Feb 022016

I found this in the “drafts” section. It was written around 2011/2012 before we moved.

I don’t have a lot of acquaintances, but the ones I do have asked me about why and how I will be moving to France.

Why are you moving to France?

Aaron: I lived there in 2003 for about a year and made some friends there. Since that time I’ve always wanted to live there. Since then I’ve gotten married, had two kids, and finished my Master’s but I’ve basically always had this plan.

How long will you be there?

As long as it takes! I guess. We don’t have a set amount of time to return to the States, so “forever” is the official answer.

So you found a job?

Aaron: Yes. Finding a job as a technically skilled worker was “not difficult,” I would say. You do have to speak french well enough to get through the interviews of course. I will work for GFI, apparently as a consultant about 40% of the time and on in-house projects about 60% of the time.

Will you get a car?

Maybe. The plan is to NOT get a car, but since I’ll be handed out to work on projects for various companies at different locations it may be necessary. The public transportation system is quite good over there though, so we’ll see.

Where will you live?

In Aix-en-Provence in the south. It’s where I stayed in 2003 and it’s a great city.

Are you going to buy a house?

We don’t have enough money to just buy houses in other countries. We will save up though and see what happens. There are very few houses in the center of town where we’d like to live anyway.

But what will you do in France?

Aaron: This is one of those “I don’t get it” questions that I get sometimes. I will go to work, come home, spend time with my family, and everything else normal people do. Just because it’s a different country doesn’t mean I’m retiring or ending my productive life.

Jen: The same things I do here. I will take care of the kids, take care of my husband, take care of our home, and whatever else I need to do. After that I will figure something out. There isn’t really an answer for “what will you do” here in the States, so there isn’t a real answer for that in France.

What about your kids?

They will be fine. They’re not the first kids to speak two languages. We can all think of some other examples. 🙂

What about your dog?

He will be fine. He’s not the first dog to speak two languages. He’s coming with us of course! There’s no quarantine when going from the States to France. Quarantines tend to be only for islands like Britain and Hawaii.

Will you visit the States?

Yes. Probably at least yearly, although we haven’t decided what time of year yet. There are advantages to coming during a warmer time of year when outside activities (besides skiing) can still be enjoyable. We have Ohio to visit for Jen’s family and Colorado to visit for Jen’s and my family.

Can I come stay with you (for free)?

If we’ve said to you “you should come visit us,” then yes. Otherwise, no. In other words, if you were invited then yes, otherwise no.

What will you miss the most?

Aaron: Probably Chipotle and watching my mother and daughter play together.

Jen: Besides my friends and family, Starbucks.

What will you love the most?

Aaron: I will love raising my children in a place where salads are served in schools, where there is a minimum of 21 days vacation a year, and where the work week is 35 hours instead of 40 without a huge fuss. We also plan on trying to absorb some of the better assumptions and prejudices that Americans have about the French, such as there being less consumerism there and having a general love for life and personal enjoyment instead of a love for work and money. Plus it’ll be fun and a challenge.

Jul 312014

Yesterday we had a great time visiting parc de Saint-Pons in Gémenos. You can click here for a link to the city’s website about the park.


The kiddos and I showed up at about 10:30am and were met with a sign at the entrance saying that the park was closed due to weather or the risk of fires. We decided to head inside anyway since there were already a bunch of other cars there. It turns out that the lower portion of the park was open but the upper portion was closed since it was such a windy day.

We had a great time exploring the creek in the lower portion of the park and even found an interesting little bug while waiting for Aaron to join us for lunch.



After lunch we headed back to the creek for some more exploring. This time we took off our shoes and hiked through the water all the way to the point at which the park was closed.

Such a fun day! We can’t wait to go back and explore the upper portion of the park! I have it on good authority that it’s even more beautiful with waterfalls, more woody areas and even an abbey. 🙂

 Posted by at 5:51 pm
Aug 192012

We had a busy week! We took care of some paperwork with the social security office here in Aix and got a brand new fridge!

Wednesday was a holiday here in France (August 15th The Assumption of Mary) so Aaron had the day off. We decided to head to the beach! So far our favorite sandy beach near Aix is Sainte Croix. It is a really nice beach near Sausset les Pins. There are lots of steps to reach the beach from the cliff top but it is a good size and we were even able to score some shade for most of the morning and early afternoon. We had a great time!

Thursday we headed to La Torse, a really nice big park in Aix. We had a fun time playing and picnicking there with some friends. Little Miss and Little Man are becoming great friends! I love to watch them run around together playing!

It has been getting really hot in Aix so we went to an indoor play area called Urban Kids on Friday. The kids really liked going down the slide together and eating their hot dogs and fries for lunch 🙂

We headed back to the beach on Saturday. This time to a small beach in La Ciotat named Le Mugel. This beach is rocky and much less busy than the sandy beaches nearby. The water is clear and calm and many people snorkel near the rocky cliffs on either side. The kids had a terrific time here. They both were able to float along as Aaron and I pulled them out into deeper water to “swim” and check out the little crabs on the rocks. Another great day!

After our busy week we stayed home on Sunday. The kids got a little stir crazy in the afternoon so I made them a little activity to keep them busy for a bit. I got this idea courtesy of Pinterest 🙂 Pour some baking soda into a shallow pan, mix up some colored vinegar, add a dropper and let the fun begin! The kids loved this. It only kept them busy for about 20 minutes or so. I think that I will give them a bigger pan of baking soda next time 🙂
Jul 072012

Stuff to do With Kids

  • Visit the Palais des Papes (Popes Palace) (no strollers, museum)
  • Do the touristy train ride
  • Walk around the town (there is a carousel)
  • Visit one of the various parks

Stuff to do With Adults

Avignon is a beautiful city which still has its old wall around the outside. When you visit the bridge (le pont) you can walk along a bit of the wall. I highly suggest the tourist train to take in the beauty of the city.