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
We’re a blended family of five. Blake and I have a daughter together 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 be a great setting to explore our freelance careers. Life hasn’t been perfect in France. It has it’s own set of challenges just like anywhere else in the world but we make the best of it. 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 decided to speak only French to her while Blake speaks English to her. 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.
Catherine is the baby of the family. (
5, 6, 7, 8, 9 I mean 10 years old)
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 including 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 over 6 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.
Kieran 21 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. Kieran drank his first legal beer at the at of 18 when we spent the summer in Montreal with my family. (The drinking age in Quebec and France is 18.) Kieran left France for about a year to have an American high school experience but he is now back in France with us where he belongs. He is attending university of Montpellier and plans on majoring in political science. litics or maybe Economics (like me).
André is the middle child. (19 years old)
When we first moved to France, Andre was only 13 years old so he’s spent his teenage years in France. His best friends are French and speaks impeccable French. I used to call him André the Giant because he always towered over the other kids. Now that hs is 18 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.