Sunday, September 26, 2010

Provence, minus lavender fields

Grey sky, grey sweater, grey day. 
Sitting on the right side of the car as I always do, Pépère, Mémère and I were weaving our way through the maze of small villages, and winding roads that will eventually lead to Province. A jazz singer with a beautiful deep voice serenaded us as I reflected on the coming few years. Should I really be spending my precious moments here trying to arrange what’s to come? A few people have mentioned lately that I’m being wasteful, but if I weren’t this way, I wouldn’t be here at all.
As always when deep in thought, my features had fallen, and my eyebrows were sewn. For fear of being mistaken as sad, I changed windows to appear less sullen, and much to my dismay, the scenery didn’t serve me any favors. 
It was as though an artist had taken only grey based paints, and worked away at the mountainous piece only on days when their mood suited the dismal color scheme. Lonely little houses sprinkled the hills between damp towns, and despite very little distinction in silhouettes, the storm clouds blooms were unfortunately well defined. We had passed pastures, filled with trudging horses, and in one almost uplifting case, a shepherd with his two black sheep dogs, leading waves of sheep over a foot deep ledge, just enough to create a snuggly texture. But, the Napoleon route continued, and so did we, leaving the soggy sheep behind. 
The CD was about to go on loop, so we stopped before a new segment of the road was to lead us around yet another bend. After examining a church from the 11 century, inconspicuously tucked into the back pocket of a township, we made a mad dash from our cover under a weeping willow to the car. 
Dreams of sunny lavender fields like a beacon of hope in my mind, I braced myself for the car sickness that always catches up to me after a brief stop, and had my breath taken away.
Nine mountains were strung along in a chain somewhere into a shy sun. That depressed artist must have been inspired, since he didn’t take the time to switch paint pallet, but he painted his soul onto a moving canvas. The most flawless example of grey scale I’ve ever seen stretched before my eyes, ranging from almost black closest to us, to nearing white under the rays that were putting up a desperate struggle to escape the misty cloud bank. A watercolor masterpiece, each individual hill had it’s own character, distinct juts and cone. I was braced for my stomach to churn, not the tears that hide behind one’s eyes lids. 
Mouth already agape, a cry to draw my Mémère’s attention to the gallery we were about to pass was drowned out by an exclamation from Pépère. Tearing myself away from the view to catch my breath, I was ready to take in more hidden ruins, wildlife or a witty sign that anyone without the eyes of a hawk would never see, only to have the wind knocked out of me.
It’s not easy on the eyes to go from a black and white TV to technicolor. It’s true when they say that once you change perspective, things only get better. If my mountain chain was in grey tone water color, the rainbow that splayed from the canyon on my right was in rich acrylic. Not in a photograph, not in a dream have I ever seen a rainbow like this. Each arc was so vivid, each color so distinct, it was as if they were the inspiration for the pure pigment that tints paint, and yet they blended together like powder pastels. 
The sun blazed, and my heart absolutely soared. That rainbow was a melody accompanied by a harmonizing line, semi transparent, but in notes just as pure. 
That corner turned seemingly on it’s own, and five minutes of more corners rolled by without my daring to move. The farther we drew away from my perception of the origin, the wider the rainbow stretched it’s wings. 
Suddenly, the lonely little houses were Villas that had landed far from Cansas and the world seemed dry, but sprinkled with dew. 
When we came to a stopping point, it was dissolving into a cliff, and in a simple, perfect silence, we sat, until it had left to change someone else’s outlook on the moment, on the day, on their life. 
This is why I write. The photos we didn’t take would never have captured the moment anyways, and in time, however it turned out the colors would have faded. Memories are the same, and when we try to correct them, they tend to be exaggerated, or innacurate. On the rare occasion when I get the words right, I can go back, and live it over and over again, never fading, never forgetting. The idea behind this blog was to do the same for all of you, but to make you see it when you read it. Live it with me? 

