Wednesday, January 5, 2011

My French Manoir...

I'm here! It was a really silly and comedic trek through England and France today with my giant rolly bag. I only had one but it is not exactly conducive (as proven by Courtney's and my trip to Amsterdam) to stairs. The Paris Metro (that's metr-A for Natalie) does not have any escalators and it was a constant upstairs/downstairs trek to get from the Gare du Nord where I arrived from London to the Gare de Montparnasse where I got my French train to Dol. And, lugging a giant bag up and down the train stairs with a gap between the train and the platform is always a bit sketchy. It gives ''mind the gap'' a whole new meaning!!

(Note: My brain is working OVERTIME to speak French and I keep almost typing the words in French- I forgot how exhausting it is to try to speak in another language all the time and I've only been here a few hours! If you want to have conversations in the present tense or the immediate past tense...I'm your gal, but other than that...I'm like a chimp!)

Besides the giant bag, the trip was fine and I really like traveling by train. I just can't get over how cool it is that you can take a train under the English Channel between London and Paris. The Louaisil Family met me at the train station in Dol and they are totally cute. The boys are named Steven (12) and Leo (9) and they are really excited to have me here and are showing me everything in their rooms. They have two really sweet kitties, a little ragamuffin-looks like a mop- dog named Biscuit, and the two ponies...Apache and Madonna. They also have six chickens but apparently it is too cold for them to do much egg-laying at the moment.

They have a mini-van and it was extremely weird to sit on the right side as the passenger. I kept internally freaking out that they were turning down the wrong side of the road. I realize that I just went to France recently, but I didn't ride in a car and I especially didn't ride in the front seat. I think I am used to England...I should have capitalized on that and driven more while I was there...when I get back, I'll have to but by then, I will be used to France again! My friend Nicola can just go back and forth without giving it much thought, I think that it pretty impressive!

So, we drove through the adorable town of Dol, pictures as soon as it is light, I promise...and then up to the house. The house is actually named La Crochardière! The main house is an 18th century manor house and they are in the process of redoing it and then it will be partially their house and partially a bed and breakfast. There is also another smaller house next to the main house, which they offered for me to live in but it seems that it would be a little bit lonely to be there by myself, the boys really wanted me in the main house, and there isn't internet over there, so I was pretty much sold on being in the main house. It is a huge old manor house and I will post pictures ASAP! They have only been living in it since September and spent the summer restoring it, as they have only owned the property since May. Laurent, the dad, has a contracting business and so they are currently working on restoring La Crochardière and all of its outbuildings. When it all gets finished, I highly recommend planning a trip to Dol-de-Bretagne, France. Adorable. Their property is huge and the house is very nicely redone and, in fact, my bathroom is getting a new shower tomorrow. I have my own bathroom attached to my room ('en suite' it is called in England so I assume that would be from the French!) and a large room with a double bed. It is all recently completely redone...still smells of fresh paint!

The boys have school tomorrow and I am going to go with Steff to the grocery store and then my plan is to walk around Dol and La Crochardière and take lots of pictures. Steff liked my idea of having the boys help me create labels for things around the house so I think that might be where we begin our English lessons. Steff and Laurent know some English but none of us speak each other's language well enough to translate "how do I get onto your network?" I do know now that the word for network is réseau but it took like an hour and a few skype calls to their brother-in-law for me to get on the réseau.

I will post more tomorrow when I've taken pictures. I think that the next house I live in, I am just going to name it.

Mon cerveau est cuit....My brain is cooked!

Bonne nuit!


AS said...

It sounds like a dream come true! I can feel you relax already, Lizbeth! Sleep tight...looking forward to your pictures of it all!

Aunt Susie

Patricia said...

Wow, what a beginning. Can't wait to hear about EVERY day. Love, MOm