The “English B n B” was located in the rural commune of Fraissé-des-Corbières, though I don’t know if we realized how rural it exactly was until we started driving. When Andy and I decided to begin this journey, we went back and forth about what kind of town we wanted to end up in and consistently had the same shared vision. In Pittsburgh, we lived in a neighborhood that was vibrant and eclectic with a very “city” feel to it. Within a three minute walk, you can grab yourself a French pastry, a variety of local artisan crafts and gifts, ice cream for your pups, some Egyptian food, a movie ticket, a haircut and four different styles of Mexican food and that was just on one block. We loved the convenience, but agreed we were looking for a more slow, authentic experience in moving abroad. How slow, however, wasn’t exactly discussed in great detail up to that point. “Is this a road? Or a tractor path?” Andy said, studying his google maps, ready to abort ship. “Either way, it says we have to take it,” I urged, as he cautiously turned down the path, as if driving into oncoming lava. A large family winery sat on the entire right side with rows and rows of grapes arranged in perfect lines as far as the eye could see, cascading up and over the rolling hills. “It’s peaceful out here,” I said, taking in the view. “Maybe a little too peaceful,” Andy said, directing my attention to the opposite side of the path with a head nod in that direction. “What? Do cows equal tranquility?” I asked with a laugh. “I don’t know, we're not really “farm” people,” he said, shuttering. “Well, we aren’t in town yet, let’s reserve judgment until then.” Everytime Andy and I would save a listing, we would immediately google the town, trying to acclimate ourselves with the area. A lot of times, the photos provided didn’t really show the town in the best light. To be fair, a lot of them came from retired tourists with shaky hands and a basic, if not non-existent, understanding of their cell phone cameras. A hazy 12th century church here, an overly brightened 17th century chateau there. I thought it was cruel to base our judgment solely off of someone’s blurry holiday photos. Andy, on the other hand, had a tendency to write the home off completely, wanting to take it off of the list. If I really liked the home, however, I would always tell him that we must stand in the town and see how it makes us feel and that it was unfair to judge a town based on a few less-than-flattering photos. This was very much the style of our relationship. Andy is very reactionary in every sense of the word, in good or bad situations alike and I tend to always find myself being the voice of reason and nudging him to step back and take a moment to reflect before reacting. When it came to putting ourselves in each space before deciding, it seemed to have worked in our favor thus far, knowing immediately that the town either wouldn’t gel with our expectations or left us wanting to know more and trying to envision how we fit into that community’s fabric. “It says we are three minutes away,” Andy said, taking his hand off of the steering wheel and pointing to the estimated time on his phone. A beige stepple started to appear further ahead, surrounded and rising above various heights of tanned roofs. “There are so many wheat-colored shrubs and all of the buildings are made from the same tanned colored bricks, it all blends together!” he added, not too keen on the continuity of the color palette. “Last town the warm colors were welcoming and beachy, here they are drab,” I said, reminding him to take a pause. He waved my comment away with his free hand. The dirt road began to turn into a paved small path, barely big enough for one car to pass through. Andy’s demeanor began to change and he gripped the wheel a little tighter. “We should find a place to park while this car still fits on this road, we can walk the rest of the way,” he said slowly creeping the car down the tiny alley, now surrounded by ancient, stone village homes on each side. Ahead we saw a few cars pulled up onto the sidewalk and decided to take our chances and leave the car there. “How in the hell are we going to turn around to leave!” Andy asked, shutting off the car. I shrugged, grabbing the phone from the holder and getting out. Once in front of the car I began twirling around, trying to orient myself with the map. “Ok, so, we keep walking up this path and it says that Rue de l’Église should be on the left. We’re looking for number 2.” “Wonder where everyone is,” Andy said, closing his door and following behind me, looking back down the path we came. “Is this how we get murdered?” That was Andy’s go to question when we found ourselves in prickly situations in the middle of nowhere with not a single soul around to testify to our whereabouts. “Come on, goofball, or we’re going to be late. This agent’s name is Lesley,” I reminded him, stopping at the first intersecting path. “Hey look! Rue de l’Église,” I said, pointing up to the worn placard guiding us to the left up the small hill. At the top sat a church with a few stone homes on both sides. “Ok, so we’re obviously on “church street,”” I said, pointing to the ornate building. “Let me tell Lesley we made it. Which one is number two?” I asked Andy who had started to walk ahead and look at the homes. “None of them,” he said, looking back at me. “Around the back maybe?” I shrugged, finishing my What’sApp text to Lesley. We walked the whole perimeter of the church, but there were no number 2 homes in or around the building. “Is there a number one at least?” I asked, hoping Andy saw something I had missed. “No,” he replied, shaking his head. “I’m standing in the town and I don’t like it,” Andy whined impatiently. “Oh stop. We are here and we are going to see the house and then come to our conclusions,” I said, looking down at my phone to see where Lesley was. “She says she is here and standing in front of the church.” We looked around the empty church facade. “You are in Fraissé-des-Corbières and not just plain old Fraissé, right?” Her message asked. I zoomed out on the map on my phone. “Merde!” “What?” Andy questioned, walking over to me. Though he didn’t speak French, my tone and exasperated sigh after, let him know things weren’t good.
