Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The First Snow

Hello Everyone!

I am so sorry it has been a while since my last post, but a lot has been going on.

First, it is snowing!!! I know this is not some unheard of Marvel, especially in Europe and the North of France. But give me a break, I'm a girl from California, and the possibility of having my first white Christmas is currently the most exciting thing in my life right now.


The first snow in Valenciennes

So, a quick update:

Two weeks ago I spent a lovely weekend in Compi├Ęgne with my new French family: the Gaudets. The Gaudets are family friends with one of my mom's students and we have been in touch since I arrived here in France. They invited me to visit two weekends ago and it was the most pleasant weekend.

I admit, I have been rather homesick these past few weeks, especially with the holidays coming. So staying with a family really did the trick in cheering me up. The Gaudets, Anne and Christophe and their three children Pierre (10), Juliette (7) and Matthieu (4) were the most charming family. We enjoyed two days touring the city which houses the Chateau de Compi├Ęgne (Napoleon's digs) and the location of where the English captured Jeanne d'Arc. We also caught the film Le Petit Nicolas, went to the local Christmas markets, went to Mass (my first time) and enjoyed a lovely family lunch on Sunday at Anne's parents' house.

The family was so welcoming to me and have invited me back whenever I want. I definitely plan on returning in the Spring and perhaps for a visit to the Chateau de Chantilly. Juliette even cried when I left! So I think they liked me :)


Christophe and Matthieu, Me, Anne, Nicole (Anne's mom), Pierre and Juliette

On to more updates...

I met up with Jordan last weekend in London. We visited his old college roommate Nick who is living there now and working for Skype Mac. We spent a couple days in the city, and then took a road trip out to Kent to visit some castles and stay in some B&Bs. We visited Leeds Castle, Dover Castle, and saw the secret wartime tunnels under Dover Castle and the White Cliffs of Dover. Back in London, we visited Greenwich park and stood on the Prime Meridian.


Dover Castle


Jordan and I on the White Cliffs of Dover


Me on the White Cliffs of Dover


It was so beautiful! And France was just over the Channel


On the Prime Meridian

Jordan is off to Berlin now to visit an old friend for the holidays, and I am leaving Saturday for Sweden. Because of the snow the forecast says to expect flight delays, but I am hoping that will go smoothly as it is Jonatan's birthday too!

I hope you are all going to have a lovely holiday and I miss you tons!!

More to come on a European Christmas!

Bisous!
Me on top of a castle!

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