30 Days of Thankfulness: Days 26-30

thankfulnessI have been rather busy this week and every night, by the time I get home, I have barely enough energy to put myself into bed. So my apologies for slacking so much on my thankfulness posts. I am still thankful for many things! So here are the last 5 posts of the month, all wrapped up nice and neatly in one simple blog post:

Holidays that revolve around family – Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter…it’s always fun to celebrate holidays surrounded by family (and family also includes close friends!). I’m once again thankful for being able to celebrate Christmas with my family in the States this year! It has been 2 years since I’ve seen most of them!!

Seasons – I LOVE seasons. In Florida our seasons are limited: there’s summer, hotter summer, and then if you live up north you’ll get a cold, dry winter for a couple of months in between a short autumn and an even shorter spring (literally less than 2 weeks). But where I live right now we have equal seasons! What a concept :) I just love seeing nature change constantly but slowly throughout the year.

Owning a car – You don’t really need a vehicle to get around over here in the Grenoble area, but it has been such a blessing to us to own a car this past year. We went for about 6 months or so without owning a car and I remember quite vividly having to walk to the train station every other week because half of the tram line was out of service during the summer. But now we have a car :) and we’re able to drive other people around as well, something that I have always loved doing since my freshman year at FSU when I was dependent on other people giving me rides. So thank You God for blessing us with a car!

Christmastime – I admit, we decorated our apartment for Christmas Monday night, the day after our first Thanksgiving celebration of the week. I will try to have that post up tomorrow hopefully :) I have already been listening to Christmas music since mid-November! I couldn’t stop myself after the first snow fell, but we abstained from buying a tree until this week so we could have 3 full weeks of Christmas decorations in our apartment before we leave for the States.

All of you readers! – And last, but certainly not least, I am very thankful for all of you who read and comment on my blog! I am thankful for the friends I have made and the conversations I have enjoyed having through the blogosphere. I’ve had this blog for nearly 2 years now, but until this year I didn’t really keep up with my posting but I am thankful for doing that now :)

Hope you all had a lovely Thanksgiving and a wonderful November! May the rest of your year continued to be filled with thankfulness and blessings :)

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July Getaway: St. Sorlin

During the summer, French people take a lot of vacations! Going on 2-4 week family vacations once or twice a summer is a big part of the culture here. Unfortunately, most Americans don’t have the time or money to do the same, probably because vacations mean unpaid leave from work. But here you get paid to take five weeks of vacation time a year! That’s rather nice!

One of the vacations we took this summer was to St. Sorlin D’Arves, about an hour and a half away in the Alps. Matt’s parents own a cute little cabin there in the mountains, and they usually go a couple of weeks every summer and during Christmas. This year we also spent Easter weekend there to get one last trip at the ski slopes!

During the summer it is gorgeous (well, it’s gorgeous all the time!). The weather is sunny and cool, there are flowers everywhere, and there are plenty of fun outdoor activities to keep us busy. Solo loved it there especially. One of the best things about having an active, adventurous companion dog is that you can literally bring him anywhere, and we really do! In the three months that we’ve had him he’s been to the mountains (his favorite place), the beach, rivers, on a bike ride in one of those little kiddy trailers, on a ski lift, on hours worth of train, tram, boat and car rides, on lots of big and little hikes…and he’s done a lot of other things too that I’m forgetting. While we were in St. Sorlin we went on a four-hour hike up one of the mountains near the cabin. It was a little chilly and there was still snow in a couple of places which Solo played in (pictures at the end of this post). We stopped for lunch near the top at a lake. Overall it was a wonderful day!

Two other things we did during our week in the mountains was have a family picnic dinner around some nearby lakes during sunset, and we took a ski lift up to the same area one morning where there was a small “festival” in honor of the annual sheep pilgrimage that happens in St. Sorlin. Three shepherds migrate with their herd of around 1500 sheep from their winter pasture by the sea to their summer pasture in the mountains. We left Shepherd Solo back at the cabin, just in case he got any ideas to herd/chase the sheep!

A collage of some of our St. Sorlin experiences!