“We’re in the wrong town. The other town is close, though,”I added, trying to soften the bad news. “Really? There are two towns with almost exact names and the same street names?” He asked. This was France, almost every town no matter how big or small had streets named after important landmarks, such as the church, saints, political figures or writers. “Yes and yes,” I confirmed, starting back down the hill. “Well, I didn’t really like this town anyway,” he confirmed. “There’s literally nothing here!” Getting back into the car, I received another message from Lesley. “The owner was supposed to leave the key with the neighbor, but didn’t. Someone else is running one over, so take your time.” Back in the U.S., agents had keys to get into the properties they sold or atleast codes for the lock boxes, but that didn’t always seem to be the case here in France. The owner let everyone into the property at the “winemaker’s home” and Michele had mentioned briefly having to go return the key to the neighbor before heading out of town herself. My mind drifted to the watchmaker’s home and how the agent wasn’t able to show the property without the family present. I bit my lip. It was the first time I thought about the watchmaker’s home that day. Was it a sign that I wasn’t as obsessed with it as I thought? Or had I just been too busy to let my mind wander?
Earlier that morning we had chatted with the young girl watching the B and B as she placed homemade jams and croissants around our breakfast table.
“That town’s close to the black mountains,” she told us, as we recounted the original and now derailed plans. “The weather patterns change so quickly and dramatically there. Perhaps you didn’t yourself a favor by not going and getting too attached,” she concluded with a nod, her tight, blond curls bouncing with the movement.
When discussing the size of the town we wanted, we also talked about weather. Pittsburgh is so gray and swaps places every few years with Seattle as being the most rainy city in the U.S. We knew sunshine and good weather was one of the top three things for us. Would we have loved the home enough to overlook such a major top three want? I wasn’t sure any house we’ve visited so far had exceeded the love or excitement we felt for the watchmaker’s home. Could they have and I just wasn’t letting them? Be open minded, be open minded, be open minded. I kept telling myself, hoping the mindset would just sink in if I kept repeating it.
I clicked on my seatbelt as Andy studied the map, trying to find a way out of town that didn’t involve us backing out slowly down the path. “Ok, so if we go straight, there will be a right that we can take to loop back to the start of town,” he confirmed, clipping the phone back into the holder. Only a few minutes drive away through more desolate beige countryside, the “English B and B '' property was located in a slightly larger town than the hamlet we just left. We pulled into a parking spot along the side of the main street, knowing we had made it based on an English-looking woman waving wildly in the middle of the road. “We’re heeerree,” I sang into Andy’s ear. “Oh Jesus,” Andy said, looking at her then back at me, unprepared for that amount of enthusiasm. I waved back, trying to match her excitement. “Last house of this region! You ready?” I asked, taking a deep breath. “Let’s do it!” He said, opening his car door just in time to catch the beginning of Lesley’s conversation. “So sorry about this key situation. It should be here any moment. I’m glad you found the right place, though!” she said, walking over to meet us halfway. “Come, let me show you the home.” she waved her hand in a “come along” motion and turned around, starting to walk deeper into the town. When we first stumbled across the listing of the “English B and B '' we were immediately attracted to the sense of warmth the photos gave. The sitting room with its light gray stone floor, the deeply-lined bookshelves housing centuries old titles, their spines split and tattered with age and use, the sunken, dark leather pub chairs framing the working fireplace, which was encased with an intricately carved oak mantle, chestnut-beamed ceilings stretching the length of the room, drawing your eyes upward and the worn, gilded-frames surrounding ancient painting of family members long forgotten. The room exuded the feel of an English cottage set somewhere in the damp, dark moors of the countryside . Not exactly the ideal vacation vibes compared to some of the other places on our list, but the character really drew us in. Being American and not accustomed to that kind of decor and ancient charm, we were intrigued. There were not many other photos of the house included with the listing, but one of the last photos showed a clawfoot bathtub resting on an old herringbone wood pattern floor with a porcelain antique washing basin in the background. “It almost looks like a B and B,” Andy said, head angled sideways in order to see my computer. He took a sip of his coffee. “It looks too hotel-y. Too pretty, too purposefully styled for it to be someone’s everyday home,”he concluded. If even half of the home was as charming as the two rooms shown, Andy and I would be in over our heads, drowning in charm! We continued up a small uneven stone road, passing old, connected village homes on both sides, but again, no commerce. Where was the boulangerie? The tabac? The café? This was France! In my mind's eye, the quintessential French village town resembled the opening scene of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast with villagers wandering down the cobbled streets at a lazy pace, baskets in hand, filled with their market selections and shop shutters stretched wide, allowing you to peek in and see their specialties, beautifully lined and displayed.
