Meet The Family

Welcome to a new kind of travel and lifestyle site for anyone who Has ever dreamed about living in france. Did you already read the about page?

Meet The Family Who Moved To France From The US For A Year:

We are a blended family of five. Blake and I have a daughter together who is now 7 and I have two boys from a previous marriage. Blake has raised my boys since they were 5 and 7 years old. Between the five of us, we have three different last names. To make matters worse, my son’s first name is my maiden name which makes some customs officers scratch their head.

We moved to France (temporarily) because we thought it would not only be a wonderful experience for our kids and family but also for our freelance careers. Life isn’t perfect in France. It has it’s own set of challenges just like anywhere but we make the best of it because we know one day we will return to North America. Besides, it’s France. We get to eat cheese and the best baguettes in the world then wash it all down with wine and champagne.

The Parents

My name is Annie André and my husband’s name is Blake Elder. We met while working for the same company in silicon valley California. Blake was the director of software QA and I worked as a database marketing analyst and web traffic optimizer. Blake and I are complete opposites on a lot of fronts but we have the same belief system which I think has been the key to our marriage. That and we both are foodies.

Blake and I having champagne in La Garde France.

 Meet the kids

All three of my children were born in Mountain view California. My boys spoke no French when we first came to France but now speak fluently. I always regretted the fact that I did not speak French to my boys when they were younger so when Catherine was born, I spoke only French. (Blake and the boys spoke English to her. When we arrived in France, she had no trouble jumping in and is now completely bilingual. Meaning she has two first languages, French and English.  All three of my children have had their ups and downs with living in France. It was hard at first, not only did we move but we moved to another country with different customs, holidays, foods etc. I am so proud of all my children and think the world of them despite all the temper tantrums. I won’t name any names.

all three of our children


 Catherine is the baby of the family. Just don’t let her hear you call her baby. Despite being the youngest, she has an old soul. She cries during sad movies and is an extremely empathetic young lady. She always shares with others the thing she loves the most; her desert. Her two older brothers absolutely adore her which to me is a wonderful thing. Often times older brothers can be cruel to the younger ones.  Catherine has lived in France since she was 4 years old so she does have more French nuances than American ones. That’s OK because she still loves bacon and eggs for breakfast and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for lunch; two things French people just don’t really like to eat. Oh and she also likes maple syrup on her pancakes. Another thing the French don’t do or like.

Kieran is our oldest. He is now 18 years old.

Kieran is 18 and he is the oldest. He had his first legal beer with me in Montreal the day after he turned 18. For the moment he is not living with us in France. He went back to California to have the American high school experience for a year. He is returning to us in France in 2015 and then will most likely attend a French university. More on him in later posts.

Andre is the middle child and 17 .

André is the middle child. He is an extremely tall 17 year old measuring over 6 ft 4 inches tall / 1 metre 95 and feet the size of skis. It is rare that I can get a picture of André smiling so I truly cherish this photo of him squatting in front of a poisonous mushroom while we were mushroom foraging near Cannes France. Andre is an extremely gifted graphic artist. He attends a special technical high school (lycée) in Hyères France where he can practice his art. He even freelances on some of the same Freelancing sites that I do selling his logos. Which reminds me, If you would like to hire him, send me an email. He’ll probably give you a good deal. I’m serious, he would. Just check out the logo on this site in the upper left hand corner. He made that for me.

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