- No-one else
Hello from a cottage in the redwoods near the Golden Gate
Jane and I, Michael, are now fully retired. Both of our careers have been devoted to environmental leadership and philanthropy. Jane is the musician; she and her pianist friends use the two pianos and her two harpsichords to play four-hand repertoire. I find my musical satisfaction by building new instruments for her to play; I have built for her both a clavichord and a spinet harpsichord, and am the resident tuner. The symphony, ballet, opera, and museums of the Bay Area are important parts of our lives, as are performing the Japanese tea ceremony,model yachting, amateur radio, and hiking the nearby trails around San Francisco Bay.
We have a nice, well-kept home, but not, sadly, suited for children. We would take care of your home as though it were ours.
April 10 — April 10, 2016 These dates are flexible
We hope to travel to Prague and surroundings in Spring, 2016 or 2017, but have no set dates; it would depend on the classical music festival dates and frequent-flier ticket availability.
July 2 — August 31, 2015 These dates are flexible
We're hoping to spend a week or ten days in Portland this summer sometime...
Hiking, sauntering, strolling through places of natural beauty and historical significance. Visiting with friends, old and new. Kaua`i, Paris, Yosemite, Tuscany, the Redwood Coast,Maine's Mid-coast... The Vienna Opera, La Fenice in Venice, the Carmel Bach Festival, Tanglewood in Western Massachusetts, the Palio in Siena, Kennin-ji Temple in Kyoto, Salzburg's summer music festival--all of these are examples of peak experiences for us.
As our daughter was an aupair in Millvalley, we decided to find an exchange there for christmas 2012. We contacted Michael and Jane and very rapidly arranged a swap. They invited our daughter for lunch once sothat they could explain her everything about the house, that was a great idea ! We met them at the airport in Paris and spent 2 days altogther before leaving for the US. It was a great pleasure, Michael and Jane being very easy-going persons, we really had a good time, showing them around and sharing meals ! When we arrived in Mill valley, we discovered a very charmful and comfortable house, surrounded by beautiful redwood trees in a very quiet area ! The fridge was full of local products... nice attention. My daughter spent a lot of her time playing on the numerous pianos (5 if I remember welll) ! In 15 mn driving, we were in SF, each time crossing the magnificient "Golden Gate Bridge" ! All the towns surrounding the bay are also very beautiful. The atmosphere there is very relaxing and we felt safe everywhere we went to. Mike and Jane lent us their hybrid car and we appreciated it a lot especially when we went to Yosemite Park, they even lent us their chains. We celebrated Christmas and New year's day at home with our daughter, her host family and other aupairs and enjoyed the warmth and the comfort of the house. It was just a wonderful exchange, one of the best we've had. It was Jane and Michael's first swap : we could have thought they had done many others before ! As we go back to SF in July, we're now just impatient to meet our new friends again !
For our first Home Exchange, we hit the jackpot! Catherine and Jean-Luc have a most comfortable, well-decorated, solid, historic stone house in the most charming tiny medieval village! We were able to have three different vacations during the 2012-2013 Christmas-New Year's holidays: 1) relaxing in the lovely house with reading, listening to music, and strolling through the immediate countryside, enjoying the food purchased in the boulangeries, cheese-farm and artisan Butcher-shop/delicatessen in nearby Cires le Mello; 2) taking easy day-trips, using their car and accurate GPS to nearby cathedral towns; and 3) taking the train into Paris to attend the ballet, opera, museums, gardens and concerts--and to shop on New Year's Day along the Champs Elysees. It's an easy trainride to the Gare du Nord--with direct connections to the Metro. The Lefevre family is gracious, thoughtful, cordial and welcoming. They were careful to provide us with everything we needed to guarantee a pleasant stay in their home, and they were careful and respectful with our home and autos. They will return to our California village again this summer and we, now considering them good friends, look forward to sharing a part of that adventure with them. We would rate their home as a 12 on a scale of 10. Many thanks, Catherine and Jean-Luc...