Archive for October, 2011

22nd October
written by bob

Two weeks ago on “holidays” (vacation for you North Americans), we were on our pre-flight departure to Rome where Miss G and I were having a discussion. She is at that age now where she is repeating everything mommy, daddy, and her Nounou say. (Well…looks like daddy better start paying CLOSE attention to what comes out of his mouth!)

G’s vocabulary is quite extensive now in both English & French. I will go so far as to say that Miss G understands way more French than daddy & I was taught French in school. (Good for G, sad for daddy!) In the video, it started out where I was trying to teach her how to say “OK” and after a couple of attempts to get the pronunciation right, I just decided to go with the flow…here is the end result and Miss G’s interpretation of “OK”.

Stay tuned for our Rome blog with amazing pics!

Au revoir, mes amis!

6th October
written by bob

It truly is a sad day. Now living in France, I went to sleep last night and woke up this “grand” French morning to learn of Steve Job’s passing. Today did not starting out so “grand”.

Today’s, or yesterday’s, news reminds me of a conversation Katherine and I had in the not-so-distant past. Recently, a leader of the Canadian NDP political party, Jack Layton, resigned abruptly. Sadly within a month, he lost his battle with cancer. When Steve Jobs resigned from Apple, it felt eerily the same, like déjà vu. I remember saying to Katherine that this sounds all too familiar of Jack Layton’s story. I prayed the outcome would be different despite knowing Mr. Jobs past battling his health issues.

Image courtesy of Jonathan Mak (

When Steve Jobs resigned from Apple, a few things really started to hit home although one in particular really stuck out. You see, Katherine and I now have a beautiful, one & a half year old daughter. She is the light of our lives and we love her to death! We hope that she will always have both of us around her for the majority of her life and, as long as we can control that, we will be.

I guess what I’m really getting at is the fact that when you really think about it, money isn’t everything in the world. Steve Jobs was incredibly successful to the point money wasn’t an issue. Sure, it can buy a person a few more years however, in the end, money cannot buy health. So if you are fortunate enough to live a long & healthy life, you are already rich beyond your imagination! Good health is the wealthiest thing you can be blessed with.

To Mr. Steve Jobs – thank you for being the visionary you were. You changed our world as we know it and have inspired many others to “think differently”. You were one of a kind. And…in classic Steve Jobs’ fashion, “Oh, and one more thing…”

Au revoir, mes amis.

2nd October
written by bob

We have been meaning to write a post on this for quite some time now. Back in March, we configured our site to use Google Analytics and we have watched the site’s metrics/statistics very closely since then. Eight months later, we’re fascinated by the information we are seeing from the regular/first time visitors.

Thank you

Our personal "Thank you" to all our visitors!

Almost 40% of visitors find us directly and read our site with some sort of regularity. Judging from the search engines: Google, Bing, and Facebook, about 47% of site visitors find us through these channels. However, more interesting that the actual numbers here are the specific “search” terms that lead people to our site. We can understand some of them and why our site gets listed in the result set but others, we never would have guessed!

For instance, the “Top 5″ search terms (in order) that bring people to our site are:

1. interdean shipping
2. the little nell wedding deck
4. cathy kaveka hotel
5. getting married on top of aspen mountain

Some other interesting searches that have lead visitors to our site include:

1. dinner on “a sandbar” honeymoon
2. living abroad wth a job transfer
3. countries where you can get hulu
4. french law apartment uninhabitable
5. get married on top of aspen mountain
6. tempe town lake and running
7. juice box with a monkey on it
8. where to find prostitutes in antibes ( <- our personal fav)

Another intriguing facet that leads visitors to our site is the locations from which they come. As of October 2011, we now see people have come from 197 cities comprised from 28 different countries! That is amazing! Most of our visitors are friends and family keeping up with us from our home countries of the United States & Canada. It also now looks like we have picked up quite the following from France! However, we now have new regular visitors from Brazil, Australia, Singapore, Netherlands, Ireland, Malta, Sweden, Taiwan, and so many more. As each month passes, we are starting to see more and more regular visitors and we welcome you all. We hope you enjoy what you read and that we can at least entertain you for a small portion of your day. Also remember…regardless of the reason you find our site, feel free to contact us if you have any questions regarding our experiences that you may benefit from should find yourself on a similar path.

Lastly, as of this weekend, we have made a new commitment to you all and that is…to write at least one blog per week. Feel free to hold us to it if we don’t hold up our end of the bargain. ;)

To everyone that visits, whether you follow our adventure regularly or you are looking for information from our experiences, we say “Thank you”!

Au revoir, mes amis!

