06 mars 2006

Winter Break in Normandy and Paris (part 1)

I had a very lovely trip to the north of France! Right after London, I went to Normandy to visit my friend Greg from Camp Echo (he was an international counselor there). I was lucky enough to be able to stay with him and his family in the hotel that they own in the village of Honfleur. The hotel was so luxurious! I hope I captured it in its full amazingness...There was nothing better than this after spending a weekend in a hostel bunk bed.
blue flowers...everywhere! i sort of felt like they were going to eat me.

The bathrobes were the best part...well almost as good as the huge bathtub to the right of this.

Breakfast in the hotel room. I could get used to this.

I felt right at home with his family. We had much fun helping each other with English and French over conversations at dinnertime. Of course the food was very good too! One of my favorite things about this trip was that Greg just learned English last year before coming to camp, so he understands what it's like to try to learn a language and go to a country where it's spoken. It was really a great opportunity for me to practice speaking more and I felt like his friends and family in Honfleur were pretty nice and interesting to speak with.

Greg's dad: "wait...I'm not ready for my photo op"

Thoi (Greg's dad's girlfriend (I think...I am not sure if they are married or not)) and his dad clowning around before dinner

One afternoon we had lunch chez sa grand-mere. This is was nothing I have ever been to before! The maison was incredibly beautiful - paintings hung on the walls, a big chandelier, lots of ornamentation everywhere. All of his family was there, and we had a big fancy lunch (the whole deal...appetizers, different courses, cheese, dessert...). I was like "no way...this is not real *pinches self*" the whole time.

Family portrait!

Greg's little brother Charles is always asking me if I have heard of X American rapper.

Having lunch with his grandmother. Don't you wish your dining room looked like this?


One afternoon I walked around Honfleur...it's tiny. You could walk anywhere you wanted within half an hour probably. I walked around the main street and then by the quai. It was cold and cloudy so I didn't spend as much time outside as I planned on, but I still got to get a sense of the town. It's a traditional fishing village, with everything centered around the old port in the middle. Sort of reminds me of a French version of Poquoson - small and the only thing to do is fish. Haha. Well maybe with a little more to bring in visitors. The countryside from Paris to Honfleur is also very pretty, it was a relief to see something green after being in the city for so long!

The Vieux Bassin (old harbor)

More of the harbor, with the hills in the background.

Local things to do are either go to nearby Deauville (a casino town) or hang out at the village pub.

Hanging out with Greg and his friends in Deauville...you can't really tell but this was actually a pretty swanky place with exotic palm trees and cool lighting and such. Greg likes to think he's a ladies man. Typical. That's his girlfriend on the left, not looking so happy.

Stay tuned for Part 2, Lauralicious in Paris (so I can finally answer all those naive "have you been to Paris" questions from Americans who don't know that there are other cities in France with "yes!")

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