Home is so many places. We're home now - most of us anyway. And I'm so happy. The boys are delighted to be back in France with their grandparents and their old friends. Thierry is delighted to be home. To see his old colleagues. And eat the things that only French people know how to make taste so damn good. I just recently started getting used to living back in the states so I wasn't sure how my homecoming was going to play out. Because even though I'm not French, so many things in Toulouse feel like home to me. Like our friends. And our family. And the grocery store.
We've spent the last two weeks in Toulouse while Thierry wraps up work. It's been endless dinners and lunches and brunches - an overall excellent time. Even if the weather hasn't been stellar, reconnecting with family and friends feels so good it would be foolish to complain. Tomorrow Thierry will be on vacation and so we're off for a week-long family reunion in Ardeche. With zero internet connection (except maybe at the library). That always seems scary to me, but once I'm disconnected it's all good!
Hope everyone is having an awesome summer.
For the first time in ever, I've managed to decide quickly (read: under three months) where everything goes in this new home of ours. With the exception of a lamp or two, I haven't re-arranged anything. Yet. Yeah, that's a pat on my back for sticking to my goal. You can read more about that in the Ol' Girl : House Tour, Part I.
I plan to share photos of the house with our stuff in it - a promise is a promise. But first, here is the rest of the house on the day we moved in.
Favorite kitchen features? Big windows overlooking the back garden, space for a table and the swing door!
I love that the staircase is hidden. (You can see a better photo of how it's hidden in this post.)
The guest room is a the top of the stairs. It's starightforward and sort of small. The door you see in the second photo on the right above is the boys' bathroom.
Our room is down the hall. It has a transom, which is a nice feature. The drawback is that a light on in any other room upstairs pretty much shines through. Sucky for people (like me) who prefer their room pitch black.
We gave Andrea the choice of having his own room. He decided to room with his brothers (as he did when we lived in Toulouse). I've always preferred to keep a room for sleeping and a room for playing so I was glad about his choice. The dorm is the only room with carpet - a feature the boys find useful for wrestling.
Ah, my little piece of sunlit heaven. Thierry and I share this space (he works from home when he's not traveling). It is right above the sunroom and is set up the same way - windows along three walls. This room is not part of the original structure and you need to walk through the playroom to get to it. You can see the windows and paneling still exist on the wall that was once the exterior of the house.
There you have it! There is a partially finished basement that I haven't photographed. Maybe I'll get around to that one day. For now, I am glad to have finally shared the rest of the house tour. Next up : what we've done with the place!
While the movers pack up our stuff over the next few days, you can find me over at the Kesi'art blog where I'll share some tips on getting some scrapbooking done. Hope you like what I've shared with you.
(Not sure at what time my first post will be up over so make sure to check in at Kesi'art later this morning.)
We are back from our five-day trip to DC. Our mission was to get a feel for our soon-to-be new city and finalize as many big decisions as possible to make our August arrival a smooth one. It was a very productive trip (hey jet-lag, you're good for something!) and it confirmed our excitement about our move.
1. W E R E N T E D A H O U S E sight unseen! Never in a million years would I have thought to be comfortable making this sort of decision. But after months of looking online at rental properties available in our desired neighborhoods, I immediately knew this was the one! It fulfilled our top two requirements (walking distance to a metro stop and within our budget). I knew if we waited until we were in DC to visit it, the house would no longer be available. So with the help of our realtor and my sister, Marisa, who visited it before we arrived, we applied to rent the house and were accepted.
If you follow me on Twitter or Facebook, you know we didn't get to visit the house while in DC. But we did walk in front of it a few times. We are really happy to have the housing situation decided. Of course, I can't wait to get in there and start decorating!
2. T E S T E D T H E M E T R O Decidedly the DC metro is not as big as Paris or NYC but it does have three more lines than the Toulouse metro. Currently we live walking distance to the Minimes metro station. We are fans of public transportation and hope that by living near a metro stop we will stick to having one car instead of two.
3. T H I E R R Y ' S O F F I C E Thierry will be traveling for his job, so we joke that Reagan National Airport is his new office. He will get there on metro so we tested his commute. He'll have one easy line change and his metro stop is right in the airport next to the gates he will be accessing for his trips. Suwheet.
4. N E W S C H O O L Andrea and Maximiliano will be in the same school but on different campuses for the first year. Another change is they will ride the bus to school. Meeting the principal and part of the staff, visiting the classrooms and having the bus pick-up in place is reassuring.
5. J E T - L A G E Q U A L S P R O D U C T I V I T Y 5am is as good a time as any to answer e-mail, fill out paperwork and review the endless list of "to dos" related to our move. By 6am we are eating breakfast and by 7 we are out the door.
6. T H E R E ' S L O T S T O S E E Besides driving through different neighborhoods we didn't do much sightseeing. We figure there will be so many opportunities to visit DC with all three kids in tow. Photo : Waterfront park, Old Town Alexandria.
7. O L D T O W N A L E X A N D R I A We went to dinner at Overwood with my sister, Marisa, and her husband, Tio Jason. Then we walked to a near by park, people-watched and let Lucien stretch his legs.
8. M E E T I N G F A M I L Y That's Lucien with my nephew Patrick. I was in DC the day he was born 13 years ago. It was fun to introduce Lucien to everyone, especially since he always in a good mood despite the fact he spent a lot of time confined to a stroller or car seat. The absolute best part of moving to DC is that we will be close to my two oldest sisters and their families.
The trip was a total success! I am very thankful Thierry worked hard to be a part of the new project that is taking our family to DC. We are back in Toulouse and the movers arrive on Monday! Trying to stay focused on having everything ready for a stress-free week next week. Wish me luck!