Monthly Archives: February 2012

At Home in Weil

So, despite my best intentions, we have been lazy in keeping this blog updated.   I am slowly trying to work through the backlog of travel and activities since we arrived here.  Some of this will be out of order and some of it may not includes pictures for a while – just bear with us!  Since we haven’t really talked about life in Stuttgart at all, I thought I’d do a quick post on our lives here.

One of the great things about living here has been the rare Foreign Service Opportunity to choose where we live.  As a result, we ended up with a beautiful 4-story house in the small village of Weil im Schoenbuch.  We have a huge yard and a koi pond, so look forward to spending even more time outside as the weather warms up a bit.   In the meantime, we have a beautiful “Wintergarten” or sunroom with vaulted ceilings to watch the rain and snow we missed so much in Dubai.  Weil has all of the typical offerings of a German town – two great butchers, three tasty bakeries, more than a handful of Italian restaurants, and a Saturday farmer’s market in the town square.  In addition, it apparently is home to most all of the fun Americans in region.  In the beginning, every time we met someone we really liked, they coincidentally lived in Weil.  As a result, we have a great little community of friends with lots of similarly aged kids for the boys to play with.

We got the boys enrolled in German kindergarten (pre-school) just after we arrived and they are really enjoying it.  Focus is almost entirely on creative play with an hour of circle time worked in each morning.  The German is coming along slowly since they spend much of their days together.  Words have been popping out with increasing frequence, though, and they love showing off their German counting.

We really love it here and can’t wait to share it with you – come visit!!

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A Week in the Riviera and Provence

Living in Europe, it turns out, is pretty awesome. The best part about it, though, has to be the great travel destinations just a few hours away. We took our first big trip just after Thanksgiving. Jen’s dad, stepmom Joyce, sister Tess, and brother-in-law Mike loaded up our two cars and headed south. Thanks to Phil and Joyce’s timeshare, we had two great apartments in the charming hilltop village of Mougins, just north of Cannes.

For the next week, we explored the Riviera and Provence. We spent days in Nice, Monte Carlo, Antibes, Avignon (without the kids!), and Aix-en-Provence. We especially loved all of the markets with fresh produce, lavendar soaps, and local textiles. The wine tasting at the Palace of the Popes in Avignon (again – no kids :-)) was definitely one of the coolest things we did and contributed to the 3 cases of wine we came home with (more on our stop in Barolo, Italy later).

The boys had a blast stuffing themselves on chocolate croisssants (it’s vacation – why limit them to just one a day!), playing with family, and, for Dominic, celebrating his 4th birthday. We’re pretty sure the trip was a success as everytime we ask the boys what they want to do for the weekend, they say they want to go back to France!

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