Thursday, May 30, 2013

50 Days Left

I have been in paris for just over nine months now and have only updated my blog a handful of times. I would like my excuse to be that the weather has just been so beautiful I couldn't stand to be inside, but for those of you who have talked to me in the past few months know very well that is not the case. The end of April came the first little signs of spring. We even went to the park for a few afternoons with food, wine, music, and our cute spring clothes on, but that lasted about two weekends. Since then, we have seen the usually rainy Paris, but this time something has changed. We no longer mind the constant rain. While it is frustrating, we still get to do all the things we want to do, just add an umbrella! Apart from the weather (which is a super boring and superficial topic) a lot else has happened here within the past several months.
So I finally got my first two vacations! At the beginning of March I went to Rome which was amazing. As I ever so eloquently described it to a few friends: You know it was really special I went to the most romantic city in the world by myself. All of which is true. I absolutely loved Rome. After a few years of looking at art history slides at UGA I thought I had seen all of Rome, but not even close. It was breathtaking to see all of these sights in person. Yes, my cheesy self even cried while walking into St. Peter's Basilica. I saw all of the sights and walked around the whole city a few times. I loved how friendly and helpful the Italian people are. Also, the Italian food is literally amazing. Y'all know me and my pizza obsession; well, Italy just made that even worse. I am pretty sure I came back from that weekend at least 15 pounds heavier, but it was well worth it. After being in the "winter wonderland" of Paris it was nice to see palm trees and even have a few days of 20 C weather. Rome was the perfect long weekend get away.
 Spanish Steps
Trevi Fountain 
Inside of St. Peters 

After Rome, I was craving to get out of Paris again. My host family told me that they would be taking a 12 day vacation to the south of France, so I would have that time off to do what I wanted. My first question was where can I go to be in the hottest weather possible for a week. Well after a lot of research, Christina and I chose Malta. It's a tiny little island nation off the southern coast of Italy. The people there are lovely and are definitely on island time. Although there isn't much to do there, we really enjoyed getting our fair share of sleep, food, and sun. We got to celebrate Christina's birthday on a sailboat cruise of the island which was fabulous! Shout out to the captain for letting us drive the ship.     
 Sliema Harbour 
 Golden Bay (sandy beach we went to)
 Just before we got on our ship for the day!
 Sunset on our last night 
Overall, Malta was the perfect getaway. Just what I needed for a relaxing week!

Back in Paris, we have had visitors galore and it has been so much fun! We get to show everyone around to our favorite spots and retell stories about our favorite times there. For me I love having visitors in Paris because I want them to love this city just as much as I do. I know the same goes for Christina, Annie, and Jenna. A lot of our time here in the spring has been visiting new restaurants, bars, cafes, and parks. We love a good afternoon in a park. The four of us have a bucket list that we are trying to check off but sometimes it gets hard, especially when we are already obsessed with some of the places we frequent. The four of us have had so much fun together. Sad as it is, we are all parting ways soon and it is seriously depressing. We have seen each other at our highs and lows and have been each others family for the past 9 months. These girls have been my backbone through this year and I can't wait for our paris wine-filled reunions to come!
Christina, Annie, and Jenna 

Now that I am crying writing this post, I have some super exciting news. I am officially moving back to Atlanta! I will be home July 20th ready for some Chickfila, Taxco, family, and friends. I am so excited to see all of y'all in a few short weeks and I can't thank you all enough for your support of me for being over here! I have had the best year here in Paris and I am so excited to share all of my stories with everyone. Also HUGE thanks to my parents for letting me come here blindly. Y'all are amazing and I don't know how I can every begin to thank you for supporting me through this year (and listening to my frustrations). 
This post is really long and probably only makes sense to me in my mind, but just wanted to give a little update! 

