Time Won’t Let Me Go

Another week has gone by and we’re already at the end of April. I’m so excited that my countdown is at the two-months-left point; I’m really excited to get back home at this point. I feel like I’ve seen and learned what I need to, and I’m getting superpumped to see everyone back at home. Not only that but I have so many summer plans that I’m looking forward to!

My week last week was quite long, probably because it was still the holidays so I didn’t have a set-schedule. I was finally free Saturday afternoon so I made my way to Paris to go to Lost in Paris! I got there at around 5:30 and found myself with two choices. I could 1) Get a good seat (it was rush seating) on a balcony to watch a show that I can watch a million times over whenever I want to OR 2) Get a good spot on the red carpet and MEET I don’t know who. I went for choice number two. After two hours of waiting, I finally realized I had the advantage in this situation. Everyone around me spoke French; some were practicing what they knew in English, which consisted of “Hello” “Goodbye” “How do you like Paris?” Well of course, the people who were coming would obviously only speak English right? So finally after those two hours, Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse stepped out of their Jeep Limo thing. I freaked out because they’re the producers of LOST; they started my huge obsession, and I used to listen to them every week on their Lost podcast. Damon was trying out his French, saying “Bonjour” and “Merci.” Really, that seemed like all he knew. So when he needed a pen, I seemed to be the only one to understand him, letting him use my pen and also letting him sign my notebook. Carlton was awkwardly standing behind him, not really knowing what to do so I reached out my book to him and he came up to sign it. He started to say, “How are you?” which slowly descended into nothing because I think he realized he was in France but when I replied with “Good, thanks,” I think he was kind of surprised. He gave me back my pen, I said thanks and then he just paused and said, “You don’t really sound very French…” So I said I was Canadian and he moved on to the next person. However, while he was signing the next person’s ticket, he continued, “So what are you doing in Paris?” And I got to have a conversation with Carlton Cuse! He was supernice and I think he was just happy to find someone who spoke English haha. After they left, I waited for another half hour and a cameraman came out and said everyone who was coming was already in the building so we all left to find our seats (I’m pretty positive he was lying and now I can only think, what if I stayed and met the two actors?). As I sat down way in the back, packed in the middle of 2999 other people, I still had an excitement in me; I was finally here! It started off with a couple songs played by an unknown band, then went on to interviews. The two actors who came were Evangeline Lily (Kate) and Michael Emerson (Ben) and trust me, Michael Emerson still sounds as creepy as on the show, even when answering normal questions. We then proceeded to watch the first episode of season 5, which was so good! I was in shock when it was finished, thinking to myself, “That’s it?!” So now I’m only looking forward to coming back home to watch the rest of the season in one day.

On Sunday, I got up and went to church before coming back and going to the café with Adriana. I was in the middle of opening a present when Benjy (my favourite waiter) comes up to give us our cokes. As he takes his time opening each bottle, and then awkwardly stands there afterwards, I feel like I have to say something to him. Well the reaction I got when I told him it was my birthday the next day was definitely not the reaction I was expecting, at least not with so much enthusiasm. “Oh really?! Well, happy birthday!” he said with a big smile on his face, kind of bopping around. Anyway, long story short, he left a receipt on the table with a note that said, “The cokes are a present, happy birthday!” Definitely made my day. Adriana and I went out for supper afterwards and then I went back home.

Monday was my actual birthday. We skipped school and instead went to our other café. Our favourite guy wasn’t there so we didn’t try the whole birthday thing again. Afterwards, I started my big day of work. The family made me a cake, which was nice, and I opened all of my birthday cards and read my birthday greetings (Thanks everyone!). All in all, it was a good day. I’m looking forward for this week to finally finish because in only two days, Steph, Katie and Donna are coming to visit for two weeks! I’m so excited; it’ll be nice to have some more people come visit. I hope everyone starts off their May well; I’ll see you all in 64 days! Love always
Time Won’t Let Me Go – The Bravery

Sound of Freedom

Well it’s definitely been awhile but now I actually have activities to write about! Since I last wrote, Lauren has already come and gone. Our short week together was so much fun! I got up bright and early last Sunday morning to make the two-hour trip to the airport to pick up my sister. After she finally came out, we went to church (which I’m surprised she stayed awake through) and then made our way back home. I managed to make her stay up until 10:30 that evening so that we could start off our week Monday morning. On Monday, we went to my café “Le Celtique” and I gave the waiters Tim Horton’s cappuccino mix, as well as many Coffee Crisp chocolate bars; they seemed to be pretty excited and Lauren and I got free drinks! After that, we went into Paris and did many of the touristy things. We started off exploring the islands of Paris, going to the Notre-Dame, and then we went to Montmartre and traveled up to the Sacre Coeur. It was such a nice night and it was a lot of fun! We had supper in Montmartre, in a restaurant that didn’t look too appealing at first. We walked in and there was a piano and two tables but we found out that after turning many corners and climbing more stairs, there was a whole other section to sit in. We ate our meal, and listened to the live piano while enjoying the French atmosphere.

