Life in the sunny sud has been a nice change from the bustling atmosphere of Paris. Although Perpignan is considered une grande ville in the south of France, it is pleasantly small by our standards, and has the perfect balance of necessary amenities — boulangeries, restaurants, cafés with wifi, medieval architecture, bars, etc. We will always have fond memories of Perpignan from our wedding, but in our recent time here, we have been able to discover much more…
We thought this shot of Sammy sunning herself was the perfect representation of life here – 'plein de soleil,' relaxation and time to reflect on life. And if it isn't already obvious, 'le balcon' is one of Sammy's favorite spots in her new home.
There are a couple of spectacular views from the house where we are staying. This one is of the highest mountain peak of the Pyrénées, 'Le Canigou.' On a clear day, you can see it rise just over the roof tops. 'C'est spectaculaire!'
The 'Palais de Majorque' is the view from the other direction of the house. It is a constant reminder of a life that was once lived on these hills in Perpignan.
Heureusement, the kitchen is 'un peu plus grand' than our last, allowing the three of us to cook together in the same room! As well as 'restons là avec une bouteille de vin…'
Our new school, 'ALFMED' (Academie de Langues Françaises Mediterranienne), is housed in an old mansion and has a fraction of the students that our Parisian school did. It has been a great environment for improving our French conversation skills.
I know it looks like Marc has taken a job at a call center… But really he is just practicing his French pronunciation! In addition to our class, we can also use the school's computer lab to practice speaking with a cool computer program. 'C'est formidable!'
Nothing is more 'fantastique' about being in 'le sud' than the natural occurrence of 'les palmiers!' Since they are Mel's favorite tree, she is giddy to be able to stand in their shadows on a daily basis.
You may not realize that the 'Abadie's' are famous in Perpignan… check out the name of this 'rue'! Yeah, we know they added an extra 'b', but 'ça marche!'
We traded in the coiffed gardens of Paris for this slightly more rustic running route. However, we are happy to not only have a path dedicated to runners, but also a view as 'exceptionnel' as this!
We were also lucky enough to be in Perpignan during 'La Fête de la Musique'! This is a national holiday where all over France musicians take to the streets and share their music with their fellow countrymen. Here is a band rocking out at 'Le Castillet' — Marc especially liked this band since they were playing some favorites from his past. 'Vivre la Poison!!!'
Here is another image from 'La Fête de la Musique' in one of our favorite squares downtown. Everyone gets involved in this 'fête', including 'les enfants'.
After being away for nearly 5 months, you start to feel un peu nostalgique about home. The 4th of July has always been a celebration of everything great that l’États-Unis has to offer. We decided to bring a bit of this holiday to France and barbeque with Marc’s aunt on this sunny afternoon in the garden.
'Quelle grille!' Marc was excited to 'man-the-grill' here, but as you can see it's a little different than your standard Weber…
It was definitely a new experience to grill with aged grape vines and an actual 'feu.' This yankee may be a bit out of his league…
The meal turned out great and in true American fashion, there was enough food for at least double. Luckily for us that means leftovers!
Through our experiences here, we’ve found many things that France does better than other parts of the world. However, living abroad also makes you realize all of the great things that your country has to offer as well. We are thankful on this 4th of July to not only be living in France, but to be étrangers living in France… And look forward to returning to notre pays very soon!