Our Family’s (2nd) Year in the South of France
Kids and Castles - Our year with kids in the South of France

Trip Timeline

First Trip, Provence, 2010-2011:

Phase I:  Getting Ready to Go

May 8-14: JM and Diane take a quick trip to Nice to check out the area and find a place to live.

June 20: Sign the contract to rent a house in the Drome region of Provence.

July 20: Apply for long-term visa to France.

July 23: Receive long-term visa to France (except JM).

July 30-Aug 14: Trip to Saskatchewan and Manitoba to visit Diane’s family.

August 3: JM applies for emergency passport renewal in Saskatoon.

August 9: JM also receives long-term visa to France.

August 28:  Depart for France.

Phase II:  Settling In

September 2: First day of school.

September 7: First teacher’s strike.

September 17: Buy car. Meet new babysitter.

September 19-28: Diane goes back to the US to wrap up some business.

September 23: Second teacher’s strike – but only for Z’s class.  L still has school.

September 28-October 14: Grandmaman and Grandpapa come to visit.

October 7-10: JM and Diane take grown-up trip to Mornas, Orange, Aix-en-Provence, and Les Baux de Provence while L and Z stay in village with Grandmaman and Grandpapa.

October 12: Third teacher’s strike.

October 12: First invitation to visit French family’s home.

October 17: Stop tracking the number of teacher strike days.  Stop tracking the number of invitations to French families’ homes.

Phase III: Learning to Live in France

October 24-November 2: Fall school holidays.  Take day trips with the girls to Saint-Paul-Trois-Chateaux, Vaison-La-Romain, Bollene, Grotte de la Cocaliére, and the Pont de Gard.

December 5-11: Visited by favorite Australia friends and their 7-year old son.

December 12-20: JM back in California on business. Diane alone in France with the girls and her French/English dictionary.

December 20-29: Christmas holidays in Paris and London.

January 23: L’s birthday party. 13 local kids come over for a “California”-style party including pinata, peanut butter sandwiches, and Ritz crackers.

February 4-6: Spend the weekend near Montpelier with Diane’s brother-in-law’s friend’s wife’s brother and his family (get the connection?) who are also Canadians spending a year in France. Visit Nimes on the drive there and back.

February 13-21: Diane back in California for a week on business.

March 5-11: Road trip to Italy.  Two days in Genoa, one day in Verona, three days in Venice including Mardi Gras. Venice ROCKS!

April 9-16: Boat trip on the Canal du Midi with friends from Australia.

Phase IV: Winding Down

May 18: Book our flights home.

June 5: Last guests leave taking two suitcases full of pottery, winter clothes, books and other stuff back with them.

July 2: Leave our village.

Phase V: Europe Road Trip

July 2 – 9: Mountains in French-speaking Switzerland.

July 9 – 16: Alsace, France. (The part beside Germany.)

July 16 – 23: Normandy, France.

July 23 – 30: The Loire Valley, France.

July 30 – August 5th:  Lyon, France – plus one last quick trip to our village to pick up our remaining luggage and sell our car.

August 6th: Leave France. <sniff>

Phase VI: Home

August 6th – 23rd:  Visit Grandmama and Grandpapa in Ottawa

August 23rd:  Home!



Second Trip, Languedoc, 2013-2014:

Phase I:  On the Way

August 10 – 20: Visit Grandmama and Grandpapa in Ottawa

August 20 – 23: Paris including the Louvre and Parc Asterix

August 24-30: Bruges, Belgium, including a day trip to the Canadian National Vimy Memorial

August 30-31: Back in Paris to pick up luggage

August 31:  Arrive in the Languedoc

Phase II:  Settling In

September 3:  La rentrée (school starts)

September 18: Get our family library cards

October 21 – November 1:  Fall school break.  Road trip to the French and Spanish Basque region.

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