Cheers from London!

Cheers!

Just a quick note to say we made it! We are finally all together again and happily settling into our new home…

I love our new flat. It has beautiful wood floors, lots of built-in bookshelves and french doors that open out into a quiet garden. There’s a second, private garden across the street, so our entire block is green and tranquil – even though the city around us is alive and busy and hot.

As I type this, our building’s caretaker, Josie, is watering all the flowers in our back garden. I’ve never lived in a building with a caretaker before and find her presence to be so comforting. I mean, she’s a caretaker! Yeah, I know I’m probably romanticizing the whole notion. But she waters plants, accepts packages for us and is there if when one of our children gets locked inside a bathroom (guess which kid. yep. you guessed right). And when our garbage needs taking out, I put it in a secret compartment in the kitchen and it magically disappears by morning. I love her.

So we are slowly– slooooooowly — settling in… Dan reminds me to pace myself. That the girls need to have FUN, not just be productive. (but isn’t being productive also fun?) Yesterday we went to the Princess Diana Playground in Hyde Park. Later this week we will check out the zoo at Regents Park, go to Sasha’s first soccer practice and see Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum.

Other highlights from the first few days in London:

Dan took us out to his favorite French bistro…. where everyone knew his name and was surprised he was not alone. :)

We have an evening ritual of taking a walk /unicycle ride around our square…

And great news! I have a new phone number! (the old one still works until mid-August). It only took two trips to the Apple store and approximately 14 hours on the phone with AT&T. But I have a new phone number. (btw, if there is a hell, AT&T processes their paperwork.)

More soon!

I like the spirit of this great London which I feel around me. – Charlotte Bronte

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Highlights from Indiana


Highlights from Indiana:

Watching Sasha catch a fish.

Counting Sophia’s mosquito bites and loosing track after 61.

Swimming out to the floating doc on Lake Little Barbee.

Making smores around the fire pit.

Sleeping 3 people + 1 dog to a bed.

Counting red heads at the Record Family Reunion.

Laughing with cousins… and second cousins…

Seeing Kelly’s new home and meeting the famous Gooch.

Catching fireflies and jumping on the trampoline.

Coloring Amy’s hair strawberry blond.

Taking in the county fair – elephant ears, cotton candy, sheep show and livestock barns.

Repeat after me: Yeeeeaahhh.. Buddy!

And last but not least….

Watching Grandma with her grandchildren… all of them… in one place. ;)

How to keep in touch...

How to keep in touch…

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Hi Friends! This post is for everyone who asked me how to keep in touch now that we’ve moved to London. The answer is: it’s super easy. You just need to check a few settings on your device. Also — give me a few days to get a new phone number! I’ll shoot it your way and we’ll be good to go.

iMessage

iMessage is simply a text message sent/received via wifi instead of over the cellular network. Here’s all you need to do:

  1. Go to Settings>Messages. Make sure iMessage is switched on.
  2. Text as usual.
FaceTime

FaceTime works best when both parties are on wifi or have a strong cellular signal. Do this to make sure you can connect to someone internationally:

  1. Go to Settings>Facetime. Make sure FaceTime is switched on.
  2. FaceTime as usual.
Skype
  1. Get the app.
  2. Go to Settings>Skype.
  3. Set up your notifications so that when someone contacts you, you will be notified immediately (as opposed to the next time you open Skype).
  4. Use Skype as usual.
Viber
  1. Get the app.
  2. Go to Settings>Viber. Set up your notifications so that when someone contacts you, you will be notified immediately (as opposed to the next time you open Skype).
  3. Use Viber as usual.

I’m on all of the above. As soon as I get a new phone number, I’ll let you know (or send me an email). Don’t be a stranger!

xo, L

Image via HIP Paris Blog

A (teenage) year abroad

Image via HIP Paris Blog

Image via HIP Paris Blog

This post is part of a series called Q&A Tuesday: French Visas. Our resident expert is Laurence Raybois from Americans Moving to France and Rural France Resources. We want to hear from you! Send me your questions or put them in the comments below. We’ll try to get your question answered in an upcoming post.

This month’s question:

We have a 15 year old daughter who is interested in spending the academic year with her aunt (my sister) and uncle in France. What sort of visa do I need to get for her?

Answer:

I recommend that you seek a Visitor’s visa for her.  She should have no trouble obtaining it if you can prove that her financial and practical needs will be covered once there, and in order to do that, you will need to get an affidavit to that effect from your family in France.  You will need to show that she will also have access to additional funds from you, should the need arise.

In regards to attending school, French law is very clear that children residing in France, even temporarily, are entitled to attending the local public school, even though foreign parents are occasionally discouraged by school officials from enrolling their children.  Registration is done through City Hall, and not through the school itself.

Laurence Raybois Consulting © 2015

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