I had a wonderful time in the States visiting with friends and family, catching up, making plans, and just spending time together. I also drove up to Ontario for a long weekend for a friend's wedding and had an incredible time (but more on that later as the trip to Canada will get it's very own post) celebrating her marriage and visiting with my "assistant" friends. I ended my whirlwind two and a half weeks with a weekend in Paris. I specifically planned my return flight to land in Paris because my friend, Amy (who has appeared on this blog a number of times), was in town from Florida and I wanted to see her while she was in Europe. Lionel came up to visit as well and we spent a busy weekend visiting with friends all over Paris, including a stop at my favorite wine bar!
Sadly I didn't take any pictures while in the US, but that doesn't mean I didn't keep myself busy. Between visits with friends, checking out their new homes, meeting their children, dinners and drinks, movies and shopping, a World Cup party, family meals and barbecues, a full week of work, driving all over the place and dealing with some paperwork and other necessities I barely had a second to think let alone sleep. I got to see most of the people I wanted to see and spend some quality time with them. If I had had more time in the States I also would have made a trip out to New York to visit with some other friends, but alas that will have to wait for another time.
Lionel and I also stayed quite busy while in Paris, running around trying to see as many friends as possible and spend some quality time with Amy while she was in the country. In the end I think we did a pretty good job without completely running me ragged from jet-lag induced exhaustion as I landed in Paris on Friday and we stayed out very late that night, first hitting Nicolas and the Frog in Bercy Village and then heading over to the Batofar for some late night fun. We kept it a little more calm on Saturday with the World Cup, a restaurant, and drinks at a friend's place. Sunday we took it easy in the morning having a late breakfast with friends and then we headed back to Bordeaux so I could get back and have time to unpack and get situated before having to go to bed for work today.
with Caroline, Amy and Elias in Bercy Village
I'm also very thankful I was able to pick up my residency card before I left the country because, while I didn't have any issues getting back into France (and they didn't even ask to see it) I wouldn't have been able to get on my flight from Amsterdam to Detroit or my flight from the US to Paris without it. I was shocked when I not only had to show it when making my connection in Amsterdam (I mean, after all, I'm flying back to my home country), but also when they asked for it in the airport in Ohio before letting me start my trip back to France. That has NEVER happened before and I'm pretty sure my expired card with a ridiculous looking récépissé in French and the French law printed out in French wouldn't have gotten me very far in either situation.
Not too shabby for two and a half weeks! More on my trip to Canada and the wedding coming soon!