The first thing that comes to mind when I think about this past weekend is... Man! It was freezing! My every-weekend rambles got me on a seven hour train ride up north. The rumors are true. I officially live on trains during the weekend. But luckily, I love train rides! I always reserve a window seat for a date with my iPod, journal, a good read, a good sleep, and the changing scenery. The second thing that comes to mind is that I didn't get said "awesome time" until facing some demons first...
And by demons I'm specifically referring to France's immigration and integration office. Friday morning I showed up bright and early in Lyon for the medical visit I've been trying my best to ignore since I first heard of it. Basically, I needed this visit in order to get extra somethings for my visa and passport thereby allowing me to stay in France for the duration of the program and to go home for Christmas without any hiccups. What could be so bad about a medical visit, you ask? It's French! And by that I mean I had to get half naked for an x-ray. Of all things, I never in a million years thought that my love for France would lead me to stripping down for the French government. Alas, modesty does not count for anything over here and I found myself in a rather compromising state like every other assistant there that day. Thankfully I had the stress of catching my aforementioned train in time, so I was more focused on worrying about that. The doctor who looked at my x-ray (for a whole 5 seconds- so not worth it!) told the secretary to finish my paperwork first so I could catch my train!
Before I knew it, the worst was behind me and the best was ahead. I met Sarah in Nancy, a stunningly beautiful city in Lorraine. Sarah and I, both spoiled rotten by Versailles, very much appreciated its bourgeois feel and look. Seriously. We got the shaft! I can't believe assistants are actually living in a city that amazing! Nancy, in fact, was a happy mistake. We had intended to stay in Strasbourg for its famous Christmas markets, but every hotel was full. So we decided to commute from Nancy, a city we were both eager to see. We got to Strasbourg early Saturday morning to cram in as much as possible. And you know what? Turns out we got the shaft there too! It's a neat city full of both German and French culture, architecture, and food. The only thing against both of these cities: the cold! The bitter, unforgiving cold! Thanks to the wind, I've never been so cold in my entire life i.e. it made me thankful to be living down in Trévoux where it's slightly warmer, but still snowing! My feet were numb after ten minutes walking around outside and no amount of hot cider was going to change that. But the city was absolutely brimming over with Christmas spirit and decorations and that was heart warming, at least! I'm so glad I went! I've been dying to see Strasbourg and especially its world famous Christmas markets for years. It was not to be missed and to discover it all with Sarah made it even better!
Speaking of Christmas... Home in three days!!! What?!?!?!