Thursday, September 23, 2010

My Nice

France is....
Fig trees with leaves and fruit alike tumbling from the branches; Pomegranate trees bursting into globes of bloom
Young men who open doors, and carry your saxophone; Young men who think it's weird to want to stop and call the number on a lost dog's collar
Fine wines; Insane amounts of Fanta juice
Little girls giddy with joy, spinning around in circles at the circus; The animals that prance around the circus ring, and bear the weight of the scars
Advanced programs that encourage the dreams of youth; The youth that don't recognize how much that means
European standards; Community specialties
to the right of Spain; to the left of Italy
The reason day planners have the hour divided into two sections; Two week breaks after every seven
Striking against a proposed raise in retirement age to 62; Where the age of majority is 16
Stereotyped for smokers and rightly so; Stereotyped for bread and cheese even more rightly so
Uber mini skirts and multi hundred dollar heels; vintage dresses and Miss Sixty shoes
Cimiez, Renault, Peugeot and a smattering of German and American imports; Where a Canadian import has an adorable accent
Mass amounts of paper work; A very gentle easing back into work schedule
26 degrees in the early evening; A people who shudder at the thought of 0 degrees
Jazz jams and guitar music wafting freely; operas and choir spectacles nightly
Swimming, running, volley ball and gymnastics in Gym; getting a workout walking to wherever you need to be
Eating Croq Messieus or quiche for supper; being offered the same maple syrup I use at home with my tea
Mountains; Oceans
Everything imaginable.
This place is incredible.
I am so lucky.
I won't be writing until sunday night, because Pépère and Mémère and I are leaving right after I finish school for Province. I'll write about the adventure as soon as I can. There will be photos! :)
All my love,

