Jun 15, 2011

Julia Child, my Hero

I recently bought Julia Child's book, 'My Life in France', which describes the nearly 4 years that she lived in Paris and Marseille and the nearly 30 or years that she spent a month or so in France at her French country house.  Julia had it right, I think.  Why spend your time traveling, staying in hotels, eating out when you can just go to Chez Vous, with your own stuff, where you know that the sheets will be clean, the food will be delicious and the expense is just for travel.  I often wonder if this is how I can reconcile my relationship with my lover, France.  Could I find a country house in France and spend the rest of my vacations, going there?  Being an expat for just a month a year?  Getting my fill of yummy food and culture on a part-time basis?  Are France and I meant to be "long-distance" lovers who simply see each other on vacation, b/c we have far too important "regular" lives to move to the other one's city?  Hmm, it is an interesting though.  Julia, who didn't move to France until after she was 35, did it.  She even became fluent in French.  I was thinking that I was too old and that my little brain would never get it.  But I guess if Julia can do it so can I, no?  And maybe in a few years (when I am over 35), I too could get a little country house, to fix up and just be for 1 month a year?  Not that I don't do that now, but it is my father-in-law house in my husband childhood room.  There is not even a place for me to hang my clothes -- the room is filled with old junk, I just feel like redecorating the whole time I am there.  It's will never be "mine" and certainly not the place where I can go to relax. hmm the possibilities....and if you get a chance, you should read Julia's book, it is brilliant.

Jun 12, 2011

SOLD for $4000 -- 4 weeks in France

So I had been monitoring ticket prices to France for about 2 months now.   For the last month I was checking every day or so.  For a long while, I thought it would cost me $5000 for me and the 2 boys to fly to France to see Bonne Maman and Grandpere.  $723 each way plus tax times 3 people.  No discount for kids.  Zut.  I was about the cave in and buy the ticket, but then a friend told me that actually ticket prices would be dropping in a couple of days.  "Wait until Wednesday morning", she said.  So I waited.  Wednesday came and the prices were the same.  Thursday morning though, magic.  Now it was only $562 each way.  How did that happen?  It was still pretty expensive considering with taxes that was still $1300 per person -- but was much cheaper than $1620 per person.  It's seems to be all about perspective.  Sort of like gas prices -- paying $3.80 at the gas station seems cheap, compared to the $4.10 I was paying a few months ago...  So we are going for most of August, 4 weeks total leaving the last week of July.  Our new au pair arrives from Grenoble arrives the day after we return.  Kids start school the following week....  However the belle familie isn't exactly content....  Pourquoi?  Well turns out the kids and I are missing the baptism of the boy's little cousin.  Well we can't do everything.  We didn't know the au pair could only arrive the last week of Aug or 2 weeks later, we didn't know that it would cost $500 more for the 3 of us to leave 4 days later, we didn't know that school would start that early...  We just didn't know.  Besides, 1 hour in a church and 3 hours of eating, what little 2 and 4 year old boys would be happy with that? Zut again.
I guess it doesn't matter, can't make everyone happy...