So Mark was right about the planes, trains and automobiles! And although he might not want to get into it, I certainly will! First let me say that this move had me incredibly stressed. There was the basic stuff like the packing and the garage sale that you have with any move but on top of that I had to spend many days and many dollars getting the cats ready to move to a foreign country. They had to be microchipped and given their shots at the vet and then I had wait 21 days and take all of their paperwork to the USDA to get it officially stamped and certified etc. Murphy and Pavo already had microchips but I was told that France didn't accept that particular type of chip and they then had to be re-chipped. I bought fancy kennels with all of the bells and whistles only to be told a few days before the flight that they didn't have the right bells and whistles, so those had to be returned and new ones had to be ordered and overnighted from Florida! Thankfully Chandra stepped in and gave us her 2 kennels from her move to Australia so we only needed to overnight one. Anyway after all of this we finally arrive after our long flight to France, and here I am waiting with my huge stack of official paperwork at customs and not a single person asked to see a single piece of paper! What? Are you kidding me!! After all that I had gone through I came very close to walking back into the airport and forcing someone, anyone, to look at my damn paperwork but oh well we had to find the train station so I gave up and we moved on.
We then took a 3 hour train ride, which was lovely and calm, and arrived in Angouleme. From there we drove another 45 minutes to the Chateau. Unfortunately it was dark by this time so Mark wasn't able to actually see the castle, but we automatically fell in love with our new apartment! I have been to the castle several times but had never seen this apartment because the previous caretaker was living there. It's a very sweet 2 bedroom with exposed beams and it's very French. Thick tapestries line the walls, fleur de lis accents are everywhere and the furniture is just how I like it - oversized gothic carved dark wood! I couldn't be happier!
We bring our bags up and get the cats out of their kennels and right away my grandmother is calling on the phone to ask when we can come over. Now that we live just a few yards away, I tell her we'll be there in about a minute, and we're off for Mark's first visit with Grandma. I have been especially excited about this moment! I adore my Grandma and I couldn't wait until Mark could meet her and see what I meant when I called her the coolest lady that I've ever known. I mean not only is she a former spy who married one of the founders of the CIA and then had four very successful children, she is also a world renowned archaeologist who, even at 87 years old, still works! She's wonderful and sharp as a tack and she and Mark got along as if they'd known each other for years.
But after a few hours of forcing ourselves to stay awake so that we wouldn't wake up at 3 am we finally settled in for bed. We feel right at home in our new surroundings and although we are in for a lot of work and we are already missing our friends and family, we both go to sleep knowing that this is an incredible opportunity and we can't wait to see what our knew job has in store for us......