Monday, September 20, 2010

finally updating this because I'm told people are concerned I've been kidnapped

Dear readers,
I am alive!! I promise!
Jamming out to Charlie Parker, and pondering, jaw agape, how on earth I'm going to be able to play one of his pieces.
Sorry that the letters in the title aren't capitalized; they don't in French, and I've been warned points have to be docked if I don't cut that habit. So I'm working on it.
Well, shall we try to go backwards? Ready for an expresso version of the past week that I've been slacking off my blog?
19th. Woke up at Adélie's. Had milk bread for breakfast: YUMM. Was dropped off at the Arlette Gruss Circus, currently preforming at the Acropolis in Nice, and sang with my choir in the circus' first ever sunday mass. Ate Italian pizza at the reception, because it's so close, that you can order delivery. Onto an incredible 5 course meal at another set of friends of the Ailhauds. Sang with their two daughters, and braided their hair. Smiled at the idea of spending a weekend with them and drowning in chick flicks, and drowning the girls in mini braids. Almost got carsick, because the roads here are worse than the ones on the ride up Smokey. Sardine pizza for supper. Cleaned my room. Remembered I had to do a music page. Didn't understand the music assignment. Did a french assignment instead. Crashed for sleep.
18th.  Woke up at Adélie's. Watched a movie and ate breakfast. Went horseback riding. I rode a smaller horse with a friends saddle, and rigging (yes, I know that's a sailing term, not at all equestrian, but I can't think of the right word). It was only when I switched horses for a while, that I realized the reason I had been failing so miserably was because the girl who's tack (found the word!!) I was using was a head shorter than I. Yipee! The farm is beautiful, uneven, old style, with about 25 horses, all gorgeous beasts. There are stray dogs around every corner, and the fig trees on the ridge of the river bear fruits half the size of my fist! By the time we got home, and had watched two more movies (my movie pick for the week is Yesterday's Children. It's wonderful. Rent it :) we were out cold.
17th. Up at 630 as always. Friday morning starts with two hours of English, so I sat and translated a biography of Charlie Parker in preparation for a presentation (purple penguins prepare to present. Please pass along that tongue twister to someone at the play?) I'm going to give to the university prep kids in two weeks or so. I give a brief biography, go over some pronunciation and spelling in music, and then I play for them. Hello screeching horror music! No, not a mock cue, my attempt at a jazz solo. Waited at the conservatory for Adélie, met the bass player who's family decided they couldn't host me because the spare bed was in his room. Fair enough judgement I'd say. Arrived at her beautiful house, with grape vines in the front yard.
16th. Up at 630. Classes; math went well. It's a medical miracle!! After 16 years, the left side of my brain has come out of it's coma! Science class, we were let out half hour early, and we're all fairly convinced it's because our teacher can't put up with us for two hour doses. Oops. Conservatory with Pépère! For hours. I have to say though, I think I'm starting to recognize his students, since they come to his class to ask questions when they know he's not teaching. He has the patience of a saint. <3 My harmony class at the Conservatory is HARD. Home. Movie with Aurélien :)
15th. ihatewednsdaysssss.... The theory that once you get over the Wednesday bump of your week is only too extreme in my case. We've left the house by 706 (yes, that specific minute), and Thierry and I got home from choir at around 11. LONG DAY. I don't know how you silly people with jobs manage it! :P In all fairness though, the choir is amazing :) I really enjoy singing with them :) I have to remember to pack my sheet music the night before when I pack my school bag though, because I don't go back to the house during the day. It's really strange to say bye to Isabelle as we're driving off to school and saying see you tomorrow! Insert conservatory work with Pépère anywhere there is a few hour gap.
14th. Ialsohatetuesdays... Just the morning though. Acrobatics. And not because it's juvenile like I thought. Because unfortunately, the program is fairly advanced. Day one we were having cartwheels critiqued. Yup. Cartwheels. After running around the schools courtyard 4 times (with the dancers, much to the glee of certain gendered students with open classroom doors), we went inside. And ran more. And I will never giggle at my brother every again when he complains about burpies. Ever. Running around, then having to drop to our stomach, and being eaten alive if we don't get up fast enough? Not nearly as bad as the ab workouts our drill sergeant- I meant gym teacher - doles out. I can honestly say that my legs hurt trying to put on yee ol' cowboy boots the next morning. In all fairness, my teacher is nice. She's patient with me and my lack of coordination, and flexibility, and athletic ability. Her sense of humor has a way of lightening any situation, like "you've never done a reversed tuck roll before? Where are you from?! ... Canada...." :P Conservatory. Homework, getting ahead by re writing a full page of math formulas. Turns out studying pays off after all!
And that's as far back as my goldfish memory serves.
Today, the cafeteria platter I indulged in contained a cheese pastry as an entrée, chicken in an alfresco sauce for a main course, fresh buns, strawberry yogurt, and a Nestle vanilla waffle cone. Can you say spoiled?
It's September 20th. That means that I have been away from home for one month today. My hands just froze there, because half of my heart wanted to say that I haven't even been in France for a month yet, and other half of me is freaking out, assuring me I'm not even done packing yet, how could I possibly have been gone a month? I have one month, and then a few weeks off. By then, I think I'll be used to the rhythm of things here, but for now, but my schedule still isn't set, my courses aren't official, I still forget some of my classmates names every once in a while. People's miniskirts and high heels, pomegranate trees, and the disorganization of certain organizations takes me off guard. Everyone is fairly nice, even thought in all honesty, I don't think many of them really understand what an incredible gift they have to be here, caught somewhere between the sun, the mountains and the ocean.
At home, when little kids say that we want to do music and acting when we grow up, it's expected that that dream wears off by the time we're 12. Here, they have a chance to manifest that dream, into a reality. In a world where paradise is the norm, they take it for granted. It makes me sad. It makes me value home, because I know I like it here so much since this is a vacation. This is a chapter, and excerpt of my life, that's going to help form who I will be. Where I'll go from here, I don't know. What I'll do, I'm not sure, and when, even less. But this is opening my eyes to a full hallway of unlocked doors. I don't know which one is the right one. That's a little scary.
But I like the structure of these generic frames, that lead to the end of my life. I like the structure, since without structure, there's nothing to rebel against, nothing to change, nothing to morph into something extraordinary. I'm realizing now more than ever that my life has that potential.
Some people write love stories, others run radio stations.
Some people ask younger students to jam sessions, and some people take on the incredible challenge or raising children, while others fly around a set of provinces making sure everything sets just right.
Some people build businesses from the ground up, and go to work in shiny glass buildings.
Some people smile every time they see eagles, or give their all to their hockey team and there are still more people who are still looking for something, searching to be found.
"If this is it? For me baby, then that's just fine. I'm not looking anymore. For what could make me happy baby? This is more than fine I'm not looking anymore."
Ever wondered what birds do between when they disappear over the horizon, seemingly forever?
I'll try to keep you better up to date.
Don't forget. Birds that migrate south always come back home to the north. Key word 'Home'.
I know this was long. Sorry. I'll be back soon. I promise.
Love always,

Friday, September 10, 2010

(Something) Very, very important (to me.)

A friend is part of a very important project, and he's looking for ways to get a message out.
This is his video, just click it.
And this is for those of you who have watched someone they loved waste away because of it, and form of it. Think of all the things you are to someone: mother, best friend, niece, daughter, wife, granddaughter, everything to someone. These women are all those things to someone else.
If you could save any of the people I listed above in your life, would you give 5 dollars to get it started?
If you don't want to risk the regret, go for it. If you think about it, the minimum donation is what you spend on a bag of popcorn at the movies... Without the pop.
Please donate. Please don't talk yourself out of it if you have the means because it involves credit card on the internet: most of you use them for other things. Why not use it to save lives?
Thats all. I'll get back to my life later.
Thank you so much.

