The Past Week

So, omg, summer vacation is almost over. HOW DID THAT HAPPEN SO FAST? Oh yeah, I was on the bac jury July 7th and my family arrived the 13th and then I got married and went on vacation. But really and truly I did not see the summer pass, as the French would say (in the French language of course, not in English).

As for this past week, J and I have done some adult things, like getting a massive bed set up. It’s 160×200 and it is so gigantic. If J were not such a cuddly person I could truly forget that he’s there. It’s insane that this is not the biggest size possible for a bed (they go up to 180). We also got new bedside tables that had to be fairly small (40 cm wide) to fit next to the bed, and a used bookshelf to finally put my books in. Our bedroom is finished! We feel so grown up! All of this is thanks to our wedding guests and friends and family who were incredibly generous with us.

I also made wedding albums for the parents and J’s grandma and ordered some prints for a few other family members. Snapfish and Apple > French photo sites. Get with the program, smartphoto and photobox! Your site could be ten times easier to use, starting with a link to “my photos” on the home page!

In other news I installed Hola onto Chrome and now can watch American Netflix including Parks and Rec. JOY.

J and I had a brief walk around Chasseneuil-du-Poitou the other night after a meal at McDonald’s. Chasseneuil’s presence in our world is mostly thanks to the immense zone commerciale where every home store imaginable is, the Auchan, and the Futuroscope. A friend told me that the centre of Chasseneuil was actually pretty, so after McDo, I suggested a walk.

Then after an intense day of housework Saturday which involved not one but THREE trips to the déchetterie (we started emptying the attic in preparation for new insulation and it is full of unimaginable crap), we went to the Ile d’Oléron Sunday. This meant getting up at 8 in the morning after a weird night in which I barely fell asleep, but it was still fun. We went to three different beaches, walked around the port at la Cotinière, and ate an églade de moules at the Café de la Plage in Boyardville.

J has been trying to get me one of these for a couple summers, and they are “native” to the islands off the French Atlantic coast where there are pine forests. Essentially, the restaurant delicately spirals your mussels face down on a board, piles pine needles on top, and sets them on fire.

Needles have been piled on

Needles have been piled on

Burning

Burning

Ready to eat!

Ready to eat!

I have to say I found it pretty freaking messy and am not sure I would be super excited to do it again in spite of how cool it was. I mean the mussels are all charred. Rather than popping open like in regular cooking, most of the shells explode a little bit, hence one of the other names for this, “une éclade,” from the word “éclater.” Apparently “églade” comes from the old Saintongeois (dialect in this area of the Charente-Maritime) word for pine needles.

Here’s to the last week of summer vacation.

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