Hello again, it feels so wonderful being reunited with you all. It has been a quick/long week with my parents, who boarded a train (do people board trains? I’m not sure) for London where they will spend a couple of days before heading back to Cali. While they were here, we covered A LOT of ground: Versailles, Notre Dame, Luxembourg Gardens, and a plenty of restaurants, cafes, bakeries, and anything else I could stuff into my parent’s faces. We spent a lot of time together and it was so great that they stayed in an apartment because we were able to do some cooking (I got to bake… hallelujah!) and have a place to chill that had couches (one of the things a dorm room lacks, which I had conveniently forgotten after freshman year). I’ll just review some of the highlights or fun/funny things that occurred while my parents visited.
1. This trip was probably the one time that my parents were coming from other trips (my mom was in Doylestown, Pennsylvania and my dad was in Stockholm, Sweden), so they had to pack a week in advance before their trip. Ordinarily, this wouldn’t be a problem. However, Paris decided to have a freakishly hot spell, despite the rain and cold temperatures weeks prior. My dad only brought one pair of shorts. And only two short sleeved shirts. Poor faja. At least for my mom we could share clothes. So in two of the photos, you will notice that my dad had to repeat outfits (I now want to burn that rose colored shirt that I complimented on the first day). It never got higher than 82, but when you’re walking a lot and the sun is strong, that is like desert weather. Only Californians would come to Paris and experience California weather.
2. This is the first time in my entire life that I have walked in front of my mother. This simply does not occur. She always has walked in front of me with me inevitably trying to catch up to her. Meanwhile Dillon hasn’t even gotten out of the car yet. Actually, my parents and I concluded yesterday that there is no way we could have done this trip with Dillon, simply too much walking. I would have had to rent him one of the segues or golf carts that we saw at Versailles because if he was left to only walking, we would only have seen the walk from my dorm to my parent’s apartment. I love you very much Dillon, but you’re fucking slow as molasses.
3. My mother and I got lots of good sitting breaks because my father, who is Jewish, loves the architecture of churches. Therefore, we went to many a church so that my dad could check them out. I think my mom and I utilized each of those breaks to talk about what we were doing for dinner or the next pastry to be had. I introduced my mom to the famous Lauduree macarons, the award winning boulangerie next to my dorms, and to lots of cute tarts. Collectively, my mom and I ate our fair share of cheese plates, so I will continue to stand by my original statement that I came to France to study cheese. We ate at some really great restaurants and I tried paté for the first time! And then I decided that I loved it and want to eat it every day as much as possible.
4. My mom knows a lot about architecture (she’s an interior designer) and my dad is a big history buff, so collaboratively, they taught me a lot while in Paris and I got to show them things that I knew they would love. For my dad, Versailles (there’s a whole art room dedicated to wars) and for my mom, the Opera Garnier. I was really excited to go to Versailles with them, as I had not been yet and I had heard such great things about it. On the train ride over, my mom asked, “so what do you know about Marie Antoinette and Versailles?” To which I replied, “Everything. I saw the movie.” Which I felt was a totally logical response. We also own the soundtrack, so clearly I know the historical mood of Versailles.
Actually let me take a moment to discuss Versailles. First of all it’s huge, you literally have no idea. It took us twenty minutes to walk to Marie’s trianon. It’s just gigantic. I imagine Marie Antoinette could have gone a serious amount of time and not run into her husband, that’s how big it was. So many people were on bikes, golf carts, and segues just to cover more ground. It was just mind blowing. It was incredibly beautiful too, just so much gorgeous greenery.
5. We all learned the differences between the way my mother vs. my father and I shop. My dad and I take a lot of time looking at the item, think about whether it will get actual use, debate the price with ourselves and ask ourselves if it’s really worth it. Then we gradually make our way to the cashier and buy our (typically) single item. My mom? “OMG I love that! OMG how cute! I’m gonna get it!” My mom is essentially a bird that is attracted to shiny things. This probably isn’t very funny to you, but my dad impersonating my mom with a high pitched voice is really hysterical. But in all honesty, as much as I joke about how she shops, it has taught me a thing or two. Because often it’s with your gut and more often than not, my gut instincts are right. However, my dad and I have become accustomed to my mom making beelines for a specific item, completely veering off our walking path.
I realize now that none of these things really discuss what we saw, but we covered so much that it’s just too hard to recall each thing we did. Overall it was really amazing to have my parents visit, I’m one of the fortunate who gets to have that experience. I also loved showing them my favorite places (Mamie Gateaux, Fish, my marché) and I hope they saw how much of the city I have learned on my own. Another cool aspect of them visiting is I used a lot of my french since we were interacting with a lot of people, as opposed to the regular people I interact with. Sadly, I won’t see them for another few months, but I will always treasure these memories I had with them. And now I can look forward to Emilie visiting, who is coming at the end of my trip. It will be great to see a familiar face at the end of the program, especially one who speaks fluent french…