Summer Outside of the City

May 26, 2010

I love Paris, but I really am most at home in the country. My host family invited me to spend a weekend at their new (but very old and lovely) country home and I was more relaxed than I’ve been for months.

We left Paris on Saturday afternoon, and arriving to sunshine, green grass, and summer left me grinning ear-to-ear for the entire evening.

Pale violet colored irises were everywhere, and sitting amongst them for an afternoon snack was so nice after the cramped and very hot car ride!

The house dates to at least the 1800’s, and parts of it have been uninhabited for over a hundred years! All the same it has a lot of charm-my favorites were the wide windows, thick red tiles, and the red bird and vine wallpaper. This picture shows a section of the upstairs hallway…

One of the great pleasures of the weekend was running, jumping, and skipping whenever and wherever. In Paris not only would you embarrass yourself if you partook in any of those actions, but there is also simply an enormous lack of free space. We all burned off a lot of pent-up energy over the weekend, as you can see from Ariane and Theophane’s engergetic sprint in the driveway!

The house is surrounded by real farms and fields, and my host siblings and I explored that afternoon with good and bad results. The good was the sunshine and the field of wheat, but the bad was my run-in with stinging nettle. You know you’ve been in the city for far too long when you forget what all of the bad plants look like.

One thing that we took full advantage of was the enormous lawn in front of the house. It’s the big flat space that my Dad has always dreamed of!

However, with a great lawn comes a great deal of mowing. The only good thing about studying for exams all weekend was that I didn’t have to try out the ‘tractor’ myself!

I was thrilled to see sheep through the trees on my first night there, but I also thought I should take a photo of the untamed wilderness before it was all cleaned up by my host siblings. Battling vines and scruffy shrubs has become the weekend chore, just like at home in Michigan…

The next day Tiburce and his girlfriend Ombeline arrived by train. We stopped over at their grandparents home (only 15 minutes or so from La Créole) and picked up some roses, since nobody was there to enjoy them! They smelled just as good as they looked, and I felt like a kid in a candy store when Madame told me that I could cut as many of them as I wanted.

We ate outside for every meal, every window in the house was open all day, I fell asleep to the sounds of crickets and frogs, and woke up to sunshine which made studying for exams and writing final papers so much more bearable.

It was the perfect weekend.

A bientôt!

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