Yesterday was my birthday and as I opened my gifts, I realized that there is no friend, just a very slow exchange student….
My host family completely spoiled me and gave me a great birthday that I will always remember!!!
My weekend:We left Saturday morning for La Grande Motte, a beach town on the Mediterranean where my host family owns an apartment. Over the summer while we were e-mailing each other they often mentioned that they were spending the weekend there and once even sent me a post card from the town, so needless to say I was very excited to be going there myself and to have them share this piece of their life with me.
The car ride only took two hours but even if it had been longer, I honestly don’t think there is such a thing as a boring car ride in France. The scenery is beautiful and always changing because, as my host mom explained to me, the vegetation varies throughout the different regions so there are constantly new views out the window.
We got to the apartment and put our things down before going for a promenade. We stopped in a patisserie that had some of the prettiest cakes I have seen (and I have seen quite a few cakes in these three weeks) and we all picked out a little gateaux, mine was strawberry and honestly, one of the best things I have ever tasted!
We spent the afternoon on the beach (with a few too many old men in speedos and naked children) but the water was warm and felt great!
For dinner we got pizza and I met my host mom’s mom! (I’ll call her my host grandma!) She also has an apartment in the town so we ate at her place. The man at the pizza parlor had such a strong Italian accent that it took me a minute to realize he was speaking French not Italian! But boy did he make a good pizza.
Sunday was my birthday and it started off great with a delicious pain au chocolat (I think I’m breaking a record here, one every morning for a week now! Don't judge me!) I went for a walk with my host parents along the beach; it was slightly cold with an ominous looking sky but I like that kind of weather!
There was also a market right under the apartment so my host sister and I walked around there. We got a free piece of bread and cheese that was sooo good!
We went back to the same patisserie to pick out my cake, while waiting in line a woman started yelling that the lady in front of her took the pastry that she wanted, and I can completely understand why this would be so upsetting but lucky for me she didn’t take the chocolate ice cream cake that I had picked out!
Back at the apartment, I opened a package that my family back home sent me. It had gotten here Friday and it took all my strength to save it for Sunday! I’m so glad I did because it made my birthday even better to open it! Among other things, I got a lot of pictures of my family. Just last week I think it would have made me sad to look at them but as soon as I saw all their faces I got really happy; which I think shows that I am getting comfortable here. I can’t thank my mom enough for putting it together and everyone who contributed to its contents, it made me so happy! Merci!
I then opened all the things that I had picked out in town with my host sister! It was too funny.
For dinner we had caviar, chicken, and pasta. And then my cake!! I ate so much that my host family named me a gourmande: a person devoted to eating and drinking to excess, a title well deserved.
The car ride home went quickly, I hadn’t brought my computer to the beach, a small notion to make sure my family knows that I want to spend time with them. So I had a lot of catching up to do concerning Happy Birthday wishes on facebook and e-mail from friends back home! They followed my birthday as it came, first in France, and then in America.