A picture is worth a thousand words…

I’ve been remiss in my blogging, once again. Here’s all the stuff I wasn’t blogging about…

Before Paige’s college suspended all greek life, her sorority held their philanthropy event- a Red Dress Gala for women’s heart health, and had a couple of social events.

She also spent a lot of time studying…

We loved having the whole family together for Thanksgiving….

Tim and I decided to be tourists one day, and took a trolley tour in St. Augustine (We’ve never done that before! 😳😂) We walked all along St. George Street And did some Christmas shopping, had lunch, and had a fabulous day.

The family went for a nice hike in Guana over Thanksgiving weekend before the kids had to get back to classes. It was a great way to end the weekend (after eating all that turkey 🦃)!

Clay got to spend a day out on the water doing some research before exams, which he appreciated!

I spent a weekend tackling a couple of projects- repainting our patio set, and chalk painting this table. I love how it turned out!

http://gtmnerr.org/

Level Dance Company performed in the homecoming parade, and Paige had a reunion with her Paris friends (from study abroad.)

Home Sweet Home

Paige is home…although her trip home wasn’t without a few hiccups along the way. The airplane had a mechanical issue in Paris and was delayed several hours. Because of the delay, she missed her connection home and had to spend the night in D. C. And didn’t get home until the next day. 



But…SHE IS HOME! 

She’s happy to be home, but was sad to leave Paris. She had a fabulous month!

Besides Paige catching up on her sleep and doing a lot of laundry, we’ve had a wonderful, authentic and really, really delicious Afghani meal with my refugee family (my 3 month commitment through World Relief has ended, but we continue to keep in touch.)


Clay has been busy working (nearly every day) as a kayak and stand up paddle board tour guide. 

And I’m trying to finish readying Linda’s (Italian exchange student) room for her arrival next week, as well as ordering college textbooks, buying school supplies, and organizing everything for Paige’s move to the apartment in a few weeks.  In just a few weeks, Paige will begin her second year of college and Clay will begin his senior year. Linda arrives in just a few days. 


It’s been busy and crazy, but I’m savoring this time with my family. 

A few photos from Paige’s last few days in Paris:


And at home:




Countdown

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. 


Almost….

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…

Santé 

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. 


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!


Semaine Chargée 

This past week has flown by. Paige and I have been trying to make sure she has everything she’ll need for her month in Paris (adapters? Check. A travel towel? Check. Deodorant? Check.) and trying to figure out how to fit everything in two carry on bags. I’ve been emailing back and forth with former French exchange students and making plans to see them and emailing our future Italian exchange student who will be arriving in August and getting to know her a bit. 


I worked on a couple of painting projects. I’m not sure why…because my timing was atrocious. It’s been terribly hot and humid – not ideal conditions for sitting on our porch painting. Still, I’m happy with how everything turned out. 

This is the “before” picture of an old desk I bought at an auction years ago. I painted it in Annie Sloan “old white” chalk paint and I love how it turned out!


While Paige and I were gathering clothes together for Paris, we realized she needed a couple of things…so we had a shopping day. 


And we both had a hair day…


And then I realized that I needed gifts for our French friends…so we headed to St. George Street one afternoon. 


Some of our favorite people stopped off for a quick visit on their way to Orlando and we had so much fun visiting with them!


And Clay has been busy too. He’s been hanging out with a new…friend, and did some water sampling the other day for International Ocean Sampling Day. He was even In the paper!



In a couple of days, Paige and I will be heading out on our way to the City of Light. 

A bientôt!