Sunday, May 22, 2011

La France! Our new home in bloom.

Wow, what a whirlwind life it's been for the past 24 hours.....It feels like I stepped through a time warp into sleeping beauty's garden, or perhaps Alice in Wonderland is more fitting. Our place is amazing.  We live in Sessinet-Pariset at the foothills of the magnificent Alps mountain range and on the outskirts of Grenoble.  Our house is in a very classic and secluded French cul de sac, and the property consists of a beautiful park full of fruit trees, meadows, a garden, and plenty of sweet smelling rose hedges.  I've also noticed a plethora of herbs including lavender and rosemary (of course).  Few of my favorite features include the cobble stones around the house, the rose trellis archways, the pond and the stream in front of our house, the Japanese creeper on the exterior walls, and finally the pink window shutters.  I must admit that Jakub chose a really nice place and I'm happy with it.  The interior is roomy enough and some of the views from our windows can be seen in the photo album.  We also have a fire place and our landlord/s are a super nice older couple.  I already had the opportunity to talk in French with somewhat of a success, but it will definitely take some getting used to.

My first impression of the actual city though were not as good as of our house.  The city felt hot, sticky, smoggy, dirty and industrial.  Apparently the old part of the city is much more appealing, which is still left for me to discover.

The last two days were full of hard work as we had to furnish our bare interior.  Since Jakub is indisposed due to his collarbone incident, he can't obviously lift or carry anything.   Our first day consisted of getting up at 2am in Brno (practically no sleep that night), then heading to the Prague airport for a 8:30AM flight and finally stopping at the hospital for Jakub's checkup in Grenoble. Good news - he won't need surgery.  We then drove to our new home that needed cleaning and furnishing. While Jakub hung out with the kids, his mom and I headed to Ikea – a rather memorable experience. Being completely sleep deprived in a foreign Ikea store proved to be entertaining and challenging at the same time. During the 5 hour shopping marathon where I had to write down Swedish furniture names, dimensions, colors, product codes, locations, etc. I became more and more confused. By the end, I had to keep asking the info guy where everything was, as the numbers I wrote down did not correspond and my basic French deteriorated as fatigue kicked in.  I was ready to just go home and sleep, but my mother-in-law (Šárka) was persistent and kept asking me how many pillows I want, and which type of wine glasses we need – by that point I did not care. We finally came out of the store with two full carts ready to collapse and have some cheap wine (around 3 Euros for a bottle!!). When Šárka went past our car looking for her own car, I broke down in laughter and couldn't even load the furniture...  The next day we had to assemble everything and mop the floor...more work still awaits us.

Today we went for a little hike with the kids but it looks like they are out of shape. They will definitely need to get used to the hiking uphill. We just went a few kilometers up le Moucherotte and then for an ice cream stop. Today was also my first time getting back into driving a standard; all I can say is that I'm exhausted and feel like I need a lot of practice before I head downtown or anywhere congested.....

PS. the cheese and wine is cheap and so good!

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