Since I still have 3 months before I will have the pleasure of returning to France, the next best thing happened to me about 2 weeks ago: France came to me!
My boyfriend Michel and his two friends Aurelien and Celine made their very first trip to the US on May 7th. In planning our trip, I had asked Michel for the top 2 places where he had always wanted to go. His answers? New York and the Grand Canyon. I opted for the second place, and it was decided: we would be making the 22-hour road trip each way to Las Vegas and back, with a nice day at the Grand Canyon in between.
In waiting for their flight to arrive at DFW, I was checking the flight status online at least every 20 minutes. The time eventually came after 17 hours of travel time for them; I headed to the airport, waited ever-so-impatiently, and finally, they arrived! I quickly greeted Celine, and then there was Michel. Not to sound mushy gushy, but there really aren’t many words to describe how amazing it felt to finally see him again, with no Skype delays or blurry screen images. After a few minutes, Aurelien said “Um hellooo, I’m here too!” We laughed, I greeted him, and after picking up the luggage we drove back to my parents house where we would spend the night before hitting the road the next day.
Although it was Mother’s Day, my wonderful mom treated everyone to a huge traditional American breakfast in our very own kitchen. To this day, she agonizes over the fact that she forgot to make eggs, but I’m very sure that everyone was satisfied! Everyone got along so well. There was lots to talk about, lots to catch up on, and lots to eat. Therefore, it was an excellent breakfast.
We had little to do after the meal as far as packing went, so we loaded up the good ol’ minivan and headed west.
With about 10 hours of driving in between Dallas and Albuquerque, we managed to stop a few times, take some pictures, and eat at Sonic (a new experience for the Frenchies, food-wise and weather-wise — giving your order to a microphone while sitting outside where the breeze is hotter than the still air). Michel, Aurelien and I each took our turns at driving for a few hours and we were pleasantly surprised when we realized that we gained an hour upon arriving in New Mexico.
After checking in at the hotel, we went to a pizzeria/bar to grab a bite to eat before going to bed. I thought the waitress was great, as she came to check on us every 10 minutes or so to quickly make sure that everything was okay. The Frenchies had another opinion. “Would she leave us alone? Why does she keep coming over here? She’s just begging for money.” Ha! I explained to them that my reaction when dining out in France was similar, but opposite — “Would the waiter come back already? I have been waiting on a water refill for 30 minutes! Can we pay the check or do I need to go find him so I can give it to him and get out of here?!” The cultural difference was funny, the food was good, and it was time to get some rest.
The next day was easy, as we woke up, enjoyed breakfast, and explored Old Town Albuquerque before driving 5 hours to Flagstaff, AZ (the last stop before the Grand Canyon!).