My son and I are leaving our small town in southeastern United States to live for a year in a small town in southeastern France. It couldn't possibly be THAT different, right?

Tuesday, April 17, 2012


Jed and I are trying to do one fun thing each day of our "staycation" week in Montélimar.

On Sunday, we went to see the version française of Mirror Mirror and both enjoyed it.  Jed wanted a film  with more blood and gore, but he was satisfied by the sword fighting in this one.

On Monday, it was rainy and cold so our fun activity was eating at McDonalds and playing in the play land.  A very nice teenager (I assume, but as I age, it is harder and harder to tell!) took our order on a phone as we waited in the long line.  When we got to the cash register, we gave our order number to the cashier and paid, and our order was instantly ready.  

This is not our McDonalds, but we also have ordering stations like these where we can place our order on the screen, pay by bank card and go to a special pick up line.  Jed loves using these.

On Tuesday, Jed spent the entire day inside recovering from throwing up in the middle of the night.  Since he felt better by late afternoon, we went ahead with our plan of going to a puppet show at the theater Le Calepin.   We saw Le rouge et le vert by the company Jabron Rouge (

The show was wonderful, but I found the technical talk afterwards even more interesting.  One woman writes the scripts, makes the puppets, performs alone (giving voice to six characters in this play), runs the lights, and plays the harmonica.  Her husband designs and makes the sets. 

On Wednesday, we went to Dom's house for lunch.  Since she loves cheesecake, we attempted to make one Tuesday night.  Jed did a beautiful job making the cookie (Speckoolos) crust, but I miscalculated the proportion of heavy cream to cream cheese and ended up with a lovely pudding-like mixture that tasted like cheesecake.  I took it anyway, and we served it with strawberries on top.  It was a pretty yummy mistake.
Dom's friends, Olivier, Manime, and their daughter, Noémie joined us for lunch.  They have just moved to Finland for Olivier's work so it was fun hearing stories of their adjustment to a new culture.  There were many similarities between their experiences and ours.  

On Thursday, it was rainy and cool in the afternoon so we went to see Battleship.  I didn't expect to like it, but it actually had a nice message.  In order to save the Earth from aliens, everyone is needed, not just the big, hunky men.  There were heroines as well as senior citizen and handicapped heros.  Jed liked that they blew lots of stuff up, but he said, "Yeah, cool" when I pointed out how everyone worked together.

After the movie, I lured Jed into Monoprix to look around.  We didn't buy anything, but we did try out their photo booth.  This vacation at home idea is pretty fun after all. 

We then went to one of the cafés on the main street in downtown and had a beer and a coke.  Yes, I document every move that this poor child makes!  He's pretty good-humored about it, though.

On Friday, I somehow succeeded in convincing Jed that shopping was our fun activity for the day.  He endured the shoe store because there was a great reward: a Free Gun cap.  He already has lots of their underwear, but he wants a full wardrobe before he leaves.  He considers himself very tough in this photo.  

On Saturday, we went in search of a good price on watches.  Mine is a knock-off of the popular Ice Watches which come in bright colors and cost around 89 euros.  Since that's a little out of my price range, I went to my favorite accessory shop for this version.  Jed fell in love with his American watch at a gift shop that specializes in kitchen gadgets.  Go figure!  

Well, the party's over!  Today is the last day of Spring Break.  It is also election day so to satisfy my curiosity, Jed and I walked downtown to a few voting sites to see how it's done in France.  No excitement to report on that front----the French show an ID and then go into a booth and vote just like we do.  The poll workers didn't really seem to want to chat with me about the whole process, for some reason so Jed and I went to the park where he drove a cart like a mad man for ten minutes.  We then strolled around town, had ice cream, and discovered a mural near the library that we had never seen.  Goodbye lazy days!  We'll miss you!



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