In February, while we were in Quillan, we found a place to stay from May through December. So we had semi-permanent roots to put down, but those roots didn't begin in March.
March was still a traveling month.
|The countryside outside London was beautiful and full of long walks with the dogs.|
We stayed in Reigate, outside London. Reigate would probably have been called a yuppie town back in the 80s, but now I believe the Brit Lit would call it a yummy mummy town, and it is filled with mummies with strollers and yoga mats, inevitably carrying a cup of "take away" coffee. There are oodles of good coffee shops, upscale groceries, jewelry stores. It's a delightful place to wander and window shop.
Monty Bojangles was a great place for coffee. They made a mocha by putting actual chocolate truffles in the coffee.
We reveled in speaking English again, but we began to feel that familiar materialism creeping in -- so many things to buy. It felt a lot like living in the U.S.
We also lost one of the dogs on a walk when she ran into a badger hole. After we panicked for several minutes, (us, not the dog), the dachshund re-emerged with her nose smudged by badger dirt. That changed our practices and from then on, we've kept our charge on the leash. We couldn't risk losing a dog down a badger hole.
We traveled to London twice during our stay, once to see shows, Hamilton and Wicked, and once to meet a blogger friend who gave us a whirlwind walking tour.
It was so nice to finally meet Anne who blogs at Anne in Oxfordshire, and we had our first Sunday roast. Apparently, that's a tradition in England. The roast does not have to be beef, like it sounds, but any roasted meat. And it needed to include Yorkshire pudding, which is not pudding at all, but a kind of bread. Who knew?
On another day, we took the train down to Brighton. It's one of those seaside towns I've always heard about, think Ocean City.
|Earl with the ocean behind him.|
|Me and a lobster|
|Some colorful seaside buildings|
We flew from London's Gatwick airport to Nantes, France. After a delicious lunch with our friends Michel and Danuta, we drove to another friend's apartment in Chatelaillon-Plage, south of La Rochelle. It was a gorgeous apartment right on the Atlantic and we got to stay there for the weekend.
After all the dogsitting, it felt so decadent to wander the beaches and the markets on our own schedule. And this opportunity was thanks to a blogging friend too. Maurice and Linda, who blogs at Frenchless in France, became great friends throughout the year, hosting us at their apartment in Paris and at Chatelaillon-Plage.
|Linda doesn't like pictures of herself, but I think this one is good, and of Maurice too.|
|At the Louvre|
|We had hot chocolate and macrons at Laduree|
During the rest of the month, we enjoyed Aix en Provence, explored Marseille and Cassis, barely avoided an international incident in Marseille when I accused a waiter of being racist, and got stuck on a train when we took Najah to depart for Paris. I added the links for those blogposts in case you need more details. France was even more fun when sharing it with someone else we love.
|Here's a picture that Najah took in Isle sur la Sorgue. She claims it looks like a paparazzi shot of Earl.|
Coincidentally, Isle sur la Sorgue is where we saw John Malkovich at an antique shop.
At the end of March, we were well into enjoying our five-week housesit for Delana and her adorable cat Arthur. Finally, we could fall into a rhythm and figure out our French life.