B. is a warrior

What a wonderful Saturday it was…We slept in until 9:00, had coffee and read in bed, and then I got up, drove into Hasparren and picked up my BANK CARD!!!  I’ve been waiting for three weeks and it is finally here.  Very stoked.  I got some bread and croissants and came back for breakfast.  Bryan…

Chocolate in Espelette

Espelette is famous for its peppers, or Piment d’Espelette, but the kids and I went and visited a chocolate maker’s shop there for our Wednesday field trip.  The shop gave a presentation on how chocolate was made, from bean to bar, and then a tour of the kitchen where a chocolatier was making a Basque…

Initial observations

A.  On the A63 highway, there are those digital signs that update drivers on road conditions, drive times, accidents, etc.  I was tooling along, obeying the speed limit when a notice flashed up:  [license plate number] Trop Vite! (Too Fast!) – I looked in the rearview mirror and saw a car coming up behind me…

JDR is RPG, and GN is LARP

In searching for LARP in France, I discovered EDIL, which is an organization supporting Jeu de Role (JDR) or Role Playing Games (RPG).   The person I communicated with was the president of the organization, and he was helpful in pointing me the right direction to get more info about LARP which is called GN (Grandeur…

Oh what fun!

Today while having coffee with a friend, I got a phone call from the school.   I. had fallen, and hurt his wrist, and would I come and pick him up to take him to the doctor.  When I got to the school (I was 30 km away on the other side of the valley), he…

I love Spain

Today we went to San Sebastian or Donostia, in Spain, which is about 30 minutes from where we live.  We found easy parking in the downtown, and went for a tapas lunch in a crowded, animated bar.  We still need to get the whole lunch thing figured out.  It looks like so much fun with…

Friday

There was nothing fabulous about today – but it was perfect nonetheless.  All our “have tos” here are done:  House, car, bank account, insurances, school, so now we can really enjoy being here. Kids had a late start so we all got to sleep in until 8:00 – nice.  After drop-off, Bryan took the car…

Whoa

Many accomplishments today! Two hours at the bank, and I now have car insurance, a bank account, a bank card, school insurance for the kids, and a giant stack of challenging to read French paperwork. I have a laundry technique:  Wash the clothes the night before, dry them in the morning at the laundry park…

To the beach: Les Bourdaines (sans Anthony)

This is what looks to be an abandoned community center in Seignosse, outside of the parking lot at the break called Les Bourdaines.  There’s some awesome graffiti art on the exterior.  It’s not abandoned. The beach itself is lovely.  Today the waves were gentle, the ocean was salty and warm-ish, and we all swam together…

Une Voiture

We are trying to buy a car.  This one: She’s a lovely blue 2008 Citroën with under 100k miles.  We found her at a used car lot, and are hoping that used car salesman do not have the same reputation as they do in the U.S. The car is technically ours, but we cannot drive…

Today

Wake at 7:00, decaf.  Feed kids.  Drive kids to school at 8:10.  Drop kids at school at 8:20.  Stop at the bakery; pick up some bread/croissants.  Go to the hotel bar, drink a strong coffee.  Run errands.  Go home and eat.  Meditate.  Relax, do household stuff.  Eat lunch at 12:00ish, probably have a nap.  Leave…

Ondres Plage

After a lovely, late evening, we got up early intending to go on a “coordinated hike” in a town that was not on the map.  We were so far out we missed the starting point, so we kept driving essentially making a huge circle in the valley.  Briscous – Bidache – St. Palais – St….

Die Fledermaus

We went to Guethary for dinner, to meet up with a German colleague of Bryan’s. Parallel lives: Both work for the same company Both have twins Both lived outside of of their original countries with young children Both surf Both of their partners were/are teachers Both of their partners worked with high-risk students Both owned…

School’s Out

How delightful.  This track is the kids’ school bell, followed by a stream of 500 middle school students being let out after a nine hour school day.

So many things today

Today was the first day of school for the kids.  There were nerves, and there was bravery.  I was proud that  they rallied, and with such success!  We walked them into the school yard, passing through the gates where all the other parents were standing, accidentally parading them in front of the whole student body. …

It’s not nachos

When I stayed with my parents, my dad taught be some basics of cooking, and I got a few good recipes under my belt.  So far it has been very hot, so we’ve been eating simple meals that revolve around bread.  Tomorrow it will stay in the 70s, so I’ll be fixing some gnocchi.

The House in France – Briscous

We’ve rearranged some of the furniture to make it more user friendly; it’s pretty comfy, however we have yet to figure out the whole shutters/window combination, and how to keep out bugs.