Visual Diary – Lonely Autumn Days

The past month has given me lots of alone time to reflect. Recently, two of my closest friends moved out of France, and in September, my husband Erik went to the US to await his Green Card, leaving me with just a single friend to hang out with, and lots of quiet evenings alone. It’s been interesting.

Without an extra person next to me when I sleep, or someone waiting for me when I come back from the grocery store, things have been a little bit strange. Yesterday I realized I had barely used my voice for the entire day, and I wondered jokingly if my vocal chords still worked. Even though I had been wandering around Paris for the entire day, surrounded by people on the street, I still felt isolated, simply because most of the people I love weren’t with me.

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Bonne Année

2014 happened, and I lived through it. The time that has elapsed and the things that have occurred exist and will forever exist in the space-time continuum – or whatever else you want to call this strange thing called reality. One could even argue that this entire world is just an illusion or a dream, if you wanted to get really philosophical.

Whatever this is, I have been a small piece of it. Whatever effect my actions had on the world around me, I’ll never quite know, but they must matter, simply because they happened. Sometimes I have to stop and take notice of my existence. Sometimes I forget to see myself as a piece of the puzzle. Oftentimes I don’t realize how wonderful it is to be alive and 24 years young.

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Visual Diary – Return to the Native Land

I’ve called France my country of residence for almost 1 year now, and a few weeks ago marked the first time back in the Golden State. I’ve been spending time with family and friends in California, playing lots of board games, putting together folk-art puzzles, and generally just relaxing. I’ve also been eating lots of terrible yet amazing foods – donuts mostly. The family meet-n-greet is over with (most of my family hadn’t met Erik yet since we kinda eloped :o), so this weekend Erik and I will be taking short road-trip up to San Francisco together, one of my favourite cities in the world.

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In the Tuileries garden

Visual Diary – Summer’s Over

The change in season has brought about many changes in day-to-day life. In early September, not just one, but three friends moved into town. Two of those friends were originally made during my study-abraod adventures two years ago, all of us hailing from different parts of the US. It’s amazing that all of us find ourselves back in the same place once more.  My weekends now consist of dinner with friends, wiiU game tournaments, and friendly meet-ups for coffee or walks through the park. I haven’t felt that crushing sense of boredom and depression that hit me all too frequently in the past months.  Filling a life with even the smallest of meaningful activities makes such a big difference.  Having people I trust in my immediate surroundings makes me feel less like an alien and more like I have a place here.

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Square du Vert Galante on île-saint-louis paris

Perhaps the Most Romantic Spot in Paris, and Week Highlights

This week’s highlights have been defined by one thing: The SUNSHINE! I don’t think one fully understands the positive affects of that heavenly burning ball of gas, high up in the sky, until you live somewhere that experiences rain more than three times per year. Not only sunshine, but also sorbet, a new work opportunity, an American diner, and perhaps the most romantic spot in Paris. A big claim to make, I realise, but keep reading, people. Keep reading.

Last Sunday, a friend and I had brunch at Rose Bakery, a Franco-British establishment with a few locations around Paris. It’s been quite hyped up in “hipster circles” (for lack of a better term), and for good reason. The façade and interior are unassuming and comfortable, the food feels hearty, simple, and of good quality. That morning, I had a cappuccino, a pear cranberry muffin, and a quiche. The muffin wasn’t all sugar, and the quiche differed from French quiches in that it was square-shaped and had a sturdier crust. Only got a snapshot of the pretty foam on my cappuccino.

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There’s more to France than Paris

Yesterday, the Paris area saw some of the worst air pollution… ever. At least that’s what the news articles keep saying, and judging by the visible haze suspended in the sky, obscuring trees and buildings, I gotta believe them. It didn’t stop me from having a lovely little walk through a village outside of Paris, however. Villennes-Sur-Seine, complete with weeping willows over a river, adorable stone houses, and a charming garden on the side of a hill. The atmosphere felt pleasantly warm, thick, and cozy, probably enhanced by the dense smog in the air.

I wouldn’t have made the trek out there if it weren’t for some official business to take care of – I was picking up some official translations of documents needed to apply for a residence card. I’m glad I did go, because it made me realize that there’s more to see here than Paris… small villages and towns with medieval churches, ivy-covered walls, small, quiet streets, quaint cafes, and stone fountains. This short afternoon trek has inspired me to branch outward, see what lies outside of the Paris grandeur.

Here are just a few things I noticed while waiting for the next train back home:

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