Post image for Our French Extended Home Exchange Family in Brittany

Our French Extended Home Exchange Family in Brittany

by John Mensinger on October 23, 2013

One advantage of trading your home is the support of your partner’s friends and family. These folks can help solve problems, recommend events and activities, and show you local culture. On the day we arrived in France the parents of our home exchange partners came by to say hello, show us the home, and give us tips on how to spend our time.

It got even better when a few days later they invited us to their home for an “Apero” which is short for Aperatif. This French custom means you are going to be given a drink and appetizers. Madame wanted to make sure I understood we were not going to get dinner.

Julia and I arrived with Steve and Solange, a couple from California that were staying with us for a couple of weeks. Julia and I were translating for our friends when our French hosts started speaking English. Turns out she had been an English language teacher and he spoke well too.

I am a wine judge in California and was impressed with the quality of sparkling wine, table wine, and cider that was served. Alsatian Gewurztraminer “Premier Grand Cru” is one of my favorites. And it wasn’t dinner but it was fresh prawns, canapés, Brittany pate, Brittany dried meat, fresh tomatoes, etc.

I happened to mention that my Mom had been Mayor of our city in California. Monsieur had been Vice-Mayor; it was fun to talk about local politics on both sides of the Atlantic. We had a delightful two hours—this wasn’t dinner, if it had been dinner it would have been four hours. We went on to a village festival in Dineault, where there was traditional dancing and music, with typical food and drink. We enjoyed the entertainment but didn’t eat or drink much as the dinner we didn’t have was tasty and filling. The photo shows our hosts with Julia and Steve.

The family and friends of your exchange family are an advantage of house swapping vacations.

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