2nd October
written by katherine

More observations of things that are quite different about France
None of your debits are taken out of your account until the 5th of the next month! If I make a 3000€ debit card purchase on the 26th of October, it doesn’t get taken out of my account until the 5th of December! Crazy!!
You don’t have payroll tax automatically deducted from your paycheck! Your employer is not responsible for “withholding” your taxes due, you are! You can pay in one lump sum at the end of the year in June or you can pay a monthly estimated tax (like most businesses in the U.S. do).
You can drive a scooter or any motorcycle that is under 125ccs with only 7 hours of instruction at any age starting at 17. The 7 hours of instruction was only mandatory starting in January 2011. You cannot drive a car until you are 18.
I don’t know about you, but I would sure as hell rather my inexperienced young driver begin learning in something that has 4 doors, a roof, seatbelts and airbags rather than a death rocket! Most people wear their helmets (it’s a law); however, that is the end of the safety gear. I routinely see people wearing shorts, flip flips and often shirtless. Also, you will see numerous instances of tiny, tiny little people riding on the back of motorcycles and mopeds…I’m talking kids under 5, holding on for dear life. I say a little prayer every time I see this that those innocent little ones stay safe in spite of their parents’ complete idiocy.
Out & About…
Tips are included; along with taxes & everything else in the prices of everything you see…clothes, food in restaurants, etc. The tips are forcibly split so you should still give a little extra to your server if you’ve received a little extra.
Eggs and milk are NOT REFRIGERATED!! Well, you can buy refrigerated milk, but it’s not common, it’s called lait frais, i.e. “fresh milk”…um…versus what exactly? The unrefrigerated eggs freak me the hell out. I already have serious issues with eating eggs so having to pick up warm, sitting on the grocery shelf eggs, regardless of if they are bio (Organic) and pleine air (free range) still gives me the willies and I find it nearly impossible to eat eggs here.
There’s no such thing as bacon…I know, let that sink in for a second….There is plenty of stuff CALLED bacon, but we as North Americans would not recognize it as such. I even got some “rashers” from the English food store here and although it was close…still not bacon. I realize that you will not feel sorry for me because of this, but it really is quite a difficult loss…everything tastes better with bacon!

2nd October
written by katherine

Hi everyone, it’s been a while since I’ve written anything, and not because I didn’t want to and definitely not because I didn’t have anything to say!

I have found WordPress a bit tedious and to be honest, I didn’t even know my username and password. I had no idea how to upload photos and really…with all of this moving around the world and having a very active kiddo, I let my microposts to Facebook do most of the talking.
So, now I have committed to writing a whole lot more and you, my adoring public, will have to let me know if you like it or not!

So, my thought of the day, “food”. Well, it’s kind of a thought every day, but you know what I am getting at…
“”Knowing how to cook might not keep you from being overweight,” he says, “but it will keep you from being obese.””

My friend Tina posted a link to a challenge to not eat any processed food for the month of October. I jokingly told her that I couldn’t “play” because it wouldn’t be fair to the North Americans, considering that I live in the South of France. All joking aside, I think that this is a really interesting and critical conversation that we Americans should start having. Here’s a link to the site and the challenge:

Questions to ask yourself and ponder…

What are we eating…and why? Who controls our food sources? Does someone other than your neighborhood small farmer stand to gain from our gluttony?

Did YOU eat some of the stuff that your kids are consistently putting into their little bodies?

I grew up on a small (20 acre) farm in Minnesota where we raised our own Hereford beef cattle, chickens and had about a 1 acre garden. The first time I had McDonald’s I must have been about 12 or 13…and I thought it was disgusting!

Is it really more convenient or cheaper to eat the processed foods on the shelves?

Interesting article and apropos considering where I live, “The French are getting fatter too”:

“Nearly 14 percent of the French adult population is now obese, compared with 8 percent just 10 years ago.”
I must say…I live in a place that is full of tourists from all over the world during the summer months and you can still tell who is French and who is not, based on the girth of their backside…

1st October
written by bob

Wordle. What? You don’t know what that is or what it means? Come on, have you been living under a rock? Don’t worry…so have we.

I did a little time killing today and stumbled back upon something I had tried out quite some time ago…Wordle. It’s a website for generating “word clouds” from text that you provide. You can provide text in a couple of different ways. For us, I provided our website and our “wordle” was generated from that. It’s interesting and a time killer (or waster depending on your perspective) especially since I had nothing serious planned while G-Monkey is napping.

Our Wordle.

Well…Miss G is up so it’s time for an afternoon snack and a walk to the park at the ocean for some playtime! (This is just one of the benefits of living on the Mediterranean Sea!)

Au revoir, mes amis!