June has always been a pretty great month. It’s the first full month of summer vacations. It’s when I usually start waking up early to run before it’s like 100 degrees outside and maybe go jump into the pool before it was too full. This year, of course, my life looks a whole lot different. My classes just finished and the kids are still in school, so vacation isn’t really a thing until July…and even then I will be working full days since the kids are off and the parents aren’t. However, it hasn’t dampened my excitement for this time of year.
June did start off with an incredible beginning! My best friend and her sister were in town for the weekend. Although living here has been wonderful, it definitely isn’t the beautiful fairytale that people imagine it to be. My fellow expats can probably back me up in saying that it can be pretty lonely, to be honest. Yes, I have friends and a great church community here, but nothing is the same as having “your person” there. Opening up is hard enough for me, let alone trying to make a whole new life and new friends who have absolutely no connection or real reference to my old life. There’s a lot of ground to cover to get to know someone, and I will be the first to admit that I am not very skilled at it.
This weekend, though, I had home come to me in the form of my best friend. After living together, through all the disagreements and seeing where each of us is found lacking, we have nothing to hide and no reason to impress. It was the most at ease I’ve felt here. After nine and a half months, it was a welcome escape.
They were doing this super awesome backpacking trip across Europe, and Paris happened to be their halfway point. After going and going, they wanted a more relaxed weekend. So we slept in the mornings, had huge, long breakfasts, would go out for a while, come home watch a movie, and then go out. Honestly, it was a perfect mix of doing things and it still feeling like a vacation. It was my pace, it was their pace, and it was a refreshing joy just to be all hanging out.
With that being said we checked off a bit of the “Things to do in Paris” list. Friday night we got snacks and a couple bottles of wine and sat underneath the Eiffel Tower in all its lit up beauty. On Saturday we got up pretty late, so we went the the Louvre, getting some Ladurée Macarons and Amorino gelato to enjoy in the Jardin des Tulleries on the way there. After we walked through Saint Germain des Près on the way to the Notre Dame. It ended up pouring rain, so we stopped by a Chipotle for Margaritas and burrito bowls to wait for it to calm down. Notre Dame was actually having a mass, my first time going in with one going on. It was just starting so the atmosphere of the cathedral with the many voices of people singing in French was just a stunning effect. Since it was still raining, we decided to go home to watch Ever After before going out to a terrasse for drinks. The rest of the weekend we lounged in the Luxembourg Gardens, went to a flower marker, went to see the Sainte Chapelle, ran around Montematre, ate
The weekend passed by so quickly that it wasn’t until they left that I realized that they had really been there. It was my favourite weekend in this city so far. I could probably write a novel about how great it was, but I’m sure you guys get it. I can’t wait until I get to hang out with these two again, because they are the greatest. Until then, I will continue working hard and enjoying my life here in my favourite city.