Monday, September 22, 2014

Je suis arrivée!

Day 1:
September 19th I arrived at O'Hare 3 hours early to be on time for my 8 hour flight at 6:10pm. The flight arrive in Paris around 9:15am the next day, but I had to wait until about 1pm for my second flight to Lyon which got in around 2:30pm. I was greeted at the airport by Gui, the father, and V, the 4 year old son. The drive home provided me with a 45 minute view of the Loire valley-- which is incredibly hilly, so driving a stickshift here should prove to be interesting. When we arrived at the house, which is a little removed but only a 15 minute walk to the train, I was greeted with bisous (kisses on the cheek) by So, the mother, and G, their 2 year old son. They had been in the midst of picking raspberries from their backyard for their goûter (afternoon snack). All in all, I ended up traveling for almost 17 hours!

My day wasn't over yet, though, because it was only just after 4 in the afternoon when I got to their home. I was determined to stay up until at least 8pm to try and ward off most jet-lag and kept busy until about then so that I was truly exhausted by the time I did sleep-- so we all hopped in the car to go to a nearby park. I see now why Gui and So told me I COULD walk to pick up the boys from daycare, but it'd be easier to drive... the Loire hills would be pretty intense to deal with 2 and 4 year olds. We all played on the jungle gym of the park for what seemed like a long time, but it was probably just my jet-lag kicking in. I picked up a few reminders of phrases that might be helpful for me when handling les garçons (the boys) on my own!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

"Il est temps de vivre la vie que tu t'es imaginée!"

I am beyond excited that it's practically time for me to head to France, though I am also entirely shocked at how quickly my summer in Chicago has passed by. I feel like, aside from a few exceptions, I've been able to spend plenty of time with most of the people I intended to at the start of summer. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to visit my Indiana friends before I left, but that will be the first thing I do when I get back next June. Leaving behind the people I care about is not easy, but I am so happy that I have succeeded at my goal of returning to live in France for a bit longer... before I have to be a real adult and settle into a Chicago more permanently!

Luckily, the most important part of my preparations is done-- getting a visa! While I am thankful that I have it, I have to say the process was somewhat frustrating. The paperwork was not complicated, however, going to the French consulate in Chicago is where things hit a bump.