In 2 days, 9 hours, and 21 minutes Paige will be home! Not that I’m counting, or anxious to see her or anything. 

She is excited to get home, but at the same time she really does not want to leave France. She has had such a wonderful experience and met some really great friends. 

Last weekend Tim had a layover in Paris and was able to uber over to her dorm and have a quick lunch with her before her group left for Versailles. 

Other than the trip to Versailles, she’s been trying to pack as much into her final week in Paris as she can. A trip to Musée d’Orsay, another visit to La Tour Eiffel, hot chocolate at Angelina, drinks by the Seine…

I know she’s sad to leave, but she’s had a wonderful experience and learned a lot. 

And it’s time to come home. 

Mise à jour de Paris

Paige’s group had walking tours of Le Marais on Monday and then had falafels for dinner. On Wednesday they walked around Montmartre and had a cheesy, yummy, fondue dinner (where, apparently, they drank wine out of baby bottles. I don’t understand it either…I guess you “had to be there!”)

Other than exploring the city, she’s been learning French and sweltering in the heat. Her dorm doesn’t have air conditioning. 

*do you see those cute little iron balconies? Almost every building you see in Paris has them. They’re quite lovely. I call them smoker’s windows….because I think it’s a  law in Paris that you must smoke. 💁🏻 

Vive la France! Vive la République! 🇫🇷

Clay turned 22 Monday. (22!!!😱) He had the day off and we hung out at the beach…

While we were enjoying the sun and surf, Paige was touring the Opera Garnier and hearing stories about the phantom of the opera, whilst being assured by the tour guide that the stories weren’t true. 

She spent the rest of the week doubling down in her French classes so that they could have Bastille Day off. Her group had a picnic in the park, as they have been trying to avoid large crowds. 

I’m almost finished moving everything and organizing the bedroom and bath for Linda. 


Finally, a few more photos Paige sent me from the past couple of weeks…

* I am horrified and saddened by the awful events that took place in Nice this Bastille Day. Many people sent me messages asking if Paige was okay. She is. She is in Paris, and she is fine. My love and prayers go out to those in Nice and to everyone in France. Vive la France! Vive la République!🇫🇷

Chartres, vicariously

Paige sent me photos (and a video) from her group’s outing to Chartres yesterday – c’est très belle! 

She also seems to still be enjoying living life as a Parisian…

Although, apparently, sometimes those cobblestones really trip her up

Anyway, back in Florida Tim and I have been enjoying spending time with Clay (when he’s not working). He’s been hanging out at the house with the old folks and it’s been really nice. 

I’ve been busy trying to get Linda’s (Italian exchange student) bedroom set up. She’ll be arriving in a month. I’ve sent a couple of emails and hope to hear from her soon so that we can start to get to know her a bit before she arrives.  

Other than trying to get bedrooms switched and set up, I’ve been doing a lot of reading and just trying to enjoy the quiet before things start to get hectic…soon…


Since I’ve been home, I’ve been sleeping a lot. For some reason, this trip across the pond hit me harder than usual. I’ve just been dragging. 

Other than sleeping, my week was filled with a migraine (probably influenced by the jet lag), lots of laundry, and lots of face timing with Paige. The International Program at FSU has had many activities planned for them…first they did a walking tour of the neighborhood where Cité Université is located. They learned about the facilities on the campus (like a dining hall where she eats true French meals for about 3€ – such as roast duck!) It actually costs more for her to do a load of laundry (3.50€) than to eat! 

She’s made a group of friends (funnily enough, one of the girls she knew years ago when she used to do rhythmic gymnastics. Another is friends with one of her good friends who moved to Minnesota. She’s friends with her in Minnesota and they just happened to run into each other in Paris. It’s truly a small world.) Paige and her friends have been exploring and walking all over Paris and enjoying the fact that they can drink the fine French wine legally. 

They’ve hung out at Champs dès Mars, they celebrated when France beat Iceland in the Euro, they went on a Seine dinner cruise, went to a comedy show, and she has a cooking class today and they tour Chartres this weekend. That’s just this week. Oh yeah…and she has her French classes too! 

Happiness is locating the coffee machine in the dormitory!

Happiness is also yummy gelato on a beautiful Parisian day!

Making a simple dessert in cooking class. 

When I was in Paris, Paige and I had a cassoulet one day for lunch that was so good. I was determined to try to recreate it when I got home – even though it’s in the upper 90’s here and probably not the best time of year to undertake an all day cooking/baking dish. Still, I tried, and it turned out pretty great. If only I could also manage to produce a crusty, French baguette to go with it…

We’ll always have Paris…

My last day in Paris  was bittersweet. We slept in, which was nice, and then walked to the closest Monoprix to buy a month’s worth of toiletries for Paige. We returned to our hotel to pack and then met Louise for tea. She came all the way out to Montmartre to say goodbye to me. (I seriously love those kids so much. They are the best.)

Saying goodbye was hard. Paige will see both Simon and Louise (and hopefully Roxane) again this month, and will spend a weekend at their country home with the family, but it was hard for me. Simon and Louise were our first exchange kids and I’m probably closest to them. They have a special place in my heart. 

After saying goodbye to Louise, we finished packing and headed over to Cité Université to check Paige into her dorm. 

We dropped the bags off and then walked down to a café to have a snack and a cup of tea before walking to the local supermarket to buy some supplies for Paige to have on hand. 

We returned to the dorm, unpacked and set her dorm room up…(it’s very cute!)

