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Sunday, February 13, 2011

An Update...


My host mom and Boulie 

My host mom, before her dinner party


My host mom and her dinner party (I was fed separately at an "American time" - 7pm.  This took place at 9:30)

My host mom and her friends

My host mom and sister and their friend

baby olive trees for sale


Between Monaco and Nice

The famous Monte Carlo Casino in Monaco

The view from our hostel in Nice (it's adjacent to someone's yard)

The red carpet in Cannes 

Monday, January 24, 2011

Cassis Pictures

The cliff in the background is the highest cliff in Europe!

Note the French flag on the tail

Saturday, January 22, 2011

The New Chez Moi

I now have my French home and family!

I am living with Madame Mistral, the nicest possible host mother.
She immediately took me for a walk around Aix this morning, stopping by her friend's perfume shop (her friend spritzed us both with some Chanel perfume) showing me the vegetables at the markets, asking me what I like and don't like to eat, etc.  We then met up with her daughter and her daughter's fiance, who speaks fluent English due to his 4 year stay in Oklahoma for university.  They are in town from London for the weekend.  

To my relief, she has no plans to make me eat any weird food.  She hates lamb, and isn't going to make fish for me.  She made me a very tasty lunch, with salad, ham, and bread.  

I have a really cute bedroom (her daughter's old room) which has a balcony overlooking the hills surrounding Aix.

Later in the afternoon, they took me to Mount Saint Victoire, a huge mountain on the edge of town.  We sat at a patio at the base of it for our afternoon espresso. 

After a dodo for both of us (nap), she made me pasta for dinner (and I sampled French cheese - to no avail).  She then made some tea she brought back from her recent travels to India, and we watched the French movie which tells the story of Coco Chanel's life. 

Tomorrow, she is taking me to Cassis to see the Mediterranean and the beach!  I will bring my camera.

Friday, January 21, 2011

The Beginning...

I made it to Aix!

My highlights thus far:

  • My hotel room has shutters like the ones at the beginning of Beauty and the Beast, and I can see a 14th century church tower from the window.
  • I have not gone hungry, nor ordered anything vile by mistake (so far).
  • I have not gotten lost yet.
  • My internet cable works.  
  • I met a very nice Greek doctorate student, who is visiting from Scotland, where she is studying, while we awaited the bus to Aix last night at the Marseille airport.  We chatted the entire bus ride.  She was very nice.
  • I have not been yelled at, or made any horrible (that I know of) language errors yet.
  • I have a map of Aix.
  • I was thrilled to find a Zara here, and even more thrilled to find the same skirt I bought at Zara in Dallas for $20 for 40 Euros.
  • I took advantage of the cheap prices of the matinee showings at the town movie theatre, and saw a French comedy.  I understood the basics of the plot.
  • Most of the speech I've had directed at me has sounded very patchy.  I have usually caught enough key words to avoid problems.  This was especially great when a security guard in a large department store wanted to check my bag as I left.
  • The taxi driver was really nice, and even told me I spoke great French.
  • The lady I will live with, Madame Mistral, apparently just stopped by my hotel to let the front desk know what time she's picking me up tomorrow.
                                                                   "Liberty or Death" 
Merry Go Round at the town center (I haven't ridden it yet)

the view from my hotel room window

the central town fountain- according to my cab driver, it's the most famous monument in Aix

I could go see True Grit with French voiceovers if I wanted to...

The house where I'll be living....just kidding.  Not actually sure what this is.