Wednesday, June 20, 2012
View of Paris from the Centre Pompidou.
Mmm hmm. It's like that.
We are here! After months of anticipation, and a fairly uneventful trip over, we have arrived in France!
Already, this time feels so different from our previous adventure three years ago. Everything has been so much easier. Our friends Curtis and Leila hosted us for our first two nights, which meant spoiling us rotten with everything from driving us to and from the airport/train station to wining and dining us night and day.
This is what they served before the meal!
The lovely Leila with her beloved pipe.
Une petite tarte.
Nothing but blue sky.
Round Two. This time with champagne.
(Yes, I've already eaten more bread and cheese than in the previous 6 months combined. No joke. I am dying for a green smoothie! And yes, I packed my immersion blender! It's no Vitamix, but it's better than nothing!)
Because we arrived in the morning, we got the benefit of two full days and nights in Paris. Curtis and Leila live in a great area, just a quick trip by subway into the heart of Paris. By chance, on our second day, I was able to catch the final day of a Matisse show at the Centre Pompidou, one of my favorite museums in the world.
Leila's gorgeous Desigual coat.
Curtis and Artur.
Chillin at the playground.
The budding photographer. Watch for her blog. No joke.
Le Centre Pompidou.
Although Leila is French (Curtis is American) we spoke mostly English during our visit with them, so my French didn't get much of a workout. All that changed yesterday, though, once we arrived in Rouen.
We were met at the train station by Jean Paul, who doesn't speak a work of English. We spent the afternoon with him, visiting the Alliance Française (where I'll be able to take classes!) and checking out their vegetable plot in the community garden. Later, joined by Janine, we were once again treated to a welcome gathering. This time, however, we knew many of the faces from our previous visit. We also got to meet Julianna, the 16-year-old who will be our babysitter while we're in Rouen.
So, today is our first real day here in Rouen. I awoke at 4:45am and waited until I heard Janine and Jean Paul stirring around 6:45. I joined them for coffee and a last visit and about thirty minutes ago they left to catch their flight to Portland. David and Anna are still upstairs asleep. I am dying to get out and revisit this beautiful town.