In the summer of 2011 I decided to start a blog about my family and our time in France,” The antics of a Southern California family living the French lifestyle”. I wrote three posts in one month and then life happened. My intentions were great. I thought I could write a weekly blog. Turns out I couldn’t even write a yearly blog! I guess the second half of 2011 was a busy year!
Once we return to California after a summer away we have to settle in to the usual year of birthdays, holidays, school, work, home maintenance and the rest of things included in everyday life in the states. Usually the girls and I come home and my husband stays on to finish up any construction projects, wine tours and visiting his family in the UK. This year was a little different. Sam headed back to school in NY and Sophie flew home by herself as she had to start school early and my husband and I stayed on in France. The plan would be that Sophie would be staying with a friend who attends the same school and I would follow a week later.
I flew home the following week and started the process of re-entry into the So Cal lifestyle. Since we rent our Newport Beach home out while we are in France we have to “unpack the house”. This means unpacking all the boxes of personal stuff that we store in the garage while we have tenants. This includes everything from the china cabinet, clothes, CD’s, books, art, basically anything of value. I have come to realize that this includes a lot of things of no value as well. I pack and unpack the same boxes every year and probably only use half of it. Some of the boxes never get unpacked. Why do you ask? Good question. I do get rid of a lot of things during my “spring clean” before we leave town in June. I always have the intention of selling unwanted items on ebay or in a garage sale but alas that never happens. It usually ends up in the Goodwill pile to be dropped off the day before we leave town!
So I unpack boxes, hang up the clothes, pick up the dog, a Beagle named Snoopy who stays with my brother, and shop for brand new condiments (most of the ones I tossed before we left town were nearly full!) and start with a clean slate for the year.
I always love coming back to California. My family is there and most of my friends. Life is so convenient and your choices are endless. But when I bite in to my first tomato or get on the 55FWY I do miss “la vie Francaise”.
Here is the scorecard as I see it.
Laundry- 1 pt CA
California- Large Capacity washer & dryer
France- Ridiculously small washer that takes 2 hours & no dryer
Cars-1 pt CA
France- small cramped cars and gas that is $8 a gallon
California- any car you want at a reasonable price and gas is $4 a gallon
Fruits & Vegetables- 1 pt for France
California- large beautiful unblemished produce with no flavor
France- No GMOs
Supermarkets-1 pt CA
California- 24 hours, anything you want
France- Hours, 9-7, closed for lunch 12-2 and Sundays. If you are out of milk you are screwed.
Thrift stores-1 pt for France
CA- This sterling tea set is from the 50’s
France- This sterling tea set is from the 1850’s
Wine-1 pt for France
No explanation necessary
Cheese- 1 pt for France
No explanation necessary
Spirits-1 pt CA
It’s impossible to find premium tequila anywhere in Brittany
Mexican Food–1 pt CA
French guacamole comes in a squeeze tube- need I say more?
So, it looks pretty even to me!
We are currently busting a hole in the 3 foot granite wall to make way for the new kitchen design- but this is 2014, I have to catch you up on 2012 and 2013 first! Stay tuned.