Sunday, February 12, 2012

Really? We packed that?

That phrase had been uttered often in the last couple of days. Apparently I was planning on becoming a master baker here in France (though I don’t bake much at home), and thought that we would be throwing lots of parties (how many platters do I really need?)!

Our stuff finally arrived here at our house from the States on Thursday Feb 7th. First the rental company had to come and clear away all our rental stuff (7am – 9:30am), and then the relocation movers came & started unloading onto our front porch/verandah/deck (whatever you call it!). They had to bring 3 smaller trucks as there was no way the big container could fit down our very narrow streets. They would unload 1 truck outside, move all that stuff inside, then repeat the process with the next truck. It all went much more smoothly than I had expected. It only got hectic when they would all approach me asking “where does this go” one after the other. Often I had no idea where anything was to go! 
 Empty family room/dining area after rental stuff gone...
 Empty master bedroom...

I would try to unpack boxes as we went along, focusing on the kitchen area. Getting the kitchen sorted out was my first priority along with getting our King and Queen beds set up so we would have somewhere to sleep that night. S finally made it home from the US around 2:00pm and could start helping out then – felt very good to have someone else with me. I was lucky enough to be able to lean on a couple of friends to get R&C to and from school so we didn’t have to worry about being able to get out of the driveway to get to school!

The 6 guys worked hard and fast as it was freezing cold outside - literally. I felt so bad for them, and for me as the house kept getting colder and colder as many of the doors had to be left open to move things in. But at least I could stand in front of a space heater and try to warm up. Two of the men spoke decent English so we were able to communicate which was good. They were very nice and hard-working – they even shared some of their pizza lunch with me. I should have bought them lunch! I was so distracted, food was the last thing on my mind. At the end of the 1st day, the trucks were mostly empty, our 2 beds were put together and we were surrounded by boxes.
 Family room/dining room full of stuff...
 Master bedroom - at least the bed is there!

Thursday was also La Chandeleur or Crêpe Day here in France. It was originally a religious holiday, but now it is a day to eat crêpes! I can get behind that kind of holiday. You are supposed to make them at home, hold a coin in your writing hand, and flip the crepe in the pan with your other hand (for good fortune) but since our kitchen was full of boxes, it was a great excuse for us to visit one of our local crêperies. I was worried it might be popular due to the holiday, so I picked up the phone and made a reservation for the 4 of us. I was so proud – I spoke all in French, he spoke French back to me, and so it went and I had successfully made a complete phone call in French. Woo hoo! We went to Crêperie La Bonne Humeur near our train station and had a fun and delicious meal.



Friday Feb 8th, the movers showed up at 8:30am to start putting furniture together, unpacking boxes, etc. Man, oh man, we brought waaaaaay too much stuff. We all could barely put things where they were supposed to go as there were too many things in the way. Once the movers got my 2 kitchen hutches in their place, and the kitchen table, I could really go to town determining where on earth I was going to put all our kitchen stuff. Our kitchen is very tiny without much cabinet space, so we have to use the dining area (the hutches) to hold a lot of our stuff. I managed to fit most everything we use more often and sent the “special” items down to the basement. We are lucky that we have a large part of our basement that is actually finished with wardrobes and shelves built into 1 end of the room. There we can store all of our extra stuff – clothes that we don’t need, extra food items, serving platters, etc. The bad news was that out of the 16 pans I shipped over, only 5 will work on the induction cooktop that we have. I really wish I had been told ahead of time that the cooktop required special pans. Now I’ve got useless pans and I need to go buy a couple more. Good news is I need less room in the kitchen for pans!

While I was concentrating on the kitchen, Sean was concentrating on building all the furniture items that we had purchased at Ikea before we left. The relocation company brought the Ikea boxes over on the boat, but wouldn’t put them together since they hadn’t taken them apart. We bought bed frames and nightstands for both girls, a nightstand for me, 4 wardrobes…many French houses & apartments do not have closets, so you have to use wardrobes. One of the bigger bedrooms here actually has a big built-in closet but I decided I’d rather have my bedroom be the one downstairs with the bigger bathroom with walk-in shower. So we needed to buy a bunch of wardrobes to house all our clothes. Can you tell me why on earth I shipped over clothing and shoes that I haven’t worn in years? What was I thinking? I have a feeling I’ll be cleaning out these wardrobes over time…
 Took a break from unpacking to enjoy a beautiful sunset

Our exploring time has been cut short by all this moving-in stuff, but now that we are getting more settled, we’ll be able to be more free to get out there soon…
To keep you going:
video

D

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