Paige has her own room…

And her own bathroom. It’s cute…it’s like a lav on a boat; all in one. She can shampoo her hair, brush her teeth, and use the toilet all at the same time 😉

She has a little refrigerator…

And plenty of room for her clothes…

(Please note the supply of Bueno bars at the foot of the bed, in case homesickness sets in)

After all that, and delaying the inevitable as long as possible, it was time for me to go. I uber-ed to my hotel at the airport, but not before lots and lots of hugs and promises of TONS of photos from Paige. I was a bit weepy when I got into the car…tears of happiness that my girl is getting to have this experience…and of course, sadness. I’m going to miss her. 

Paige has been true to her word. Here are the photos she’s sent me thus far…she’s made some friends, they’ve been walking all around the city and taking advantage of their free metro passes. They went to Champs dès Mars and celebrated France’s Euro victory over Iceland (Allez France!). It looks like she’s having fun. 

Knights in (sort of) Shining Armour 

Thursday we woke up early and met Louise at the entrance to the catacombs…we thought we’d try again to do the ghoulish tour and hopefully beat the crowds by going early. But, no. Again, when we arrived we found a ridiculously long queue around the block. What gives with that? Is every single tourist in Paris  right now really as weird and creepy as we are?

Anyway, we aren’t doing queues. Nope. So we uber-ed (yoo-bayrd) to Le Marais where we walked, and peeked in shops (cute, but yikes! Even with July sales going on it was crazy expensive), and stopped for tea, and walked (A LOT) more. Louise’s boyfriend, Vivien, joined us for lunch and then they took us on a tour of St. Eustache and pointed out other interesting sights along the way. 

St. Eustache was beautiful. Really, really beautiful. Quite honestly, I thought it was more beautiful than Sacre Couer. And Notre Dame is lovely, true, in an old, gothic way…but so dark. It’s hard to see. Trust me, if you’re in Paris, avoid the lines and go to Le Marais/Les Halles and walk through this magnificent old church. The pipe organ is the largest in France and Mozart’s mother’s funeral was held here. (Also Molière was married here, among other notables)

Today was our last full day together before Paige checks into her dorm and I head home. We decided to spend it in Provins and it was a perfect day. 

Once we arrived in Provins, we walked through town and up, up, up the hill to the “old” town, where we wandered and admired…

And then, after fully admiring the age and quaint beauty of Provins, we settled down to watch La Légendes des Cheveliers. It was dramatic. It was well choreographed. It was fun and exciting. The feats of horsemanship were amazing. The several hundred French schoolchildren who were there on school trips seemed to enjoy the show as much as we did! 

For Paris is a Moveable Feast

We had a wonderful reunion with Simon and Louise our second evening in the city. I can’t believe it’s been 8 years since we’ve last seen them! We also got to see their sister, Alice, and meet her charming boyfriend Charlie. 

The next morning Paige and I wandered explored Pigalle a bit before making our way to the Latin Quarter and the Musée National du Moyen Âge (aka Musée de Cluny) which has been on my bucket list for years. It’s a very small, little known museum dedicated to the medieval time period. It’s in an old abbey from the fifteenth century and has all sorts of fascinating, cool stuff…

And it was all very interesting and wonderful. But honestly, I was there to see one thing. 

Several years ago I read a book called The Seventh Unicorn by Kelly Jones. It was about a woman who worked at the Cluny Museum in Paris and about a series of tapestries. Then a couple of years later I read a book called The Lady and The Unicorn by Tracy Chevalier, which was also about the tapestries. I was intrigued. And ever since I have wanted to visit the Cluny and these mythical series of tapestries for myself. 

They were magnificent. Truly, my photos cannot do them justice. Take my word for it; they’re tres magnifique in person!

After visiting the Cluny, we stopped for coffee and then met up again with Simon, Louise, and Simon’s friend Alex. We walked around a bit, and then hopped on the bus to go to the catacombs. Apparently, though, every other tourist in Paris had the same idea because the line for the catacombs was around the block! So, we decided instead to walk to Montparnasse and take in the view. 

After taking in the view from the top of Montparnasse and relaxing with a glass of wine (in Simon’s case, a massive beer) on the rooftop cafe, we went to Louise and Alice’s flat, where Simon and Alex prepared us a wonderful, gastronomic feast à la française. (And really, as if the French accent isn’t enough….is there anything more fabulous than a man who cooks?)

I managed a photo of the carpaccio, but after that I was too busy eating and drinking wine. Sorry. Besides the carpaccio we had salad with homemade vinaigrette (of course) and ham and cheese crêpes, and Louise made a peach dessert which I don’t know the name for – but it was fresh peaches diced up with sugar and marinated in wine and it was delicious. Everything was delicious. The wine was delicious, the crêpes, the salad, the peaches…


And if I haven’t mentioned it before, let me just say how awesome Simon and Louise are. They were great kids when they were 12 and 14 and they are great now. We had such a lovely evening with them and their friends – they’re all so warm, open hearted, witty and kind. They have been great hosts and have made our visit so enjoyable. 

Paris is always a good idea

Paige and I are enjoying our week in Paris together before she begins her study abroad program (Intensive French, lasting the month of July). Tim was able to pick up a Paris trip and actually flew us over and we had a fun few hours exploring Montmartre and Sacre Couer, eating dinner, and enjoying our last few hours en famille (minus Clay 😢). 

Because we’ve been to Paris before, and we’ve done the usual touristic things, we wanted to do stuff we haven’t done before now. Our second day in the city, we went to Printemps Haussmann and had a café à lait and pain chocolat on the rooftop terrace, which has fantastic views of the city. 

Afterwards, we walked.  A lot. We walked to the Seine and through Tuileries Gardens and over to Musee de l’Orangerie, which was closed, and over Pont des Arts to Musée d’Orsay, which had a humongous line…and since we’ve been before we decided to just sit and listen to music and people watch. And THEN we went to meet Simon and Louise!! And that will be the next post…

A bientôt!