C'est la vie!

Trip Start Aug 16, 2010
Trip End Jun 01, 2011

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Where I stayed
Bed and Breakfast Gare du Nord

Flag of France  , Île-de-France,
Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Firstly, Mark and I want to thank everyone who has left us blog comments...we love reading them!

France was a big adventure for us...

Our target destination in France was a little town/village called Lamalou-les-Bains, in the south of France.  Beth and Rich Elsdon, were super generous and loaned us the keys to their apartment in this little village before we left for Ireland.  Since Ryanair http://www.ryanair.com/en (our airline of choice for traveling in Europe because of their super low airfares) did not offer flights out of Dublin to the south of France, we thought we’d expand our travel itinerary and spend some time in Paris first, then fly to Marseille and spend a day there, then take a train to Bezier...and then somehow get to Lamalou from there.  Good plan...right??  I won’t lie and say we were totally confident about our travel plans, but we figured we’d be optimistic and see how it all panned out :)

As a caucasian American, I’ve never really experienced what it feels like to be a “minority”.  Even before we’d actually landed in Paris, just waiting in line to get on the plane, my auditory senses hyped up as I listened to people speaking in French all around me.  I’ve always intellectually known that language makes up a huge part of our identity, but I’ve never experienced being an outsider within a group of people, just because of a language difference (one of the blessings...or could it be a curse...of being American).  For the first couple of hours in France, I just sort of wanted to keep my mouth shut.  However, that was not an option, as we were in an airport that was 45 minutes outside of Paris, needed to find the bus that would take us to Paris, and my high-school french was going to have to help us do this...Yikes!  

Thankfully, my long unused french slowly emerged (thank you Madame Barnes!) with the help of a phrasebook (thank you Lonely Planet!)  Everyone we spoke with seemed pleased and a little more than slightly amused that we always attempted in french first.    

Check out the captions of our pictures to learn a little more about our travels in Paris!
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Gramma Z on

Hi you two......Having been to Paris, I thoroughly enjoyed the photos....Had such deja vu looking at them and shed a tear or two....:) You look great and seem to be having the time of your lives.......Oh, how I wish I could be there too.....Stay well and keep on sending.....luv, luv, luv u........

Kathy Marlor on

It's so good to see you enjoying the world. Susan and I speak of you often and miss you terribly. You look so adventurous in these pictures. Years ago while working for a German company, I had the job of moving people into international assignments. They often spoke of a sense of claustrophobia when surrounded by people not speaking their native tongue. Your blog comments reminded me of those stories.

Christopher Kiley on

Heys guys, great to see you enjoying Europe. The picture at The Louvre and Arc de Triumph brought back sweets memories of our 08' trip to see Shannon. If you get a chance to see Monte Carlo its spectacular!!


Hi Guys,

What a great experience. Paris is so beautiful But it seems that the French people don't really like Americans. Thanks for sharing this with me.

Love you both
Aunt Bobbi

Pop & Beam on

Hi You Two--It is great seeing and hearing about your adventures-It looks like it might not be all work but some time for travel and fun--Love you both much--Pop & Beam tooXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXOOOOOOOOXXXXXX

Betsy Claro on

Dear Mark and Laura,
What a wonderful surprise to receive your email and see your blog and the two of you looking so happy exploring Paris! Hope that your time abroad is every bit as exciting as you imagined ~ and more! Stay well and happy! I'll look forward to hearlng from you again when you have the chance. Much love to you both!

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