If you’ve been following the adventures of the Barefoot Blogger’s life in France, you might remember my brush with fame and the TV show, House Hunters International.
Well, it wasn’t exactly me on the popular show, but now I’m friends with the couple who brought the story to Uzès.
It all started with this email:
“We’ve been waiting a long time to email you! In a little nutshell, my husband and I started researching the South of France and Uzes in particular last fall and discovered your blog. We fell in love with the area and made an offer on an apartment in Uzes that we now own!…We would love to meet you if are free at the end of June.“
I couldn’t wait! House Hunters International is one of my favorite TV shows. I was going to get “up close and personal” with celebrities.
Over the months, between the first email and our dinner together, Erin and I exchanged emails. She told me about her husband Stuart and their blended family that includes four children. We clicked. As Erin said:
“We have loved learning about Uzes through your blog and feel a special connection because you are from the southern US as well. We are also weak on our grasp of the French language!“
Now that I know Erin and Stuart, I’ve had a chance to learn a bit more about their TV experience. I asked them to tell me what it was like moving into their new place in France. A “behind the scenes” view to share with you.
Here’s the story in Erin’s own words.
“We found out about Uzes on a general Google search. I put in ‘French Fractional Ownership’ because I thought that was all we could afford. One was available in Uzes through International Property Shares.
I had never heard of the town, so I started watching Youtube videos and reading blogs. We liked the history of Uzes, the location: proximity to the coast, vineyards, mountains, and airports/train stations.
Once we had fallen in love with Uzes online, we decided to look at the real estate market for a full purchase opportunity, and VOILA!”
How did House Hunters International get involved?
“We approached House Hunters via an introductory email about our plans to look in Uzés for a second home. The show directors contacted us and set up a Skype interview to learn more about us. It moved forward from there.”
Did you buy your new French home “as is?”
“We bought the apartment fully remodeled.”
You have four young adult children. What did they think?
“The children did not have any clue of our plans until the actual filming of the show. We announced our plans on camera for the full effect of their reactions. They LOVED it!”
During the course of your House Hunters adventure, what was your worse day?
“Our worst day was on our first visit to our apartment in Uzés.
The day started with a trip to the local Carrefour store to buy a full list of things we needed to outfit our home. After what seemed like hours, scouting through the huge store, trying to read signs and language that made no sense to us, we headed to the checkout aisle. The store manager was there to meet us. He didn’t leave until he was convinced we could pay the bill.
Next we raced off to Nimes to buy a mattress and portable air conditioner. Thinking we would enjoy a nice lunch with a view before resuming our shopping, we looked for a cafe near the Arena. No parking. By the time we found a spot and walked back to the Arena in 95 degree heat, it was 2pm. The restaurant was no longer serving lunch.
We grabbed sandwiches and set off to finish our task. It took longer than we imagined to buy a mattress and an air conditioner in sign language, so when we headed back to Uzés we were pushing it. We’d planned to have time to freshen up, enjoy an aperitif and spend a relaxing evening at one of Uzés’ finest restaurants.
It didn’t happen that way. A wrong turn took us miles out of our way. We were on the road to Barcelona.
We made it back to Uzés; rushed to the restaurant, sweaty and exhausted; but happy to relax with an elegant French meal.”
That was quite a day! What was your best day?
“Our best day was when all the kids were in Uzés with us the summer of 2017. On Saturday we went to the Uzes market, each with a mission. Using euros and a poor grasp of the French language, we were each to purchase food items for a picnic: cheese, bread, veggies, charcuterie. The next day we picnicked on the bank of the Gardon and canoed to the Pont du Gard.
The kids had the best time. Alex jumped off a huge rock into the river. It was a wonderful experience!”
Erin and Stuart admit their dream to live in France is just beginning. They are busy professionals and have many obligations at home. They’ll be “empty-nesters” soon. Their lives will change. Their getaway home in France is ready and waiting for them.
Welcome to France!
For more of the story: House Hunters International TV Show Spotlights Uzes