Better late than never, right?
I am sitting in Jardin du Luxembourg in the gorgeous sunshine that has failed to show up in the last few weeks, feeling bad for neglecting my blog for so long -oops.
Here is a quick summary of my June.
A few weeks ago I was lucky to have a few fellow Canadian travellers stop by for a Parisian visit: my lovely cousins Carla and Becky, along with my previously mentioned friend Mary Stirling. We must have been quite the sight; four blonde girls wandering the Parisian streets, laughing uncontrollably, wiping nutella from delicious crêpes off our faces, waving at the awkward tourists in the passing tour boats as we snacked on pineapple and raspberries along the Seine; all while the cousins tried to avoid knocking over passer-bys on the street with their giant backpacks(it may have happened once or twice). Despite the chilly weather, it was such a nice day and we were sad to see it come to an end when it was time for the girls to continue on their adventure to Spain and catch up on some much needed sleep.
Mary stayed with me, however, and after catching a few Z’s for ourselves as well, we hopped on the train and made our way through Belgium and the windy Netherlands to Amsterdam for the weekend.
The city was every bit as beautiful as I remembered. We arrived a bit too early to check into our hostel and did the only logical thing there was to do to pass the time: bought candy and knockoff snuggies.
After a quick nap we headed out on the town for some shopping, dining, and exploring. We had booked tickets ahead of time to visit Anne Frank's previous living quarters and were humbled to see how fortunate and uncomplicated our lives really are.
Afterward we caught a bit of live music in one of the town's lively squares and then decided it was time for Mary's first encounter with the Hard Rock Café for overpriced drinks and appetizers. We then headed back for the night to curl up in our snuggies and sleep.
The next day consisted of lounding along the canals, more shopping, a visit to the Van Gogh Museam -most definitely worth the wait to get in- and a delicious snack of traditional Dutch waffles with ice cream! Amazing.
Mary stayed with me a few more days in Versailles and got to see as many of the Parisian sights as possible; Arc de Triomphe, Notre Dame, Sacré Cœur, etc. We even had a late dinner next to the Eiffel Tower one evening, which happened to get us stranded in Paris for a while because unlike another favourite city of mine, this one actually sleeps.
Mary and I have yet to finish our European travels together; we will again be reacquainted in a couple weeks to roam the streets of London. I can’t wait!
As for life in Versailles, I have not a single complaint! My schedule is fairly simple, and the kids have been behaving a lot better for me, which makes my life a lot easier. My school, although the daily commute is a bit of a hassle, is really great and I have learned quite a bit in these past few months. My French is improving, but at a less rapid speed than I had hoped. I realized I am at a bit of a disadvantage in that area because, since I speak English at the house, I don’t exercise my grammar and vocabulary enough to have it flow as easily as I would like, but I still have another two months to continue to work on it.
Lately I spend a lot of time with a few other Au pairs in the area, and it’s so nice because we try to see as much of Paris as we can, but also enjoy relaxing in and visiting our favourite haunts –like the candy store in St. Michel where the owner recognizes and knows us well enough to give us discounts.
France has been quite exciting lately: Fête de la Musique was a blast, Le Mois Molière (where the city is filled with theater productions) happens all June in Versailles, and currently happening is the Fête du Cinema, where you get into all movies for just 3 euros! Maybe best of all though, are the summer sales in nearly every store, which are quite quickly taking care of my income for me!
The main thing I am missing back home right now is the lake! I’d love nothing more than to hop on the boat for a round of wakeboarding, bobbing, and lounging in the sun eating cherries and sunflower seeds. For now though, acquiring freckles from the Parisian sun, dipping my feet in this tiny pond, and watching the kids play with the little motorized sailboats will have to suffice!
Playlist of the day: Is there anyone who's NOT listening to Adele right now? Her voice gives me chills time and time again..