It's time to get serious about returning to my permanent home in Fort Collins, Colorado. We've got our tickets and have begun to pack some bags. Once again, me and the kids are flying on one itinerary and Ruth and our dog are flying on another. The latter is a bit dicey because the airlines may refuse to load our doggy in cargo if the forecasted arrival temperatures are over 80 degrees. We have picked flights to minimize the probability, but some luck would be nice.
A couple weeks ago I finally met the owner of the house that we've rented in Montpellier. A scientist, like Ruth, who has connections with other scientists we know. It's a small world, evolutionary biology, and full of interesting and earnest folks. I wouldn't be surprised if we keep in touch.
I've told people at Coswos, the coworking I've joined in Montpellier, and some of my favorite vendors and shopkeepers – basically anybody who has ever asked where I'm from and what my plans are – that we're leaving. We threw ourselves a party last Sunday night with friends from Ruth's lab and ate Franco-American sliders and drank champagne, cheaper bubbly from Limoux, and margaritas.
The next four weeks will be busy. We've planned a four day hut-to-hut trip in the Alpes. I'm hoping to do some other opportunistic trips to nearby cities. Why I haven't been able to make it to Toulouse or Lyon, I do not know, but I will try to do something about this. We've got a number of boxes of clothes and other personal effects (books and bandes dessinées, aka graphic novels, mostly) to ship. I must drink or give away the bottles of my wine collection that we can't bring back in our luggage. There are a ton of arts and music festivals in the region in July, too, it's really a bad time to be moving.
Friday, the 21st of July, I plan to be writing tests on the deck of my house in Fort Collins and then switching over to grilling burgers, drinking IPAs, watching kids play in the sprinklers, and feeling more than a little bit sentimental about my year in France.