Home Sweet Home(less)

I have now been home for almost two weeks.  Exactly two weeks ago last night, I was enjoying steak frites with one half of C² for my final night out in Lyon.  It already seems a lifetime away!

Since I’ve been home, I’ve been quite busy.  My first day in town, I enjoyed a wonderful Mommy and Me day, which involved shopping, hair cutting, eating and wonderful company.  It was the perfect way to ease back into living in Seattle.

On the list of food Id missed in France, Ivars clam chowder!

That evening, I met up with Chris for my first sushi of 2011.  We enjoyed late-night happy hour at Redfin, of course.

On Saturday, Isaac and I went to the Ram to watch part of the final four tournament.

Happily watching basketball games at the bar. This was clearly before the Kentucky loss. Boo.

Then, we went to Sarah’s, where she hosted a fabulous “welcome back/we’re almost done” party.  It was great!

Sunday, I had to focus on my final exam for the French program, which was not easy to do.  And, it was made even more difficult by some car issues.  As I was leaving Tacoma to head to my mom’s house, I heard a loud screeching noise and had to pull over.  Three hours later, I had been towed from Tacoma to the shop near my mom’s house.  Oy.  Just what I needed!  I was finally able to finish my final French final at 12:59am, just in time to submit it before the deadline.  Phew.

Then, I began classes bright and early on Monday morning.  Instead of taking a light schedule (which would have been the smart thing to do), I decided to sign up for basic income tax, professional responsibility (the one class I need to take in order to graduate), entertainment law, and conflicts of law.  Two of the classes are compressed – so they end in May, and two are non-compressed – so they end in June.

After surviving my first three classes of the quarter, Kate and I met up for lunch at Portage Bay Cafe, which was wonderful.  Then, I got my car back – turns out the problem was just a rock in the brake pad.  Phew – could have been much worse!

The following week progressed relatively uneventfully (with the exception of meeting up with Meghan for lunch on Tuesday, which was great, and happy hour on Thursday – where I got kicked out of the bar for an expired license!  Oy).

On Friday, Sarah and I went to our third annual opening day Mariner’s game.  We brought along the guys, who made for excellent company, despite the horrendous performance of the team.

Sarah and her boy.

In exchange for my attendance at basketball games, Isaac gets dragged to baseball games. Im sure he secretly (very secretly) loves it.

Before the game, they did a tribute to Dave Neihaus, which was very sweet (even if the opening tribute song by someone named Maclemore was a bit unexpected- though clearly very heartfelt).

Oh Dave. We miss your voice!

Actually, that was pretty much the highlight of the game.  It all went downhill from there.  Sarah and Ben left after the seventh.  I forced Isaac to stay for another half an inning, but that was as much as I could get out of him.

At this point, Isaac insisted we leave. Can you blame him?

After leaving the game, we met up with Sarah and Ben at Ivar’s on the waterfront, which ended up being a lot more pleasant than the game!  For one, it was warm inside.  And, there was clam chowder!

Fun times at Ivars!

After the game, because I’m homeless, Isaac and I stayed at his brother’s house in south Seattle so we didn’t have to go all the way back down to Tacoma.  While the family was asleep, the cats nicely waited up for us.

The welcome.

On Saturday, I ran some errands with my mom (which involved renewing my car tabs and getting an emissions test – the wonderful things you have to do after you’ve been gone for three months!) and then I went to Heidi’s wedding!

Heidi and Doug cut the cake.

It was a very sweet wedding and Heidi looked very happy!  That’s the second marriage of people I know who met on eharmony.  Clearly that online dating stuff can work.

I got to see most of my old coworkers from the immigration work, which was nice (albeit strange).  I can’t believe it’s been over three years since I worked there!  And yet so little has changed…

In addition to seeing the old coworkers, I got to hang out with my favorite four-year old (since Ike’s brother and sister-in-law were also there).

He keeps getting cuter and cuter.

And, possibly the best part of the day, I got to wear my new very favorite (way too expensive) shoes!  This was the first time that I had been able to wear heals since I broke my toe.  It was a little rough, but totally worth it to wear the shoes!

See the shoes?? (Sure, the bride's cute, too, but did you see the shoes?!)

