“Paris is not a city, it’s a world.”
I’ve been to Paris four times in the past six years, and it’s safe to say that I haven’t been desensitized to its magic yet.
I confess that Paris is still not my favourite city in the world. I do not even see myself living, nor working, in the City of Lights.
And admittedly, I was not as excited to return to France after having been a temporary French resident for the first half of the year.
Though, that changed when my family immediately turned to me to guide them around the city and be their guide, so to speak.
Out of my family, I am the only one with any knowledge in French. And after my semester in Toulouse, I feel that my understanding of the language has improved immensely. I still do not have much confidence in speaking the language and having conversations with native speakers, but everything else has become a piece of cake.
Not only that, I feel as though my navigating skills have gotten better after traveling around so much. The infamous 16-line metro of Paris is a daunting feat, but I think I’ve nearly mastered it. To the relief of my family members because who wants to be lost in the stinky, dirty subways of Paris? Not me, that’s a given.
Since it was my dad’s, mom’s, and sister’s very first time in Paris, it was necessary to show them all the sights and even a cheeky bit of French hospitality by my lovely French family in Villejuif.
Unfortunately, I haven’t much photos of this gorgeous city because I was just there at the beginning of the year (and I’m a terrible blogger.)
However, I was able to appreciate the beauty that Paris is by not having my camera/phone out the whole time. It was almost like I was a local. Almost, but not really.
The highlight of this stay has, hands down, got to be the barbecue that Joanna’s family planned for us.
Again, too caught up in the moment and excitement of being with Ambre, Joanna, and her family again, to be taking pictures. Happy to have captured these gems of photos though!
The beautifully prepared lunch – la mere de Joanna never ceases to amaze me with her cooking and ability to stuff me up like a Thanksgiving turkey, yet keep on eating – was in an equally beautiful garden. Our table was set underneath the vines, and it was as if we stepped into a French film, literally!
A comedy with visitors from America. My family speaks no French, Joanna’s parents don’t speak English – so there was a ton of translating on Joanna and Ambre’s part. I hope they didn’t mind doing that! They did such a great job, I wish my French was as good as their English.
It was amazing how a language barrier did nothing to disrupt the fun and lighthearted atmosphere that the lunch and company provided. We even had two comedians as our entertainment.
The next day (our last full day in Paris) was actually spent at the Palace of Versailles.
Then, we ventured over to Marie Antoinette’s Hameau which I loved very much. I wasn’t able to make it out there my first trip to the Chateau! And Marie Antoinette is my favourite French royal, even though she technically was Austrian – and not French. I did my very first presentation in French on her, so it was only necessary that I visit the place.
The palace is insane! The Hall of Mirrors is impeccable, and although I think everything was a bit too much, it was a place built for a king, literally!
That was our stay in Paris. Despite having been already, it was overall very nice to be back there. And with a better knowledge of French!
I won’t be making it back to France this summer, and after being there for half a year, maybe it’s a good thing. But nevertheless, I am very thankful for all the memories and experiences that the country has provided to me.
A la prochaine, Paris!