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Quill

Recap of my trip to France

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Oh and, since adding photos is so much easier now, I’ll stick a couple in here. 

 

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Well dang girl I am so proud of you.  For not having ever left home this far to do it on your own is amazing!  Awesome.  I haven't ever traveled solo.  I need to do it sometime.  

I would love to hear more, if you want to post.  

Love the first photo!  

Did not a lot of people in France speak English?  

Ugh I do not like you saying not to trust anyone in France.   Is that everyone's experience in France?  We have had great experiences all over Europe, but haven't been to France for more than a day.   

 

Glad you went.  

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I so agree about the Louvre.  So many people taking pictures of a postage stamp** and missing all the other cool stuff.  

So glad you had such a positive experience.   Did you make it to the Rodin museum in Paris?  It's in his home.  I loved that one.   We also ended up at ND on a Sunday morning.  Not sure how that happened... but it did feel awkward.  

I also remember visiting another church or cathedral and liking it very much.  I had a "moment" there that I will never forget...but I can't remember which church/cathedral it was in!!  

 

 

**  okay, it's not a postage stamp but it is surprisingly small.  

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Thank you for sharing your experiences! I would love to hear more. I like traveling in France and it's interesting to hear other people's impressions. There is a certain criminal element in Paris just as in any big city, but the majority of people have been super friendly to us.

 

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In Paris, a lot of people speak at least some English, but in Montpellier, fewer did. In one sense, I wanted to speak the language, because I spent years learning it and I want to communicate directly to French people. But it was also hard because I was afraid of saying things wrong.

One morning, I was in a cafe and two men sitting behind me were chatting. One was apparently teaching the other English. The teacher said, “Your problem is that you’re too afraid of making a mistake. You need to just muddle through amd stop worrying about mistakes - they will happen. It’s no big deal.” I was thinking, “That’s me!” 

As far as not trusting anyone - in Paris, it does seem like one is better off ignoring others. Theft and scams are rampant and I had many more bothersome encounters whenever I looked like a traveler (i.e., rolling a suitcase). There was also a staggering amount of panhandling in train stations and touristy sites. There was a point when a man asked me (in Montpellier) if I would like him to take a picture of me. In reality, this was probably totally benign, but my camera is very expensive and I thought better of handing it to a stranger. I think he was puzzled when I said No thank you. Right now, there are also several strikes and protests going on; it is one of the parts I did not like and I don’t like this aspect of DD there. I definitely did not want to hang around where people were gathing for protests and the presence of armed forces there was intimidating. 

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13 minutes ago, SparklyUnicorn said:

I want to hear about the food.

 

 

And so you shall! 

The food was so, so good! It is true what they say! The only mediocre thing I ate in France was the time when I grabbed a blueberry muffin from a Starbucks at the train station. Bleh. And to think I could have had Pain Au Chocolat. 

My daughter’s host mom cooked for me three different nights. These were consecutively coursed meals and way more food than I normally eat (or drink!) She served an appetizer course in the living room with a particular Muscat wine, then a salad course, then entré, then a dessert. 

I loved the leisurely way of eating a meal. It was wonderful, as well as necessary because I never eat that much food! One of the appetizers she made was a tapenade with bread sticks; I loved that so much I replicated it when I got home and also just bought more olives today to make some more. One of the salads was a little salmon cake on a bed of greens. One of the unique entrees involved this cheese melting unit with little individual fondue trivets for each person at the table. I generally avoid dairy but I ate this anyway. It was so good! My belly was so bloated at the end, but I made a laugh about it to the host mom. 

In the south, the food is Mediterranean (well, obviously) and includes a lot of olives, olive oil, fish and sea food, and vegetables. Before I left, I went to Normandy and the food there is a lot of dairy products. I had an amazing omelette with Camembert and ham. Other Americans on tour with me had burgers and hotdogs. ? 