One of my favorite things about shopping in France, whether at the weekly outdoor markets or in one the small, locally owned shops was the amount of pride the purveyors had for their goods. I once stopped at a local bee keeper’s stand to grab a few jars of honey as gifts and ended up spending a whole hour hearing about his bees and the process. To me, shopping in France was a more humanistic experience where I felt more connected to the items that I bought because of the stories told from the people I bought them from. Wanting to know more about a French person’s relationship with market life, I asked Agnès what she thought. “Well,” she started, “there are really outstanding products in the Provence region, well-known all over the country and beyond. That’s why the purveyors are so proud. Sure, some people do go to the supermarket and that is quicker and more of an everyday thing. Going to the market, though, is often a once-a-week thing when you can take your time, enjoy quality food, and build relationships.” So maybe the markets weren’t as much of a way of life in France as they used to be, but the personalized aspect of the experience still rang true for everyone.
Sure, they had their big box stores like we do here, but there still were weekly markets in almost every town and specialty shops selling regional items, usually made by hand.
Lesley stopped in front of a towering stone building with a large rounded wood-slatted front door. “This looks very, medieval drawbridge-esque,” Andy said, running his finger over the ancient metal hinges and half-dollar sized handmade nails holding them in place. “This was the stables,” Lesley started as her phone rang. “Pardon, I think this is the neighbor with the keys. Allô!” she said, answering the call and walking back down the path. “The horse stable?” I looked at Andy. “We like quirky history,” he said, stepping back to take all of the house in. Lesley appeared a moment later shaking a set of keys in her hand. “So, this property is owned by a British couple. They have had it for years and even used it as a B and B from time to time,” she said, jiggling at the key in the lock. Andy flashed me a “told you so smile.” The door yawned open, slowly revealing its continents in the afternoon light. “But, they are divorcing and trying to work out the financials. It is causing them to put this on the market. As I said before,” she stepped down and inside the home, running her hand along the wall, searching for the light switch. The room illuminated fully as she switched on the lights, “this was the old stables. They converted it into a reception area/living room.” We stepped inside the space and immediately the photos came to life. The stone floors from the photos were actually for practicality, now knowing the rooms original purpose. “Over here is the old watering hole,” she said, bringing us over to a large stone basin built into the wall, originally filled with water for the animals. Metal slats on the floor rested on top of a small drainage system, used to whisk away animal waste. These were details left out of the photos, giving away the spaces original use. In the corner rested a full suit of armor, boldly watching over the estate and its visitors. I looked to the lights Lesley had flicked on moments ago. They were in the shape of medieval torches. A family crest decorated the free space on the wall next to the armored suit. “I’m not going to lie,” Andy started, “this kind of feels like it’s something out of Medieval Times.” “Ah, yes, I can see how this room would remind you of the era,” she said, eying up the knight’s costume. “No, no. I don’t think you actually have them here, but there are actual restaurants called Medieval Times where it’s dinner and a jousting show and you feel as though you are in that time period,” I explained, thumbing through a few of the titles on the bookshelf. “How absolutely silly,” she said with a smile, amused by the idea of Americans wanting to experience such an old and boring part of her country's history. “Eh, knights aren’t really something we had in the U.S., it’s kitschy and silly for sure,” Andy confirmed. He walked over to the stairs, peeking up, not so subtly indicating he was ready to move on. “I must stay, I didn’t pick up on the medieval theme when looking at the photos online, nor did I get any stable or farm vibes either. It being a cold, damp place, I’m not sure we’d use it much,” I said, a bit disappointed that one of the rooms that initially got me to make the booking turned out to be a total sham. Suddenly the cold, dark, moor feel wasn’t as alluring as it once was. “Well there is much more house to see!” Lesley said, sweeping past Andy and gingerly up the uneven brick