Blog Archives

The big move

Bill and the big, little van

Bill and the big, little van

We’re in. There’s still a month to go on the lease of our rental house but we wanted to be into our own place to start the new year. That will give us plenty of time to thoroughly clean what we’ve called “home” for the last 11 months before we turn it back over to the landlords. It also means that if we get any last minute out-of-town guests before March 1st, they can stay there instead of stepping around unpacked boxes, over cans of plaster and paint, and through ladders leaning against the walls. Just as we did a few months ago, we rented a van, only this time instead of going to the supermarket to pick it up we literally crossed the street from there to a rental car agency. Read the rest of this entry

When 7+7=15

A street in our neighborhood

A street in our neighborhood

In French when you talk about a two-week period you will most commonly hear “15 days” because they include the day you are currently in. Since we’ve now been in the house for quinze jours I thought I’d update a few of those early day posts. Let’s start with the one that’s generated the most interest and concern: Stone cold. Read the rest of this entry

Catch-22

The key to a successful new life in France is a bank account. With it you can go anywhere and do anything. Without it you are stuck, dead in your tracks. Almost all of your bills are paid directly from it and your income is put directly into it. Your debit card is tied to it and you use that “carte bleu” to pay for everything from restaurant meals, to train tickets, to supermarket purchases. Even your monthly rent or mortgage payment comes right out of your account and into the landlord’s, perhaps at the same bank, and there’s the rub. Read the rest of this entry

Carcassonne it is, but why and where?

So why Carcassonne? First, there’s the climate. On average, it’s 10 degrees F cooler in the summer and 10 degrees warmer in the winter than Atlanta. No snow! There’s a fresh fruits and vegetables market three days a week in the main town square that’s within walking distance of any apartment or house we are likely to rent, as is the train station and even the airport. There are a dozen super/hyper markets around the edge of the city all accessible by sidewalks, bike paths, or the 1 euro bus. For water access there’s the Aude river and its parks, the Canal du Midi with tree-lined walking/riding paths, and a huge lake for swimming. For history, how about living beside two UNESCO World Heritage Sites: the Canal du Midi, opened in 1681 and Europe’s largest medieval fortress that is a town unto itself. Each summer the city hosts a 6-week long music festival with dozens of concerts weekly, many of them free. Famous singers known throughout Europe plus worldwide names like Elton John, Sting, and Bob Dylan have performed. Did I mention that Carcassonne sits in the middle of France’s largest wine-producing area? Talk about living in wine country! 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