The 4th Six Months in France

July 29, 2013

By Gabrielle.

This is number 4 out of five posts in this mini-series about our time in France (here are posts one, two and three). It covers the months of August 2012 through January 2013, and includes trips to London, Ethiopia, Switzerland, Paris and Venice.

These months were not so long ago and the memories are still really fresh! It was wonderful to relive our adventures as I wandered through my archives.

I think I’ll get right to it.

Before we were done with jet lag from our month in the U.S., we jumped in the car for a road trip to the London Olympics. An amazing trip!

Shortly after our trip, my Grandma Rudi passed away. : (

We started looking at French cottages. And then we got more serious about the search.

We spent some of our August afternoons at the beach. And we expanded the Design Mom team.

I went to New York for the first Alt Summit NYC. Full report here.

A few hours after I arrived home from New York, we once again jumped in the car for a spontaneous road trip — this time to Switzerland! Mini report here. Full report here (plus 6 tips for last minute road trips). And don’t forget Swiss stacked wood!

We reported on our visit to Haras du Pin. And we made an Olive Us episode about buying eggs from our neighbor.

What to Wear to 1st Grade

We featured our second set of Euro Edition What to Wear to School posts: Olive, Oscar, Maude, Ralph, Betty. We discussed how to Layer Like the French. And we finished our school supply shopping.

euro s'mores

We cleaned the kitchen. Discovered a local hike. And continued our French cottage search. We made Euro S’mores.

announced my trip to Ethiopia with #OneMoms. And wrote lots of dispatches and reports from that life changing trip: arrivalonetwothreefour, what happens next, about the medical system, the brand of Ethiopia, plus Ethiopian souvenirs.

My Grandma Lucille died. : (

I went to New York to speak at Martha Stewart’s American Made event. (Martha tweeted out our panel!) We made spooky scarecrows.

We mourned with the rest of the world about Hurricane Sandy. We spent another week filming Olive Us episodes. We ate dinner at an Abbey that’s a thousand years old. Spent a Saturday in Paris — including a visit to the Centre Pompidou and a ride on the Ferris Wheel. And prepped for our second Thanksgiving in France.

french pharmacy picks

I shared a third round up of French Pharmacy Picks.

We went on a Christmas Tree Hunt. Used our front window to make an Advent Calendar. And discussed stylish last-minute grocery store gifts. Visited the outdoor Christmas Market in Rouen.

Venice | Design Mom13

Then, we went to Venice for the Christmas break! We arrived on New Year’s Eve and celebrated with the whole city. We took a gondola ride. We visited the island of Murano. You can read a full report here.

We bought French linens as a souvenir. (The night we found those linens, we attended an art show in Saint Pierre Sur Dives, and happened upon a Christmas market and parade that took our breath away. I never wrote it up. It was one of those experiences that was so special, I wanted to keep it to myself. Sort of hold it in my heart.) We attended our second Kings Cake celebration.

We shared Betty in Paris — it’s the most viewed episode of Olive Us.

I went to Salt Lake City for Alt Summit 2013, which included hanging out with Jessica Alba! What I wore to the conference. Another mini report here. A post about Chris Anderson’s keynote. A post about Stefan Sagmeister’s keynote. A post about the FashionABLE scarf contest at Alt Summit.

And then, I made my way home.

I have to say, that particular set of 6 months really stands out to me as special. The Olympics and Switzerland and Venice were huge highlights among our travels! I imagine I’ll be re-reading this post whenever I’m homesick for our time abroad.

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

1 BON VOYAGE July 29, 2013 at 10:15 am

Thank you Design Mom!!! We are now following in your travel footsteps!!!


2 bliss July 29, 2013 at 12:13 pm

we love betty in paris but our favorite is ghost town.
betty is probably the common factor for my kids.
they just love betty!


3 Sophie July 29, 2013 at 12:39 pm

Hi Gabrielle,
just returned from a 3-day-trip to Paris and loved to watch “Betty in Paris”. Beautiful girl in a beautiful video :-)!


4 Alison Chino July 29, 2013 at 2:18 pm

What a full six months! VENICE is my favorite! Magical. :)


5 giulia July 29, 2013 at 2:46 pm

these are some amazing six months! seriously! you should be so proud of yourself as a family for making so much out of these years:) i think i’ll do something like this on my blog to look back on the year we’ve spent here in barcelona:)


6 Carter Higgins July 29, 2013 at 6:25 pm

J’adore Betty in Paris! And has it really been a year?! Thrilled to be here.


7 Elisabeth Bergoo August 6, 2013 at 9:55 am

Gabrielle, I so enjoying reading all your reports. France is a gorgeous country in itself, and then the closeness these days to other beautiful parts of Europe. I have had reason to spend time in the little town of OMS, not far from Perpignan, on the coast, not far from the Spanish border. LOVE LOVE the area. So glad you and your family get to experience all this! I look forward to reading about the rest of your stay, as well.


8 Tobris September 30, 2013 at 1:38 am

Thank you for sharing the post and all these pics with us, all pics are very nice.


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