dimanche 29 novembre 2009

Last week I realized that yet another part of our car was broken (oh the joys of parking in Marseille).
Monday morning it was the left-side mirror that got broken off, then Friday it was one of the back lights.
On Saturday, we made a trip to the junkyard to see what we could find. I had never been to one before, so didn't really know what to expect. There actually weren't many cars sitting there, and they were mostly still intact. Alain joked "We had better be careful, we might come back and find that someone has mistaken our car for one of the junkyard cars."
We went in and told them what we needed, and as luck had it, there was another Fiat Bravo with the same lights. Got the right-rear light set for 45€. Felt strange, like we were cannablizing another poor car.
We went over to Alain's parents, and Alain and his dad fixed it up. Also needed to fix the reservoir for the windshield wiper liquid (it leaks and so is completely empty about a day after filling it up) and glue back a strip on the left side.
Not sure it is actually worth it to buy a less-old considerably better-shape car as it will still be parked in Marseille and we still don't have a garage....
lundi 23 novembre 2009
The day after my birthday, we invited all of Alain's family over to see our apartment and for cake. We didn't tell (warn) them that my parents were here, so I think it was a surprise for some of them, not so much for others.

We had two cakes, a chocolate one (mix that my mom brought from the US) with chocolate icing (also from the US) and a black forest cake that my mother-in-law bought from Carrefour, plus a bottle of champagne left over from our wedding, that was well past its drink-by date.

Alain's sister Lucy managed to get both kids IN the car and TO Marseille, which is quite a feat.
Plus Alain's aunt and parents, so there were quite a few of us. We pulled out the extension for the table and managed to all crowd around.

Lucy left around 4:30, headed back to Toulon before it got too late. Alain's parents and aunt stayed until about 9. They were all impressed with the fact that the apartment was finally (more or less) finished.

All in all, a pretty great birthday party.

Does he look like he knows what he is doing?

Alain with his neices, who just adore him. Well, Manon (right) does and I am sure Anna will too.
Alain seems to understand kids in a way I don't.
I have no idea how to keep them entertained. I can't even play with dolls for goodness sake. I just sorta wave them around aimlessly.
I can't get around the fact that they are NOT mini-adults.
And yes, blogger messed up my template. Guess I will have to fiddle with this one now.
dimanche 22 novembre 2009
On Armistice day, my parents, Alain, and I went to go visit Aigues Mortes. We managed to get on the road at around 9, and it took us about an hour and a half to drive there, up past Salon de Provence and Arles. Drove past the restaurant we went to when we went to Stes. Maries de la Mer two years ago, where a woman changed her baby on the table in front of everyone (dad's comment "It wasn't just wet!")

We parked in the nearly empty parking lot and walked around town. Saw the main square Place St. Louis, visited the church Notre Dame des Sablons, tried to walk around the ramparts, but they were closed as it was a holiday. It's a holiday, i.e. a day tourists are likely to be free to come. Let's close!

We saw the outside of the Chapelle des Pénitents Gris, then had a coffee.

Walked around some more, then had lunch at a small restaurant near the square. At around 3 we had run out of things to do, so drove home. Too bad the ramparts were closed.

Bought one of those poorly-translated guide books to the town, you know, the kind like "Nîmes" in French, English, Italian, German, and Spanish with a few pictures and stories for about 5€.

Reading it, I know exactly how it is written in the French version, due to some funny phrasing and not-quite-the-same-in-English metaphores.

All in all, a nice little side trip, but I certainly wouldn't want to live there. Every summer, invaded by touristes, all the rest of the year, nothing to do.

Plus, the houses "intra-muros" are dang expensive and I am sure come with all sorts of rules of what you can and cannot do. Wonder what everyone does for a living there.
samedi 7 novembre 2009
Last Friday, (October 30th) a large package arrived in my mailbox. I couldn't figure out what it was. I hadn't ordered anything (that I remembered). Then I looked at the return address and knew-
it was from Jess from Presto Manifesto who sent me a mysterious prize for winning her blog competition.

Opened it up, and what did I find? A large package of candy corn!

Perfect for Halloween. I don't think I have eaten candy corn in years.
Thanks Jess!
vendredi 6 novembre 2009
you buy something from Sephora and get "premiér rides" (first wrinkles cream) samples.
Today is my birthday. The big 3-0.
Sure have changed in a decade.

When I turned 20, I was at military school and certainly didn't think that in 10 years I would be living in France and worse! married to a Frenchman.
When I turned 10, I was in elementary school in South America and certainly didn't think that in 10 years I would be going to a military school.
When I turned 0, I was in Virginia, and certainly didn't think anything other than "Wah!"

For kicks, here is one of my early pictures, living in Germany

Got home from work Thursday night and who was there?

Not ONE but TWO parental units who had flown over from the US for a surprise. They had planned it all with Alain and he picked them up from the airport on Thursday. They will be here for about two weeks.

Tomorrow, Saturday, most of Alain's family is coming over, to see our apartment and for a mini-party for me. Mom and Dad's visit will be a surprise.

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