Sunday, July 29, 2012

France - The Last Days


*I'm on vacation, hopefully far away from a computer, so my blog is going on vacation too, back to May 2008, during my first trip to France with my shiny brand new passport and my shiny brand new French boyfriend. This was my first trip abroad and I'm surprised David didn't dump me when we got home*


Apparently I got bored blogging about my trip to France so I never finished.  If you are bored at this point too, don't worry, this is the last post.

Here are the pictures of Mont Saint-Michel.  Which really needs no words anyway. It's still one of my favorite places to visit in France.











very funny, David



Maza loved it too. She didn't want to leave.





I assume after this, we went back to Rennes and got our stuff and got on a plane because I spent the next year and a half in California before moving to Paris. I think we flew out of Lille? Who knows. 

I do know that David tried to make it up to Maza for leaving her for almost two weeks with catnip and cat grass. Didn't work.


Saturday, July 28, 2012

France Day 12 - Pink Granite Coast

*I'm on vacation, hopefully far away from a computer, so my blog is going on vacation too, back to May 2008, during my first trip to France with my shiny brand new passport and my shiny brand new French boyfriend. This was my first trip abroad and I'm surprised David didn't dump me when we got home*




Our final road trip in a car was to the coast of Bretegne which is famous for having tons of pink granite. It was lovely, but too cold to swim. And of course, I forgot my bathing suit at David' s friends house. The last place we are going, Mont Saint Michel, doesn't have elevators and it's built on a mountain so we left almost everything in Rennes.












The hotel bumped us up to a better room because there was a convention and they wanted the whole floor to themselves.
 
The view totally sucked.


 


The scale in the bathroom was the best part. It told me I had lost ten pounds. I knew it was just a marketing trick to make me fall in love with the hotel, but I fell for it anyway. I knew it was exaggerating and lying to me, but it was ok. I'll pretend to believe.
 
Truth be told, I did weigh myself when I got home and because of all the freakin' walking and dragging of overpacked suitcases and never ending stair master mountain I had lost six pounds. Yay France.
 
I sulked for a while (ok a long time) because I wanted to go swimming in the indoor pool. Finally I sucked it up, put on a blue and white polka dot underwear set that was the closest thing I had to a bathing suit, covered up with a robe and went down to the pool to see if anyone was there. No one was so I jumped in. Swimming alone in my underwear in a fancy hotel was way more uncomfortable than swimming naked with 500 strangers.
 
We had crepes for dinner. There was an elderly couple across from us and the husband was so kind to her. You could tell he still loved her very much. It was sweet, and at that second I would have traded places with her in a heart beat.
 
I don't know if it was the bed or I was just really tired, but I fell asleep and slept for 12 straight wonderful hours. I think Rosemary was right. Two weeks is the perfect amount of time for Europe. It's not as relaxing as I thought it was going to be. All this traveling unpacking and packing and picking out what to wear and what to eat and when to eat is actually work. Much more of this and I would need a week on the beach to recover. Preferable a nude beach so I won't have to worry about what to pack.

Friday, July 27, 2012

France Day 11 - African/American






*I'm on vacation, hopefully far away from a computer, so my blog is going on vacation too, back to May 2008, during my first trip to France with my shiny brand new passport and my shiny brand new French boyfriend. This was my first trip abroad and I'm surprised David didn't dump me when we got home*



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After another Bullet Train Trip, we arrive in Renne, which is where David lived before he moved to California. Now before I get into all the fun and adventures of day eleven, let me explain my idea of being on time for a train, and David's idea of being on time.
In my mind, if I make it onto the train before it departs, even if it's already moving, I'm on time.

 In David's mind he has to be at the platform an hour early and be the very first person to set foot on the train in order to be on time. See how there could be some friction there?
I have missed many, many a train in my life. In fact I've missed Planes Trains and Automobiles.

David however, never has. We are especially lucky to be incorporating David's train riding method, because the next day the trains won't be running because of a (scheduled) strike.


Renne is less impressive and less stressful than Paris so I LOVE IT. I don't feel like I should be taking pictures all the time or rushing to the next national monument. This is a relief because my eyeballs are full.








