A quick pic sur la route. Notice the neon sign for brocante market.
We arrived on a Friday night and by Monday morning seemed no more adjusted to the time than when we first landed. Saturday and Sunday were spent figuring out a few basics, grocery store, swimming pool, a visit to the center of town. We spent some time in the park and watched and then listened as thunder and lightning filled the Sunday skies, trying not to think about the sunny hot weather we left at home.
No sleep the night before our Monday visit to the kids' new school where they were greeted by the director of admissions, tested, interviewed and given a tour of their respective buildings. Smaller than Garfield for sure and closer quarters than originally thought. Friendly staff and students, the PE coach spotted Nico from a far and quickly grilled him with questions of who he was and what sports he plays. A good intro for sure. All eyes, middle school and 5th graders, were checking our family out during the tour, looking for the new kid for their grade. A very welcoming place where the school kids just don't look so different from home.
Signing up for after school activities, joining clubs and language classes are still to happen. Figuring out cell phones, home phones, internet, television and all the other parts of our life left behind is adequately challenging in French and normally time consuming, although here we have lots of good help from those who have conquered before us.
A quick trip to the post office settled much of this for us, I think the more challenging part was the driving to get there. Jorrit is quickly confident about where he is going and how he can get there. I feel like I am continually driving on one way streets and today had a good laugh as I drove with the kids to buy athletic gear for school and came upon my best friend on the highways and byways of Europe -- the roundabout. Very handy inventions for people like me who are directionally challenged and new to the area. It is all about buying time. Encountering the roundabout and just riding it around and around allows you and your navigator to really decide where it is you need or want to go. Nico and Gabriel are thankfully great navigators so the roundabout may be less frequently ridden but it may also be time to get the TomTom or GPS system in the car.
We sit in our hotel room that serves as our temporary housing, living out of our suitcases and looking forward to unpacking and truly getting comfortable. Moving is hard. It takes time and a really good attitude. There have been moments, even in 5 days time, when I fear the path we have chosen and then moments where I feel so incredibly jubilant about it. To see our kids embracing this adventure and being open in so many ways is inspirational and fills us with pride. This is not to say there won't be bumps along the way, those are sure to come, but it seems we are off to a good start.