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Published: August 10th 2013
Well, it’s just about the end of the trip. Leaving for the states on Tuesday (currently Saturday.) Life has been kind of a whirlwind as of late constantly hopping from one place to another and living out of a bag. Let’s see…
The Jura was where I left off last time. For those who don’t know, the Jura is a middle-sized mountain range a bit north of the western Alps. We went because it was part of the Laurent family tradition for the summer, and we’re so glad that we did. All in all, we really didn’t do much. Just hung out around the enormous and beautiful house playing board games, reading, drinking rosé and exchanging guilty glances as everyone wondered where all the wine was going (the more you drink the better it gets!) We did manage to go on a few outings before breaking out the wine though. One day we went to a toy museum and while this may seem a bit random, it’s actually got some history behind it. There’s a huge lumber/farm industry in the Jura, however, during the winters in days long past, most people had no real way to occupy themselves and/or provide
for their family. As a result, people began carving toys from wood and, voilà, the toy museum’s roots. The other outings were more nature based; we went on a 6km hike (3.7 miles) that allowed us to see 4 of the local lakes and also went to one of the fantastical lakes to swim (lac de l’Abbaye.) Laure’s dad showed us a picture from April of the house we were staying in, completely covered in snow. I bring this up because apparently the ice of the lake gets so thick during the winter that people actually drive their cars on the lake for fun. Wow.
Overall the Jura was a good experience, though kid intensive from time to time. Honestly, the only thing I could bring myself to complain out though would be the flies. Like I said earlier, it’s a large farming area. However, and you’d think that being from Missouri I’d know this already, with cattle there are undoubtedly going to be flies. I’m not talking your average 2 or 3 flies in the house, no no no. Hundreds. Rachel and I regularly would hunting for flies, killing 30-40 each in the kitchen alone, just to make
eating in the room tolerable. That’s not including the disgusting amount of flies stuck to the traps hanging over our food. I’ll stop there though, just reliving the memories is making me frustrated. Points to be drawn: I love the mountains, it actually does snow in France, and I have now actively hated flies.
After the Jura we went to Dijon, where we (Rachel and I) actually ended up staying for an entire week. We hadn’t initially been expecting this due to either a misunderstanding in language somewhere along the way or just a failure by them to communicate. In any case, it was a great surprise. Unfortunately though, Dijon was kind of a bust for me. The first day was too hot to go out (adjusting from 65 degrees and windy to 90 and humid is rough,) the second was bittersweet, raining all day, therein keeping us inside whilst cooling Dijon to a nice 70-75. Unfortunately after that though I got sick. Maybe something I ate, maybe the rapid change in temperature. Either way, I was far under the weather for an entire week and just as of yesterday got to 100%. I’m a stubborn person
though and insisted to Rachel that I was fine multiple times, escaping to see what proved to be, in my opinion, the most beautiful French city I’ve been to. I definitely plan on going back. Also, a slight sidetrack, Dijon mustard is MUCH stronger than the U.S equivalent. This American is not a fan.
After Dijon it was back to Dieppe, where we had one day before going back to Guillaume’s parents in Dozulé. We also realized it was Rachel’s last day (she left a week early because there was potential for her getting a job with a high school when we bought our tickets.) So we spent the day enjoying Wi-Fi while the night was spent packing. Dozulé was next, spending a 3 day weekend there for a sort of family reunion. The food was amazing, mussels, merguez, wine, pork, cheeses, wine, lamb, chicken, wine. You get the idea? We also managed to make a day trip up to Caen for a corn maze, featuring a very elaborate back-story. Rachel and I thought they took their maze a bit seriously, but it was a good time.
After Dozulé we took Rachel to the
airport (Zoé and Gauthier staying with their grandma) and, since then, Augustin has realized that once we get to the airport, we’re actually gone. Apparently that didn’t quite hit him until she left, so he’s been hanging on me non-stop ever since. Yesterday was Laure and Guillaume’s anniversary, so the four of us went down to Rouen for dinner and to watch a light show being displayed on the cathedral. It was actually pretty incredible to see, something I definitely underestimated. Today we’re going to the Carnival and tomorrow night I’m off to Paris to spend my last day before going to the airport. The trip is at its end and, while I’m definitely ready to go back, it’s been a great experience and I can sincerely say I’m going to miss this family. Which is great, because last night they said we could come back whenever we want for however long we want, on one condition. I help them find a house to rent in the states for their vacation next summer. Talk about a bonus!
Thanks for reading, and I’ll hopefully I’ll see all of you soon back in the states!
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