So this last week has been quite lovely! The weather here has been wonderful! Blue sky and warm days, combined with golden leaves and beauty all around.
Running is a pleasure here and apart from the nearly twisted ankles I get from running across bumpy pathways covered with leaves, I could not ask for better scenery!
This week was a busy one. On Wednesday we left the house around seven to go to the Clooney Museum where the remains of some ancient Roman Baths were. That was interesting. Then we went back to the Institute for two hours of class about the European Union, which is very interesting, and then went to the Louvre until ten that night. It takes about an hour to get home from the Louvre, so by the time we got to bed it was a little past eleven and we had to leave the next morning at five thirty in order to make a train to the Loire valley which is many hours away.
By the time we got there it was about ten in the morning and the weather was beautiful. It was the perfect setting to see one of the most beautiful places I have ever been in my life before. The place we were going to visit was a very old chatou. It is one of the only ones that has a lot of the original artwork and artifacts in it that survived the revolution. There are manicured gardens of different kinds all around the chatou which is built ON the Seine River. However my favorite part was the forest next to the Chatou. Oh my goodness, when I walked into it I was sure I had stumbled into the Elvish land of Lothlorian. The trees were a light green and covered with golden leaves. Not yellow-but bright golden. The sunlight was streaming through the trees and there was a light breeze so all the leaves falling made it seem like a light blanket of snow was falling. I just stood there and looked and looked, I could not take my eyes off it, it was so incredibly beautiful.
After that we went to get on the train, but ended up on the wrong side of the tracks, so as the train came rumbling in it went right past us, and thirty girls had to sprint all the way down the tracks and to the other side. It was probably pretty comical hahhah. Inbetween several more trains home we stopped in a town and had an hour layover. I was starving and so I went in search for a Boulangerie in order to purchase a baguette. Every city I have been to in France to far has had one of these bakeries within five minutes in every direction, but I walked forever and could not find the bakery. Finally, at the other end of town I found a grocery store and hurried to buy my baguette that I had walked so far for. I then realized had ten mintues to get back to the train station, when it had taken me about half an hour to get to the grocery store, so I ran back to the station, and besides getting a little lost, barely made it in time for the train (which was a good thing because I had no idea where we were going or what train to get on). However as I went to step on the train, my baguette which I had worked so hard for, feel out of the bottom of its bag onto the sick pigeon walked on floor. I ate it anyways...luckily I am still alive.
When we arrived back at the train station and had gone to board the metro to get back to our respective residences, I looked up and realized I could not see the stop sign. This made me realize I had left my glasses on the train and so I ran with my roommate back to the trains. However, being in the semi-unconscious state I had been all day due to lack of sleep, I had no idea where we had come from or what train, among the many dozens, I had come from. Luckily my roommate was with me, who knows far more Francais than I do, and she was able to communicate to someone that I had lost my glasses. We were led to a lost and found and amzingly enough my glasses were there! The men in the room kept telling me to kiss the man who brought out my glasses, but I just laughed, said my two words that I do know, merci beaucoup, and ran out of the room. What a blessing! I cant imagine what the rest of this trip would have been like if I would have lost those!
On Friday after doing some school work I went to the Eifeel Tower and climbed all one thousand and something stairs to see the incredible view. Now I know why Paris is considered such a beautiful city. Wow. We stayed there from full sunlight to sunset and finally the lights turned on in the city. It was incredible.
Saturday my family had a HUGE party at their house. I got home around eight and walked in to find the furniture completely moved out of the house to make room for a huge dance party. There was good everywhere, lights, a DJ and everything! Everyone was dressed in party dresses, blazers and ties. I guess my family does this with a bunch of other families on a regular basis. They even have a teacher who comes each time and teaches the kids how to dance! I love it though, because the party is full of adults, kids, and teenagers. After a while all the adults go downstairs to listen to their own music, probably classical, and drink wine and eat cheese, while upstairs the kids are dancing away. By the way my family has a sweet sound system with speakers in nearly every room of the house. I really felt as if I was at this aritocratic party of all these rich families who are training their kids how to party in style. Pretty much my roomate and I just danced with ourselves and ate a lot of chocolate mousse and eclairs. My roommate seriously looks like she could be fifteen and so some fifteen year old kept asking her to dance the whole night. It was pretty funny.
Then today we went to church, and afterwards I went and to have a picnic with my friend Cami on the Seine River. It was nice to soak up the sun and watch the sail boats floating around on the river. During our talk, she told me about the Second marriage proposal she received yesterday, from a sixty year old frenchman. Oh man...then men here. :):):):):)
Well, I hope all is going well at home. I cant believe I will be joining you all in America so soon! I am loving it here, but also loving my dear America more and more as the days go on. Actually I was talking with my professor today and she mentioned that because of the recent financial crisis, BYU might be shutting down there study abroad programs. How sad right!? I am so glad that I got in, just in time!
Well I love you all and hope you have a great week!