Sunday, May 30, 2010

A Rainy Day in St. Jean de Luz

Well its was a rainy day here today. Usually when it rains it does so for just a few minutes in the morning and then clears up for the afternoon. Today, this was not the case, as it poured rain all day. We had planned to go surfing today but decided to hit the road and spend the day in fabulous St. Jean de Luz.
We decided to take Rypien with us on our little adventure - he's currently on probation as he hasn't been behaving too well lately. We decided to take him because we didn't want to leave him tied up outside in the pouring rain and we didn't trust him enough to leave him on his own in the kitchen - he has gotten into the garbage several times - a huge mess!
The drive to St. Jean de Luz only takes about 45 minutes. We weren't sure what or how many places would be open once we got there, given the fact that it was Sunday and everything usually shuts down for the weekend. However, when we arrived we were pleasantly surprised to see how many cafes and restaurants were actually open. We did some wandering and then stopped for lunch at a great restaurant in one of the town squares. It had a great covered patio and despite the rain almost everyone was sitting outside. I love how people here live very much outdoors. Dennis had a steak with shallots, frittes, a salade and a couple of beers, and I had a salade de chevre chaud with some red wine - it was great! After lunch I had my usual cafe creme - so tasty and delicious. After lunch we continued our meandering and window shopping and then stopped at a patisserie (the only one in town that I think was open)on our way back to the car to buy a baguette for dinner.
St. Jean de Luz is easily one of the most attractive cities in the Basque Country that I've been to so far. This endearing small beach city is just dripping with charm, from its port lined with colourful boats to its boutique shops. The delightful squares, quaint pedestrian shopping area all equal a visit that is sure to be unforgettable.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Life is like a box of chocolates...

Well we've been here just over a week now and lets just say that things haven't been exactly easy. We have been on the hunt for quite some time for a place in Hossegor, or pretty much anything on the coast or within 20 km of it. The reason for this one might ask? The surf! We did luck out one morning a few days ago and found a great apartment in Capbreton through a rental agency. However, when we went back with all the paperwork that afternoon at 2:00pm, when they were suppose to have re-opened, they were still in fact closed. We waited around until 3:30pm and then decided to head home and try again the next day. We had a surf lesson schedualed at 10:00am the next morning, the agency opened at 9:30am, so we decided to get there right when they opened, however, when we arrived and told them that we had all the paperwork in hand and ready to go they said the apartment had already been rented. We were devastated! Things really didn't get much better from there. The surf conditions for our morning lesson were rather terrible - very windy and lots of choppy waves - which made for lots of paddling around in strong currants and not much riding.
The next day we decided to hit-up just about every rental agency on the coast and everything wihin 20km of it with paperwork already in hand so as not to repeat the previous day's mistake (i.e Dennis's work contract papers which basically say he has a job, who his employer is and how much money he makes). The result was not much better, as all those agencies told us basically the same thing...'We can't rent any properties to you because your revenue does not come from within France'. We couldn't believe it! Basically if you want to rent a house or an apartment from a rental agency in France you better have a job based in France otherwise you're SOL.
And if that wasn't enough.....We stopped at the grocery store to pick up something for dinner on our way home. Note: We have to grocery shop every day because our fridge is the size of a tuna can - it's a beverage fridge. We were in the grocery store for maybe 15 minutes and when we came back we found that our wonderful dog had gone into terminator mode and destroyed everything in the car. He chewed the e-brake handle of our rental car, chewed the cord which powers our gps and shredded all of Dennis's proof of employment papers and work contract (thankgoodness he had an extra copy back at home)! I have tried to calm myself down in the day or so since all this has happened, but writing it all out like this certainly isn't helping so I think I might just end it here. Praying for positive things in the days to come.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Salies de Bearn

I thought I would take the liberty of introducing everyone to the town in which Dennis and I have called home, at least until July 1st. Salies de Bearn is a very picturesque town, full of little lanes which make it perfect for ambling and relaxing. There are markets every Thursday and Saturday and natural thermal baths which are housed in an interesting Moorish style building. The Tour de France will also be starting from Salies de bearn this year, which everyone seems to be very excited about.
Although Salies is only an hours drive from the coast, it seems worlds away in comparison to the happening and bustling beach towns. There isn't too much to do in the town itself to satisfy a young cool couple like ourselves, as the few restaurants and one bar - an irish pub called Maguires - all close around 9:00pm. Not to mention that most of the inhabitants here are either retired or farmers. We are keeping our fingers crossed for a place on the coast to open up for July 1st!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Beautiful Bayonne, France

We spent a few hours walking around the beautiful and charismatic town of Bayonne, France and then had a great lunch at the Cafe du Theatre - dogs welcome!

Sensational San Sebastian, Spain

A gorgeous afternoon in San Sebastian, Spain. Only 1 hour and 20 minutes away!

We Have Landed!

Well, we've finally arrived! All in one piece and with no missing dog or luggage! We rented a car at the airport in Paris and made our way down to the south-west corner of France, thank goodness for my mom's GPS otherwise we would probably still be trying to figure out how to get out of Paris. We ended up staying a night in beautiful Bordeaux, which was absolutely amazing, such a gorgeous city - I will definitely be going back there.
We have only been here a few days, and have already seen quite a bit. Yesterday we had a great lunch in Bayonne and then headed further south to San Sebastian, Spain. It's a beautiful sunny day here today, so I think our plan is to head to Hossegor to do a bit of surfing. We have been taking lots of pictures and I will be posting them very soon. We don't have internet yet so it's been a bit hard to keep everyone updated. Hope everyone is well. Hugs and kisses.

Sunday, May 16, 2010


Well, we are currently in Frankfurt about to board our flight to Paris. Everything has gone well so far. We had a great drive down to Vancouver, courtesy of Dennis's lovely parents. The check-in with the dog at the airport went well, although I was a complete nervous and stressed out wreck. All-in all things seem to be going great, when we get to Paris we are renting a car and driving down to the south. Can't wait to see Rypien. Miss my family lots already. We are about to board, more to come soon. Lots of love.

Friday, May 7, 2010

The Motherland

As most of you already know, Dennis and I and Rypien (our adorable chocolate lab) are moving to France for a year, and are leaving in less than 10 days!!! We have rented a place in the south-west corner of France just outside Biarritz in a town called Salies de Bearn. We couldn't be more excited, however, I will admit to being quite nervous! Whose idea was this anyways? I still have a list a million miles long of 'Things To Do Before We Leave', which I am slowly but surely working my way through.

Tonight's plan of attack: watching the Canucks take on Chicago (huge game), wine with a girlfriend and then more packing!