My summer started with a bang in May, when I flew from Paris to New York with the dream team: Michel, Celine, and Aurelien. We all traveled together last year to Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon, so this year we had to keep the tradition going. It was all of our first time in New York City, so it was no surprise that we paid way too much for a non-yellow cab to take us from the airport to our hotel, we were amazed when the lights of Times Square bombarded us, and we made it our goal to see as much as possible while we were there.
We spent hours in Central Park on our first full day (and only beautiful day) there, eating hot dogs, laying in the grass, exploring the different areas like Strawberry Fields, taking a horse and carriage ride through the park, and even Skyping with families back in France so they could live vicariously through us.
To say the least, my week has been quite fabulous.
I drove out of Dallas on Friday night to be reunited after a long 3 1/2 months away from my dear friend Stephanie, who is currently attending Baylor. We did our normal Waco things like Practically Pikasso, Pei Wei, Teriyaki Park, Jamba Juice, and Common Grounds. It almost felt like I just came over to her house from my apartment that was 5 minutes away, but then I remembered that I graduated and will be moving to France in 3 weeks. Oops.
Upon seeing lots of familiar faces on Friday night, I responded to the statement “I thought you were in France already!” about 50 times, saying “No, no, I still have 3 weeks.” While ending our night in line at the beloved Scruffy Murphy’s (a local Waco bar frequented by every Baylor student on every weekend ever), my group & I even ran into 2 French exchange students. I mean really, on the one night I’m in Waco at this one bar at this certain time, the Frenchies are in line right behind us? It’s destiny. I got to speak some French and chat with one of them about Lille – his hometown. Such a small world!
I am still waiting very impatiently to hear more news from my job for next year. In my efforts to kill time, I’ve been knitting, reading on my new Kindle, spending time with two of the most awesome kids in the world (I guess you could call it babysitting), driving to Minnesota and back, getting out with friends, and more. But somehow, I have forgotten to blog!
It’s been over a month since my French road trip buddies have left the US, but I can still remember plenty of highlights from our stop in Las Vegas.
We arrived in the evening, checked in at the Palms Hotel, and ate Panda Express. There was an issue with one of the hotel rooms that was quickly fixed, but we all still received free passes to the spa and the Playboy Club. (We just used the spa pass. Celine and I have good boyfriends.) Michel was totally impressed by the quality of Panda Express. And ALL of us were amazed once we hit the strip.
We left Albuquerque after a yummy lunch at Fuzzy’s Tacos and arrived about 5 hours later in Flagstaff, AZ. We had reserved a hotel that morning and when we arrived at the hotel in Flagstaff, apparently we had driven to a different one than we reserved at! Oops. We looked up directions to the right hotel (apparently there were 4 hotels of the same chain in Flagstaff), I got ridiculously lost on the way, Michel ended up paying 30 euros to use his GPS on his phone for 10 minutes, and finally… we made it. Luckily that was the only time that we got lost on the trip.
It was really cold in Flagstaff! We layered up and ate dinner at a Burger King nearby after Michel had downloaded a legit USA/Canada GPS that he could use free of charge on his phone. The Frenchies loved Burger King as far as I could tell; the size of the burgers was enormous, the drinks were self-serve (with free refills!), etc. We went back to the hotel, all of us passed out, and surprisingly all of us woke up without an alarm clock around 5am. There is no explanation for this, as I am NOT an early bird, but I think that the only reason could be due to the time changes.
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.