steps. “There is a small storage space and alternative bathroom in this little section of the stables,” she flicked on the bathroom light and stepped out of the doorway for us to pass through. Bracing myself for what a stable bathroom could potentially look like, I slowly entered the room. My expectations were lower than low from the bathrooms seen thus far, but I was pleasantly surprised. It definitely felt like I stepped into someone’s aunt’s bathroom from the 90’s, but again, compared to the others, this one was clean, dry, styled in a soothing pinkish vanilla color palette with decent lighting. Growing up, I associate matching colored tissue box holders, rugs that fit around the base of the toilet and toilet seat covers as something usually only found consistently in “nice” homes from my childhood. Now, though, those three elements gave the space a dated feel. While the bathroom would have been considered out of style for U.S. standards, it definitely felt elevated and updated not only for France, but considering the room we had just come from. I drew in a sigh of relief, happy that the theming didn’t continue into this space. Lesley switched off the light and began winding us up the large staircase and onto the next level. With each few steps, the family aged behind the glass picture frames that hung along the walls, marking their decades together. My eyes followed each picture as we curved up the stairs to the next level. As my eyes reached the landing I saw it, carpet. Dirty, stained, old, fraying at the ends, crusty, worn carpet. As I stepped off of the stairs and into the second floor of the home, I saw carpet of different colors and degree of dinginess spilling out of other rooms as well. “Let’s start with the kitchen,” she said, walking forward and into a large room absolutely inundated with massive amounts of furniture. I stepped into the kitchen, not sure where to look first. In each corner of the room, there were small mounds of dead flies, gnats, mosquitos and daddy long legs piled one on top of the other, making miniature black pyramids. Lesley noticed my gaze and quickly jumped in with an explanation. “When you lock and leave your home for so long, sometimes these things happen,” she said with a sympathetic shrug. “Nothing a good sweep and mop can’t fix,” she smiled, walking to the other end of the room and opening the kitchen door to let in some fresh air. The kitchen, though a little cluttered and dusty, had been updated somewhat recently. The space oddly looked as though the family went out to grab something at a neighbors and just never came back. Bottles of wine sat unopened on the edge of the counter with two glasses and a corkscrew sitting next to them. Mail and local advertisements rested in a neat pile on the kitchen table. Coats were hung over the chairs, as if not put away due to expected use in the near future. The heavy wooden dining table was pushed up against the right side of the kitchen, almost taking up the whole wall and jutting into the middle of the room. The left side was home to a grand, decorative fireplace that took up half of the wall on that side. The other half was devoted to a stove encased in counter tops that traveled the whole length of the wall, wrapping around part of the back of the wall, encasing the sink before stopping at a door that led to an outside space.
I studied the room. “This could be a great space. There is just so much stuff in it, that it’s hard to envision things paired back,” I said, letting my eyes land on the massive cluttered hutch that took up the entire entryway wall. “Even by removing one of these big pieces,” she placed her hand on the solid dining table, “it would free up so much space,” she agreed, making her way over and through the open kitchen door. “Out here is a small stone balcony. It has a dining table and is perfect for summer dining.” We made our way out to the space, filling it to capacity with just the three of us and the table and chairs present. Large, lush trees and shrubs grew up and around the balcony, twisting their branches in and out of its stone work. The greenery completely encapsulated the balcony, giving it total privacy from the neighbors located just a few feet next door. “I like this space,” Andy said, peeking over the balcony to gauge how high he was. “I could see myself working from here all the time.” “And it’s really private and with all these trees, I can see this staying really cool in the summer. It would also be pretty easy to maintain, since we wouldn’t be here year round,” I added. “Yes, this is a great little space. When you come back, all you’d have to do is sweep off the space and wipe down the furniture. It’s perfect for lock and leave living.”