I like the crêpe stands and had them a couple times. I had strawberry ice cream that was like a choir of angels in my mouth. 

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We also ran to the Mona Lisa because 12 yr old  DS was obsessed with Da Vinci. Then we did a double turn and checked out the other Da Vincis (which he pointed out to me :))that hall before you go in and then did the Islamic art exhibit on the lower floor. We also visited his grave and home in the Loire Valley. So people are running to take that photo because it gets crowded; I don’t think they’re running out of the museum once they have it.?

 

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3 minutes ago, madteaparty said:

We also ran to the Mona Lisa because 12 yr old  DS was obsessed with Da Vinci. Then we did a double turn and checked out the other Da Vincis (which he pointed out to ma :))that hall before you go in and then did the Islamic art exhibit on the lower floor. We also visited his grave and home in the Loire Valley. So people are running to take that photo because it gets crowded; I don’t think they’re running out of the museum once they have it.?

 

I don’t know...after all, we also went in to the Mona Lisa room, but it was not the only thing we looked at. It just was striking how that room was mobbed with people, while there are so many other amazing works of art and artifacts that nobody looks at; certainly nobody is trying to take selfies with the other art. We spent a lot of time in Ancient Egypt, but nobody was taking selfies with the Code of Hammurabi. 

Ironically, the Mona Lisa is the most recognizable piece of artwork in the world and everybody knows what it looks like. Yet everyone wants a picture of it. (Including me.) i just think it’s an interesting view on human behavior. 

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Glad you’re posting about your trip- I wondered if I had missed it while I was away. Would love to hear more!

 

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1 hour ago, mommyoffive said:

 

Ugh I do not like you saying not to trust anyone in France.   Is that everyone's experience in France?  We have had great experiences all over Europe, but haven't been to France for more than a day.    

 I don’t even know what that means. It’s clearly not my experience because I very much trusted at least one family in France to care for my child for months on end.

By that definition, looking like a tourist, I’d have missed out on all these current travels I’m doing with the kids in SE Asia and what a pity that would have been. 

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7 minutes ago, madteaparty said:

 

Well, true, and I am trusting a total stranger to care for my child as well. So maybe saying trust nobody is oversimplifying.

But I am a trusting sort of person. The first day I was there, it could have caused me problems. The young woman was holding a paper and said, “Do you speak English?” My thought was that she needed help finding something. But then she said she was with the Deaf Something-or-Other and would I sign this petition? It was not yet an alarm for me saying, “this is a trick or a theif!” But once I asked, “But what is the petition for...” I realized this was either a shakedown or a pickpocket alliance. (One person diverts your attention while the other picks the pockets.) So I said, “No” and walked on. By coincidence or by design, there was another “petitioner” standing very near to me, behind me. Like, close enough to try and pickpocket my backpack (except they mostly would have gotten a hairbrush, hand sanitizer and ten feminine pads.) 

There were many more instances of people asking me things or begging. The first few times, I was endeavoring to understand their needs but, sadly, I realized I needed to stop doing that. 

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8 minutes ago, Quill said:

Well, true, and I am trusting a total stranger to care for my child as well. So maybe saying trust nobody is oversimplifying.

But I am a trusting sort of person. The first day I was there, it could have caused me problems. The young woman was holding a paper and said, “Do you speak English?” My thought was that she needed help finding something. But then she said she was with the Deaf Something-or-Other and would I sign this petition? It was not yet an alarm for me saying, “this is a trick or a theif!” But once I asked, “But what is the petition for...” I realized this was either a shakedown or a pickpocket alliance. (One person diverts your attention while the other picks the pockets.) So I said, “No” and walked on. By coincidence or by design, there was another “petitioner” standing very near to me, behind me. Like, close enough to try and pickpocket my backpack (except they mostly would have gotten a hairbrush, hand sanitizer and ten feminine pads.) 

There were many more instances of people asking me things or begging. The first few times, I was endeavoring to understand their needs but, sadly, I realized I needed to stop doing that. 

