Archive for May, 2011

31st May
written by bob

Well…it only took 11 weeks (6 weeks longer than it was supposed to) AND I didn’t have to kill either one of the cats…but we have finally moved into our new home. Mind you our move didn’t come without challenges as well…heck, I’m not sure anything went “smoothly” in this whole adventure so far. HOWEVER, I have to say, Katherine picked out a great apartment for us to live in. It’s awesome – perfect size and location, right in the heart of Antibes!

G-Monkey loves wagon rides around the house!

At first I wasn’t quite sure how everything was going to look or even where it was going to go but everything has now been unpacked and organized. With a few minor purchases, most of the rooms are now complete. (Pictures to come in a subsequent post!)

As I mentioned, not all went off without a hitch. Unfortunately not all of our things arrived in the condition we remember them being packed by Interdean Shipping! It probably didn’t help that our things went through 2 extensive Customs (Italian & French) inspections. Not sure how our things ended up in Italy when its destination was France but…who knows!

We had quite a bit of damage to a number of items with one of the worst being our credenza. The nice dark, wood finish on top looks like the one corner had been dragged across the pavement. Also, our king-sized, white, Duxiana mattress also looked like it was partaking in the same pavement surfing contest as our credenza! The mattress was delivered without any packaging on it at all and was extremely dirty and torn! Even Miss G’s stuff wasn’t immune to destruction. Her armoire was delivered with 3 legs although I’m quite positive it had 4 when it left Arizona! Now how the hell is it supposed to stand?

How does this happen?

Come on, seriously? Is it that hard to move people’s belongings without decimating it all, or at least the valuable stuff? I’m certainly glad we took out extra insurance on all of our things. At rough-estimate calculations, we have totalled up just over €15,000 ($21,300 USD) in damages…YIKES, WTH?!? Now comes the agonizing part…we have to fight with the insurance company about the value of things. For the most part, it should be already quantified in a spreadsheet the shipping company required us to fill out with values on everything being shipped prior to packing. BUT…we all know how insurance companies work; get screwed paying high premiums and get even more screwed when trying to make a claim to replace your damaged possessions! So…we’ll see how many rounds this fight is going to go! We’re not giving up easy so they best be ready for a brawl! (Can somebody pass the “foil”?)

On top of these incurred damages, a few items just never showed up! (They must have jumped off the pier in Italy!) Four items, in fact…

  • the 4 slats to our bed that hold the boxspring & mattress in place. (Ummm, kind of need these!)
  • a 6-ft step ladder
  • a 24-ft extension ladder
  • 15lb bag of cat food

Seems like a odd combination to go missing, do you think? Yeah, that’s what I thought too! Anyway, again, that’s what insurance is for.

A tip from me to you…and a valuable lesson learned…(especially for our eventual move back to the US)…make sure your have the moving company wrap anything that is valuable 3 to 4 times as well, make them triple pad the corners of everything! This would have saved a lot of our wooden furniture from extensive damage.

Au revoir!

31st May
written by bob

A couple of weeks ago I had to fly to Los Angeles, CA to apply for and pick up my French visa! Long trip you say? It definitely was – 15hrs of flying on the way there and 24hrs traveling back (with 8hr time change included)! Yep…LOOOOONG trip although British Airways definitely made it a lot more confortable in Economy Plus class! Ooooh…I wracked up some serious air miles on this trip too! Cha-CHING! Thanks BA!

A view from the sky.

Seems a bit odd that I would have to fly from Nice to LA when I’m already in France, right? Well…like a lot of the long, paper processing routines here in France in order to obtain a French visa, you have to go to the nearest Consulate to your home address. Yep…since we don’t legally “live” in France yet, my home is still Arizona and the closest French Consulate is in LA. And, thus, explains the trip.

Before anyone gets all “bent” on the fact that I had my iPhone “on” during take-off & landing in the plane, let me first say that this isn’t something that I normally do when flying. Ever! I abide by the rule of the air always and turn my phone completely off when the Captain requests that passengers do so. However, this time I decided that I was going to photo document my trip and made sure I put my phone in “Airplane Mode” so as not to receive any form of communication (text, calls, whatever).

As always…enjoy the slideshow and I will see you soon!

Au revoir, mon ami!

Full-sized pics (with captions) can be found here. Trip pics

15th May
written by bob

From a couple of posts ago, we have a good news UPDATE!

On 05MAY the painters arrived to correct the lead issues with the old paint in the apartment.  Basically, all they need to do is sand down the areas where the lead levels are excessive and then re-paint those areas.  Initially we were told that we could move all of our stuff into the apartment and the painters would just work around them.  That did not sound like a great idea and we opted not to move things in, for a couple of reasons:

  1. We were afraid that the painter would not take the proper care to protect our things.
  2. We sent a registered letter from the lawyer stating that we would like all of our rent money back on the basis that the apartment is uninhabitable since we signed the lease on 15FEB.

The electrician also came 05MAY to correct a few faults in wiring; the important one being the ‘tester’ switch on the electrical panel box.  Definitely, not a good thing to have that broken but at least it’s fixed now!

The week of 02MAY-06MAY, Katherine was back in Los Angeles taking care of obtaining French visas for her and Guilliana.  We were informed that the painters would be finished by next Friday, 12MAY, so great – no problem!  Even though I was back in Los Angeles that week, it was news we were glad to hear.  On 13MAY the lead inspector was to re-test all newly painted areas to be sure they passed the audit inspection.

On Friday 13 May we were given a verbal “OKAY” that everything was good and we could proceed to have all of our stuff moved in on 16MAY.  On Saturday, 14MAY, we were informed that the painters were not quite finished and that they only needed to finish the 16ft shutters (all 8 pairs).  Also, cleaners were scheduled to show up on Saturday and professionally clean the entire apartment since there was lead dust everywhere in the place!

Well, since the painters were not finished the cleaners decided that there was no way they could clean the place with them there.  The abruptly packed their supplies back up and left.  Our relocation company called us to inform us of these events and that the place may not get cleaned until Monday.  Ummmm, well…that can’t happen and the place NEEDED to be cleaned prior to Monday since this past Friday was the last chance to re-schedule the delivery of our furniture and things for another day.  The relocation company was able to get a hold of the cleaners and have them guarantee that they would show up Sunday to clean the entire apartment.  At 9am this morning we walked up to the apartment to check on it and see how the cleaning was going.  The cleaners were still there and had all the heavy duty cleaning equipment with them.  That put us at easy to see that it was REALLY being professionally cleaned. 

The painters finished “officially” on Saturday. We dropped in on the apartment later that afternoon to check on the job the painters had done. For the most part, they did a pretty good job however we had a couple of things in the apartment that we had purchased secondhand; a white chair/ottoman and a rug. Remember, the concerns we mentioned above? Well…we are soooo glad we didn’t move things in. With 2 items in the entire apartment, our chair/ottoman padding is no longer white. They have some nice big black dust stains on them now! How nice! Oh…and our rug (black, red, grey, yellow) – yeah, there’s white paint on it! UMMMM SERIOUSLY? They covered the floors to make sure paint didn’t get on that BUT couldn’t cover the 2 things of our in the apartment!

Well, the movers are coming tomorrow, 16MAY, to deliver all of our stuff FINALLY!  Well, at least that is the plan so we’ll see if everything pans out.

Katherine and I will be at the apartment tomorrow to meet the movers at 9am.  We are hopeful that France will finally start feeling like home.


Keep your fingers crossed!