We made it back from our home in Chavot-Courcourt, Champagne to our permanent home in North Vancouver, British Columbia. It was a direct flight from Paris to Vancouver and I can not say enough about the incredible staff and service at Air Transat. Our two Labrador Retrievers were healthy and well and, if I can be honest, alive. I had a bit of anxiety about the dogs’ health leading up to and on the flight but my fears turned out to be nothing more than an overly active brain. Whew.
Having been home in B.C. now for one week, I feel like everything is clicking into place. Our farewell from our friends (who are now family) in Champagne was nothing short of heartwarming and emotional. Our ‘voisins’ (neighbours) came out of their houses to wave us a final goodbye from their driveways and balconies. Our dear friend and David’s BFF, Eric Lebeau, drove us all to the train station and helped us load our 4 massive suitcases, dog crates, and an assortment of carry-on luggage onto the train with a beautiful smile and a gentle nod goodbye. It is actually hard to express how much the people of Champagne let us into their hearts. I was quite emotional (which isn’t such a new concept) over how much love we were given during our 14 month ‘grandes vacances’.
I have so much to say about our stay in France and what I learned. How I began to understand the culture, food, wine, people and country – but I feel like I need a bit of distance before I start.
It is my sincere intention to write a book about our time in Champagne – possibly two – one with Mackenzie, Muriel and Murphy as the main characters!
We went to France to fulfill David’s lifelong dream of living in France. We went to France so that our daughter, Mackenzie, could become fluent in French. We went to France so that I could continue my education of my favourite style of wine – champagne.
All of these hopes were realized. And, so much more.
Thank you for reading.