Right, and same thing happened to my father, a world-traveler of many years in ...Chicago. Someone offered to help him bring down the subway stairs my child’s stroller while another person bumped into him and stole his wallet. 

I don’t trust anyone in America now... ;)

ETA that photos above are lovely.

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10 minutes ago, madteaparty said:

Right, and same thing happened to my father, a world-traveler of many years in ...Chicago. Someone offered to help him bring down the subway stairs my child’s stroller while another person bumped into him and stole his wallet. 

I don’t trust anyone in America now... ;)

ETA that photos above are lovely.

Can't really put a finger on why, but your remarks seem to shut down the conversation rather than encourage others to think it through.  

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5 minutes ago, TCB said:

Can't really put a finger on why, but your remarks seem to shut down the conversation rather than encourage others to think it through.  

The poster upthread asked about others’  experiences with France. I shared that and also added more detail about other urban jungles like Chicago USA. Like with the main post, just skip along if it doesn’t suit, it’s not required reading. 

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1 hour ago, mommyoffive said:

Well dang girl I am so proud of you.  For not having ever left home this far to do it on your own is amazing!  Awesome.  I haven't ever traveled solo.  I need to do it sometime.  

I would love to hear more, if you want to post.  

Love the first photo!  

Did not a lot of people in France speak English?  

Ugh I do not like you saying not to trust anyone in France.   Is that everyone's experience in France?  We have had great experiences all over Europe, but haven't been to France for more than a day.   

 

Glad you went.  

I'm proud of you, too, Quill!

 

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  • Oh please tell more, I was hoping for a trip report!

I'm making a similar trip with dd in the near future, so I am all ears for any tips you can share!

And Happy Birthday!

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I love hearing about your travels and finally putting a picture to a name :-)

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This reminds me of my trip to see my DH when he was in the Navy & pulled into a port overseas. It was nerve-racking with lots of stretching experiences that made me nervous and kinda weirded out at the time. I'm proud of what I was able to do myself, especially as I didn't know the language (Spanish) at all and no one seemed to speak any English at the time. What some people are comfortable with & able to do was scary (for a few things) or just out of my comfort zone (most things).

Loved-loved-loved the food in France when DH & I spent a few days there. I could honestly live on just their fresh bread, cheese, and an occasional dessert.

DD's French textbook talks about the crêpe stands, but I don't remember seeing any. If I ever go back, I'm looking for those.

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I am so glad you didn’t stop at the first post! I was so happily reading your story! It’s been a long time since I’ve been to France and I am enjoying seeing through your eyes.

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1 hour ago, Teaching3bears said:

Glad you had a good time!  What was your favorite thing?

Everything I saw. Magnificent architecture, really old buildings, incredible artwork, ancient artifacts, WWII historical sites and artifacts, charming cafés, unbelievable chocolate creations in the chocolatier’s window, crystal-blue water on the Mediterranean, wild pink flamingoes, open-air markets with amazing cheeses, breads, fruits and vegetables, men dressed like models with dapper scarves and really nice jeans :) 

 

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I love hearing about your adventure in France, Quill! Vicariously following you (and others) around the world helps keep my courage up for my next trip to an unfamiliar place. We stumbled across a really nice version of Mona Lisa (probably by student of his) at the Prado and there was no one around it at all.

 

I am glad that you didn't get scammed.  It really can happen anywhere, but touristy metropolitan areas are definitely a higher risk.

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1 hour ago, mom2att said:
  • Oh please tell more, I was hoping for a trip report!

I'm making a similar trip with dd in the near future, so I am all ears for any tips you can share!

And Happy Birthday!

Thanks for the birthday wishes. I will post more in a bit, either tonight or tomorrow. 

I had two Rick Steve’s guidebooks; the France one and the Paris one. Due to packing light, I only brought the Paris physical book with me. I had the France one on kindle if absolutely necessary, but the Paris one was more immediately helpful. I would get his guidebooks for any travel in Europe; I like his “back door” philosophy of travel. 

