After Mom’s stay in Aix we took the TGV up to Paris to meet Dad! Upon arrival at the hotel we had a great spread of cheese, wine, and olive we had bought in Aix-en-Provence. Then we had a nice French dinner. It was wonderful to be with my parents again he he.
Our first full day in Paris we toured all of the typical sites. First Sacré Coeur, then Moulin Rouge, the Eiffel tower, and Notre Dame de Paris! In the middle we stopped for some amazing French Onion Soup! Just what we needed to warm us up from the cold and rainy weather. Then we returned to the hotel to change for a fancy French dinner with Stéphane and his wife.
We had a traditional 4 hour French dinner at Le Grand Colbert, a really nice French restaurant. We started off with drinks, then appetizers. I tried my first escargot which was much better than I expected. I refused to try the frogs though. For my entree I had a really good stake au poivre, and a delicious chocolate mousse for dessert. It was a fantastic dinner and great to finally meet Stéphane who has helped us so much in France.
We spent our last day together in Versailles! I absolutely adore Versailles and could go a million times…to the gardens that is. We spent SIX hours wandering the gardens and still did not get to see all of them! It was a beautiful day but to help us access more of the grounds we rented bikes. They reminded me a bit of the wizard of oz but they were a lot of fun. They allowed us to make it all the way down to Marie Antoinette’s hamlet which was beautiful. It was a perfect way to end our trip! I wish it could have been longer but I am so glad my parents were able to come visit! Only a month and a half left till I come home!
This week Mom came to visit me in Aix! I got to show her around all my favorite places and then we went shopping! She loved the markets as much if not more than I did. We got some really cute shoes and some gifts for family and friends.
When we got to the food market she was besides herself. Too bad we did not have access to a kitchen because Mom would have gone to town. She so wanted to cook with all the fresh vegetables they sell! Instead we had dinner with my host parent!
Ha ha that was an experience. Great food and a lot of laughs! I played translator all night which was interesting because my host parents love to talk and would spit out things faster than I could translate them to my Mom. Although hectic I would call it a success and would happily do it again
One day while skyping with Chelsea she demanded that I take pictures and write about my everyday life in Aix and not just the fun stuff. So here it goes:
I start every morning with a bowl of cereal, a banana, and a glass of orange juice. Then I head out with my backpack and walk the 10 minutes downhill to school. If I am not running late to class (which is usually the case Tuesday and Thursday when I have an 8:30am class) I occasionally stop by Fournée de Joseph for un pain au chocolate!
Most days I have weird 1 or 2 hour gaps between classes. During this time I usually go to La Pavillion Vendôme to eat my lunch (either a sandwich that I bought or made, sometimes a quiche, occasionally really good pasta from Mezzo Pasta, or a baguette and cheese) and do homework. If the weather is bad I’ll do work in the library or the computer lab.
After class I go to my locker, pick the books I need to bring home, and head out. Occasionally I meet up with Caya for a bit to hangout, go back to la Pavillion Vendôme or Place de la marie (the square town hall is in), or head home.
At home I spend most of my time in my room, doing home work, skyping with family and friends, writing this blog, reading, or watching a movie. It depends on the day, my mood, and the amount of work I have that week.
At 7:30 we eat dinner. Fortunately my host mother is an amazing cook. I have had theopportunity to try many traditional French meals, all of which I love! My favorite dishes she has made are Beef Bourguignonne and tomates provencales. Both are delicious. Every night she comes to my door and says, “Ce prêt!” It’s ready. We eat in the dinning room in the same seats every night. She usually has the tv on either a game show or the news. I wait until I hear “Bon appétit” before I start eating. After our main course we have salad and then cheese and fruit. Some nights she’ll make a little tart or buy a pastry for dessert but not often. Which is probably a good thing. Some nights we’ll watch a little tv together after dinner and then she’ll let me be for the evening.
I have to admit it is a pretty good life. I am so fortunately to be living in Aix-en-Provence! Just being here is amazing but on top of that I have an amazing host mom and have found some great friends and opportunities. I do not think I could have asked for a better experience abroad…except maybe having all of you here too. <3