On Tuesday, we were planning to go to the Catacombes but the line up literally went around the block; the end of the line was almost at the entrance. We instead decided to go to the Gardens of Luxembourg, my personal favourite gardens of Paris. We then had our snack at Crêpes À Gogo (nutella crêpes, of course) and then we made a quick stop at the Louvre grounds. Wednesday was a great day! We went to the Parc Asterix, the amusement park in Paris not visited by many tourists. It had a Greek section, a Rome section, and many fun rides as well as a dolphin show! Lauren and I had a lot of fun, but were definitely wornout by the end of the day. On Thursday, we started at the Louvre and walked towards the Eiffel Tower, which was a superlong walk. Once we got to the Tower, we were already too tired to climb it so we saved it for later.

On Friday, we finally got to go to the Catacombes! They were actually really neat and not as creepy as I thought they would be. A cave built with walls of bones – definitely not something you see everyday, especially when the bones belong to six million people. After that experience, we made our way to the Cité des Sciences, the science centre of Paris. I realized how much I have forgotten since high school, but there were some really cool things there. We then went to the Opera building before heading back home. Saturday was our shopping day. We went to the market of Rambouillet before going to Saint-Quentin and Paris so that Lauren could shop for souvenirs. We packed up all of Lauren’s (and my) stuff that night. On Sunday, we took all the suitcases with us to church and afterwards, dropped it off at our hotel. We had a nice Canadian brunch at the Moosehead (always a must when coming to Paris) and then we finally went to the Eiffel Tower. After the 500th step, I was about ready to pass out, but we finally made it to the second level at the 658th step! Now I can officially say that I’ve climbed the Eiffel Tower! Afterwards, we walked to the Arc de Triomphe before shopping for more souvenirs. That night, we went out for dinner on the island and then we headed back to our hotel. Monday morning, we woke up nice and early to get to the airport. Lauren left and I headed back to Rambouillet to a full day of work. The family left again Tuesday morning and come back this afternoon. So what does a girl do when she has a free night? She goes to Paris and goes to a class at her church, of course! It was really interesting and I met a lot more people at the church. This afternoon, I’m planning to just hang out, maybe go to the café and hopefully the rest of the week will go by quickly. Lost in Paris is only in 3 more days, yay!!! I hope everyone has had a great holiday! Love always
Sound of Freedom – Bob Sinclair (PS If you go out walking, this is a great song to do it to, especially when you’re running late for the train)

Liberta

Responsibilities and expectations are the basis of guilt and shame and judgment, and they provide the essential framework that promotes performance as the basis for identity and value (The Shack by WM. Paul Young). Being in the French world, I’ve noticed how many people strive to be perfect. You know that we’re having guests over as soon as you walk in the front door and see the floors “perfectly” cleaned. Or when you walk into the kitchen and see that “homemade” loaf sitting on the counter. Everyone seems so happy from the outside, but I’ve lived on the inside and I can tell you that it’s definitely not the case. I can give plenty of examples of perfect moments that were perfect to me but may not seem as perfect to you, and you could do the same. Take the snowday in Saskatoon, for example. Now looking back, the day just seemed perfect in a way: snow absolutely everywhere, having to stop every three minutes, not knowing if you would actually get home, finally getting home an hour later when it usually takes less than three minutes, friends having to stay overnight because they don’t have any other choice, all the excitement made it a good day. Then again, I wasn’t one of the people who had to go outside and shovel… However, how many people would have thought it was the worst day ever because they had somewhere to get to, or because it was inconvenient for them? Looking back at my last blog post, it really depends on if you look at it in a positive way or a negative way. Who sets the bar for perfection anyway? We all know that the perfect score on a test would be 100% but you can’t exactly give a mark for the cleanliness of your house, or how perfect your family and life is. We each set that bar and we keep setting it higher and higher until we drive ourselves crazy. We try to view our lives as other people would see it, and we think, “Well this has to be better or they’ll judge me,” when really, other people’s bars of perfection might be a lot lower than yours. We try to be perfect so that we will not be judged by the people around us. But what makes them so perfect; what makes them have the right to judge you? If you spend all your time trying to be perfect, trying to live up to everyone else’s standards, who are you really living your life for? Why are we expected to have the best clothes, the biggest and cleanest house, and the most perfect family?

This week was rocky, with many high and many low points. I let the high parts take over for most of it. The weekend was a lot of fun; I spent most of it at Adriana’s and we made cookies and then met up with Aimee so that we could take pictures (I believe Adriana posted most of them on facebook). That night, we watched Mamma Mia before playing some Guitar Hero. The next day, we went out for lunch at a Tex Mex Restaurant (yay taco salad!), and then we went to the Arc de Triomphe, only to find out that they cancelled the usual “Free the First Sunday of the Month” rule, which too many tourists knew anyway. This is my last working week before my vacation; Lauren comes in five days! I’m getting superpumped! I hope everyone has a great week. Love always
Liberta – Pep’s (Feat Djazia)