House for all

Once a week we go play games at a local community center.  We play what are called “jeux de societe” which doesn’t really translate, but it’s those elaborate board games with a billion pieces that require the ability to strategize.  I have always held an interest for these games, but had never taken the time…

Stuff

This kind of thing can happen pretty quickly.  Even though I am being ultra frugal and learning to be conscious of our consumption of stuff, the junk drawer has made its way into our house.  It’s a small drawer, so I was able to get sort through the pile pretty quickly, separating items that are…

English

A lovely woman helped me out at the doctors’ office about a month ago, and very shortly after I ran into her at the grocery store.  We exchanged numbers then,  and this afternoon we had coffee and a walk about town.  She lives nearby in an even smaller town, having access to only a bakery…

That American who helps at the laundromat

I spend a lot of time at the Laundromat, which is a concrete pad in the parking lot of the grocery store.  It holds one average-capacity washer, two large-capacity washers, one awesome dryer and one shitty dryer, which literally says, “Cette machine est la merde!” written in Sharpie on the inside of its door.  Through…

Home sweet home

We came over 4 months ago with one backpack and one duffle bag each, and on New Year’s Eve we moved into our own apartment with a lease for 12 months.  We have a small two-bedroom place in the center of town where we can walk to everything, (bank, bakery, post office, grocery store, pizza…

Two and One

Two cool things I’ve discovered about France recently are this: Les volets (Shutters) – I’m convinced that there is some elaborate way of managing the shutters on a house that I am not privy to.  We close the ones on the ground floor for privacy at night, and to keep the heat in.  We leave…

Sundays are pretty great too

We had a wonderful day…First day of our Festival of Zorton Late pancake breakfast at home Bayonne Holiday Festival Ferris Wheel Gelato made by an Italian man from Milano, whose brother owns a restaurant in San Mateo (so small world) Wandering about Bayonne Tree decorating Skyping with family Ham and cheese and egg crepe dinner…

Parkour

There was an exhibition for B’s gym on Friday with demonstrations by all of the groups, from the cute little toddlers all the way up to the high school kids.  B’s group was the final group of the evening.  There was a Brasilian theme to the night, although there was plenty of Basque red in…

Saturdays are fun

We had a wonderful Saturday, even though 50% of us are not feeling tip top.   We started out trying to find out where the mystery water came from that ended up on the floor and in our laptops and iPads.  Still a mystery, but it’s cleaning up okay.  We’re letting one of the laptops dry…

Three months

The above photo was taken at the BAB2 which is a big shopping mall in Anglet where they have most everything you might need:  Grocery, clothing, snacks, coffee, and it’s all dressed up for the holidays. We’ve been here for three months.  It feels like longer because so much has happened and we’ve crammed a…

Nothing really

  I was sick in bed all day.  Here are a couple of photos from recent trips around the way. It was a stormy Sunday in Biarritz.  We went downtown for burgers, but instead ended up at delicious pizza.  After the pizza we went for a walk along the path at the beach, and out…

A LITTLE EVERY DAY

I realized if I’m going to keep this blog, I will need to do a little writing every day.  So here we go: I’ve got a cold, a French cold, so I don’t know how long it will stick around or how severe it’s going to get.  Hoping that it’s mellow and that I (who’s…

Groceries

I like going to the grocery store. At first I was disoriented, and not really sure what to make, or where the ingredients were in the store, or how much food we would go through.  I just looked for what I was used to buying, but when I realized that 75% of that was not…

Grenoble to Venice

We spent the night in Grenoble as a half-way stop to Venice where we are meeting UJ and AM.  It was chilly, but our hotel was warm and toasty, and we all had great showers.  Full disclosure:  Since it was as stopover and we arrived late, we did not get to see the beauty of…

Weekend trips

We try to take trips every weekend.  Sometimes low-tech, simple, sometimes extravagant and far-flung.  Here are some photos of places nearby deep in the Basque country-side that we’ve gone to visit. We drove to the town of Bidache to see a decaying chateau we spotted off the road, and then walked among the remains of…

Anglet – I like it, like it, yes, I do

Today we went to IKEA, because we live 5 minutes from it, and we needed to make a permanent picnic basket for our road trip.  Of course we got distracted, of course we had too much coffee.  Afterward we went to Anglet.  I love Anglet.

It’s the Pau Anime Game Show!!!

Sunday we went to the Pau Anime Game Show, in Pau, which is the capital of this department.  It was rad.  Super rad.  The kids had a total blast.  I’m not sure how to describe it, because I hadn’t been to anything like it in the US before, but it was dream come true for…

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…