Tag Archives: Travelogues

summer’s over

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i know i haven’t been very good about keeping up on this blog.  august was hectic because that’s the month that the entire country of france goes on holiday.  we went to the south of france and the cote d’azur.  we started off by going to see family in the Alps in a little town the size of belvidere, ne called rossillon.  from there, we went to Mont Blanc in the alps which is also called Chamonix, like the youth hostel my mom works at.  after that we camped for three long weeks with my fiance’s parents.  we saw the palais des papes in avignon which sounded like the tower of babel because everyone was talking so loud in the sanctum.  we went for a drive in Marseilles where i finally got to see the Mediterranean sea, which was as blue as i dreamed it would be.  we spent an afternoon in Cannes which is totally overrated.  everyone there looks like they are posing for a fashion shoot.  Aix en Provence was very cute and luckily had an english bookstore where i got a student’s discount because the girl thought i was one.  i guess i look young!  camping was a huge trial for me, but i got a reprieve when we went to stay in Grasse for a couple of days.  that’s the city that makes the perfume.  we took the opportunity to drive through the country side, and on Napoleon’s road which he took when he was coming back from his exile on Elbe.  my favorite city was Nice.  i think i like it because it’s laid out like an american city with grand avenues.  we went to the flower market and walked along the promenade d’anglais so named because in the 19th century the english would come to Nice during the summers and walk by the sea.  our last day we spent in Monaco where we saw the changing of the guards, and i bought a silly sailor’s hat.  we also drove along the grand prix route.  when we returned to camping, we spent an evening at the symphony for a debussy recital which was pleasant.  by the time our month was up, i was so ready to return to berck.  it was like 90° the whole time we were down south, and coming back to the english channel seaside was something of a relief.  now it’s back to wedding planning and my newly discovered hobby, cross stitch.  next month, i will have been here a year.  my blogs may get fewer and farther between, but i’ll try to write from time to time if anything exciting happens.  i’ve seen more of france in 11 months than most frenchmen see in their lifetime.  a bientot and bisous!

research in a sense

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A Moveable Feast

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my mom and i went and bought books for my trip.  i got a culture shock edition for france which i read all of last night.  she insisted i get a moveable feast by hemingway since it is like the quintessential expatriate french novel.  i also got delta of venus by anais nin since she is a french author, and a close friend claimed i would love her(he thinks he is henry miller).  that girl has a dirty mouth!  it’s good though, i must admit.  as of friday i will know when and where i get into paris, and i am so excited i can’t even sleep.  i think all day of red wine and baguettes, cheese and the louvre.  we probably won’t spend that much time in paris other than to do the touristy things like see the eiffel tower and jim morrison’s grave.  the town i will be living in is in the north, right on the english channel.  evidently it is only a three hour train ride from paris to london via the metro that runs under the english channel.  i am going to make the most of this trip in case it is my only chance at europe!  i have friends in germany we will see, and brugge is on my list after watching the colin farrel movie in brugge which is destined to become a cult classic.  and of course the netherlands.  i am a florist so the dutch have a special place in my heart.  too bad the tulips won’t be in bloom.  i learned a lot from the culture book, and i think i am going to fit in well with the french sensibilities.  i’m sure my language will improve after a few weeks, but more than anything i am looking at this as a new lease on life.  tragedy has been around every corner, and i think this is the universe’s way of telling me it’s ok, everything will be fine now.  i know this so far hasn’t been a travelogue but it will be.  i just thought a diary while preparing would be interesting to start with.  i have my host gifts already packaged, my passport in a safe place, and have washed all my clothes.  leaving philadelphia is going to be a great change.  i’ve left before(and am not a native)but this time it feels different.  i will still be win, but i will be an adult win travelling europe with eager yet experienced eyes.  i can see the beach in my mind in the town of berck-sur-mer.  walking along the channel, imagining a world i will no longer be a part of.  a world where i leave a deceased husband, abusive boyfriends, and streets i cannot walk down without some sort of shell shock.  i know i must return, but perhaps i will come back a new person who isn’t as haunted and who’s skeletons don’t feel like dancing any longer.  i am alive again for the first time in years.  my soul is awakened to what the meaning of life might be.  the little prince tattooed on my shoulder is guiding my way. and as he says, “if you love a rose that lives on a star, it is sweet to look at the sky at night.”  well i love a flower who lives on a star, and he is telling me to blossom.  the time has come to put away my thorns, and cultivate my dreams.

Hello world!

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Map of France in 1477.

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i get my ticket on friday.  i’ll be staying in france for three months, discovering food and art, love and life.  throughout my stay and during my travels, i want to keep everyone informed of my experiences as i see the world.  i’ve seen the entire united states, but i’ve never crossed an ocean.  so here it goes!  bon voyage…