Archive for March, 2011

29th March
written by bob

Well…we have now been living in Antibes for about 3.5 weeks & things are going well. Katherine and I have switched working roles; she goes into the office every day and I work completely remotely. It’s a nice change…but I must admit I do miss the social interaction of fellow co-workers.

Life in France has been an adjustment…one that we were prepared for and welcomed with open arms. First off, everything in Europe is small. Heck, we bought beer at the local market and even they are small! Seriously…about 2-3 swigs and I’m still trying to figure out where the rest of it went. Maybe Guilliana is secretly guzzling it when I’m not looking! (She’s always liked the brown bottle!) Here…have a look…

Does everything have to be smaller? C'mon...

So last weekend we decided to explore a little bit of the area we now live in. With G-Monkey in stroller we hit the French streets (or hallways) in search of a park to play at & some sights to see. We went over by the local farmer’s market right by the sea (Marche Provencal). It was a bit windy that day with a cool breeze coming off the Mediterranean Sea but that didn’t stop us. Heck, it never stops G…she’s always ready to play…and play hard she does! About 10 minutes’ walk from our place there is a park right on the beach. What a great hang out for G-Monkey! The park had a slide, puzzle cylinders, chains, steps, and climbing stuff. Perfect…& G LOVES it! I mean…what’s not to love about being a kid and frequenting the park right at the beach? Damn…I would have loved that as a kid! G’s nounou (French nanny) says that she has been a bit of a bully on the playground; grabbing other kids and not letting go. You see, Guilliana loves other little kids! As soon as she sees them, she wants to go over and touch their face and grab their clothes. Nounou told us that G kept doing this to a little boy last week and he was scared of her. Yep…that’s right G, keep scaring the boys…for another 25 years please!

A view from Antibes of the French Alps

Today the time went ahead an hour. Gee, I haven’t lost an hour of sleep like that in a dozen years! Actually I think I prefer not changing my clock…now that I became used to the non-adjustment while living in Arizona. It was nice. We got Guilliana up and fed…and headed out to locate a fridge for our house. We still have a couple of weeks before our stuff arrives via the shipping company. They tell us it is still on track to arrive on March 31. Then, it takes 4-6 business days to inspect and get through French customs. Sooooo, we are hoping to have it by April 15th especially at the pace some of these French people move! Thus far, to be honest, it kind of feels like we are on vacation since we don’t have ANY of our stuff; well, very few things anyway. I’m looking forward to moving into our new house and getting out of this corporate housing. It’s really not all it’s cracked up to be. Time share is what I would compare it to.

G-Monkey & Mommy collecting rocks at the beach.

We have a couple necessities but not enough. Heck, we don’t even have an oven! Who the heck can cook without an oven? Well, let’s just say that Katherine and I’s (more Katherine) creative ‘Top Chef’ juices have been flowing. We have come up with a few very tasty dishes that we’d definitely repeat! But…an oven would be NICE to have. Anyways…house in 2 weeks…just 2 more weeks…

We were hoping to explore a small, nearby town called Biot this weekend but Saturday was consumed by a “crazy” trip to the gigantic Carrefour Market, similar to Wal-Mart, including all the chaos! Let me assure you doing this with G was no easy task and for future reference…we WON’T be doing it again. Sunday was a much better day…I didn’t have to deal with congested aisle in a store. We took a short drive up to Villeneuve-Loubet and the fridge we looked at was perfect. It was actually bigger that I was…surprisingly! And for 90€ you certainly can’t beat the price. Now…to rent a truck to pick it up. Did I mention things are small here? I’m honestly not sure how people move stuff. Appliances…you are lucky if they fit into an automobile and certainly not a “full-sized” European fridge! I guess I’m going to learn how this all happens in the next couple weeks. On the way back we decided to stop along the beach and hang out around the water with G-Monkey taking pictures before it started to rain. We got some great shots and G loved it. I bet she can’t wait until summer so she can jump right in the ocean. Boy is she going to get a surprise when she realizes the ocean is salt water!

Enjoy the slideshow. Au revoir, mon ami!

Anyone interested in the full album of pics for these days, follow the pics below.

Views & the Beach Park Visting the Beach

12th March
written by bob

Well…it’s been about 10 days now with a rough 5 days in there but we have successfully arrived and settled in Antibes. Our new town is very different than the North American way of life we left behind. I have to say that I REALLY like Antibes…it’s amazing! The five rough days we encountered began a couple of days before flying out. Guilliana caught a nasty cold that only continued to worsen as we traveled.

Galerie in Antibes.

Our flight from Phoenix to JFK (New York) was pretty uneventful however once boarded and on our way to Nice (NCE) that all changed. Guilliana decided that taking her normal naps was not in the cards while flying. She never took a ‘real’ nap and without any rest her cold went from bad to worse. The next 3 days were awful for her – coughing, sneezing, constant runny nose, & puffy eyes. G looked and felt miserable! One of the days she was only awake for 3 hours of the day! That cold just kicked her little butt! Poor thing…as there was nothing we could do for her other than check to be sure she wasn’t running a fever. Fortunately her temperature never rose 99ºF…elevated but not terrible. Meanwhile Katherine, Maggye, & myself tried to recover from jet-lag of the flight.

Over the next few days we all settled in and started to get to know Antibes a bit better. Guilliana slowly started to get a grasp on her cold and feel better. By Monday (March 8), G-Monkey was starting to come around and act more like her little self. That was a definite good sign for her! Today she is feeling great and ready to play all the time!

Now for our new town…Antibes…it is absolutely amazing! We have explored a little and have provided a few pics for you all to see. The Antibes streets look more like the size of hallways in America. But…it’s sooooo cool! There is no concept of perpendicular streets; they were built in every direction you can think of. Some made of black top others interlocking brick, & some small cobblestone brick – very unique! The are numerous fresh markets of produce/veggies, clothes, etc.

Musée Picasso

We have recently learned/read that Pablo Picasso spent 15 years here in Antibes, then called Antipolis – part of the Greco-Roman Empire. There is a museum commemorating his stay here…we may just have to check it out! Also, back in the day, Antibes was protected Forte Carre, a huge stone fortress built at the harbor which now anchors sailboats and $1M yachts. Along the city’s coastline is a large wall that probably served as protection from a rough sea and enemies. Across the Mediterranean Sea, we can see Italy and can’t wait to visit Florence & Rome!

So far…living on the Cote d’Azur (The Blue Coast) has been an incredible initial experience! We can wait to explore everything Antibes et al has to offer our young family. For now…Au revoir, mon amis!