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Happy Belated New Year

Since the last time I wrote, so much has happened: my family came in town for Christmas, I made some New Years resolutions I of course have yet to follow, and it snowed in Paris. So basically the past two months have been amazing!
My amazing, crazy family came in town on Christmas Eve and stayed for a week. Instead of having a week packed-full of sightseeing, we decided to sleep in, eat the best food we've ever eaten, and watch the Eiffel Tower light up each night. It was the perfect vacation. Seeing my family for the first time in 4 months was something out of a movie. I was walking down a busy Parisian street (with a baguette, croissants, and pain au chocolat in my arms of course), saw my family, and ran towards them with big smiles and a few happy tears. It was so much fun to show them around "my city" as they called it. I took them to my favorite cafes, bars, and of course parks and we just sat and caught up, it really was ideal. I can only hope they come back here before my year of being an au pair is up! 
After my family left and returned back to the states, I had this feeling of emptiness it was bizarre. I know I am fully capable of being on my own in this city, but I guess I didn't realize how much I truly missed my family and friends until they were here, with that being said EVERYONE COME VISIT! But honestly I was in a funk for a few weeks after them leaving (It could have been the freezing cold weather too), but I think I am realizing that I am supposed to be an adult and grown up. That realization is a hard one to handle.  I am definitely going to have to work on being (and acting) like an adult in the next few months. 

IT SNOWED IN PARIS! It was like every picture I have seen of Paris in the snow. If you follow me on instagram you were probably annoyed at my constant updates of poor quality pictures, but hey I was excited. Once the snow finally stuck there was a thick enough blanket to cover the sidewalks, grassy areas and the rooftops of Paris, it was breathtaking. The Parisians were even excited for this snow because they have not seen that much snow in Paris in years. It truly was a sight to see! 

So there it is a little bit of an update about my past two months. So much has happened, my blog post would be even more boring than this one to read, so I am saving you the trouble. 
I've actually started journaling, which should be a surprise to most of you who know me well, so I will have more funny stories and memories to post here! 

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Le Troisième Mois

So when I originally started this blog I had every intention to post bi- or tri- weekly to update people on my more daily adventures, but now this has turned into a monthly post which is sort of like Vogue, but a lot less glamorous. So here I am writing for the 3rd time since I’ve moved to Paris and it is on my 3rd monthaversary of being here.  I wish I had something really thrilling to say like I went skydiving in Interlaken, but no I have stayed here in Paris and enjoyed every minute of it.
The end of October and beginning of November brought numerous things:  Halloween, Les vacances de Toussaints, and the preparation for thanksgiving. For those of you who don’t know, All Saints Day is not only a religious holiday but here in France it is recognized as a national holiday. So naturally, the children get two weeks off of school for it. Instead of having my normal 4 hour days with the kids, I worked all day with them. Going into the two weeks I was a little nervous that they were going to be really annoyed with me or vice versa, but actually the opposite happened.  I accompanied Chloe and Raphael to their activities for the two weeks (one of which being a painting class at the louvre) and we talked about anything and everything. They asked me all about the presidential election and if kids really do egg people’s houses on Halloween night in the US. In return I got to know a lot about them like what music they want to hear me sing and what music they REALLY don’t want me to sing (apparently Justin Beiber’s Baby can even be annoying to a 6 year old girl).  After the two weeks together I can officially say that I feel like a part of their family, just like an older sister. They even bring out the French version of Trivial Pursuit just to make me realize I don’t know everything (Annie and Kate I feel like that is something yall would do to me).
Now being with the kids all the time I was able to tell them what thanksgiving was and what it meant to me. I sort of left out the part where my mom and I sneak into the laundry room to eat all the cake and custard before anyone else could, but I figured they don’t need to know that side of me yet.  While explaining what thanksgiving was for the 23rd time I realized how sad I was that I could not be home to spend it with my family. Normally, we go to Texas to visit my mom’s side of the family and it is a ball. We have HUGE meals and so much fun catching up and making fun of each other. I thought of this so much that I started dreading the week of thanksgiving, but as luck would have it one of my friends, Annie, works for this wonderful family who invited us over for a thanksgiving dinner party. And a party it was. We sat around a big table and eat, drank, and danced ourselves to sleep (literally. We didn’t leave till 5 in the morning). It was absolutely everything I could have hoped for. I got to spend my first adult thanksgiving with new friends and loved every minute of it.
Now it is already the end of November and before I know it my family will be in town for Christmas, which I am thankful for because I could not do another holiday with out them. For people like me who have never been to Paris for Christmas it is a bit of a shock. There were chocolate advent calendars on the shelves before the end of October and now the whole town is decorated for Christmas. While going out with my friends the week before thanksgiving we almost felt as if we were living a fairy tale. The lights are strung on the trees and the Christmas markets are open in the streets and there is something so magical about walking around Paris during this time of year. I cannot wait to spend this holiday with my family so they can hopefully understand what I mean when I say Paris is the most amazing place in the world. 

