May begins with a cold, but ends with a trip

So I had my last night of baby-sitting and my last English lesson in Annecy this past week, and two days later, I was suddenly sick with a stupid cold. And then I was outside for 10 hours – in the sun, then wind, then cold – at a barbecue on Saturday, which I’m sure really helped my immune system. Needless to say I’ve done nothing for the past 2 days, even though I had planned on finally answering e-mails and working on my site. But tomorrow starts the apartment search in Chambéry at 9:30 AM! We’re looking at a 2 bedroom apartment in the north of Chambéry that is surrounded by a forest. It’s a bit far from the university (I’ll have to drive or take two buses) but it’s worth it to have some espaces verts!

I’m exhausted, but haven’t been able to sleep much. Instead, I’ve been trying to finalize the itinerary for my trip to the south in a few weeks. There are so many villages and towns I want to see. We’re starting in Milan and taking the train to Nice, then picking up the rental car, and staying in Aix-en-Provence and Montpellier. On the list are: Monaco, Cannes, Les Baux de Provence, Nîmes, Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer, Béziers, Carcassonne, Perpignan, and possibly Toulouse. I’m sure there are other little towns that we’ll come across along the way too. Maybe we’ll head up to my beloved Vaucluse or even down to the Spanish border. Any recommendations of other places to see along the Côte-d’Azur or in Languedoc-Roussillon? Menton, Toulon, Sète, Cerbère?

And on a somewhat related topic, know anyone in Chambéry who wants to cat-sit for me?

Bonne Fête du Travail !

Or Labor Day. Or May Day. Or Day of Protest. Or Lily-of-the-Valley Day. Or go to the movies day. Or yet another excuse for a long weekend day.

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Do As the French Do (but without the mistakes)

Which city was the capital of Roman and Christian Gaul? a. Nice   b. Arles   c. Marseille The correct answer is, of course, LYON. But Ross Steele’s When in France, Do as the French Do claims the answer is c. Marseille, even though page 92 clearly states “Lyon, where the Rhône and Saône rivers meet, was […]

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Semester is over and vacation is here. But why am I still so stressed?

I finished my last class of the semester on Monday and I am now on vacation. Technically I don’t work my regular contract hours again until mid-September when the next school year begins. Though I am working extra hours in June at a conference and proctoring the make-up exams for the other English lectrice who […]

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Convenience comes to France in the form of Auchan Drive

I often complain about the lack of convenience in France because I really miss services designed to make your life easier, which seem to be available everywhere in the US (except public transportation…)  We have drive-thru windows not only at fast food places, but also at banks and pharmacies. Some stores stay open 24 hours […]

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Finally! We’re moving to: CHAMBERY!!!

After months of waiting and worrying, we finally know where we will be for the next 3 years. David found out today that he got placed in Chambéry! I am very excited as of course this means we don’t have to live apart next year. Now we can finally start looking for an apartment and […]

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The Punta Cana Post

The Dominican Republic was lovely. We had sun everyday except for the wedding when it rained a little. But as they say in Spanish boda lluviosa, boda dichosa – and in French as well, mariage pluvieux, mariage heureux – a rainy wedding is a happy wedding. So first, let me say ¡Felicidades! and Félicitations ! […]

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Back from the Dominican Republic, and back to work

We have made it back to France safely from my brother’s wedding in the Dominican Republic. I will make a real post soon as I am too exhausted to type right now. It’s back to work tomorrow so I’m off to bed. Palm trees on the beach in Punta Cana

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Off to the Dominican Republic

Bye! Be back Monday night!

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Les Jardins Secrets de Vaulx

About 30 years ago, a couple (Nicole & Alain) decided to buy and renovate an old, dilapidated farm in the countryside of Vaulx, around 20 km from Annecy. This is what it looks like now. Each grandchild even has their own fountain dedicated to them.  Coolest grandparents ever! Les Jardins Secrets is open everyday (even […]

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Why is Jennie no longer in France?

I created this blog in September 2006 when I moved to France from Michigan to teach English. Many of the earlier posts are about my personal life in France, dealing with culture shock, traveling in Europe and becoming fluent in French. In January 2010, I started focusing more on teaching and learning languages in general. In July 2011, I relocated to Australia to start my PhD in Applied Linguistics. Although I am no longer living in France, my research is on foreign language pedagogy and I teach French at the university so these themes appear most often on the blog. I also continue to post about traveling (though now my trips are usually in Australia) and being an American abroad.

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