Using the trains/metro/buses felt scary but not for long. One stressful thing about that for me was that some transport is newer and has great LCD screens and displays full of information, but old trains and buses don’t have this and are more confusing. I didn't feel very confident about using the transport systems until it was nearly time to go. But I’m a person with a high desire for certainty - it is stressful for me to “wing it.” I like knowing exactly what to do/expect/how things work. This honestly does make me more prone to stress while traveling because there are many uncertainties. But I could also imagine my brain getting a nice squirt of dopamine every time I mastered another travel insecurity, lol. 

There is an app for the train system: oui.sncf. This was useful. 

I was confused about my phone data/international roaming data and how to work this properly. I messed up some at first and expended $25 in three days. :( But I online chatted with my company and got it figured out in a passible way. I’ll explain this later if you want this info. 

I gotta stop for a bit now because my family wants to sing HB to me. :) 

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I too am very proud of you Quill.  Wow, what a treat and adventure.  I am very jealous but very happy you had this opportunity.  

I LOVE the pics.  

 

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Fun!

I agree that I've seen those scams in multiple countries.  Many US airports are good at preventing them, but some not so much.

As for French people, I honestly found a lot of them kind of crabby toward us, but some were very nice.  We got a very nice cab driver to take us around the lighted city at night to see the sights.  Unfortunately he got a huge ticket for stopping just a minute so we could take a photo by the arch or something.  We felt so bad, but we paid the ticket for him and then he was happy.

I know some French, but I didn't even try to speak it.  I know it would be more awkward than just speaking English.  I used to try that with Spanish, but I always just got mixed up in the moment.  Fortunately for us, there are many Europeans who speak good English.

Anyhoo, I am glad you had an interesting and mostly good time in France.

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Wow Quill! You are awesome! ? Traveling alone? Speaking French? and figuring out the metro? Way to go! 

I went to Paris a few years ago and loved it. I don't speak French and couldn't muster the courage to figure out the metro but did ride the bus once. Everyone was super nice and helpful. :) We went in November so things weren't as busy as I imagine they are in the warmer months. The Orsay was my favorite museum - did you like it? 

Can't wait to hear more about your trip! and love the pics, too!

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1 minute ago, SKL said:

Fun!

I agree that I've seen those scams in multiple countries.  Many US airports are good at preventing them, but some not so much.

As for French people, I honestly found a lot of them kind of crabby toward us, but some were very nice.  We got a very nice cab driver to take us around the lighted city at night to see the sights.  Unfortunately he got a huge ticket for stopping just a minute so we could take a photo by the arch or something.  We felt so bad, but we paid the ticket for him and then he was happy.

I know some French, but I didn't even try to speak it.  I know it would be more awkward than just speaking English.  I used to try that with Spanish, but I always just got mixed up in the moment.  Fortunately for us, there are many Europeans who speak good English.

Anyhoo, I am glad you had an interesting and mostly good time in France.

Anedotally, I encountered more people being short or irritable with me in Paris than in the south, which is how the sterotype goes. (Generally), the southerners were more gregarious and open. They seemed more tolerant when I didn’t understand them and some “taught” me the right words. 

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So, here’s a couple other random tips and opinions before I go to bed for the night: 

If you have an equal choice between taking metro or taking a bus, the bus is superior for seeing everything. The disadvantage is that with the metro, you can get onto another train wih the same ticket you validated, so it costs less (you conserve your tickets longer; the same tickets work with the bus or metro), but I still took the bus whenever it was an equal choice because I would rather be looking at the city than the back of someone’s head. 

Look for HSBC banking machines instead of the big, obvious Travelex machines because the later charges larger fees for your euros. 

You need the coins. Those Europeans love their coins and I needed 10.30€ in coins when it was time to come back to CGD airport, which means I bought two candy bars in order to reduce my bills to coins for the RER train ticket back. 

