Arrival in France

Friday, May 10, 2019  Port Camargue, France.  We arrived! It took a long time to exit the USA with Tiller, our 4-month-old dog, and 5 large bags last Monday. We needed to wait for TSA in the back of the airport to check Tiller’s crate for drugs before going through security ourselves. The trip was uneventful, however, and Tiller did not seem to mind being in her crate in the cargo hold on the overnight flight. When we arrived in CDG Paris, I found her asleep in her crate at the oversize luggage area. When I peered in her crate, she just looked at me like she does in the morning when she wakes up after a night sleep. I found my nail clippers, removed the security plastic ties to let her out, and whisked her off to the woman’s washroom – she is trained to pee on a pee pad – and then we were ready to get going to the rental car area. Then, the 11-hour car ride to La Grande Motte, a long drive because of frequent stops for coffee, water and dog relief.

The Airbnb I rented was disappointing – too small and not suitable for a long stay so we lived out of suitcases as we looked for somewhere else. I hunted down another location, a 3-bedroom townhouse in Port Carmargue, Grau du Roi. The townhouse is right on the water in a boat basin, with a small terrace overlooking all the boats.  We have rented the house for two months and finally feel settled here this morning after unpacking all our bags.

The last month has been crazy – between BioAxone, selling our house, moving stuff to storage, moving stuff to a small apartment in Millennium Tower (Boston), packing crates to ship to France and organizing travel.  With all the moving, timing has really worked out for us: our house was sold the week we left,  Krista (my sister) sublet her apartment to move into our apartment while we are away, and we got settled  in France just in time to receive our container. We shipped a container full of boat gear and personal effects from Boston to France via Amsterdam, and it will arrive in the Outremer boatyard by truck Monday. We found a hired man to help move everything to storage until the boat is ready, and I will be sorting out our personal items to move to our home here. Another move!

We visited our boat yesterday and it is coming along nicely. They are installing the appliances and furniture, and we can now see how beautiful BioTrek is going to be with our custom changes and choice of finishes. We also saw the mast in the boat yard being rigged – wow – what an impressive structure when horizontal. The mast will be installed when BioTrek  is launched the end of May. After launch there is much to complete before delivery, such as rigging, electronics, communication, navigation systems, water maker and finishes inside the boat. The delivery was supposed to be the end of June, but there have been delays. We should be ready to move on board before our rental finishes July 15.

Mast for BioTrek being rigged
Hull of the boat

Despite the crazy last month, Tiller has been a good traveler and traveling with a dog is easier than we expected. However, Tiller was out of sorts all day yesterday; no appetite and low energy- perhaps jet lag catching up and too many changes. After moving to our new place today and getting settled, we think she now knows she is “home” with her bag unpacked and her crate set up. Also, being on the water is reminiscent of our previous home in Boston, with a sea breeze and the sound of sea birds. We have enjoyed sharing our dog’s first experiences, such as the first time she saw snow, and now the first time on a beautiful sandy beach. The beach at La Grande-Motte is pretty deserted this time of year, and Tiller went wild, crazy running in the sand, chasing waves along the water edge, and coming towards me like a bullet when I whistle. We think she liked it even more than she loved a fresh snow fall! Pierre and I are happy to have confirmed that Tiller will be a water dog, and we are looking forward to introducing her to her new home on BioTrek.  

Trampoline being installed

Pierre and I are very happy in our new home and enjoyed a glass of rosé on our terrace this evening. This is a beautiful region of France with pink flamingos in the salt lagoons, the poppies in full bloom, and many beaches nearby. We are well set up in this waterfront townhouse, and each have our own office. The only hiccup is that we do not have internet yet, but the landlord has ordered it and we should have internet in a week. In the meantime, we can get some off-line work done – I have grant reports to write, and Pierre has programming for the boat systems. There is a selection of French literature, and  I am looking forward to improving my vocabulary through reading. We love the location here, and are well set up to continue work while we enjoy life in France before we receive our new boat. 

Port Camargue

3 thoughts on “Arrival in France”

  1. Congratulations Lisa & Pierre on your new furry child and your new adventure! Your description of the last couple months sounds very exhausting but productive! We look forward to reading your adventures as they unfold!

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