Monday, June 30, 2008

Paris: Day 4

Not much went on today - Allison is not feeling well (cold/sore throat), so Luke and I went to the Pharmacie to get lozenges and to the department store, BHV, to get a transformer. Apparently an adapter without a transformer will only blow a fuse!
In the afternoon we had the orientation for my classes, met the other students, and had a small reception. It was nice to be around so many people that speak English! There are about 7 other IU-Bloomington students, a few from Cooley in MI, a bunch from San Diego, and random ones from Colorado, Italy, Russia, and other places. Everyone loved Luke! K-Rae, the liason for San Diego's Law School at the Institute, has a 13-year-old daughter that couldn't get enough of him. He was a hit with the professors' wives as well.

The pictures are ones I took at night of our street.

In other news, Luke discovered that if he is on his hands and knees, he can roll into a sitting position by getting one leg in front of him and swinging the other one around. He was kind of surprised the first time he did it, but now he has the hang of it!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Paris: Day 3

Today we were finally rested up enough to venture out into the city. We are still not on a Paris schedule, but at least we are not feeling so tired!

We walked down the rue de Rivoli today toward the Hotel de Ville, and then we cut across the Seine to Notre Dame.

The cathedral is magnificent - beautiful and grand, and the architecture is unbelievable.

The interior was pretty dark, but the stained glass windows were very bright. After touring the cathedral, we walked around the outside.

We saw crepes advertised, so we stopped and got a nutella & banana crepe. It was tasty!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Paris: Day 2

So here we are in Paris France! It is a strange feeling to be in the US one day and the next in France. The flights were pretty good. After traveling I always think "flying is not that bad" and then when it is time to fly again I forget that I ever thought that! I know! So silly of me!

Yesterday was a pretty difficult day for me. I believe that it was equally difficult for Phil. At the airport things got a little tense. Suddenly we were WAY outside of our comfort zone! The people that we had become familiar with on the plane were all going their separate ways. It seemed that no one spoke English. When we got off of the plane and inquired about our checked stroller and airport worker thought that we were asking where the toilet was! That was only the beginning.

Luckily we were able to finally locate our stroller and all of our baggage was located. We took a taxi to our apartment and that was kind of scary. The driver did not speak any English at all. He kept talking to us and all we could do was smile. The ride was long and I was drifting in and out of sleep. When we got to our apartment the landlady, praise the Lord, was still waiting for us! She quickly gave us instructions and then she had to catch a train to the South of France for her grandson's wedding. Then we really knew no one! We were thinking that we were crazy for bringing a baby to a country that we did not know the language.

We took some short naps in the afternoon and then ventured outside of our apartment. I was still very scared. We walked down to the end of our street and found a grocery type store called a G20 supermarches. That was overwhelming as well. There were some familiar things there. I got 2 bananas, Gouda cheese, a funny looking loaf of bread, butter, yogurt, paper towels, jam, a huge bottle of water, 4 yellow potatoes, a carrot, and napkins. We walked around a little bit and it felt wonderful!

Even though things are scary it is also exciting and gratifying. It is so fun to be in a different place and I feel like we have accomplished something just by making the decision to come here and then actually follow through with it! Some tears have been shed (on my end) but that is part of the learning experience. I feel so much better today. I am so irrational when I have had literally no sleep. We love our little apartment and neighborhood. It is so old and wonderful! Our windows are the size of doors and they open right up. There are no screens or glass. Funny huh! The wind blows the curtains just the right amount. I feel like we have stepped back in time. How fun! I have always dreamed of time travel.

Each day will get better and better as we venture farther from our home base. It takes some bravery that I didn't know that I had. Luke is just having a ball! Phil is around a lot to play with him and they have become pretty attached. That feels good too! Well, until next time... au revoir!

Paris: Day 1 (cont.)

Here are a few pictures of our apartment.

This is the living room/dining room . . .

. . . the kitchen and toilet . . .

. . . and the bedroom and shower.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Paris: Day 1

Yesterday we left for Paris. My internship in Fort Wayne ended, and we have been preparing for our trip to Paris. The packing spanned a few nights, but it was stressful down to the minute we left as we continued to remember things we wanted to take. We left Fort Wayne a little later than planned, and we barely outran some nasty thunderstorms headed our way. Unfortunately, a few semis ahead of us could not handle the winds and we were held up for a short time. We made it to the Indy airport nearly two hours early, which was the goal. Upon checking in, we discovered the travel agent had not sent us Luke's paper ticket. It seems that Luke's ticket is sitting in Bloomington and was never sent to us! One hour and forty minutes later we had Luke's ticket and were running to catch our flight to Detroit.
The connection was pretty smooth, although we went straight from the first plane to the line for the second one and did not get to eat anything. Alli filled our water bottles halfway and we boarded the international flight. It flew overnight, and Luke slept nearly the entire time. Unfortunately, neither Allison nor I got much sleep. We were acting as human pillows for the little guy. The people around us appreciated it, however, as they commented that Luke was a very good traveler.
Once we landed in Paris, we hit a few snags, as the lines to enter the country were held up for a short time and then we had trouble locating the stroller. We hired a taxi to take us to our apartment, and 17 1/2 hours after we left Fort Wayne we arrived at our apartment in Paris. What a trip!
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