Greet all shopkeepers and then tell them goodbye/good day when you exit. It’s a bit of a hurdle for introverts who would rather just glide in and out without talking, but they expect to interact with customers so it is better, I think, to follow the custom and say, “Bonjour Monsieur/Madame,” and “Au revoir.” My DD also showed me you can say, “juste regarder” (just looking) if you are just window shopping. Fun fact: the French phrase for window shopping translates to “window licking”! 

When it is time for you to head back to the airport, if it is possible for you to board the train somewhere besides the main train stations (like Gare de Nord), it’s a good option. I have a story about getting nearly stampeded at Gare de Nord by people desperate to get back to the airport. 

Strikes (les grèves) disrupt service and you have to be aware of them. Fortunately the app made this pretty easy.

Always ascertain in which direction a train, bus or metro line is heading before boarding. 

The TGV high-speed distance trains are a really terrific way of getting to other cities. It is comfortable and pleasant. Your ticket can be digital and someone will come along and scan it (eventually...). There are discount cards for students and young people (carte jeune). 

Tours and passes to museums that are through your hotel are somewhat-to-extraordinarily more expensive than necessary. Get them online or at the actual venue. 

If you plan to get the Paris Museum Pass, buy it at one of the less popular sites covered by the pass. 

Pack light and don’t bring impractical shoes for all the gold in Fort Knox. 

Bring a washcloth; places in France are unlikely to provide them. 

 

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I'm going to have to read this again tomorrow and take notes; oldest will be in Montpellier this summer! I may be slightly anxious. 

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Thank you for sharing your experiences!

I am only a little bit ashamed that you did all the travel to Paris, and I living so close still never have been there.... :blush:

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Thank you!  We are going to Barcelona in a few weeks.  My first trip to Europe.  I am nervous and excited all at the same time.  I really don't know what to expect. It's great to hear your story 

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7 hours ago, katilac said:

I'm going to have to read this again tomorrow and take notes; oldest will be in Montpellier this summer! I may be slightly anxious. 

Oh, how wondeful! I really loved Montpellier and have been satisfied that that’s where she stayed. 

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1 hour ago, loesje22000 said:

Thank you for sharing your experiences!

I am only a little bit ashamed that you did all the travel to Paris, and I living so close still never have been there.... :blush:

Well, don’t feel too bad because I live just outside of Washington DC and I almost never go. Going on this trip did make me want to rectify that...I have never been to the National Cathedral but now I have been to numerous cathedrals in France. I have only been to an art museum in DC one time in fairly recent history. And so on. It’s embarassing; people come from all over the world to visit America’s capital city and I hardly evr go. 

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Outstanding OP!   I do seem to remember that you had some qualms about this trip.  You did it!  You survived!  You had a good time! You learned!  100% successful and now you can begin thinking about your next trip!  

Regarding Pickpockets.  I remember, many many years ago, when I was a young airline employee and went on a FAM (Familiarization) trip from L.A. to Paris, for a long weekend, that there were signs in the Eiffel Tower warning people to be aware of the pickpockets. Anywhere there are tourists or crowds of people, there can be crime. Good not to let anyone interrupt your progress when walking, etc. That goes in any country.

And about asking questions and then not understanding the answer to your question.  I went through that many years ago, when I was just beginning to learn Spanish,   I was in a mall in Mexico and asked a policeman how to get store there.  I didn't understand the answer. He went with me to where I wanted to go.  Now, I, a mere "Gringo" occasionally am stopped on the street and people ask me how to go somewhere and frequently I can tell them exactly how to get there.  My wife thinks that is quite amusing, because sometimes it is a police officer asking me. Usually not.  Where to get your motorcycle fixed? I don't know where my stepson takes his motorcycle, but on that street, there are a bunch of places where they can fix your motorcycle and this is how you get there...

