|One of the many things I miss when I'm in Paris - our small yard. Not visible in the photo are the irises that are in bloom.|
"Do you know where the bottle opener is?"
"Have you seen the remote control for the tv?"
"I'm going to make some tea. Do you want some? Oh, wait...I don't know if there's any left."
Stephane and I are on vacation in Annapolis for a couple of days -- but the word "vacation" is extremely misleading, unless you consider cleaning windows, hunting down kitchen utensils and transplanting hosta as a sabbatical from the rigors of visiting the Louvre and Versailles.
So, how did a Swiss/American couple who lives in Paris end up with a home in Annapolis, Maryland? As my mother used to tease, it was Stephane's birthday gift to himself. It all started when Stephane fell head over heels in love with "America's Sailing Capital" during his annual sailing trips. When we were transferred back to Switzerland from Ohio in 2008, we decided that it was time to get a permanent place in the United States. I suggested a couple of diverse locations, including Chicago and Charleston, while Stephane lobbied long and hard for Annapolis. Guess who got his way?
But I'm not complaining. It does my heart good to see the bounce in Stephane's step as we stroll along the brick sidewalks to Chick and Ruth's Delly, one of our favorite spots for breakfast in the historic district. On the way, my normally reserved husband greets everyone with a cheery "Good Morning!" When I elbow him in the ribs and smile, he responds that he loves how friendly everyone is here. They're amiable because it's hard to resist a Swiss man who is so enamored with Maryland that he wears Brooks Brothers shorts embroidered with blue crabs, the official state crustacean.
When we're not in Annapolis, we rent our house for special events, like the US Naval Academy's Commissioning Week, the United States Sailboat and Powerboat Shows and the State Legislative Session. In an interesting twist, our next guests are a French/Belgian family whose son will graduate from the Naval Academy on May 29. They live in a small town outside of Boston and even offered to let us stay with them when we're there for our son's graduation. We didn't accept but it goes to show that the world is full of amazing people!
In preparation for their visit, I'm busy re-making the beds, putting all of the towels back where they belong (why do all of them always end up in one bathroom?), organizing the cupboards and replenishing the supply of staples. It's exciting to think of the woman's relatives who are traveling from France to Annapolis for Commissioning Week. I hope that they enjoy their time in Annapolis as much as we do.
Now it's time to get back to work! But first...
|Stephane's shorts - What do you think, could he wear these in Paris?|