Monday, April 16, 2012

Zen, Monet and a few carrots...

Hi folks!  I just had a few minutes and thought I'd fill you in on a few moments in our life that I didn't write about yet.  Do a little catch up on the Nice goings on.

I got the lovely chance to work again in February, yes, I'm really behind, and this time it was for the kind of store I LOVE!!, Leroy Merlin.  It's like our Home Depot.  I can get lost in those shops and not be seen for days.  My husband has to send in a search party and they usually find me somewhere between the power tools and the bits and bobbles.  I should have been a construction worker. was a super short shoot, 3 hours, at Le Manor de L'Etang, a chateau that Monet lived in once upon a time.  It's just outside of Nice and is now a small hotel with a lovely view of the countryside.

There's actually snow on the ground!

One of the sets, not mine.  This only required feet
and for those who know me, I don't have the prettiest. :)

The set up was in the gardens of me walking through my "Zen" garden all happy sipping my coffee and of me sitting all Zen in my yard meditating.  I was waiting to find the pics so I could add them, but I haven't.  But when I do, I'll post them.  If they're good that is.

Next, my lovely husband decided for Valentine's Day we would spend the weekend in the next town at a lovely spa.  We left the kids with our trusted kid-sitter and went from La Reserve in Nice to.....La Reserve in Beaulieu. :)

Who could be stressed with that view?!?!
If it's good enough for Clark.
Beaulieu's port.  We ate here each night.
Ahhhhh, heated pool. 
Emm got her second hair cut.  Her hair is taking it's sweet time, but I have to say it's better than fighting the daily brushing if she had lots of it.  But she wears her cropped do quite well.  

Walking back down the hill from the grocery store this is my view of my house and the port.  I love living here, it's so pretty.  Now, if I could just put up with some of the French differences!  That's another post...

Then Easter came.....James had to spend a week in NYC for a job and returned on Easter Sunday.  These are the baskets the bunny left for the kids, super cute, and that's the table full of all the Target goods. I miss Target!!  And lastly, rather than just chocolates, the Easter bunny left me some carrots, I mean carats.  Thanks Easter Bunny!  You really know how to get to a girl's heart!

We went to an Easter Egg hunt at Parc Phoenix, an educational park here with animals and fish and outdoor learning stuff, where they made a hunt for the older kids and they also had the kids learn to pot a plant.  Later in the day we went to a friend's pizza party and egg hunt.  Needless to say those small baskets the bunny left were now over flowing with additions.  

Their prize for finding all the clues.

On to the pizza party/egg hunt....Besides the great international mix of friends, we love going to the pizza party house because it has this huge yard and pool and the first thing the kids do is run.  It makes us think of moving to the suburbs.  Only thinking at the moment. :)

They have an outdoor pizza oven so we make our own pizzas. T's masterpeice. 
On the hunt....
Our Easter cake.  They do fun cakes here.
And for the finale, we hung out on a Sunday afternoon with our Portland expats at a super park here, Castel de deux Rois.

So there you go.  I think I've got you up to speed on things.  Next post will be all about the new things coming....the suspense is almost over. :)

Thanks for haning in there.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Comings and Goings...

Spring is here and lots of changes are upon us.  I'll be writing about a big one a little later, once more details have been arranged....sorry to keep you in suspense.

Anyway, I've been a little up and down emotionally lately.  Along with some changes coming up there have been a few already.  I've been coming up against one aspect of being an Expat that is actually a difficult one.  The "comings and goings" of friendships, since Expats (definition: living in a country other than where you have citizenship) tend to be a bit more nomadic.  Since I've come to live here a year ago, I've had to say goodbye to two people I really enjoyed having as my girlfriends and am soon to say goodbye to another.  It's a sad feeling to know that in a few weeks a large chunk of my girl buddies here will be gone and I will be back to "dating."

These three girls were people I could really relax with, kick off my shoes with, and feel a kind of sisterly connection with here in a country that I'm an outsider in.  Where I'm constantly fighting to communicate and show my real personality, fighting the customs that are so different than mine, fighting the closed emotions and lack of congeniality I'm accustomed to, fighting to just feel at home.

I worry that these connections will be lost in the daily goings on of our lives after they've left.  That this will be the story of my life now, the "comings and goings" of friendships.  See, I've never been very good at keeping up with friends and nurturing friendships.  Especially from afar.  I blame it on being an only child.  Luckily I have a few close friends who have remained my friends regardless of how horrible I am at keeping in touch with them.  They hound me and keep calling me even when I don't return calls in a timely manner.  Yes, my lovely Chicago are a real trooper.  I'm super thankful they hang in there and hope that they know I always think of them, even if I don't tell them that as often as I should.  I must say thank you to Mr. Internet for the social networks, Skype, and the ever-faithful, e-mail.    You've helped me be a better friend, at least a little bit.

Now, not all is lost and somber.  I do still have another great friend. :)  But with the upcoming changes, will I become one of the "comings and goings" for her?  Or will she also be transported to another country on her quest of adventure?  We must just ride the waves I guess.

With all the pros of an expat life, this aspect goes on the "cons" side of the list.

Although, if I look at my lemons and think of lemonade, I'll now have friends to visit in Canada, Portland, and Germany.  And I do want to see the world!!
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