The airline (Air France) took us around Paris to many places, but not to the Eifel Tower.   I went by myself in a taxi. That's where I ran into the language barrier problem. I told the driver "Eifel Tower" and he had no clue.  Then,  with my hands, I showed him the shape of the Eifel Tower. Ah, la tour de ifel or something like that he said.  Off we went and I got to the Eifel Tower and went up the elevator.  Returning to the hotel, the driver spoke English and there was no problem with language.

OT: A friend from High School lived in Montreal and his late   wife was French Canadian. He told me a few years ago, that when they were in France, the French did not like her Canadian French and would prefer to speak with her in English. They are particular about the pronunciation, etc.

In your "spare" time, check out TripAdvisor.com That is THE Travel web site.  

Congratulations on a very successful trip across the Pond.

 

 

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So, continuing my recap of travel...

DD and I took the TGV from Paris to Montpellier late Sunday night. DD had already arranged with my VRBO owner to meet and give her the keys, because we knew we would arrive around midnight. I was so very tired and was glad the rental was something like .2miles from the train station. Once I was settled in there, DD went back to the tram station and went to the host home. (Monday morning class.) 

On Monday, I set out on foot to get the lay of the land. I bought a chai tea latté from a cafe; the young man at the counter spoke a little English, which was handy. I learned the words, “sur place ou emportée” This means for here or for take-away. The weather was cool, but clear. I walked down to the spectacular Place de Payrou. This is where a French guy asked to take a picture of me and then laughed at me when I begged off, saying, “pour quoi?” (Why?!). At this point it still catches me off guard when people speak French to me. He was probably totally harmless though. 

I went to Musée Fabre, a small museum in Montpellier. The security guard did not know how to tell me my backpack had to go into a locker and I had no idea what he was saying to me. He walked me to the lockers and indicated. Then he went away and I had no clue how to operate the lockers. A young woman came into the room and I asked her, “Comment ça marche?” (How does this work?) She spoke a tiny bit of English and showed me, but I needed a 1€ coin, which I got from the desk. Then I almost blew right by the same desk because I didn’t realize that’s where to buy a ticket for the museum. :D Realized it when the security guard was like, “Madame!” Oops. 

There were more language blunders to come because nobody working there spoke English except the desk clerk. The elevators were not working (I did understand that much) and the layout using the stairs was confusing. I asked more than one staff member, “les escaliers?” (Stairs?) but then did not understand their directions when they replied. One man walked me a fair way away to show me. I liked looking at the artwork but I didn’t like feeling like an idiot on repeat. At least it was utterly uncrowded. My favorite sculpture from the whole trip was in this museum; a sweet girl holding a jug. 

I left the museum and walked back to my apartment. Sidebar something I learned about myself: I have always thought of myself as extremely poorly oriented. I can get lost easily and don’t have a good sense of direction. Although this is generally true, I also found that when I have to rely only on myself, I do much better with directions. If I am with someone else, I don’t pay attention to the route we’re taking and then I can’t figure it out later. But since I did NOT want to get lost in a foreign city, I paid close attention to all the sites and landmarks and consciously noted it whenever I made a turn. In so doing, there was really not the smallest hint that I tend to struggle with direction. Oh, also I bought a potted Jasmine for the host mom and learned that “pour un cadeau” means, “for a gift?” Also, a lot of small shops do not accept credit card (pas de CB), so it’s good to be prepared with sufficient euros. 

DD soon met me, having finished class and we walked back down to where I had been earlier. She introduced me to the best (her opinion) crêpe stand and we got two citron sucre (lemon sugar) crêpes. We went into the shopping mall for a bit, then we walked down to a botanical garden. This cost no money (but possibly because it was soon to close). I liked it and would have spent more time there. After that, we took the tram to the host mom’s house. 