The term lock and leave wasn’t something we really had heard of until actually being in France and looking at homes. Every single home up to that point was a lock and leave property with the exception of the winemaker’s home. No one had lived there in decades, all of the children having moved into their own homes after getting married and starting a family. With the last sibling married off, the grand estate sat vacant, withering and waiting for its second life to begin. But when touring these specific types of homes, I was beginning to notice the same trademark calling cards: a heavy stale smell that hits you as soon as you enter, dead bugs and spider webs collecting in certain spots around the home, a feeling of damp moisture despite it being warm and sunny outside. At each location, the agents raced to the windows, sprawling them wide, trying to breathe new life into the closed up property. When it came to locking and leaving our property, Andy and I had lightly discussed the idea of renting, but we were very big on collecting trinkets and treasures any time we visited antique markets and estate sales and using them to decorate our space. The thought of strangers carelessly fingering through our collection of 1900’s postcards or accidentally mishandling a nick nack from the 1800’s that could not be easily replaced led us to believe our curiosities were safer in an unrented space. Some people would say, “just put the things you don’t want broken away,” and I do agree with that to a certain extent, but I believe more in having a home that is unique and exudes our personality, than having a space that feels bare, boring and like a full-time rental. Standing on the balcony, looking back into the kitchen, though, I started to question if renting was, perhaps, the best move. Locking and leaving started to give off the feeling of deterioration and decay more than preservation and protection. “There is a living room and two bedrooms on this floor,” Lesley said, pushing back through the door and out of the kitchen. We followed diligently behind her, all ending up at the landing. “This first room is considered the master and has an ensuite bathroom,” she said, entering the room. The room itself was spacious, but felt suffocatingly heavy. An enormous canopy bed sat in the center, swimming in numerous layers of antiquated quilts and duvet covers, topped with mounds and mounds of frilly and ruffled pillows. Squeezed tightly against the wall and the foot of the bed sat a massive chest of drawers, expanding almost the entirety of the wall. Long, thick beige double layered curtains hung from the window, allowing small streams of light to peek through their dated ruffles. “It feels like a grandma’s bedroom,” Andy said, letting the faded curtains run through his fingers as he walked towards the bathroom. “This is usable, just dated. May just need a little freshening up,” he said, peeking his head in and out of the space as he walked by. I walked over to the bathroom and peeked in. The room itself was small, with a toilet, small sink and shower, but kept well. Tiles surrounded the walls and continued into the shower and spilled down onto the floor in the color of a 1970’s soft powder blue. Andy was right, it wasn’t awful, it just wasn’t good.
I pulled my head out of the bathroom and followed Andy into the living room. So far, nothing on this floor was seen in any of the photos provided online and I was beginning to see why. Everything looked like it was locked and left from the 90’s, from the weighty, bulky furniture to the color palettes and the patterns used. The living room was no exception. I moved my feet in a marching pattern. “Why is the ground mushing under my feet?” I looked down at the reddish-brown carpet that looked to be buckling in spots around the room. “I don’t think it was nailed down too well,” the agent winced. “No, no,” Andy began, “that’s probably a good thing! It will make it easier to pull it all up.” He walked over to the floor to ceiling windows, pulling open layer upon layer of the long, worn, thick drapes. Finally reaching the actual pane, he looked down at the street we had entered from. Two large floral couches lined each wall of the room, both indented with years of sitting and lounging. “Are they planning on leaving everything or taking it?” I was honestly hoping it was the latter, unsure of how we’d dispose of so much heavy, large, worn items. “They are leaving it all for the lucky buyer!” she squealed. My face pulled a frown and she quickly lost her excitement. “Don’t you want them to leave items? You will be coming with nothing, right?” Andy backed away from the window to join the conversation. “We will, we just aren’t sure how much of this is our style, that’s all.” I shot Andy a “thanks for jumping in” smile as I started to walk out of the room. “How about the other bedroom?” I asked, stopping again at the landing, waiting for everyone to catch up. “Just right around this corner. It’s smaller than the others, but perfect for guests.” She led us to a small room with minimal furniture, just the basics. There was a small double bed with a plain, white quilt folded to cover half of the bed, a night stand holding a small reading lamp and a worn painting of a sailboat in muted colors on the opposite wall. The sparse items were all that it took to almost fill the room to capacity. We all stood in the doorway, admiring the space together from the outside. “The third floor has the other three bedrooms and a shared bathroom for the floor,” she said, flipping off the guest room