Category Archives: Friends

Trois Villages in Une Day

There once was a couple in France
Their kind invitation gave us a chance
To visit a wonderful land
And so a trip was planned
Soon it was wine we were drinking

And glasses we were clinking

Our good friends Michel and Shirley have a wonderful home in a small village in the Côtes du Rhône region of France.  They invited us to join them for a few days recently, an invitation we were happy to accept.  Google maps told me that the journey from our home to theirs was approximately six hours and so we decided a stopover at the beach for a night would break up the drive nicely (read about it HERE).  After a relaxing night in Beaulieu-Sur-Mer, we headed north to Sablet, France so that we could savor an enjoyable visit with good friends.

Sablet, France

We arrived in Sablet as scheduled, late in the afternoon.  However, I had misplaced all the phone numbers to reach Michel and so I wasn’t quite sure exactly where to go upon arriving in the village.  Michel gave me specific instructions not to attempt a drive directly to his home.  “The roads are far too narrow – many cars scrape on either side.  Don’t attempt it – park at the local bakery and head by foot”.  I only had his home address plugged into the GPS and admittedly, I had the words of Barney Stinson ringing in my head “I shouldn’t attempt the drive… challenge ACCEPTED!”  After creeping up, up, up, slowly, slowly, slowly – I made it to their home.  Luckily I made it with all car paint intact – but it was close.  I had been far too cocky and got lucky – I literally had centimeters on either side of my car at times.  We found their home and discovered they were just out at the local market, preparing for our arrival. Continue reading Trois Villages in Une Day

What’s the French Riviera Without a Gold Yacht?

It’s been a long time since I completed a blog post.  So long, that for some reason – I’m a bit nervous (strange, my friends will tell you that I love to talk about myself).  So I’ve been procrastinating.  I have organized my DVD drawer.  I carefully tended to the plants (I’ve discovered I love gardening…in small doses).  And the past few days, I have been playing Mr. Mom while Jen is in California for work.  I have done just about everything to avoid writing on the blog for the past month… and the only thing I’ve come to realize is that I now have a mountain of work ahead of me.

A mountain in Beaulieu-Sur-Mer, not completely unlike my mountain of work

It’s not that I’ve just been procrastinating.  We’ve been busy.  I mean, very busy.  Albeit, busy doing more of the same (traveling, eating, drinking, etc.) – but still always experiencing something new.  So, please grant me the excuse of allowing the experience to get in the way of the blog – just this one time! In the coming days and weeks, you will hear of our wonderful trip to visit our good friends in France; the visit from Jen’s family and the upcoming visit with my parents.  I’ll toss in a few food posts and hopefully a feature on where we’ve been living (which has been in the pipeline since I started this blog).  So let’s get this party started… no more delays.  And so, it begins with a trip to France… Continue reading What’s the French Riviera Without a Gold Yacht?

Touching Down in Italy

We knew the deadline was coming for months… January 3rd was staring us in the face for a long time.  January 3rd rustled up feelings of excitement (me and Jen), nervousness (Jen…ok, me a little) and stress (mainly me).

It got here before we were ready.  We still had a list a mile long on January 2nd and I don’t think either of us were as prepared as we thought to say goodbye to our friends and family.  Jen’s girlfriends threw an incredible send-off hosted at Mike and Aubrey Ciatto’s home.

Aubrey and Mike’s beautiful home – nice touch with the flag

And then… all of a sudden, we woke up on January 3rd.  We hugged our first set of goodbyes to my parents, Julia’s “Pop-Pop and Grandma” in Darnestown, and got a little misty when my usually stoic parents both shed a couple tears. Continue reading Touching Down in Italy