In the cold of winter, on the east coast of Canada, on the morning of January 20, 2010, with a snow storm raging outside and a temperature of minus 20 celcius, I bundled up our three dogs and two cats, with my two suitcases in a rental van and drove 2.5 hours from Grand Barachois, to Halifax International Airport.
As we left our sleepy french acadien village, I took the leftover blankets we had been camping in our home with (our container had been packed and shipped in November of 2009) and crawled into the backyard of a women who kept her dog outdoors, all year round, and left them with him in a house donated by kindly neighbours. He didn’t say a peep, bless him, as he must have known she wouldn’t like my visit, or the gift. We drove on, it was 0330.
One by one, a large dog, and a cat, were placed in the hold of a plane headed to Montreal – one each flight, which left me with the bulldog for the last flight of the day, the one that would continue, for me, onward to Paris, and then to Bordeaux. I had brought someone with me, as my husband works at sea for long periods, and she spoke french and insisted she would be helpful. First lesson…when people ask if I know what I am doing taking so and so with me….ask them what their concerns were? This first choice, on my part, turned into a drama that resulted in a visit to Orange (for our telephone bill) and finally the gendarmes…but I get ahead of myself…
We arrived on the morning of January 21, 2010 to a temperature of 15C and after leaving the cold and snow of the east coast of Canada, I couldn’t believe how GREAT this new life was going to be!
The first thing that absolutely made my day was: I had arrived during the legislated sale dates and, better yet, Ikea was having a sale! This NEVER happens in Canada! So, armed with my budget to fill a house with furniture (we came with books, clothes and gym gear and not one piece of electrical item or furniture), off I went.
We had done as most people do when researching where to live: we rented a place for a year, to give us time to suss out the location of our forever home.
I had visions in my head of open air, open french doors, great fresh food, light rose wines, lots of time and space to bicycle, run (ok ok jog, I am too slow to be considered a runner),and do my yoga and fitness. I was going to blossom into a healthy, fit, older woman, and find that balance that eluded me in North America.
This blog is intended to bring you along with me on this transitional road in life because this was: a fork in the road. A conscious, much discussed choice, between my husband and myself, to begin a new life in Europe where we would be surrounded by beautiful scenery, centuries of history, and wonderful people.