light. As we ascended the stairs, we were greeted with even more carpet on the next landing. This floor’s carpet was a dusty mauve color, hiding the wear and dirt a little better than the downstairs landing's off white. “Here is the bathroom,” Lesley led us into the first door in front of the stairs. Here it was, the beautiful bathroom from the photos, yet, not looking so picturesque in real life. A layer of dust blanked the bathroom's entire continents. Picture frames, bathroom fixtures, and windowsills all had a haze of dust, making them look a bit fuzzy once the lights were turned on. I peeked inside of the bathtub. A ring of rust expanded around the drain and layers of build up and film rose up the sides. “Looks like it hasn’t been used in a while,” I noted. “Well, this tub isn’t working at the moment, but could easily be fixed,” Lesley chimed in. “Not working?” Andy strolled over to take a look. “What’s wrong with it?”He asked. Lesley started flipping through her manilla envelope that housed all of the home’s details and dirty secrets. Andy looked down at the wood parquet floor. “I bet the pipes,” he said, squatting down to feel under the feet of the clawfoot tub. “The floor is all warped, what a shame, I bet it was original,” he shook his head and pulled a frown. “Pipes can be replaced, it’s an easy fix,” she said, shuffling around some more papers. I turned to Andy. “This seems like a lot of house for just two people,” I said, waiting to gauge his reaction. Instead, Lesley led us out of the bathroom, “but you haven’t even seen it all!” She exclaimed. She led us through two smaller bedrooms that mirrored the guest room on the floor below before stopping at one last door. “This is quite an odd room,” she prefaced, “but I think some guests, if you were to rent it, would find it fun and charming, especially if they had children.” She opened the door to what appeared to be a narrow walk in closet. Once you stepped into the small space, it was lined on each side with storage and was loaded to the brim with all of the random effects a family would collect over decades of homeownership. Bedding was stuffed up on the highest shelves along with Christmas decorations, spare pieces of artwork that hadn’t made the cut, stuffed animals and boxes upon boxes of clothing labeled for different seasons. If you kept walking, however, the narrow space opened up to a small room that felt like that ultimate secret hideout. “I’m sure their son’s loved growing up with this space,” I said, remembering their photos through the years cascading up the stairwells. “Oh, yes! It’s the perfect private boys club, I’m sure they felt very covert!” Lesley smiled.
After a deep dive into the hidden space, which was empty with the exception of a few boxes packed away for safekeeping, we all emerged back to the landing to debrief. “Again,” I said, still waiting for Andy’s two cents, “this space is massive for two people and would need a lot of work, the kind of work we weren’t planning on partaking in.” I paused, waiting for his response. “I agree, it also doesn’t really feel like us, if I’m being honest. Also, we didn’t really see much of the town, is there a town? A restaurant? Boulangerie? Café?” He said in an almost “I’ll take anything” kind of tone. “The mobile boulangerie comes once a day, but it’s only in the morning,” she explained. “This is now the second or maybe even third time I’ve heard of this mobile breadman. How does this work? Do you have to order in advance? Does he come door to door like the old milk men did in the U.S.? Does he come set up in the town square and everyone must come to him? Does he have everything a shop would have? Just on wheels?” I guess I didn’t realize I had so many questions about this concept until they began spilling out. “It all depends on the town and the breadmaker,” she replied, a bit overwhelmed with my rapid fire questioning. “If it’s something you’d like me to look into, I definitely can,” she offered. “Maybe we will go home and sleep on and let you know what we decide,” I started, now accustomed to providing the parting diplomatic closing lines. “It’s a lot to think about,” Andy chimed in. I started for the stairs, knowing we’d have plenty of time to finish the conversation on the climb down the many flights of stairs. “I completely understand,” Lesely said, following our lead down the stairs. When we got to the bottom I took one last disappointed look around the stables. The knight glared back at me and I sighed, disenchanted in the visit, but happy that we didn’t fall for a house in a town that didn’t align with our wants. Lesely grabbed the massive metal door handle in the shape of a ring and pulled the heavy wooden door shut. We thanked her for her time and headed to the car, thankful for our time in this region, but ready to see what moving a little more inland had to offer. As we kept going east on our journey, the prices kept creeping up, but so did the days of sunshine a year and our hopes. This region didn’t feel like us, but we were starting to get our feet wet and understand expectations and we couldn’t have hit our stride at a better time!
**Above is our journey from the Spanish boarder through the whole south and all the stops in between. You may notice Vaison is not marked, it was a totally by chance we ended up there!
Bonjour, Ciao, Salut! I'm Rachel and this is my story documenting our experience buying a home in France. If you are looking for advice on home buying, feel free to e-mail me or check the bottom of the home page for a link to a basic guide.