A few things I did the last few weeks, in no particular order:
...Versailles gardens again with Andrew.
...falafel with Andrew and Melissa.
...American Church in Paris, which I am really going to miss.
...date with Andrew at Relais Gascon.
...a long, Parisian style coffee with Becca.
...roomie dinner at Pub Saint-Germain (17 Rue de l'Ancienne Comedie, 6th) and a final street-stand crepe for dessert of course.
...a visit and tour of the UNESCO House.
...running, running, running, all over the city. I love seeing the city by foot.
...Sleigh Bells concert at Social Club.
...last meeting with Marion at Le Loir dans la Théière (3 rue de Rosiers, 4th). This is the cutest cafe in the Marais, hands down. It is named after the dormouse in Alice in Wonderland who gets dunked in the teapot.
...Sex and the City 2 with the girls, not as good as the first but still a fun night.
...shopping at Uniqlo, the Japanese version of American Apparel. They have bike shorts!!
...HEC Social and Sustainable Business Conference with Andrew; some really great and inspiring speakers.
...last few times tutoring Stanislas and babysitting for the Phan's :(
...Bois de Bologne, the huge park bordering zone 1 in Paris to the northwest.
...Musée d'Histoire Naturelle, the natural history museum in Paris. SO cool.
...Bible studies with wonderful Chrisitan women.
...McDonald's. Ok, I am ashamed to admit this, but it is so much better in France and Parisians LOVE it. I have never been to a McDonald's in the city that was not busy. They make a mean McFlurry with Daim and caramel.
...Kara's graduation from Le Cordon Bleu (she is officially a French pastry chef!) and celebration dinner at the Italian restaurant Barlotti (reallllllllyyy good mozzarella and tomato stuffed gnocchi; 3
...picnic with wine in the Champ de Mars under the Eiffel Tower and the stars (so cool at night, esp. on warm nights).
A few things I have forgotten to mention over the year that I don't want to leave out!
...Jardin du Luxembourg: such a beautiful park in the 6th.
...OPA: one of our favorite clubs near the Bastille.
...George V hotel visit (owned by the Four Seasons): beautiful hotel, I wish I would have had the time for a coffee in their beautiful cafe.
...Le Pin-Up, a really unique and intimate bar/downstairs lounge. It is decorated in a sort of shabby chic style, and one of may favorite nights out in Paris was dancing downstairs with Emily and Kara.
...Monet Giverny Gardens: I didn't get to do this, but I heard about them and wish that I did have the time! These are the gardens Monet painted and where he lived, in Giverny.
...Musée de l'Orangerie: houses Monet's large water lily collection, as well as some great exhibits.
...Le Styx, one of our favorite restaurants from back when we studied in Paris in 2006
...Marché de la Création Bastille markets
...Musée Rodin. BEAUTIFUL house and gardens filled with a great collection of the artists sculptures.
...Musée National Picasso. A great collection and very interesting exhibit of photographs of the artist in his studio.
...L'Arc. A restaurant/club that I wish I would have gone to! It is on the roof of a building right by the Arc de Triomphe.
There are so many other things I know I am forgetting to mention as well, but the list could go on and on. I have so many great memories!
Now that I am home, I realize how much Paris meant to me and changed me. (Watch out--cheesy reflections to follow!!!). I learned so much about myself. I learned that I could have confidence speaking another language even when I make mistakes, and that I could go out of my way and out of my comfort zone to speak it with strangers, friends, coworkers, and especially Marion, with whom I practiced lengthy conversations. I also learned that many French people don't care if you are trying to learn French, they will still speak English to you... you just have to try to get over that and be persistent! I learned that I could be independent and live in a big city and navigate and discover new places everyday on my own. I also learned how to walk a million miles a day and deal with train strikes. I learned that I could teach, with no prior experience, and that I could really help my students learn. I learned that I could be patient and invest in real friendships with French coworkers as well as being accepted into families for whom I babysat and tutored (it's true, you can make French friends if you put the time in!). I also learned that being neighbors with Parisians doesn't mean they owe you any sort of neighborliness. I learned that life is as exciting, interesting, and full as you make it (whether you live in Paris or anywhere else). I learned that I love my friends that I went to Paris knowing as well as the ones I left Paris knowing. I learned just how much I love and need Andrew in my life.
I am so thankful that I was able to have this experience. It has made me realize how big and great and rich the world is, and that I can do anything.
I am now home for the summer before I go to law school this fall at.... PEPPERDINE! I am very excited to be moving back to Southern California and to be back studying at such a wonderful school. I am just going to relax this summer and enjoy some time off with family and friends. Please pray for me and my decisions and challenges to come, I need the love and support of my family and friends through this!