Confession – January and February were pretty depressing. I was lost in the language. I was physically and mentally exhausted everyday. I missed home. I was cold and I hate being cold. At the risk of sounding like a spoiled brat, I wasn’t so fired up about life in France.
!!! BUT !!! I’m happy to report that as of these past few weeks I have officially, whole-heartedly, fallen in love with France. Why? Because its Spring (actually, it’s been more like Summer) and for 3 weeks, it has been absolutely beautiful! I’m talking bright blue skies, no clouds, 70 degrees with a slight flower scented breeze.
My new-found lust has me realizing how lucky and happy I am to be here. I’ve savoring every moment while walking around town looking at the ancient architecture and adorable shops. I often stop, look around and think “Oh My God! I’m in France!” To make these days even more fun, I have been making strong attempts to talk to any willing body and people are typically really intrigued by my accent. Asking for directions often turns into a 5 minute conversation and another step closer to fluency. I even had an impromptu tour with the keeper of Château du Morchêne, which is the place where our July wedding reception will be held. The 20 minute conversation was 100% in French and, no doubt, I made a ton of mistakes, but she totally understood me and I could not have been more excited.
This past weekend the lust turned to love when out for an 18km run (yes, 18km – I’ll get to that later), I was directed to l’Île Charlemenge. When I arrived it was amazing! There I was, in France, running along the lake, the Loire River, watching the boats, the Frenchies having picnics and make out sessions in the grass, kids playing, etc. It was totally picturesque. And then Sunday, Corinne and I rented bikes and rode around the streets of Orléans taking pictures of parks, squares and beautiful architecture. After the ride, I stayed in the city to have dinner at a friend’s place. So, when in Rome…I found a park overlooking the river, laid in the grass to read for an hour.
The bitter to all of this sweetness is that it’s causing me to really miss the husband. 5 months is just too long, even if we did have a short couple of weeks together recently. I know it may sound like torture, but running 18km on Saturday, in the sun, along the water, is like a day in heaven for us and I was a little sad not to have him with me.
So, that being said, I am lucky to have some great adventures coming up to keep myself occupied! This weekend, I’m off to gallivant around Paris with my friend, Marjorie. Some of you who read my last blog, Stacie in Asia, will know her as one of my travel companions in China, Singapore and Bali. On Sunday, we are heading to a neighboring city, Fontainebleau, to run a half-marathon (hence the long run this past weekend). The race will be Marjorie’s first and my last since my knees can’t quite handle the distance anymore. None the less, I’m excited to spend the weekend with her and Paris when it’s not gray and freezing.
And to share a bit of France, here are some pics from the last few weeks: