Friday, August 31, 2007

heat + moving + no food + no electricity = ready for the day to be over

My computer might die since my battery hasn't been charged all day and our electricity's already been cancelled, so hopefully I can finish this blog in, let's see...21 mins (that should be enough time).
So it's gone. All of it. I don't have anything left in this hot, little apartment by the beach except a couch that Salli (the Salvation Army) couldn't take because of a hole in the cushion. I'm waiting for my neighbor to drag it out of here so I can finish sweeping and mopping the living room floor. I finished the bathroom, our bedroom and the kitchen, but I've got one more room left to do before we can officially be outta here. This morning, we shoved everything into our cars that we could fit, so they could take the furniture out of the apartment.
Guillaume had to work today, so I was kind of left here to sort it all out after he headed out. What a disaster it was! I had no luck selling my things on Craigslist (& let me just say that people are SUCH flakes...a gazillion people wanted some of my furniture, but they never showed up or called back!), so I scheduled an appointment online for the Salvation Army to pick it up as a donation. I guess it'll be a little nice around tax season, but it was really hard to depart with some of my things that I've had for so long. It was the first time I actually teared up thinking about my journey ahead and the places, people and memories I'm leaving behind.
I have one more day of work tomorrow, and as soon as Guillaume can sell his car, we're heading out on the road! I'm a little nervous, but mostly excited about the trip. I just can't wait to see my little nephews, my friends and all my family! Oops, there goes the low battery message....perfect timing.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Keeping me going

This week has been, and I'm sure will continue to be a struggle to get through. But, thinking about seeing these little faces at the end of it all is what's keeping me truckin' on.







Sunday, August 26, 2007

Moving Madness

I hate moving. I don't understand how I can be such a nomad but hate the act of moving from place to place. When we were little, we moved around Austin quite a bit, and even as I grew up, I never really lived in a house long enough to say there was one place I actually grew up in. I'm happy about being able to move around freely from place to place, as I've obviously been able to leave my comfort zones and allow myself to explore other places without too much uneasiness. But, I think this time is a little different; I've been purging my life away. I have 3 bag-fulls of clothes that I'm letting go of (undoubtedly, no easy task in my book), and I'm selling off or donating the rest of my furniture and other belongings that just won't fit in my car. I already feel like my life was so consolidated for the move to California, so having to consolidate my consolidated lifestyle is nearly unbearable. I shipped off 5 boxes of books, clothes and bags back to Texas yesterday, and I'm making some progress towards that consolidation, but it's still tough. I might have to buy and install a roof rack to my car or break down and hire a company to ship my things back for me if I can't manage to fit all I want in my little VW.
I know it'll all come together by Friday....it's just that Friday seems like an eternity from now.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Road Trip!

California is a great state. Since I arrived here, I've found myself becoming more and more like a true Californian; I've reestablished my love for the beach and the sun, begun speaking the west-coast lingo, for sure, and found myself in flip flops and board shorts more times than I can remember (in fact, my heels have been getting a little dusty!). But, now it's time to say goodbye to the rainless state (it hasn't rained since I arrived, unless you count the 1-hour sprinkle that I confronted one morning).

The last few weeks have been tough, as I've been trying to decide what my next step will be. I've really fallen in love with my job and the company I work for, but it's become obvious that I can't financially support myself here once Guillaume sets off back to France. I've decided that the best move for me right now is one that's closer to home. We're still sorting out the details for the next couple of months, but for the most part, we've set out a plan that we're hoping will work for us.

Guillaume finishes up his internship on the 31st, so we decided to make the most of his last 2 weeks in the States by taking a road trip back to Austin, stopping at the Grand Canyon, Denver, Kansas to see my sis and celebrate my nephew's birthday, and Dallas to see my mom and step-dad before finally arriving in Austin. It should be a fun trip, provided that my car stays alive throughout! Click here to see the route we're going to take.


I really can't wait to be back home and see everyone! I have so much to figure out still, but I think it'll be much easier with friends and family around for support and advice. Besides friends and fam, there are a few things that I'm really looking forward to when I get home: Taco Cabana (tex-mex food, in general), less traffic(!), unlimited mimosas, Trudy's (I've been CRAVING a stuffed avocado and queso especial sooo badly), Fireman's #4, the happiest hour, and S. Congress. We'll be in Austin around the 10th, woo-hoo!!

