My Southwest of France

Posted: June 15, 2015 in Travels

Place de la Bourse in Bordeaux

SNCF Toulouse Matabiau to Bordeaux Saint-Jean

Wilson Circle in Toulouse

After what was quite a riveting few weeks in late April with an impromptu trip to Southern California, I truly was exhausted… 😴 but oh so happy to be back in my chosen country. 🇫🇷

These days, my weeks are more and more split between my beloved Bordeaux and Toulouse. 😁 It is fabulous now that my stays in The Pink City no longer require très cher l’hotel… or the ridiculously tedious schlepping of toiletries! I can’t help but laugh to remember my girlfriend in Roma last summer, talking about the sud-ouest de France. Who would have ever thought it could become my home!!? 😍 A mere nine months later… and I can’t imagine myself anywhere else. ❤️

I am accustomed now to the perpetual “bonjour”, “bonne journée” et “au revoir” that exists with even the most brief encounter, and actually find it charming. My pronunciation is improving with the help of gentile French children… who je pense are tolerant because of my blonde hair and American heritage! 😉 It’s kind of cool being the only American they’ve ever met. Though I realise I must improve mon francais. Having thoroughly explored Bordeaux and Aquitaine, Toulouse and Saint-Chamond… we recently ventured even further into Nîmes. ❤️🇫🇷

My French love-affair began the moment I arrived Avignon, back in 2008. I’ll never forget it. Un œuf sur mon salade!!? 😆 Subsequent visits to Paris and Cannes solidified that this love is veritable. Now, my unexpected familiarisation with the sud-ouest feels innate! Sure… I’ve sussed out every ethnic restaurant in the region because despite all the love, my palate cannot seem to acclimate to the canard, fois gras et poisson avec bones. Although I must admit BBQed canard is quite delicious! 😋 I am well-suited for the customs of French friends, charming apéro and all the courses maman de mon compagnon prepares… which is truly incredible. I love the cheese shop within the castle walls of Carcassonne, the Pessac Leognan at Le Leopard d’Or in the middle of nowhere Samazan and the pooping elephant at Arènes de Nîmes! 😜 I get the meaning of all the vocal sounds like “tuk”, “hup” and “pbbbt”, and know how to deliver the perfect hand ‘ooh la la’ up-and-down shaking gesture that means “holy shit” or “yikes” as I can best translate. It is like living in a fairy tale. Cinderella had to have been set in France, however I’d choose the fairy tale I currently live any day of the week! 😃 It is more sincere than I could have ever hoped for and easier than any other time in my past… a dream.💫 It is constantly filled with surprising coincidences and sweet similarities. I am in love with everyday life. I love living in France. 🇫🇷 I love my SNCF week-end carte pass! Plus, I’ve finally discovered the French equivalent to sour cream…

A couple weeks ago in Toulouse, I helped host poker night. 😍 It’s been a long time since I was able to fully embrace my keen hostessing skills. Despite my poker ‘tard list which is currently hostage in Jersey storage, I actually played well too. Jimmy would be so proud! ♥️♣️♦️♠️ Trying to fit into my new français world, I was taught the quintessential French card game of Belote! Ummm… it’s just slightly complicated 😳 and of course that had nothing to do with the beer, wine and whiskey.🍷

As my French life continues to settle, happiness seems effervescent! My ‘nesting’ in Toulouse is affectionately welcomed, I am consistently surprised with incredible ideas, and am using our machine de séchage et lave-vaisselle with fluency! ☺️ Believe it or not, the incredibly satisfying spontaneous, positive and fun life I’ve built hasn’t really changed much. It just happens to be in France and accompanied by the most amazing equal a person could ever imagine. 😍 I’ve always wanted to spend Bastille Day in Paris… and merci to the kindness of my Frenchman and Le Meurice that dream is a reality in 2015. With an ever-increasing craving for Manhattan, I was offered a logical 10-day fling just after Paris. Look out New York: HERE WE COME! Imagining all the amazing randomness that awaits us is almost too exciting to contain. Fortunately between then and now we have a friend from Loire visiting, Season 4 de Homeland en français, and a 4th of July pendaison de crémaillère to host. 🇺🇸❤️🇫🇷

As happy as it all is… my heart goes out to Ventura remembering eight years of happy memories with a very sweet and beautiful ‘damn dog’. 😘

Fromage et vin in Carcassonne

Arenes de Nimes

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