It only took 26 years but I can finally add Europe to the list of destinations that I have visited! But don’t let me get ahead of myself! Let’s start at the beginning. Thursday morning arrived and I woke up in a furry of excitement. My bags were packed, unpacked, then packed again, my outfits all ready to go, I showered, dressed, checked that I had my valuables and passports, and then Stephane and I were off to the airport. We decided to go early to deal with a little problem that Ida and Nir had bringing my new iPad back into Israel, which only stressed us out right before our trip, but luckily we were able to figure everything out (in large part thanks to the brilliance of Stephane’s mom) right before we needed to board the plane. Leave it to the Israeli government to add a little stress to the holidays!
Once we were on the plane my excitement, mixed with some nerves due to flying (I really don’t like planes), was at an all time high! I was so excited I didn’t know what to do with myself. Luckily I wasn’t tired because even if I wanted, sleep wouldn’t have been an option. It’s just my luck that sitting behind me was a religious family with two screaming kids who decided they wanted to pass all 4.5 hours of the flight kicking the back of my chair… I really, really wanted to go all Israeli on them, and start the screaming, but I didn’t want to throw off my karma for the trip. So, I gave some dirty looks and told myself that 4.5 hours really isn’t that long. Before I knew it Stephane and I were disembarking from our very green plane, and walking through the Orly airport in Paris to meet his father.
Stephane’s dad, who, unlike Stephane is always punctual, was waiting to collect us with a huge smile on his face! It was wonderful to see him again, and even more special to see Stephane back in his home country. I know he is French, but living in Israel sometimes I forget that he is REALLY REALLY French, and to see him at home has been so wonderful and exciting! After a half an hour drive we were approaching his town of Livry Gargan (a suburb of Paris), and I could tell that, after 3 years of being away, Stephane was excited to be home!
I was so mesmerized by my surroundings that I hardly noticed Stephane and his dad passing the time in rapid French conversation. I had finally made it to Europe, France in particular, and I told myself that I was just going to take ever day as it comes and completely drink in my surroundings. Finally we arrived at Stephane’s family’s villa and I was overwhelmed by how beautiful it was. All of the architecture in France is stunning but he has a gorgeously designed two story villa with an attached apartment that his dad now uses as an office that is simply breathtaking! I’m really living in style this trip :-).
Once we unpacked and were settled, Jacques proposed that we come to the kitchen to eat some of the food he bought to honor our arrival in Paris. I have never been so happy that I passed a whole day only eating one little turkey roll because when I saw the food that Jacques stocked up for us I felt that I probably shouldn’t have eaten for a week before coming to France! We had salmon, assortments of meat, baguettes, crepes, pastries, and every kind of cheese you can possibly imagine, and then some!
Travel days are always tiring, but travel days plus a belly full of breads and cheeses gave me an exhaustion like I’ve never felt before! Needless to say I was very ready for bed after my meal. Plus I wanted to be rested the next day so that I would have energy to explore his town a little before Shabbat dinner at his brother’s family’s apartment! After acquainting myself a bit better with Stephane’s house, it was time for a nice hot shower, and bed. I have never slept so good, and I was very ready to start exploring the next day! But that is for the next post!
I love you forever and always and miss you more than words can express.
Until we meet again <3,