We usually do something in March to celebrate our anniversary of moving to France, but it kind of snuck up on us this year.
14 years. I can't believe it's been 14 years. How did that happen?
Looking back on our time here, I can see how France has changed us, and not just our palates! When we moved, of course we knew things would be different, but there have been many surprises along the way. There has been a lot to muddle through, be baffled about and to accept.
I never knew that a photocopier would become my BFF. I'm not joking. You can't survive here without one.
Turns out that French fonctionnaires love homemade brownies. (well, who doesn't, really?)
Also, la priorité à droite. Why? Just why?
And the importance of l'heure de l'apéro. What a fabulous tradition! Every country should do this!
I'm also a big fan of the 2+ hour lunches.
I think our expectations have changed and we've become more patient people. Of course there have been some disappointments along the way.
One has been my struggle with the French language and the constant mocking of my accent by French friends. I know they think they're being cute and I try to take it in stride, but it is rather soul crushing.
Another is the (often) mediocre restaurant food, both in the cities and in the countryside. For a country that takes food so seriously, this was a big surprise.
Also, the bitterly cold winters in the south of France. Seems that the French tourism board is doing a darn good job of keeping that a secret.
Though the few disappointments pale in comparison next to all of the wonderful moments and accomplishments.
For instance, I never expected that I would have the mental and emotional strength to ask for and become a French citizen. That was an experience!
And I definitely didn't plan on developing such a strong addiction to French cheese!
After many crappy ones, I finally have a job that I love - who wouldn't love eating and drinking for a living?
We managed to find an apartment in Paris with a killer view and also have a great little house in the south of France for our vacations.
And we're so thankful for the incredible, supportive friends we've made along the way. None of whom we would have met had we not moved to France.
Who knows what the next 14 years will bring?
Well, there is one thing I can be sure of...more fromage!