I am finally starting to relax and settle in to this charming farmhouse. if there is any way for you guys to come over? we would absolutely love it. all you need are the tickets to Bordeaux and we would have the time of our lives...i will send pictures in a separate email.
anyway, the first few weeks were pretty hectic and I learned a few lessons (ie. just get to your destination first rather than lug 10+ suitcases through Paris/Orly & Nice airports/Provence, etc.). Paris was beautiful, but a freezing blur as we were still getting over jet lag in snowy conditions. In the picture on facebook of Caleigh and I in front of Notre Damn, we were absolutely FREEZING (and whining!). Provence was better, although we only lasted 2 nights in our first little medieval house. it had "medieval" electricity it turns out, so we struggled to figure out how many lights we could turn on without tripping the fuse, but we were literally freezing by morning two and contacted the owner and were able to be refunded our money and we luckily found a cute little house in Antibes (near Arlette & Andrew). Had a great time there and finally explored Cannes and Nice which we missed entirely on our last visit, and checked out many of the nearby hilltop villages (Gordons, Ste. Paul de Vence). At this point in the trip, we were all still a bit cranky though. Caleigh was missing all of her friends and was sick of all this "family time." we also lost our free internet access and the cafes had limited hours due to the holidays. I was a bit stressed because we seemed to be spending euros like drunken sailors on leave and I couldn't see us being able to stay past February at that rate. Hank was busy "blogging" which was beginning to piss me off as he had the luxury of enjoying everything, while I dealt with bills and Katie (the animals have been a bit of a challenge as you will see below) with very limited internet access. oh, and we were still battling it out with verizon who just cannot seem to put our phone back on. They really make it difficult to reduce your bill when you go out of down it seems. In our case, they just turned it completely off versus put it on vacation mode as we had requested and after hours and hours of international calls with multiple customer representatives, we basically ended up practically begging them to just turn our phone back on with the intention of sorting it out the following week.
I've got to run to pick up Caleigh at the bus stop. Will fill you in more a little later.