Monday, March 14, 2011

30 days, 8 flights, 3 countries, 2 births, 1 exciting visitor, a very bad cold and some big news!

It is unbelievable that it has been almost a full month since I have written a blog post, and also oddly believable because so much has happened since then. The beginning of the month gave me one week of rest after a whirlwind trip of sightseeing in Paris, Rome and Geneva with Tiffany, and then I was off again to Vancouver to meet my brand new niece, Sadie. I loved the ten full days at home, and treasured painting and playing with Hannah, cuddling Sadie, squeezing as much as we could into 3 short days with my parents, meals with my in-laws, wine with the girlies, and as much sushi as I could ingest! I was also lucky enough to see my childhood friend become a mother and meet baby Willa who conventiently made her debut into the world on March 10th!

Leaving Vancouver (again) was hard, but I (unexpectedly) also missed life in Fontainbleau and was even (I still can't believe it) happy to see our tiny little musty Avon apartment. I think it was probably just the relief after the long flight :) Luckily, that night Mira arrived in Fontainebleau too after a 2-week jaunt in Israel with her family! For the next three days we stayed out of P's way as he madly studied for his 6 exams, and discovered some new and delicious areas of Paris that I had never seen before, and enjoyed the many "partner" activities in Fonty such as homemade lunch for 15, and a whirlwind visit to the Chateau!

We briefly celebrated the end of P's exams on Wednesday, March 9th and then made our way to Beauvais airport to catch our flight to Barcelona! I had found a cute little apartment for us in the L'Exiample district, which turned out to be pretty great and celebrated our very late arrival with a bottle of spanish wine! We spent the next few days exploring the sites. Sagrada Familia and the giant market in Las Ramblas were the highlights and we loved soaking in the sight of Gaudi's fantastic architecture, and tasting the insanely fresh seafood, tapas dishes and fruit that came straight from the market!

We also made sure to sample the local Sangria by the pitcher-full (deeeeelicious!) and homemade cava at Can Paixano and El Xampanyet -  two incredible (and PACKED) restaurants known for their cava and their ambience! Thank you to P's classmate for the recommendations! We said goodbye to Mira just before dawn on Saturday morning as she headed back home to Vancouver, and woke up at noon to a torrential downpour that lasted all day! We decided to make it a "museum" day, but soon realized that it was sunday and museums closed at 3pm! Instead we wandered through the gothic Cathedral, had another amazing meal at the market, and bought tickets to a Flamenco show at the famous (and gorgeous!) Palau de la Musica Catalana. We spent our last morning on top of Montjuic for a spectacular view of the city before finding our way back to the airport and home to Fonty.

Oh, I almost forgot about the exciting news! We heard that we will definitely be going on exchange in the third semester to the school's other campus in Singapore! We will be there for all of May and June. I am very excited for the sun, the heat and the food! In the meantime I have found us a very cool apartment, shared with another couple attending the school (from Greece), and complete with a guest bedroom, swimming pool, gym and a tennis court (This would be the time to visit, people!!)!  I am also working out the details for P2/P3 break as we have both decided that we are finished with travelling in big cities for now, and are looking into beach huts on tiny islands nearby for some good R&R. This definitely provides some distraction from the cold and rainy french weather and the near constant smell of mould in our apartment.. not to mention my thesis which hasn't been writing itself...

Until next time.. Ciao!

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