Friday, October 30, 2009

Back in The States

So...vacation is over. No more waking up late, drinking wine/beer with lunch (or at least not without feeling a little guilty or lushy), marveling at how low the dollar is and how high the prices are, eating in restaurants that are old than my country...but Houston isn't so bad. My family and friends are here to welcome us back!

The last 2 weeks or so was spent traveling through France and visiting friends and family. We mainly stayed in the northeast going to places like Nancy, Baccarat and the Lille/Valencienne area. I have lots of pictures and am going to write the posts and set them up to be posted every other day so you can all see a little bit of where we went.

While we were there our 1st Anniversary passed as well!! October 25th was one year that Cyr and I have been married! We were in Paris and went to dinner at Ciel de Paris which is on the 56th floor of the only sky scraper in Paris; the Tour de Montparnasse. We ate dinner and looked out over Paris and the Eiffel Tower. Right when we sat down, at 9pm because the French do eat late, the Eiffel Tower lit up and sparkled like diamonds for it's hourly dance of lights. One of the things that really amazed me was that the lights on the horizon actually twinkled!! I asked Cyr if he saw it too or if it was just the good wine. Apparently the lights really do sparkle! I thought they just made that happen in the movies. Alas...I recommend that you don't take my word for it. Go and check it out yourself.

So...I am logging off for now and going to get my pictures in order to send out our trip highlights!
Thanks for dropping by...

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Busy Days

So the French Days are going really well! I have even been getting extra practice because Cyr has two friends / work colleagues in town from France and we have gone to dinner a few times. They all speak French and I get to practice. It is such a nice change to actually be able to understand them when they talk now. In the past a conversation would go like this;

Group is talking in French.
I don't understand that word. I think about word.
I think I know word and try to focus back on the discussion.
Discussion has changed.
Another new word, what could that mean?
Oh, look at that bird outside!
I wonder if he speaks French.
Maybe it's a girl bird, why do I assume it's a male?
Male birds have pretty feathers. Huh.
Oh yea, focus on French conversation. I missed that whole thing.
Why are people laughing?
Laugh with them!
I don't understand that word...

Now I can at least focus more. We head back to France next week so at least my ears are ready for it. Don't know about my mouth...but my ears are ready!

I also have to take a quick trip to Florida for work. I fly out Monday and return Wednesday then we leave the next day for France. I booked an early flight Wednesday in case of delays. Am also going to pack before I leave Monday. Yes. I must remember to pack early...

Thursday, October 1, 2009

A French Wednesday

So...we had our first day of speaking French yesterday!

Some of you have posted or emailed me and said "why don't you do it everyday?" While I can see how this would be a good idea, in practice it's pretty hard. For instance; Cyr wanted to tell me about something that happened at his work. He is an engineer in the oil and gas business. I don't understand most of what he does when he speaks English, so in French...super frustrating. I admit, we too some time to talk in English about a few important items, but then went back to French.

We actually did a pretty good job! I think I learned a few things that will hopefully be reinforced tomorrow when we have Day 2 of The French Language Project. There was a funny moment; Cyr was in the hall trying to tell me something in French. But he was looking at me with his head tilted to the side, brows furrowed, rubbing his tummy and speaking in a very halting and slow way, like he couldn't think of the words. It was so funny, it was like he couldn't speak French to me, literally! He looks at my face and English comes to his brain, he said it's pretty strange to speak only French to me, but he'll get used to it.

I guess I should also admit that part of the reason I wanted to start this now is that we are going back to France in October and I really want to be in the groove of speaking the language and maybe improve a bit before we get there. We will get to travel around a bit and then get to see his Mom and brother for a few days. I'm really looking forward to it. It's strange because I don't know them very well when it comes down to it, but I really like learning more about them. Getting to know about personalities and what makes them laugh and what doesn't. Plus she is a fantastic cook. Uh...yum...

So there you go. It was not 100% French Day, but I would say it was closing in on 75%. Tomorrow will be even better.