Sunday, May 8, 2011

The Eagle Has Landed... prepared, it's a long one.  You may want to pour a glass of red wine and get comfy.  Or do it as a three part series. :) 

I've been a bit AWOL lately, sorry.  Lots has been happening and it's taken everything in me to keep up.  Let alone not having internet here in France yet.  So I bought a 3G key for the computer and am using it to send this out into the cyber world and catch everyone up on what's been going on with the final move.

So, let's start on Thursday April 28th.  Charlie's International Medical Certificate arrived from the USDA, WHEW (btw...there is no quarantine for France and all the dogs need are up-to-date rabies, a microchip, and a vet exam 10 days prior to flying and a stamped International Medical Certificate-filled out by a certified vet and stamped by your local USDA-to enter)

AND...UPS came and picked up the boxes.  We had priced 20 and were aiming to be ruthless and get down to 10.  We ended up with 19.  Hmmm.  Well at least it wasn't 20!  So…mission accomplished!

Friday was jam packed with saying goodbye to friends and agents.  Always when I'm leaving do I find the time to get together with my lovely girlfriends and realize just how wonderful getting together for coffee is!! This is the, "I'm not gonna see them for a long time", phenomenon that makes us do the things we really should be doing regularly.  Or at least it is for me.  Note to self for the "new" life...Don't do that!!

Saturday and Sunday I worked on creative ways to pack two bags with all my clothes and the kids clothes and those little extras that seemed to be needed.  I ended up with three bags in the end. Not a problem really since we had three tickets and each allowed a bag.  BUT…what I forgot to mention is that James ended up needing to stay in NYC to do three audio books in a studio and will be joining us in three weeks.  So I was on my own with two kids, a dog, and three bags to deal with, let alone not knowing the language.  I wasn't really that worried, was going with the "zen" approach.  (didn't really have any other choice)

If you think this is ugly, you should have seen them before  surgery. :)
Monday, May 2nd, I got my stitches out and we flew.  I really must have been quite a sight walking around the airport with two kids and a dog in my slippers.  Yes, my slippers.  I couldn't put my feet in my tennis shoes yet so I had no other choice.  Thankfully I understood the idea of using the big muscly guys outside the airport and the art of tipping.  Therefor I didn't have to lug my three bags or wait in the LONG line to check in.  Thank you Mister Outside Bag Man, you were my White Knight!!  
Finding ways to spend our 5 hour layover in Germany.
Can't really say much else about the trip, the kids were on extra special behavior, obviously they knew mommy needed it or someone would lose a head, and we landed on Tuesday in warm sunny Nice, France without a problem.  Well, besides that mean German man who was rude to Emmerson, but we'll skip that.  

Grandpa met us, we took a cab to the apartment, unpacked and then re-met Grandpa out to have a bite to eat.  Everyone surprisingly had energy even after all that traveling…..until the ravioli hit their bellies.  Taylor suddenly glazed over, laid his head on the table, and was asleep in two milliseconds.  Made for a difficult walk up the hill to the apartment.  

Wednesday we did our banking, got minutes for the phone, shopped for groceries, Skyped Daddy, and relaxed. This is so easy.

Thursday Taylor started school again.  He was in super good spirits when we picked him up so I assume he slid back into the system quite easily.  And it seems little Nikita was happy to see him which I'm sure helped.
Should have known by her face that it was the beginning of the end. The other photo I took looks much more confident but less poignant. :)
Friday, Emmerson got to start school too.  Well, her type of school being two and all.  She was super excited since she was going to Taylor's school and got to take her new book bag.  She proudly entered the school and sat with Taylor in the waiting area until the teacher gathered her and the other mini students to head downstairs to their area.  What a big girl she's become already.  And YEAH!!!  Mommy got a day off to tool around and do nothing.  

Ok, far from the nothing I was aiming for, I went to the Orange store to sign up for Internet, cable, and phone…..and the beautiful vacation came to a screaming halt.  I knew I should have been better about doing my Rosetta Stone!!  So I called in assistance from my new California expat friend who was a smart girl and studied French for years once she knew she wanted to live here.  I wish I was her.

And, I will have everything installed in oh, maybe, three weeks…….ah, gotta love the French.

Friday was also Emm's last day of school.  Seems she was a bit weepy and clingy with the teachers and they thought it best to wait til September to go at it again. She's usually quite independent, but if I had all those new people around me and most speaking a new language I'd be weepy and clingy too.  Don't fret my little sweetie, we'll have lots of fun together.  You'll be my cafe and beach buddy.  

Saturday was spent at the "Beach Club" in St Laurent Du Var with three other moms and their kids. The restaurant is on the beach so the ladies got to sit and have cocktails and food while the kids played in the sand. Must go there again!

That's Taylor being shot out of a tube that started up in the trees.
Sunday was spent at an outdoor park called Le Bois des Lutins (The Forest of Elves) in Villeneuve, where the kids got to climb rope ladders to tree houses and then slide down huge slides from up in the trees.  If I didn't have such bum feet I'd have been doing as much climbing and sliding as Taylor!!  Next door was a tennis club so next time James can come for his tennis lessons while we children play in the forest. :)

Monday, May 9th, Taylor goes to a farm with his school and I find some fun classes for Emmerson to attend at Le Kid's Club.

I don't know about you reading this, but I'm tired, and loving every minute of it!!

And there you have it.  My week and a half NYC to Nice transition.

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