After some glitchy internet issues and a little bit of a language barrier on our blog account, I am finally able to update our site!
Our trip to Montpellier was wonderful! Granted, we were all a bit tired after traveling so far and for such a long time. Adam is the only one that was able to sleep on the plane ride from Charlotte, North Carolina to Frankfurt Germany - and he slept mostly in my lap so my legs fell asleep for awhile, but that was about the worst part of the trip.
Within approximately 16 hours, we said "hello" and "thank you" in four different languages - English, German, Spanish and French-people tolerated our American accent pretty well!
The approach into Barcelona was absolutely breathtaking with a view of the mountains, the sea shore and the villages around - I wish that my camera had been within reach! Once in Barcelona, we took a bus to the 2nd airport terminal in order to catch the train (subway like) to the downtown train station. While entering the train at the 2nd airport terminal, we were almost seperated from Adam and Emma because while heaving our luggage onto the train, the doors began to close! Andrew shouted at Nathan and me to run to another door and get on so we did, just in time to watch Emma find the button to re-open her door and let Andrew on! Whew! That was close and I was very nervous since we do not have cell phones and do have a BIG language barrier! The trip on this train was a bit tight - a lot of people wanted to go to the Barcelona Sants station!
Thanks to our friend, Brian Bowers' cousin's help, we booked rooms at a hotel for the night which was directly across the street from the station - it was a gorgeous hotel with a wonderful view of Barcelona.
Upon a suggestion from the front desk lady, we enjoyed a wonderful dinner at a local restaurant - upon our waitresses suggestion, we ordered a large seafood platter that Nathan, Andrew and I shared (Adam and Emma chose pasta) - the bill came and we realized just how much we REALLY enjoyed that meal! 105 euros (approx. $130!!!) for the seafood platter alone! It was worth it! Everyone except Emma then took a walk down to the magic fountain - (pictures to follow soon!) and a large castle which is now a museum. The water in the fountain was beautifully synchronized to opera music - wonderful!
For breakfast the following morning, we enjoyed memories of our dinner from Friday night - we didn't have time to get food and the train didn't have any available!
The train ride to Montpellier was very nice as we enjoyed seeing the beautiful countryside with the old spanish architecture, beautiful mountains etc... Interestingly though, there is graffiti everywhere which is a shame.
Marie, our relocation agent, was at the Montpellier train station to greet us and pick us up along with our landlord, Jean Marie Boisson since one car here in France would not accomodate all of our luggage and our bodies! Marie had a third person on stand-by just in case she was needed and it turns out that the third person is an American teacher from Ohio! We hope to meet her soon.
Our house is very nice and has plenty of room for us. We are having an interesting time learning to use the oven with the temperatures in celcius (I don't even know how to spell it!) and the toilets with pull chains! Our landlords are wonderful and took us on a car tour of the city on Sunday (it was overcast and cool) and down to the Mediterranean sea shore. On the way to the sea, we passed some Lagoons where we saw REAL Flamingos (did you know that they are not very pink in the winter due to a lack of available shrimp for consumption?? The consumption of shrimp is the reason the Flamingos are pink)! We then came back to Le Maison and collected the deux chiens (two dogs) for a nice walk along along a river by the Montpellier zoo.
So far we are enjoying a lot of french bread, french cheese, french WINE etc... and it is all delicious!
Andrew began his job today and met his colleagues who were very welcoming. We opened our banc compt (bank account) and purchased cell phones today also. The kids and I took a walk into downtown Montpellier which is MUCH MUCH more beautiful than I had anticipated! I will try to get pictures on here soon! That's all for now! Au revoir from la Famille Burns!