Friday, August 10, 2007

House Guests

I've been pretty lazy about blogging lately, but it's not all because I'm a notorious procrastinator. Recently, Guillaume and I have had some very nice company come through our little auberge in Long Beach, which has been (happily) occupying my time off.
Guillaume's friend from school, JB, came 2 weekends ago by way of the Pacific Coast Hwy from Berkeley, where he's also doing an internship. He brought his sister along who was visiting from France, and they pretty much lived like beach-bums during their stay here. I got to see Santa Monica and its beaches for the first time, which I had mixed feelings about. The beach is pretty crappy, with people's litter all over with a bunch of snot-nosed, dirty-diapered kids running wild, but Santa Monica, especially the Promenade, is seriously nice. It's definitely a place I could find myself wandering to occasionally. We discovered Cafe Crepe, a hidden treasure of an eatery there, too...it's the best little Frenchy cafe we've found in the LA area so far, and it's cheap, too!! We've taken 4 French people there (not including Gui), and they've all raved about how great it is! So, besides Santa Monica, we took them to our fave beach, Huntington Beach and got to see the place during a surf competition. I also got super-duper sun-burned while there (pics below), and I'm still peeling from that burn.

Last weekend, we had another pair of visitors, our friend Ber's little sis Steph (and by little, I mean super tall and gorgeous) and her beau, Yves. I'd met Steph in France last summer during my first visit with the kids, but we otherwise didn't know eachother. Their stay turned out to be so much fun...we really enjoyed having them around and it was even cooler that they brought video and pictures from their earlier trip to Texas. It was good (albeit a little sad) to see everyone back home hanging out (and little Oak is soo big!!!), and we got to hear some stories about their visit and what they'd been up to while they were there. We all got (re-)acquainted over a few pints of Foster's, Shiner, Fat Tire and Strongbow at one of our little Irish pubs in Belmont Shore. I finally got to visit the Getty Museum, which was absolutely awesome; the Manet was cool, but I was much more impressed with the Zoopsia exhibit and the museum itself. I'll definitely recommend it to everyone who visits the LA area! Unfortunately, while we were having lunch there Steph came across a nasty bay leaf in her turkey chilli, which nearly killed her (no joke). Luckily, Yves swooped in with the heimlich maneuver and saved the day. But, seriously, she gave us a scare and afterwards, I thought of how Bertrand would never talk to me again if something had actually happened to her! We made sure she chewed her food thoroughly thereafter, and spent the rest of our time on the beaches of Malibu and walking around my favorite place in Venice Beach - the canals. We really enjoyed having them here, and they treated us to a nice dinner at one of our favorite places in Long Beach.
So, a jam-packed last few weeks and now Gui and I are ready to chill this weekend. We've got a lot of laundry to do, too.

Here are some pics of recent adventures with friends - new and old. Good times.


JB left his hat behind...look who's taking care of it now.


Walking....trying to be a photographer.


Our typical liquor store stop (for beer) on the way to HB.


Mom & Joe would be happy ... lots of fishing in SoCal.


A tourist in Santa Monica...there were tons of French peeps!


JB happy in the sun.


Time for a swim.


Santa Monica from the beach.


Santa Monica bridge to the pier.



Pier in Huntington Beach...that's a Ruby's Diner at the end...mmm...shakes.


A sponsor for the surfing competition at HB...so, free energy drinks for all!



HB from the beach....I love this beach.


Cute.



JB & his sis, Matilde.




A nice sunglass tan.


We're brown, man.


And, a little red.


Our dessert from Claim Jumper (we went here instead of the OC Fair which was charging an arm an a leg). I think we made a good choice. :)


Good thing we shared it (and brought it home to eat with Steph & Yves).


Yves & Steph arrived with gifts...flowers & champagne. I love French folks.


Straight to the beach. (Long Beach)


After a pitcher of Foster's and a Strongbow, we finally had dinner.


Mmmm...sweet crepe with lots of CREME ;) (Steph hates cream.)


Guillaume snapped this mid-blink, so I look trashed.


Too bad it wasn't true (I was driving). Hehe.


Yves & Guillaume - La Creperie, Long Beach.



Santa Monica...on the other side of the pier.


Santa Monica.


Santa Monica from PCH coming from Malibu. So nice.


Ah, our new spot when in Santa Monica.


THE best coffee in the world.


Striking a pose.

Looking at the wrong camera.


Looking at the wrong camera :)


We were all so tired at this point...I'm surprised Guillaume's so smiley.


Back to the car....




Guillaume under the pier in Malibu.


Malibu pier



Steph & Yves


Trying to get to the other side of the beach....


A little help, please? :)


Pfff...rocks, schmocks.


Malibu


Yay, we love having visitors!