We have been here for almost a year. Wow. It’s kind of surreal to think about that. After a few days in Paris, and a month and a half in a hotel, we were finally in our apartment. And the apartment is great – everyone says if you can’t tell we are from the US from looking at us or talking to us, one step into our apartment shows it. The apartment is large, it’s a good size for us but for the French it is huge. It is one and a half floors, three bedrooms, space for me to have a sewing area, and the kitchen has small European appliances.
Over the next month I will highlight what it is like to live here – including finding a place to live, schools for my children, friendships for me, language issues, and more. The first thing I will say is our month and a half in a hotel gave us friends that we will probably continue to have once we leave. We stayed at a really small hotel, with a really small staff, and owned by a family. The family’s son is in charge for the majority of the time and he’s around our (my husband and I) age. He’s fluent in English and was an amazing help for us upon arrival. His help started when we were in Paris and he arranged for a van to pick us up at the airport.
My tip is this – have someone recommend a hotel they have previously stayed at if at all possible. Hotels in Europe in general are very different compared to the US. For one, they are strict on the number of people staying in a room. And you won’t be very interested in arguing with them because the rooms are typically very small. For our six weeks we first stayed at the hotel’s apartment, then we moved into two bedrooms, and finally into three bedrooms. The way this hotel is set up we were able to have the top floor of a small building which was the three bedrooms, closets they used for storage, and a bathroom with a separated toilet and shower (I mean they were in separate rooms). They were also kind enough to store some of our extra luggage for us in a space that was not the rooms we were in.