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:
But stayed for 3 years and counting
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.
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.
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.
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 because everyone knows older brothers can be cruel to the younger ones. Catherine has lived fully immersed in 3 countries so far. California her first 3 years of life, then a year in Montreal and now France for just over 3 years.). She has a very international outlook on life and is extremely flexible when it comes to what she will and wont do. She loves bacon and eggs for breakfast as well as 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. Catherine loves French cheese. She once asked me if I ate cheese as a child when I lived in Thailand. When I told her that I did not like or have cheese as a child, she paused, gave me a shocked look and then said “d’accord, c’est dommage” which means, “ok, well that’s too bad”. LOL!
Kieran is 18 and he is the oldest.
What can I say about him. Well, I once went river rafting near Montreal and the guides name was Kieran. I liked it so much that I wanted to name my first born son Kieran. The day Kieran turned 18, I was visiting my family in Montreal. He has had many firsts in his life including his first legal beer. (the drinking age in Quebec is 18. The drinking age in France is 18 also). Kieran left France for about a year to have an American high school experience but he is now back in France with me and the rest of his family where he belongs. He has to catch up and improve his French before he can apply to French university’s and major in Philosophy.
André is the middle child.
I used to call him André the Giant because he always towered over the other kids. Now that hs is 17 year old, he is still towering over everyone. He measures 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.