I don’t know the last time I was this excited about a pair of shoes.  And believe me, that’s saying something!

Happy Jax.

On Sunday, I attended my cousin’s first birthday party at a tapas bar in Belltown.  Interesting venue, but it was fun to see many of my family members that I hadn’t yet seen since my return from France.

Overall, I’ve been very busy!  But I’m pretty happy to be home (even if I do miss C² and the Sunday markets!).  Now, if I could just find a home…

T-0 and 1 days.

I’m now back at home and trying to adapt to being a world away from the place I called home for the past three months.  It’s been strange but wonderful to come home.  Of course I miss certain things (and people), but I’m enjoying seeing all of the people I have missed since January.  For the first few days here, it seemed more like I was just home for a weekend and would be headed back to France soon.  Now, as I sit in class, it’s starting to set in that I’m here to stay.

For this post, I’ll recap my last day in France and the (long and painful) journey home.

On my last day in Lyon, I spent the morning in class listening to the caricature of an Italian guy who was my professor (seriously, it was more like sitting through an SNL skit than a class).  For lunch, Cynthia and I headed back to a restaurant we had visited a couple of weeks ago so that I could enjoy another taste of the best burger I have ever had.

Cafe 2300.

In addition to having my final burger in France (and I may never eat a burger again – I ate way too many of them while in France!), I also had my final coca light.

My final coca light. Why, yes, I did take a picture to commemorate this experience.

Oh coca light.  How I already miss you.

After lunch, we rushed back to class for the afternoon (with me only occasionally stopping to take pictures of the streets).

Pretty streets and buildings in Lyon.

I crossed over a bridge in Lyon for my final time (notice my countdown theme?  I’m so original).

View from the Pont de Guillotiere.

After sitting through class for another couple of hours (my final class in France!), I walked to a nearby cafe with some of my classmates for a toast to my leaving.

Bar/Cafe near the Bridge.

I seriously lucked out and got some nice weather on my last day in France, so we were able to sit outside and enjoy a little bit of Vitamin D.  (Of course, apparently, the weather got even better right after I left – 70s and sunny (really??) – but this was considered nice at the time.)

Classmates, wine and sun.

Even the Italian professor decided to join us for drinks!

After hanging out for a bit, I hurried home to get some packing in before meeting up with Colton for dinner.  I know this will come as a complete surprise, but we decided to go to L’Entrecote for dinner to have one last serving of Steak frites.

Our final steak frites experience!

I had a wonderful time hanging out with Colton for the final time in France!  After a nice dinner (and a wonderful Vacherin dessert), I headed home to finish up my packing.

Clearly I travel light...

Then I headed up to my loft to sleep for the final time (a healthy 2 hours of sleep, of course).

In the morning, I caught a taxi at 5:30am to the train station.  I then struggled to get my luggage to the train platform and onto the train (but thankfully some nice guy helped me a little bit).  Finally, I was on the train and heading to Paris.  After a two-hour train ride, I arrived at the airport, where I was told that my luggage was too heavy – while there is a 25 kilo weight limit, my red bag was 38 kilos and my purple bag was 28 kilos.  Whoops!  After a 10 minute discussion with the guy at the ticket counter (which involved a lot of “yes, I get that it’s too heavy… what do you want me to do?”  “It’s too heavy.”  “Yes, so…?” and then three calls to supervisors and finally approval by the third supervisor), I was directed to another counter to pay for the hefty (ha!) baggage fees.  Finally, an hour after I arrived at the airport, I was able to head to the customs agent to start getting to the terminal.  Boy was I in pain at this point – not only were my suitcases over weight, but my two carryons were at least 60 pounds each!  Not really the easiest luggage to maneuver at the best of times, but with a broken toe and a sprained ankle…  phew…   Let’s just say I was extremely happy to get on that plane and relax for 9 hours.

I finally arrived in Seattle about 27 hours after I left Lyon.  Boy was I happy to see mom and hop into that car, knowing no more travel was needed for a long time!

I had a wonderful weekend (despite having to do my final final for the French program), but I’ll discuss that in a subsequent post.  For now, I’m just happy to be home!