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We stop and check on David's condo which is smaller than I imagined. It's a great place but I'm realizing that everything in France is small and economical. The cars, the hotels, the closets, the cafes, the stores, the food, the refrigerators.

I guess I am just used to american size mass consumption, and speaking of which I brought WAY too many clothes, which is annoying, but what's really annoying is thinking about the tons of clothes I left at home that I obviously can do without.

The only thing in France that I notice is wasteful is that nobody drinks tap water? What's wrong with tap water? Californias is filled with prozac and fire retardants and I still drink it. Hmmmmm. Maybe that's what's missing on this trip...... my daily dose of tainted H2O....




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We wonder around and stop at a park where I write some postcards (including one for Maza) and then leave for the suburbs where David's old neighbors live in a beautiful three story house with these three adorable creatures:






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The youngest keeps calling me confusing the words American and African, so she keeps referring to me as "The African".
We have a delicious bbq outside and then everyone starts yawning, which is odd because it's still very light out. But it's really 9:30, so we all go to bed.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

France Day 9 and 10 - Mama Mia Let Me Go



*I'm on vacation, hopefully far away from a computer, so my blog is going on vacation too, back to May 2008, during my first trip to France with my shiny brand new passport and my shiny brand new French boyfriend. This was my first trip abroad and I'm surprised David didn't dump me when we got home*






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I hadn't slept well the night before because I was nervous about meeting David's Mom, and frankly Paris and traveling in general was getting overwhelming. I'm a homebody at heart and for almost ten days I had been running all over France. So, I slept in while David went to pick up his Mom, brother and their significant others from the train station. His Mom was very much like my mom, meaning she was very kind and friendly and down to earth. We saw a lot of great art on Saturday, went to Montmartre,
Visite de Nicolas,
Bateau Mouche de Nuit
etc, etc

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It It was VERY crowded every where we went.

I didn't even end up writing anything down, it was so hectic. The only thing I have for these two days was a very cranky quote. "Took subway ten million time & walked around taking pictures w/ ten billion other tourists. No crazies/drunks/beggers."
 
I'm such a joy to travel with! But in my defense we had an entourage of six people trying to collectively make a decision about where to go what to eat etc etc and my stupid ass didn't speak any French so David had to translate A LOT. I was homesick and I missed my cat and my apartment and english. So Saturday I skipped dinner and took a bath and read a book and just spent some time alone.
 
Sunday after David's family left we had dinner with Kieu-Vy and David's best friend Nicholas, and then we bid them farewell and it was just the two of us again. We took a boat ride on the Siene. So romantic...........
 
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Wednesday, July 25, 2012

France Day 8 - Versailles and the Eiffel Tower

*I'm on vacation, hopefully far away from a computer, so my blog is going on vacation too, back to May 2008, during my first trip to France with my shiny brand new passport and my shiny brand new French boyfriend. This was my first trip abroad and I'm surprised David didn't dump me when we got home*

 
 David's friend Kieu-Vy, who had interned at his company with him in Nevada City, met up with us to go to Versailles. 
 
 Even thought it was Friday, the line to get in was long. Probably about an hour.


Luckily we brough lunch.

  And I can always entertain myself by taking pictures of my feet.











Don't even think about stealing anything.





































Then we hopped on the subway again and went to the Eiffel Tower. Without which there would be no Ferris Wheel's because the year after The World Fair was held in Paris and the Eiffel Tower was revealed, it was held in Chicago and they needed something to top it. Voila.... Mr. Ferris invented the Ferris Wheel, which most people refused to set foot on. 


Weird the things you learn reading true crime novels about the worlds first known serial killer.






Afterwards Kieu-Vy took us to her favorite restaurant, which was cozy, delicious and all the staff where really friendly and nice. When she the waiter came to take our order, all five of the men who worked there stopped and watched her. She didn't notice but they all obviously adore her. She is sassy and stylish, and freakin' adorable.

It was great hanging out with someone who has lived in Paris her whole life. It was like going to San Francisco when Alex and Vivek lived there. It made me feel like I lived there too.



I think this was chicken?



David ordered Steak Tartare
 

I ordered Kieu-Vy's favorite, Duck Rose'. She had steak tartare too, but hers was grilled on the outside a little bit. It tasted better.

 
 
 
 




That's a lot of parking tickets