The fall semester became "the semester during which I spend all of my spare time planning our sabbatical in France". Talk about not living in the present! I hope that once we arrive in France, we can shift gears and enjoy the moment and not spend our time there planning for when we come home. Oh, certainly not, that would be tragic.
I just need to look back for a moment and retrace our path in getting to the point of departure. When we commenced the sabbatical planning effort, we were headed to New Zealand. But, a major earthquake (oh, poor Christchurch!), the loss of my original book project, and a crazy search for an IB school for Josie lead us around the world (virtually) in our quest for a destination through NZ, to Bali, the Seychelles, England, Scotland and finally France.
By September, our sights had settled on Aix-en-Provence where Josie could attend the International Bilingual School of Provence, I could take a french class, and we could enjoy sunshine, fresh food, and only 30 miles away...the Mediterranean Sea. Then commenced the next adventures...registering her in school, collecting the massive packet of information necessary to acquire a long-stay french visa, finding an apartment in Aix, renting our house, finding dog and cat sitters, and moving through the changing seasons with the recognition that we wouldn't be here to see the spring in Grand Junction. Translation...someone else will have to re-construct my complex system of hoses and sprinklers to get our irrigation system going!! Josie rolled her eyes as I took pictures and video-taped my highly engineered conflagration of timers, splitters and hoses.
Thanksgiving was a trip to Los Angeles to present ourselves at the French Consulate to apply for our visas. Many evenings and weekends were spend in front of the computer searching for apartments and translating french emails about apartments. Who knew that a canape clic-clac is a fold-out sofa?!
A huge thank you to my new friend Caroline in Aix who saved us from renting an apartment that had the toilet in a little phone booth in the bedroom! Caroline visited two apartments for us and answered my many many questions about french etiquette and what to expect. And, thanks to her we will have a cozy apartment just two short blocks from the Cours Mirabeau.
Okay...now to packing...