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Paris part deux

This week marks my 2nd monthaversary of being in Paris. Looking back on my first two months, I have realized that there is something about Paris that renders me speechless. When I am catching up with people from home or even meeting new people in the city I always get the question: "How do you like Paris?" Honestly, there aren't even words to describe my experience here (and even if there were, I probably couldn't articulate them in an eloquent manner- I would just come off as being PAINFULLY awkward). So for all of those back home: PARIS IS AMAZING. I am fully aware that most of you know how much I already loved Paris, but actually living here has really given me a new perspective on the city.
Here are just a few of the NUMEROUS things I have learned about Paris and myself since living here:
1) The Parisians are NICE. No one can say differently. If you've had a bad experience with a Parisian I am sorry, but there are people like that all over the world. I have met so many genuinely kind people since I've been here. Many helpful people too (especially when i have my panicked "oh no where am I" look on my face).
2)The people from this city are proud to say they come from Paris. Through my classes and meeting Parisians I am constantly told why Paris is so amazing and everything they say is true. This city has so much history and passion behind it. It would be hard to not be proud of something as magical as Paris.
3) I have also learned that what I thought was me speaking French actually sounds like gibberish to most French people. I will start speaking French and people will just automatically start speaking English back to me. It is not a mean gesture, they want to help, but I really need to brush up on my French skills... maybe I should buy Rosetta Stone.
4) Time passes by way too quickly for my liking. I feel like I am constantly turning the page in my calendar and the weeks are just flying by. My friends here and I have decided we need to buckle down and get ready because we do not want to leave Paris with any regrets (that is if we do leave). So naturally we made a bucket list; it is three pages long. I do not want to look back on this year wondering why I didn't completely immerse myself in the culture, what could have been, or regretting that I didn't see everything I wanted to see.
5) I have learned I need to be more confident in myself. This is a big city and it can swallow you whole if you let it. I need to buck up, and learn that making mistakes is okay whether its day to day choices or saying the wrong thing in French, I need to be more confident in my decisions and what I say.
6)On a lighter note I have also learned how to dress properly for the weather. In Paris if it's 50 degrees F you still wear a shirt, a sweater, a scarf, and an overcoat. When it gets colder the layers become more numerous and definitely thicker. Of course I want to use this cold weather as an excuse to go buy more clothes, but that excuse stopped working when I FINALLY realized I am living on an au pair salary.

I am hoping to post more about my daily adventures and random mishaps along the way so I can actually call this a blog and not a monthly life update.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Bonjour from Paris!

On Saturday I will have officially lived in Paris for a month! This month has come with a whirlwind of emotions. I went from being extremely homesick to never wanting to leave Paris to being extremely jealous of everyone tailgating at the Georgia games back to being content with where I am.

 The first few days of being here in Paris were very difficult for me; I was adjusting to a new culture and I was living on my own for the first time.  I would call home and tell my parents I know I am not doing the right thing by moving here, but after settling in and finding new friends and places to go I feel that my decision of moving to Paris is probably the best one I have ever made. I know that I will keep in touch with my friends and family (and hopefully they will visit). I feel that over this year I will be able to not only learn about the world from a different perspective, but also learn a lot about myself.  

Just within the 4 short weeks of being here I have already experienced so many aspects of the Parisian culture. From dining to going out to shopping and my favorite just sitting and enjoying the Parisian way of life I have learned a lot about this culture and myself. This city really is a magical place and I will update soon on my upcoming adventures!