Saturday, June 22, 2013

Me: "Is this Heaven?" MH: "It's Provence."

Looking out our hotel window in Gordes France
Chances are, if you're a fan of the 1989 movie "Field of Dreams," you immediately understand the meaning of my post title today.
MH and I just spent a magical week in France with 4 nights spent in the small Provencal hilltop village of Gordes.
During these 4 days we explored Gordes and many other beautiful villages of Provence. Sometimes, as we walked the old stone streets with the flowers blooming all around us and a mountainous green background behind us, the beauty was so spectacular I'd feel like crying. I'd be in awe, look out at the sky, and say "Thank you God."
I would sometimes see a sight so beautiful that I simply couldn't grasp words adequate to express my feelings. So I'd simply look at MH and ask, "Is this Heaven?" On cue, he'd look at me and smile and say, "It's Provence." I'd then say "Provence? I could have sworn this was heaven."
Field of Dreams
Ray Kinsella: Is there a heaven?
John Kinsella: Oh yeah. It's the place where dreams come true.
[Ray looks around, seeing his wife playing with their daughter on the porch]
Ray Kinsella: Maybe this is heaven.



 Au revoir, Mitty

Thursday, June 20, 2013

My Favorite Picture From France

I took over 1,000 pictures while in France last week. Every turn I made revealed a scene worthy of a photograph.  Beauty was everywhere, but for me, nothing captured the essence and uniqueness of France as did this photo!

This celadon green Fiat Nuova 500, the size of a Barnum and Bailey Circus clown car, appeared to be driven by a somewhat bored petite chien (little dog.)

With her coordinating "500" suitcase strapped to the boot of her car, I imagine she's on her way to The Cote d’Azur or St. Tropez  for a mini-holiday or a soiree of some sort!

 All that is missing is a scarf casually tied around her neck, whipping in the wind behind her!

Bon Voyage! Mitty

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Bon Voyage!

We're off to Provence and then Paris to do a little treasure hunting.
Look for new French Brocante items in MFFC in late July!
Bon Voyage! Mitty

Friday, May 31, 2013

One of the Joys of the Expatriate Life.................Travel!

Months ago, when MH put down his cell phone and told me that he'd just received an offer for a career opportunity in Saudi Arabia, one of the first things I asked him was "How far is Saudi from France?"  Predictable, huh?
MH and I have lived in Saudi for about three months now and are settling into our new home and community. I've found that part of our day to day conversations with new friends here in Saudi center around travel adventures and upcoming travel plans.  While being away from home and family is emotional and difficult at times, the life of an expatriate (expat) appeals to MH and me and our love of travel. Most companies who employ expats offer generous vacation and/or R&R time to allow employees and their families to get away and travel home or to other desired destinations.
So for MH and I, our first expat getaway is almost here!
On Wednesday we leave for FRANCE!  It's a short trip this time, just 7 nights. We're flying into Paris and then taking the TGV train to Avignon. The TGV,  or "Train à Grande Vitesse" is France's high speed train system that travels to over 140 destinations within France and at speeds over 200 MPH. I love the TGV and it's one of the experiences in France to which I look forward. The train ride from Paris to Avignon takes about 3 hours and provides a great window upon the constant beauty that is the countryside of France.
Map showing the TGV Train Routes
Fellow traveler on the TGV in 2011
We'll pick up our rental car at the train station in Avignon and drive to the village of Gordes in the Luberon region of Provence. Gordes is perhaps my favorite village in France and holds for me such special memories from our first trip to France in April, 2003. It will be our base for daily trips to surrounding villages and their weekly brocante markets.  I'm so excited and can't wait to find some new treasures for my store! After a few days in Provence, it's back to Paris on the TGV where we'll spend 3 nights.

Picture from our first trip to Gordes in April, 2003
Au revoir, Mitty


Monday, February 18, 2013

Saudi Move Update!

So I'm packed and ready to head to Saudi.
I was supposed to fly out a week ago today with MH but my Saudi Visa was not ready. I'm just waiting for my passport stamped with the Saudi Visa to arrive and then I'll make flight arrangements......again. I was mentally and physically ready to leave, scurrying around attending to a thousand details kept me energized and ready to go.
Waiting has allowed me to stop and think. I'm filled with a flood of emotions, varying from hour to hour, moment to moment. They come and they go. I'm excited for this new adventure and what will undoubtedly be a multitude of new experiences, but I'm sad to leave my friends and family, my home, and, especially, my little girl and new son-in-law (o.k., so what if she is 31, she's still my little girl!)
I just know that I can always come home. I can hop on a plane and be here within 24 hours if I need to or want to. Knowing that I have My Faux French Chateau waiting for me to come back and breath life into her again makes me smile and gives me a sense of being grounded. How is it that this house can be such a part of me that I almost think of it as a living, breathing entity that will always welcome me home again?

Oh well, I'll let you know when I hear any news and make my travel arrangements. It's funny to think that perhaps this time next week I'll be making a new home in Al-Khobar, Saudi Arabia.

Who would have thought?!

Au revoir, Mitty

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Shipment Moving Day!

I guess it's for real!
We're moving to Saudi.
I've spent the last couple of months preparing for the move including a health physical and the required immunizations (6 shots and one oral immunization!)

In addition to attending to a thousand details, I've been shopping, buying dishes, small appliances, sheets, towels.............all the things you need to make a furnished house your own, personal home.
For this move we're allowed both a small air shipment and a large sea container shipment. This is quite generous especially since we're not selling our "Faux French Chateau" in Fort Worth. I love my home and love knowing that I can come home to it for a few months every year.
So...........for well over a month now, one bedroom in my home has been filled to overflowing with items for the sea container and one bedroom has been the landing place for items for the air shipment.
The movers came yesterday morning. They packed and then loaded the air shipment first. (This shipment is filled with the basic items necessary to set up the house until our sea container arrives.)
Then they packed and loaded everything left into the 20 foot sea container. This container came out of Houston and I couldn't believe what I saw when it arrived! Check out the Saudi Arabia National Emblem on the side of the container. Seeing this made the move more "real" than it had been until that moment.

In case you are are wondering, the Saudi National Emblem shows a Phoenix Palm (also known as a date palm) and two crossed swords. The crossed swords represent the two kingdoms, Hijaz and Nejd, which were united by King Abdul-Aziz to form the Kingdom of Hijaz and Nejd in 1925.
About 6 1/2 hours after packing began, the doors were closed to the sea container, the lock was secured on the doors and it was off on its return trip to the dock in Houston. Hopefully before long it will be loaded onto a cargo ship and "set sail" to Saudi.

In a couple of months, it'll be exiting when the container arrives and I can unpack the boxes and finish making our new house our home.
Au revoir, Mitty