Thursday, March 5, 2009

March 5, 2009: A List - Miss This, Love That

Many people ask what I miss and love the most about living in a foreign country.  Well, after a few weeks of living in Caen, here is my list of the "stuff" that I miss from the U.S. but truly love about France.  

Things I Miss:
-  Seeing warm, familiar faces each day
-  Being able to pick up the phone and call family and friends when they are at most 2 hours time zone difference and you know how much the call will cost
-  Camp 4 Coffee
-  My job
-  My programmable coffee maker and my favorite coffee mug (how did I forget that?)
-  American Idol and HGTV
-  The complete quiet of Crested Butte South at night
-  Feeling like my coat, shoes and outfit are appropriate
-  Outdoor yard space for the kids to run around
-  Our warm, cozy bedroom and bathroom in Colorado
-  The sun
-  Baking bread
-  Our old work schedules that allowed both Andrew and I to take the girls to school and pick them up together.  Now he leaves at 8am and gets home around 6:30pm.  Both the girls and I miss him more!
-  Plain ole' Cheerios - only honey nut to be found here
-  The ability to stop at Camp 4 or Starbucks or anywhere else and grab a cup of a normal size coffee and carry it around with you - no sign of the normal size coffee or carrying around here.
-  Warm toilet seats
-  Play dates for the girls 
-  Babysitters and Date night for Andrew and I
-  Being able to have a full conversation and speak freely with the girls' teachers
-  Skiing, sledding - winter sports
-  Dining in restaurants where I feel comfortable bringing my children
-  The chiropractor
-  Windows that seal and keep out the cold and open with screens.
-  Being able to go to shops between the hours of noon and 3pm
-  Powder days and the general excitement that is generated in most people when they wake up to one
-  Tivo
-  Sirrius/XM radio
-  English-speaking doctors
-  US Magazine 
-  Half and half for my coffee

Things I Love:
-  The scenery of old, historic buildings that can be seen right outside our windows and on every corner walking
-  The convenience of every store imaginable within walking distance of our apartment.
-  Grace, Mia and Ella enjoying school and learning a new language
-  Getting through each day with the knowledge that the next one I will be better prepared to conquer
-  Being able to use the 6 years of French I took in high school and college and refine it each and every day.
-  The availability of fresh, unprocessed foods and breads, milks, yoghurts and cheeses
-  Being able to walk the girls to and from school
-  The fashion-trends in Caen - I only wish I had the money to upgrade the family's wardrobe to match it!
-  Our studio apartment for guests - it is such a great space for visitors and much more private then Crested Butte
-  The 2 hour lunch breaks taken in France - I can meet Andrew every now and again.
-  The unique architectural features of our apartment and how the beautiful windows gleam evening light onto the walls and ceiling.
-  Living by a river with colorful sailboats and a weekly market
-  Cheap but quality wine and ciders
-  Having our Apple Computer here in Caen
-  That Andrew is employed with a job that is both challenging and exciting
-  The way Ella says French words and seeing her really step up the past few weeks by helping with her sisters
-  Having so many travel destination options and showing the family the world outside of the U.S.
-  How smart French people are - well educated, typically bilingual and passionate about life
-  Only buying enough fresh food for a day or two - shopping for less more frequently, instead of road trips to Costco or Sams Club for 82 blocks of cheese, 18 boxes of cereal, and 20 pounds of frozen chicken breasts.
-  Seeing the girls try new foods and enjoying them
-  My husband and daughters - no matter where we live I love them dearly!

So, that is where I stand today on my misses and loves.  It will be interesting to come back and read this in a few months or a year and see how my perspective changes.  

My question to you is, what do you think you would miss in our situation?  I would love to know!


  1. I would miss playing golf and seeing the sun in winter!! I think you are right on about your family - Ella is really a help - keep the blogs coming - they light up my life!!

  2. I would miss . . . my coffee; but also feel like I could replace it with their version. I would miss seeing friendly faces, family, and the luxury of not feeling like you are sticking out like a sore thumb. I would miss being able to pick up the phone whenever I wanted to call someone. I would miss sushi & pizza (our version).

  3. Suzie - they have golf here! But I know what you mean. Different smells, different temperature, different people. Just different! Kindof like the coffee - just isn't the same.

  4. I LOVE your lists!! You will laugh like crazy when you re-read them in a few months!!