1. Like blogfellow Catherine H said, the wine is cheap enough to bathe in. And it’s good.
2. Serious, serious chocolate.
3. Fresh food at the farmers market. Not cheaper, but far better quality than at the supermarket, and more of what you spend goes to the producers. At least I think so; there are certainly fewer middlemen. And there’s a market somewhere in town every single day of the week.
4. 5 weeks vacation (8 if you add all the holidays and time off in recompense for working 39 hours a week instead of 35) that you’re expected to take.
6. From here, it’s just a few hours drive to Spain, Italy, and Switzerland. A bit farther to Portugal, Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands, but they’re still right next door. Or you can take the train there, to spend some of that vacation time. In California you’ve got to go for hours just to get out of the state.
7. Rugby. I adore rugby and my town has a good team with affordable tickets. Allez l’ASM!
8. Raw stuff. Raw-milk cheese, carpaccio, smoked salmon, tartare - delicious, all of it.
9. People travel, a lot, and they don’t have that frequent American attitude that other countries or cultures are not worth bothering about. They participate in the global village instead of trying to dictate how it should be.
10. Galette des Rois. Three Kings cake for the Epiphany, available from mid-December to the end of January. A delight of flaky pastry and frangipane, often served with cider or champagne. I wish they made it all year!
7 hours ago