F is for France

Another France post and I still have yet to write about my Iceland adventures.  But to be fair this was the longest I have been away from home and I think once I write about this trip then I will stop talking about it.  I’m sure my friends would like that too LOL.

Last spring I was asked if I could go to France during the summer to help support the implementation of our new time and attendance project at my job.

Is that even a real question?! Duh!

I was eager and I could not stop thinking about the most perfect summer.  There were times I did not think France would happen because our project was not progressing at our scheduled timeline.

However things panned out (barely) and I left five days before I had to be in Toulouse.  I took a nonstop flight from Dallas to Paris to spend time exploring before work.

IMG_4495Can’t believe I made it to the Louvre.  Typically, I do not mind asking people to take my picture but at the beginning of this trip, I had not mastered French quite yet 😛

IMG_4527Nothing new here.  Just another selfie with The Eiffel Tower.

IMG_4463Hey Mona!

Can I brag for just a minute? (Even though y’all know it is not something I like to do). But I was so fortunate to fly first class for nine hours.  My company allows us to fly first class if we are travelling over six hours.  What a win.  I felt so Royal! 

So anyway, Sue told me she likes that my blog posts are to the point so I will stop blabbing right about now.

I wanted to share photos from my French excursion this past July (I was there for roughly a month).

Side note: I spent a lot of time “in the moment” during this trip and I may have missed a lot of photo opportunities but I would not trade the time I spent exploring and conversing with friends and locals over anything. It was truly magical…like when you flip your pillow over to the other side on a hot summer night. That is how I felt. Every. Single. Day.

IMG_4460We often gathered in a park in central Blagnac to play pétanque, have drinks, and enjoy one another’s company.

IMG_4462It may not be obvious, but this was my first time playing pétanque and the two Americans dominated.  There were a lot of inappropriate French words said that evening 😀

IMG_4491Many long nights since dinner does not typically begin until 9 or 10 at night (mind you I am in bed by then when home).  And as tired as I was, I had to live it up!  In this photo, we were at a tapas bar and shared a ton of small French plates including duck heart.  I am still shook I tried that.

IMG_4461Proof that I did go into the office for “work” while I was there.  Of course there were often pastries and cakes that I did not need.

IMG_4539We spent a day in Carcassonne, France.  This city is known for their medieval citadel and a lovely castle (where I was in this photo) that you can visit.  I missed the memo of how huge this place was and I was in sandals.  My feet were raw, y’all… 😥

IMG_4493Shoutout to my girls who were so kind, treated me so special, and were so patient as I tried to learn as much French as possible (obligatory selfie at the club).

IMG_4494Sending so much love to my dear Aryet.  We met en route to France and we work for the same company but did not meet until this trip (she actually moving there at the time and still lives there today).  She was my tour guide, translator, confidant, and also let me know when I was being ridiculous and immature about a particular situation ;).  I am so grateful we met and that we formed a true friendship.

IMG_4518One of my favourite things to do was to head to the City Centre and hang out by the river and watch the sunset (and shop too).

IMG_4489Oh, Toulouse, The Pink City.  You will always hold a part of me with you.

For those of you who may have seen more of my journey across France then you noticed that I was wearing the same clothes in most photos.  I have to say that it was so hot.  They actually had a heat wave last summer; the temperature was between 35 to 40 Celsius each day (or 102 to 112 Fahrenheit) and I showered so much (two to three times a day) that I ran out of clothes.  Remind me to tell y’all about my laundry nightmares in France.

Of course being in France, I ate a lot of incredible food and drank a ton of insanely delicious beer and wine.  I have shared almost all of that content on my Travel Instagram page.  I created Highlights covering food and drinks 😉

Now let me add something else before I close.

This was a tough goodbye.  Most of the people I spent time with in France I already knew. I met them in early spring and we all stayed in touch through WhatsApp plus we worked together on this project.  So coming together for the summer was truly incredible.  They opened their homes to me, treated me like family and introduced me to theirs.  Also, one of my coworkers who worked on the project was also from the US and we had never even met.  But now we have developed a friendship and his wife is freaking awesome too! 

To that end, I cried on my way home.  Hard.  We went out my last night and partied until almost 4 am and my flight was at 11 am.  On the car ride home, I cried.  On the car ride to the airport, I cried.  On the long walk to bag check, finally my terminal, and then my gate, I cried.  And on the entirety of the flight (when I was awake) I cried although it did not help that I was watching Bohemian Rhapsody on tope of that (I love Queen). 

This was such a once in a lifetime opportunity and I thank God for this experience.  I would do it all over again if I could.

Xoxo,

Shay 

 

 

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