nos·tal·gia: a wistful or excessively sentimental yearning for return to or of some past period.
Matt and I were watching House Hunters International tonight (love this show!!) and this young family was looking for a home in Northern France. It was so beautiful and reminded me so much of the quaint little villages and countryside we loved so much. I've told Matt a million times that I wish we'd had this blog while we were over there to document our adventures, we made so many wonderful memories and I feel like we're starting to forget some of the fun and quirky details that come with living in a foreign country. I don't often feel a strong longing to be back in Lux or France but it's been on my mind a lot the past few weeks. I miss the leisurely days, the breathtaking scenery, the amazing food, the always interesting trips. So here is a glimpse of our life abroad. First in Luxembourg and then France. (Actually this may be a two or three part post!!)
I hope you (the 15 people that read this blog!!) enjoy the photos but really, I just felt the need to journal some of our time overseas. It was such an amazing experience yet very trying at times too. We learned so much about each other and grew together, I think these two years provided a very strong foundation for our marriage.This picture was taken the day after I arrived in Luxembourg, I was still in such a state of shock and had such severe jet-lag I honestly don't remember this picture being taken!! This is our Renault Megane, a funny little car that really struggled to make it up the hilly terrain of Lux, used a card (think Visa card) to start instead a key and only had a cassette player!!! Funny thing though, I loved this little car!!
I wish we had a picture of our grocery store, Auchan. It was more like a mall and I will never forget the first time we tried to go grocery shopping. Matt had been in Lux for two weeks before I got there but never ventured to Auchan.. he ate out every meal! So when we went he didn't have a clue either. It was the day after I arrived and the previously mentioned jet-lag didn't help. All I wanted was some fresh fruit. Everything else was foreign to me, fruit sounded comforting. Wrong idea. Who knew you had to weigh your food and tag it in the produce section?? NOT ME. We went to check out and the very friendly (sense the sarcasm) clerk repeatedly told me in French, Luxembourgish (yes, an actual language) and probably German that I had to weigh my food first. I of course had no clue what she was saying and just stood there staring at her hoping her words would somehow sink in. After a minute or two a kind shopper took pity on us and explained in English. We left Auchan with no fruit and many tears.
Our lovely little home - "The Elephant House". That's me standing on the top balcony which was the best feature of our little apartment, ha!!! I use the term apartment lightly. Dorm room is probably a more accurate description! We had a large open bedroom and shared a kitchen and bathroom with other two other 20-something foreigners. Benoit from France and Veronique from Belgium, both were extremely sweet and wonderful people. It was a good way to meet people and forced us out of our comfort zone a bit, it also was in walking distance to the beautiful gardens and City Center.
I think I could spend hours every week just wandering through the beautiful gardens and parks (which is exactly what we did!) I had never seen such vibrant flowers or detailed architecture. Lux really is like a fairytale town. Every home is perfectly kept, every garden perfectly manicured. No graffiti, no garbage, just beauty everywhere you look.
This is the Grand Ducal Palace in the City Center of Luxembourg. We walked passed it everyday on our way to lunch and I was in awe everyday.
Some of my favorite places in Lux:
Vallée des Sept Châteaux
Beautiful countryside just minutes from our home.. This was such a peaceful and relaxing drive through about 15 miles of winding country roads. Along the way are signs for the seven castles (sept chateaux) we definitely missed a few but with nowhere to be all day, we took our time exploring and enjoying the gorgeous scenery!
American Military Cemetary
One of our first tourist stops when we arrived in Lux. This cemetery is about 10 miles outside of the city and was built in honor of American soldiers who lost their lives during WWII. General Patton is buried here, it was really special to visit a military cemetery in a foreign country, definitely made us feel proud of our country and the men and women who have died for our freedom.
The festival of Schueberfouer is held once a year in the City and is basically a giant carnival and great excuse to drink way too much beer!! Luxembourg beer of choice: Bofferding