Fréjus, France

Fréjus, France
Aqueduc Romain

Saturday, July 26, 2008

La Vie à Paris

We have been in Paris since Tuesday. Our 4-bedroom, 2-bath apartment is spacious and well-furnished with everything we need. Our landlady, an American ex-patriot with 3 kids has been very nice and helpful, and is now on her way to Corsica for a month. She even set us up with (an expensive) baby-sitter. We have spent the first 4 days acquainting ourselves with our area in the 13th arrondisement (which is charming and not touristy), finding the local markets, metro stops, etc., while also being very much the tourists (see photos). We do a LOT of walking, though we finally got Irie some shoes that don't hurt so her mood has improved, and Irie is loving navigating the Metro. Paris photos

We are also starting to live like the French. Lisa's french is flowing and she obviously deals with the difficult transactions like buying week-long metro passes that require passport-type photos, or purchasing tickets to Vivaldi's Four Seasons at the historic St. Chapelle (we're going on a date Sunday night!). However, I have also been making my way around simple transactions alone like grocery shopping, and yesterday I went to the thrice-weekly market alone. I love these open-air street markets! I was able to ask for a piece of Morbier cheese the size I wanted, a European summer shirt, and all the various fresh veggies needed for ratatouille. I had never made it before, and Lisa said it turned out great. We are already accustomed to the daily rituals of bread, cheese, wine...and nutella!

On the downer side, we went to bed early last night knowing we had to get up and get ourselves out to Charles de Gaulle airport to pick up Maggie. Irie was so excited! We were awoken about 1 am with news that Northwest would not let Maggie on the plane because the vet had forgotten to put a stamp or seal on her USDA papers. This after my parents had taken care of her for a month, and Lisa's mom and sister had taken her 3 hours across the state to Detroit to put her on the plane. From what we understand, they drove all the way back home, are going to get the paperwork fixed, and make that drive all over again today. We feel helpless, burdensome, and reliant on others and want them to know that we are extremely grateful and humbled by their sacrifices!!! Hopefully it will all work out this time. We will miss the final of the Tour de France on the Champs Élysée, but we'd much rather our dog arrives safe and sound.

Meanwhile, our Fréjus landlords, who had already offered to help us get Maggie from CDG, are very understanding. Christine, on the phone this morning was very motherly, spoke slowly to a sleep-deprived Lisa and started using the "tu" form with her. We are going over there for dinner tonight and if Maggie makes it in on Sunday they will help us out then. That is the French way, making contacts and mattering to those with whom you connect.


Athena said...

You all sound so settled in. I love your landlady-she sounds perfect. Rick-good for you French man-very nice. I'm sure Maggie will be so excited to see you all-ok mostly Irie.

Love to you all

M. McKinney said...

I love that you two are taking the time to document your trials and tribulations. It's really the little things that matter. My students are going to love this next year! Thank you!