St. Paul de Vence, Carcassone and Perpignan

Trip Start Jan 03, 2009
Trip End Jun 18, 2009

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Flag of France  , Languedoc-Roussillon,
Tuesday, May 12, 2009

SO! I have lots to tell you all. I finished my finals and they went fine. I only had to pass my classes to get credit for them, I don't think that will be a problem. I went to the beach a few times and hung out with Ross at his college where we have made some really great friends. Ross and I have really gotten into badminton but I have to go easy on him because he played so hard that he pulled a muscle!

On Saturday and Sunday we had visitors! Tom and Sheena, who are on Ross' dad's side of the family, came down to the South of France for a weekend away from the kids. I met Tom, Sheena and their three kids when they visited California two summers ago. I fell so in love with the kids that I almost studied abroad in Edinburgh, Scotland, where they live.

It turned out Tom and Sheena were staying in a friend's apartment only two blocks from my own. As I was packing up all my stuff to move out of my apartment, they helped me bring my bags to Ross' college in their car. It would have been much more difficult to bring them on the train, so I am very grateful.

We went to dinner together in the old part of Cannes called the Souquet in a small restaurant that looks like a cave and had really great mussels. Ross and I updated Tom and Sheena on what we've been doing and we asked about the kids. Hamish, the oldest at 11, is becoming an accomplished pianist, with his first song ever being The Entertainer. He was also just accepted into a private school. He was in the top four boys to get a full scholarship. Edward, who is about to turn 9 is looking forward to next year when his mom said he could get a dog when he turns 10. He LOVED JoJo, Ross' dog when they visited. And Katie is six. We had a great connection when she visited California. I helped her learn how to swim and she can't wait until I can visit so that I can braid her hair.

The next day, we met up with Tom and Sheena again who took us on a tour of the towns up in the hills behind Antibes. We visited St. Paul de Vence, Vence and Tourrettes sur Loup. Sheena's grandmother used to live there, so she showed us two houses (more like villas with million dollar views) that her grandparents built and we went out to dinner. Seeing them really made me excited to visit Scotland where we will stay in their house, babysit the kids and go to all their favorite restaurants. We also planned to visit some other family who live in Pitlochry. We're going to drive up in Tom's Porsche with the top down!

On Sunday, I moved out of my apartment, sadly. Right before I left I was stopped by my neighbor who is a really nice older lady that never stops talking. She tried to sell me her shoes (some were Chanel, but too expensive for me) and she also gave me a shirt. It's cute but I have no idea why she gave it to me! That night I stayed in Cannes at a hotel because I was planning to stay at Ross' college but they didn't have any empty rooms.

For the next three weeks, while Ross has an internship at the Cannes Film Festival, I planned to do a program where you live on a farm for free in exchange for helping out on the farm. I thought I would be able to meet new people and practice my French. This didn't end up working out because the farm didn't have running water, a toilet, shower or electricity. Instead, I stayed in Carcassone for a week.

Carcassone is a small medieval town that is enclosed by huge walls and is on the top of a hill. It is very pretty but also very touristy. It rained most of the time, so it was hard to walk around and explore. For the weekend, I went to Perpignan which is a beach town. Too bad it was overcast. I still went to the beach, though, and went for a long walk on the beach while listening to music and then laid on the sand reading and drawing.

Now, I am back in Antibes! My study abroad adviser gave me one of the apartments that students had stayed in. It's a great one room in the middle of old town and very close to the beach. I'll stay here for two weeks, go to the beach and check out the Cannes Film Festival. My fancy dresses that I brought won't have gone to waste! I also offered to help Kristin, my adviser, any help that she might need since the semester just ended. She said she could use some help cleaning the apartments and would pay me for my help!

I'm looking forward to Erik coming on May 30. Ross and I are going to show him around Antibes, Cannes and he really wants to see Monaco. Then we head off to Spain, Scotland, and Morocco!
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