Two years!

The Roamers celebrate their second Franciversary

“Does it feel like two years to you?” I asked Phil. “Not at all, it doesn’t seem like we’ve been here nearly that long,” he replied. Our first two years living in France have flown by, filled with fun, friendship, roaming, learning, and some amazing food. 

Last year, for our first Franciversary, we celebrated over a wonderful dinner for two at Bistro la Canourge, inside a gorgeous Montpellier hotel. We enjoyed cocktails first, of course, in the magnificent bar, and we met a lovely British couple dining at the next table.

Bistro la Canourge

This time, our celebration has occurred over several days. First up was a fun and  hilarious dinner party we hosted for friends Margi, Michael, Jana, and Martin. So much laughter! We had a lot to celebrate: two birthdays, our Franciversary, and treasured friendship. I was having too much fun to take any photos, but I’ll tell you about the meal: after enjoying Phil’s sidecars, we had a first course of rosé shrimp, served with a delicious sparkling rosé our friends contributed. The main course was pork Wellington with a beet, feta, and walnut salad (copied from Jana!), followed by a traditional cheese course and finally lemon meringue pie. Oh, and plenty of wine, of course; after all, this is France! We laughed so much our stomachs were sore the next day!

Rosé Shrimp

The next evening we enjoyed a delicious dinner with close friends Jo and Dennis at the beautiful Domaine de Verchant‘s restaurant la Plage. Joined by their exceedingly well-behaved dog Denali, we had a great time catching up and celebrating our lives in France. I hope we get a chance to return in the daytime so we can see everything at that beautiful estate!

And finally, on the actual anniversary of our arrival in France, we celebrated by. . .going to our French lessons! But after that, we hopped in the car for a trip to Narbonne. We arrived too late for the famous covered market, but we enjoyed a nice lunch nearby before strolling along the canal. The best part of our experience was the cathedral, an unfinished masterpiece dating from the 1200s. 

Walking between the former Archbishop’s palace and the cathedral

We rounded a corner and were greeted by a magnificent building, complete with gargoyles of all types. The afternoon sun gave the structure a golden glow.

Gothic arches, gargoyles, and more!

As we entered the cathedral, we heard Gregorian chant (a recording, but still hauntingly beautiful). We proceeded to the choir (the only part of the cathedral that was completed, along with the sacristy and side chapels) and were flabbergasted by the beauty of this place.

The choir

Despite its unfinished state (we’d read that construction was halted because continuing would have required demolition of the city walls, which were needed for protection), the cathedral boasts some of the most magnificent stained glass I’ve ever seen.

Just one of many sections of stained glass

We took the long way home, enjoying the scenery and a magnificent sunset. We’ll definitely return to Narbonne, as there is much more to see!

And the final component to this celebration will happen next week, when we take the train to Marseille for a couple of nights. After two years of living in France, we stil pinch ourselves in disbelief that we’re lucky enough to have this life! We will continue making memories. With gratitude.

Two years ago, approaching our new life