Bonjour friends and family! Update: we have housing! That post is for tomorrow. We are really excited and thankful to AUP and everyone for their generosity and assistance. More to come soon!
This is a fun week for birthdays in the Parisian Hyer family. My birthday was September 2nd, Adelaide turns 6 months old on the 5th and Daddy’s birthday is the 10th. For mommy’s birthday, despite our exhaustion from the non-stop mandatory grad school orientation sessions, we went for une balade (a walk) along the Seine, went in search of the perfect lunettes de soleil (sunglasses; which I found!) and enjoyed some delicious, crisp cider. (Dave likes to say “See-dare.” Don’t say that. It’s “See-dra.”)
Here’s the happy birthday kids in the twilight now:
According to Dave, my birthday didn’t start until around 15h00 (3:00 p.m.) because at midi (noon) after some mandatory AUP workshops, I found myself completely stranded with the baby in the middle of the city with no idea where to go. After having heard and discussed the directions to Vintage, our home church, from AUP/our first hotel, I was pretty sure I knew the way. However, one crucial element of “the way” was misunderstood: which bridge to take. Well, I took the wrong one. I didn’t have my money, phone or internet access. Luckily, the most beautiful baby chose to accompany me in her sleep, so I wasn’t all alone, and we were in one of the best arrondissements in terms of beauty and safety. But, time was running out on how long that baby was going to amiable sleep through our adventure. But, when she sleeps, she sleeps. Take, for example, this video:
Back to feeling stumped in Paris. After circling the blocks numerous time thinking I knew where their home was located, I gave up and looked for a pay phone only to discover that pay phones are almost entirely paid for with cartes bancaires (debit cards.) So I waited. For my miracle. I finally found a lady speaking French who might have known where a coin-operated pay phone was located. This was more than three hours after I had left for my 20-minute trip to go meet up with Dave and Vintage. However, when I approached her, my French turned into this: “Bonjour Madame, est-ce que…. euh…. huh…. wha, wha WHA!!!!!” You know, when you try to speak as an adult but for some reason your brain is panicking and has been yelling at you for the past hour? For me, it always results in scrunched up face muscles, and it rains, on my face.
The face-rain and the baby must have softened her city-slicker self, because she offered me her phone straight away. I called Pierre, an AUP student whose number I had on me, and had him email David, who I knew would check his email pretty frequently. Sure enough, a handsome man came racing toward me on a vélo (bicycle) to my rescue!
Really, being ship-wrecked in Paris wasn’t bad: the weather was PERFECT, the company was sweet and when we arrived at Vintage Church/Bill and Rachel’s house, there was food waiting. Having rain fall on your face is pretty exhausting. And as I mentioned earlier, a handsome man rescued me and officially declared the start of my birthday at that instant.
While we were out, not only did we eat pizza with friends and my AUP Student Advisor, but I found the perfect pair of birthday lunettes. And they were perfect. Big and round and plum-colored and beautiful. As I said: perfect. But as you can see, there is no picture of me in my new sunglasses because these were the perfect sunglasses for someone else’s birthday- someone who could/would afford €287 glasses. HAH! I would never spend that much on sunglasses. The decimal is a point too far to the right, but this is Paris after all. People do spend hundreds of dollars on sunglasses, wallets, umbrellas, etc. We’ll have to update you soon on our favorite places to shop in Paris. Sorry Paris! I love you, but I’m just not interested in your fashion or luxury. Perhaps that will change during our time here with you. Until then, let’s talk about roquefort fromage and revolutions.
While Paris didn’t offer me the eye-protection I yearned for, the city did continue to provide perfect weather and a beautiful sunset.
Paris magnifique… À la prochaine,