The host mom is a very friendly and wonderful woman. She showed me her daughter’s wedding album and talked about the wedding. Later, she told DD that “your mother seems like a reflective person; she doesn’t talk much.” To which DD replied, “Well, she just doesn’t know what we’re saying!” :D She way overfed me and then drove me back to the square near my apartment. I found my way back with no problem because of my mental marker thing I had done earlier. 

I think it wasn’t until Tuesday that I really understood how to use (but not over-use) my intenational roaming data. I got an alert that I had exhausted the 100mb ($25) I had gotten before I left. So, I needed to turn roaming OFF any time I was not using it.    I could use the apartment wifi or some cafes have free wifi, but I needed it on if I was texting DD or using Google Maps. 

Tuesday ETA: sorry; this happened Wed the host mom picked me up and the three of us drove to Camargue. She took us to an medieval fortification that I’m about to mispell, but something like Agres-Morges? Aigues-Mortes. That’s it. We walked the fortifications, then walked through the little touristy bit. I should have bought a container of sea salt, which is local there, but I was shy. The host mom was gregariously talking a mile a minute to shopkeepers and I couldn’t make myself announce I wanted to buy the sea salt. So I didn’t. 

Afterwards, she took us to La Grand Motte, a human-made beach. We ate a picnic lunch she had packed - quiche, sausages, bread, madeleines, pickles. It was all good but it was windy as heck and our fod was generously seasoned with beach sand. :) 

Host mom would accept no money from me though I felt seriously indebted to her. I don’t know if it was a faux pas to offer, but she would not accept. She did accept the potted Jasmine, though. She made dinner for me again Tuesday night and took me back to my apartment again. 

So, I’ll sign off again now...tune in next time when I tell you about how I had a small crisis about going to Sète alone! It was the lowest point of my trip and I was flagging in my go-forth-and-conquer, and I was terrified of getting myself there and back by myself. 

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Every bit of this sounds amazing!!!! Please continue to share so we can live vicariously through you!

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Great photos and enjoying the travelogue.  Interestingly, for a Language Arts exercise last year my the 7th grade dd had to write a backstory for the same girl with jug statue!

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16 hours ago, Quill said:

One of the unique entrees involved this cheese melting unit with little individual fondue trivets for each person at the table. I generally avoid dairy but I ate this anyway. It was so good!

I haven't posted in a year or more but your post finally brought me back into the fold. LOL.

The meal with the individual fondue trivets is a raclette machine and you can buy one on Amazon, if you're so inclined. Search for "raclette grill" or "raclette tabletop grill". It's something like that. I've had one for about 20 years and just love it! Mine is no longer available but it looks like there are several with good reviews. Raclette is served when it's cold since, as you discovered, it is a heavy meal. Boy is it delicious, though!!

I'm so glad you had such a wonderful time in France. Keep posting as I'm loving reading about your trip!!

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16 minutes ago, Wildcat said:

I haven't posted in a year or more but your post finally brought me back into the fold. LOL.

The meal with the individual fondue trivets is a raclette machine and you can buy one on Amazon, if you're so inclined. Search for "raclette grill" or "raclette tabletop grill". It's something like that. I've had one for about 20 years and just love it! Mine is no longer available but it looks like there are several with good reviews. Raclette is served when it's cold since, as you discovered, it is a heavy meal. Boy is it delicious, though!!

I'm so glad you had such a wonderful time in France. Keep posting as I'm loving reading about your trip!!

Yes! That’s what it was, a raclette grill! I have never seen this before but it was great. Thanks for coming out of lurkdom! 

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There is a Swiss town near here and they have several restaurants that serve raclette. Did they borrow it from the French or is it part of multiple cuisines?  Whatever....it’s delicious!!!

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3 hours ago, Karen A said:

Great photos and enjoying the travelogue.  Interestingly, for a Language Arts exercise last year my the 7th grade dd had to write a backstory for the same girl with jug statue!

Did someone assign it to her? I’m wondering how she heard about or knew about this work of art? 

It’s very charming. 

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