in between leg shavings

Post-Industrial Eating

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An Italian Point Of View

Alan and Tracy's Expat Adventures