Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Favorite Memories of My First Year in Pars: Summer

June - Perfect weather, new friends, and Fete!

Maygan and I take a bakery tour with the Head of the Bakery Mafia.

First care package!!! This made my month!!

It doesn't make sense that this should be worthy of a favorite memory, but I'm obsessed with this Noodle place Maygan & I stumbled upon on Rue St. Anne. This street is filled with Japanese restaurants, and I can't seem to ever find this place again. Oh but I will.

An important milestone that made my summer: Instant friendship with Kristin Biscuits Friend Gnome Christie.

Making friends at Bo Bun. What a great evening.

One of my favorite nights of the year - Fete de la Musique, a famous French music festival celebrating the longest day of summer, June 21st. Live music, bands, dancing in the streets in every city all over France.  We rode through the streets of Paris on bikes, 20-strong, stopping to dance along the way.

At the very last minute, I booked a B&B in Normandy, packed a bag, and rushed to the train station. 2 hours later I was in Normandy.
Staying here.
An awesome quick-trip vacation. Something I need to do more often!

Svedish Dinner Party, ya! The first Girls Supper Club, themed Swedish night for Swedish Midsummers. Since I had to cancel my trip to Sweden, we got to have a little taste of it here.

July - Tour de France, Normandy, and Bastille Day.

Column-painting day!  Bethany and I create a masterpiece!

Camping out on a gorgeous day to watch the Tour de France

Watching the end of the Tour at Dernier just before our work shift started.  Accompanied by our favorite basque board of meat & cheese and a glass of Chardonnay, it was perfection.

Fireman's Ball.  Dream come true.

2nd Favorite Day/Night of the year - Bastille Day!

It was all so beautiful and surreal, I actually cried.

Came home one night to a neighborhood street party! All the neighbors spilled out onto the streets to meet each other and eat together at tables all set up right outside my building. Tables, water, wine, and baguettes were provided. Made friends with a family in my building and the rose boutique owner across the street!

Brian fixed me up an old bike, and I love it!!  How did I go all this time without a bike??

July brought a strange bout of cold & rainy weather. Usually, when it rains, it's a light drizzle that doesn't last too long.  Suddenly it got cold and it rained hard. Day after day.

We had to create make-shift ponchos for customers out of trash bags because the crazy non-stop torrential rain week wiped us out of ponchos.

The most fun day at work!

A glimpse of the Eiffel Tower's 1am sparkle through a tiny crack between two buildings while riding home on my bike.  I hit the brakes and went back to watch.  I still think about it any time I ride past that spot.  It was just one of those moments.

A wonderful meal at Frenchie Wine Bar, sitting at a little table outside on the cobblestone of a tiny side street.  One of those "Is this real??" situations.  I have those a lot here.

August - A great month.

LOVED having Katrina here.  Didn't realize how much I missed my best friend!!   

Laughing so hard I had to lean over because it felt like I tore my abdomen. While crying.

Because of pictures like this.

It gets to that point in the summer where we get so many customers coming through the office each day, that by the time we reach the last 2 hours of the Butterfly shift (12 hours, i.e. 8-8, see the butterfly?), and we now need to corral 8 night bike groups of 175 people through the office. So we become delirious, have an espresso from the magical Tassimo machine, and thus hyped up on coffee and ready for some night bike insanity, start playing with bungee cords and seeing who can jump over water island.

We usually ended up walking the long 7 minutes to our favorite spot under he Eiffel Tower to have a picnic of fresh bread, cheese, veggies, and meat.  I love warm summer picnics.

Sometimes it's small, 3-4 people, and sometimes the whole crew rallies.
Either way, it's fun, and we usually find ourselves there until the 1am sparkle when the Tower goes dark.

I love riding bikes at night. This was a fun evening searching for somewhere to eat after Bo Bun was too full to take us. And I loved that Kristin just rode on the back of Jack's bike side-saddle without holding on.

A typical weekly occurance - going over to Maygan & Kyle's for dinner. A favorite.

Passing the 1am sparkle on a bike ride home...still, always, and ever in awe that this is something normal I pass on my way home.

A favorite find with Kristin...While having a group picnic at the Eiffel Tower, we heard angelic melodious singing, and went to find what we believe to be a group of singing Nordic gnomes visiting Paris from their homeland in the Fjords.

This was the peak of "Mange Dimanche" season, where we'd all pitch in on market day, and two girls would go load up at the market with whole roasted chickens & potatoes, veggies, hummus, cheese, baguettes, and fruit, and we'd push the two tables together and have a huge collective office picnic. Sadly, the summer office staff were on their way out.

And then...end of August...the glorious beach trip to the south of France w/ Katy & Kristin!

Two glorious days lounging on a beach chair and wading in the water.  And more importantly, Raphael.

It was a good summer.

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