11.22.2009

Neighbors- Comme les Français


So I can’t believe I haven’t written about this yet but a French family has recently moved in next door to me in my Santa Monica town home! Our neighbors have rented out their home for one year and in moved a family from France.

You can imagine my delight upon learning this news as I have been able to observe how true French people live Comme les Français in Santa Monica! I shall call this family Famille Sportif as they are the most active family I have ever witnessed in my entire life. And by saying that, I am not exaggerating.

Famille Sportif is composed of a mother, father and two young sons. They are constantly lugging surf boards and skate boards, boogie boards and bikes out of their house (I see and hear everything) They seem to really like Santa Monica- its close proximity to the beach, the beautiful weather, the plethora of outdoor activities to take part in…

Observing Famille Sportif is great fun but the downside to it all is their sportiness makes me feel incredibly lazy. I can’t remember the last time I went to the beach! (Actually, I can. It was on my birthday in July and before that I hadn’t been in over a year). And yet every weekend I see the entire family of four coming back, suntanned and sanded- looking completely content.

I suppose it is a very French thing to take advantage of one’s environment and all of the pleasures it has to offer. There is an expression in French- profiter de la vie- which means simply to enjoy life or to ‘profit’ from it. I do realize that I live in a beautiful city- an active person’s dream, really. Famille Sportif has gently reminded me of this in their own very French way.

I think I’m going to start riding my bike more…

15 comments:

Michael Rivers said...

How fun! There are so many lakes, bike trails, parks here in Minneapolis. I feel guilty for not taking advantage of them more. The French saying is a great reminder!

Alan Burnett said...

Don't go mad : I always think that physical activity is best observed from a distance.A gentle stroll to the pub ... now that is exercise.

The Daily Connoisseur said...

Michael- It's crazy that we live in such beautiful places and don't take advantage of them! If you do any of those things I would love to read about it on your blog!

Alan- LOL! A gentle stroll to the pub... I love it! Luckily there are no pubs by me because if there were I might partake of this form of 'exercise' too often :)

Rebecca said...

I have a little bit of land with horses, yet I have probably ridden once in the last year. I also live about an hour from Yosemite, but I can't remember the last time I've been. The question is, am I busy or just lazy? I really don't need to know the answer to that. ;)

Tine said...

I wanted to get a bike this fall so badly, but then when I got assigned to work somewhere that I'd need to take the subway for I had to shelve the idea of buying a bike off craigslist. I love the name you gave the French family!

BigLittleWolf said...

This is a lovely post. We often don't appreciate our surroundings until we see them through new eyes, and those eyes may be those of a visitor to our home, our city, or our country.

Where in France is Famille Sportif from? If they are from more ruggged terrains (or much colder sea coasts) they are certainly going to "profiter de la ville" of Santa Monica.

Enjoy your beautiful oceanside - and the cycling! (It's chilly and raining in my part of the country, so it was a good day to find a red balloon on my ceiling!)

Bonne journée !

tishjett@yahoo.com said...

My guess would be they're even happier to have you next door than you are to have them.

Can you imagine the chances of a French family moving next door to a beautiful American who speaks fluent French -- slim to none.

Lisa@Pickles and Cheese said...

How fun to have French neighbors! Sounds like you do live in a great area...sometimes you just have to be reminded!

Josephine Tale Peddler said...

Jennifer, you always sound so active to me heading off for your Yoga class on Twitter! I think it's so true that we don't appreciate our own surroundings half the time. When I travel to England, I'm amazed by how many people haven't seen places that tourists around the world flock too! And I'm guilty of that in Sydney as well. xx

jamesxvi said...

When I lived in Paris I met a lot of French people who wanted to move to California. I think it's all the dubbed American TV shows on Canal+... they do better cooking and we do better TV. I won't touch the wine debate, but I think TV vs. cuisine is pretty safe. Enjoyed this post and sounds like it's a good thing in your life! Don't forget to stretch.

Thanks for visiting Garvinweasel today, I appreciate your comment and hope you'll visit again soon.

best,
James

The Daily Connoisseur said...

Rebecca- land with horses? That sounds like a complete dream. I also LOVE Yosemite... It's so funny because I would say you're crazy for not taking advantage of it but I am guilty of the same thing in Santa Monica! :)

Tine- thank you! I love riding my bike but today I went down to check it out and it has completely rusted over! So sad...

BigLittleWolf- I have only spoken to Famille Sportif once- the day they moved in. So I do not know where they are from in France... yet. Otherwise we simply say bonjour and au revoir to each other :) I will investigate!

Tish- thank you so much! You are so kind! xo

Lisa- so true! It's about being grateful for where you are and what surrounds you... Famille Sportif reminded me! xo

Josephine- Haha! Yes, I suppose I was exaggerating a little as I do enjoy my yoga and walks with Gatsby. I guess that doesn't make me the laziest person in Santa Monica :) But this family is so active- they somehow make me feel lazy! xo

James- There are a lot of French people in Santa Monica- more English people (so many English people!) but I do think they love the atmosphere... Love your blog- it is really interesting!

Tom Bailey said...

I did not know that last quote about the french. I am not sure my frenc accent is good enough to say it and have it come across like I am cultured in the french ways but it... maybe.

Thanks for sharing.

Bonjour Madame said...

Great observation! Sometimes it takes someone else appreciating where I live for me to see it in a new light and appreciate it as well. I have so much at my doorstep. Thanks for the gentle nudge to get out there and explore more.

The Coastal Chicster said...

you should definitely ride your bike! i love riding my mint green and white beach cruiser. unfortunately, it's finally gotten too chilly for bikes here. but i can't wait to get mine out in the spring! i think riding a bike in a flowy skirt is one of my favorite things ever. :)

La Belette Rouge said...

I had a French teacher in Austin, Texas and she dreamed of Manhattan Beach the way I do Paris. All her kids were into les sports: sailing, skiing, windsurfing, etc. When I heard her talk about her to dream to live in the South bay I was a bit shocked. I guess the grass is always greener.

 
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