l’été is here

I think summer has officially arrived in Lille. I finally don’t need a jacket to go out in the middle of the afternoon, and the sun is shining bright. And as this is Northern France, that’s saying something.

I’ve been wanting to host a barbecue for awhile now and also really wanted to do something for the 4th of July. As we are now going to be in Budapest for the actual holiday, we decided to celebrate a little early with some friends. We were lucky to have beautiful weather so we could all sit outside in the yard and eat a very traditional American feast of hotdogs and hamburgers along with all the sides!

bbq almost bilingue

I hope this was just the first of many summer barbecues. Continue reading

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elliot dans la neige

Elliot snow

During our time in Franche-Comté for Christmas, it snowed a bit, leaving a nice white blanket of soft snow.

Since adopting Elliot and learning his weird quirks, we’ve been curious as to how he’d react to snow. In the rain, he plops himself down in the doorway and refuses to go outside. Luckily, he’s small so we can force him outside to do his business. Would snow be the same way?

It didn’t snow at all last winter, so we didn’t get a chance to find out. When we awoke to snow a few days after Christmas, we finally had the opportunity to find out. Continue reading

english in bourguignon

alostbilingue elliot

When I posted about our unplanned trip to Franche-Comté, I don’t know how I managed to do it, but I completely forgot to tell you about one of the best things that happened during our trip!

J’s mom works at the primary (elementary for Americans) school in Bourguignon (where J is from). We were chatting about the school and English lessons, and J’s mom brought up how disinterested some of the kids are in English despite the fact that their teacher loves English.

I joked that I should go in and talk to the kids.  Continue reading

a visit to ypres

alostbilingue ypres

The weather was bright and sunny yesterday so what better to do during the holiday season than to visit a Christmas market? We decided to take a little drive over the border to visit the market in Ypres (Ieper in Dutch), Belgium.

This was our very first visit to the town, and besides looking up information on the Christmas market, we didn’t really know what to expect.

With a population of about 35,000, Ypres is a very cute little city and well known for its strategic position during WWI. The town center is small and pedestrian friendly like many European cities. We parked about a kilometer (less than a mile) away and quickly walked the rest of the way.

Expecting to only spend time at the market, we took Elliot along with us. Though as it’s the holiday season, everything was open and the town was packed. Elliot was going crazy with all the other dogs around us as people had the same idea to bring along their four legged family members. Continue reading

Photo post: Nouvel appart (All moved in)

Well, we’re all moved in to the new place. We still have to fix things to the wall like decorations, my jewelry rack, the spice rack, etc. (which are currently just lying around everywhere), but other than that, we’re all settled!

I’ve already posted pictures of the place empty, so as promised, here are pictures of the place after we moved in all of our things. Of course, today would be a dreary grey day. And ignore the fact that we’re still somewhat disorganized.

Once inside the main door of the apartment complex, here’s the view we’re greeted with.

almostbilingue_apartmentcomplex

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notre petit dog – happy one year!

A year ago today, we went to the LPA (the refuge) in Lille to look for a dog to adopt. My mom has adopted several dogs from shelters or rescues, so for me, buying a dog isn’t an option. I’d much rather give a home to a dog who needs one. Plus, we didn’t want a puppy. That was one of the only criteria that we had. We also wanted a dog that would be happy in an apartment. It would be unfair to keep a high energy dog inside such a small space.

Our visit was fairly heartbreaking as there were just so many dogs there, and the poor guys only get a short break from their enclosures when volunteers walk them. I don’t know if I could ever volunteer in a shelter. I’m sure I’d want to bring home basically every single dog they have.

We met a few dogs, but they didn’t seem to be good fits for an apartment. Then, a volunteer introduced us to Elliot a quiet, timid, and calm one and a half year old dog. We walked him around a bit, and he immediately took to us. We knew we couldn’t put him back into his enclosure (with two other dogs), and we adopted him straightaway.

 notre petit dog - first day

Elliot on his very first day with us

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say fromage take deux!

I swore I would keep up with this blog a lot better than my old one, but here I am, updating after a 3 week absence. Oops. I did not mean to let it go that long.  I wish I could say that it’s my classes that are taking up all of my free time, but other than the (sometimes inconvenient) commute, that’s really not true. It’s more like extreme and utter hatred for my program that demotivates me from doing pretty much anything productive. More on that another time.

Instead, I’d love to share with you some of the yummy meals we have had since returning to Lille from Franche-Comté. Winter is rapidly approaching with many places in France already experiencing their first snowfall of the year (luckily, Lille has remained snow free), so it’s the perfect time for some heart cheese meals.

For the November 11th holiday, we enjoyed a very delicious fondue. It was a mix of 3 cheeses: Vieux Comté, Comté fruité, and emmental. Needless to say, it was very yummy and very very filling.

Fondue

Fondue

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