Thursday, September 9, 2010


Dear readers;
You guys have a problem. I figured out the other day how to check my blog stats, and as of the moment I started writing this, my blog has been viewed one THOUSAND times.
Some nights I wake up, and forget where I am, only seeing the blaring red numbers of an alarm clock. That's when I know I'm far from home, because I hate clocks. But come morning, I always know what's going on, that the numbers 630 in sequence means it's time to get out of bed, it's time to put on the clothes I always leave out the night before, time to go downstairs and eat chocolate flavoured cereal, and run back up to grab whatever I forget before we motor off. We get through the construction traffic of a new bridge that will be there until February, past the little village and up the winding detour that runs longer, but takes less time because there are no traffic jams. Into the city of Nice, Thierry drives past where he works and drops us off on a little cobblestone side street, and Aurélien and I walk together to the lycée.
Walk in the ancient building, see the clock-tower and seek out classmates. Proceed to classes. Break! Gummy time. Yes tiny little ballerinas, you are going to ingest calories too. Back to class. Buzzer means lunch, so we scurry to get in line. As of next week, were really going to have to book it, or else we'll be late to the Conservatory on Tuesdays to Thursdays. Those days, we drive home the same route, in the same car, at different times, and I can fill the gaps in between to walk along the streets, admire shops, and sculptures. Mondays and Fridays, I get done what I need to, and within reason, enjoy a little moment, before I pick a bus. My school is right across from the central bus station, and I'm starting to get my bearings.
I won't lie. You all know I'm nervous about my courses, and sometimes I cringe a little to practice because of how behind I am, I fear sounding silly, but the way I'm having to think it about it, is at least they'll know I'm diligent.
My first english class was today. Everyone swore to me I was going to hate it. They lied. She's wonderful! Who thought that I'd come across an Irish woman who's been living in France for 30 years? I'm only too happy to be in her class, and be excused from note taking :P Who knows? Maybe she will have me in with her older students to help out somedays, and I'm told there might be an english play!
My body is definitely not settled yet, getting up super early is hitting me pretty hard, and I wake up a lot of times through the night, but I'm always so tired it's easy to fall back asleep!
As far as mentally goes, I definitely still have to think a lot to put my words in french, especially after I've been quiet for a while, because the lyrics, or the thoughts are in english. Not a huge fan of my science class, and math is math, but my teacher is really good. She's very patient with my questions, and suggests different ways to practice memory work. So that's really helpful for someone who only works well with one side of her brain!
We did an analysis of a short story today in French, and I got the punch line right! Naturally, it's not actually called the punch line, but I can't translate it, so, sorry :P
I can't tell you how strange it is to think that you're just settling after lunch now, and by the time I'm getting ready for bed, you'll probably be setting your tables.
My friends have been asking if I'm not getting lonely. I have my music, just like I said I would, I have my pictures, just like I said I would, and I want you guys to know that when I'm trying to fall asleep at night, I go to sleep thinking of you just like I said I would. I think of you a lot. But I'm not lonely. Too busy for that! Besides, my Freddy is coming for me tomorrow! :) I'll be waking up to jazz again soon :)
I'm looking forward to being back in Chris kitchen, and see her patchworks. It's only when I write these that I realize how settled I actually am.
School is standard, choir is Wednesdays,  I already have an hour where my conservatory classes are, and I know how much work I have to do. I think it's just about putting the hours in to get it done now.
It rained here today. It's loud when the rain hits the tile roofs, and the whitewash deck.
I have my cell phone, with a super basic plan, a super tiny model, and I'm having to reteach myself to text, but there's something really solid about having that in hand. Don't worry, I'm well taken care of, Aurélien makes sure he has his arm out in front of me a little every time we cross the street. I don't think he even notices, but it makes me smile. And don't worry guys, he teases me almost as you all do combined! He joked to his friends yesterday at lunch when yet again, I didn't understand a remark, and they were all flabbergasted that I didn't make him stop teasing. He laughed and pointed out that most people just left when they didn't want to put up with him anymore, but I had to stick around :P
I miss my twin and my little bubby. But aside from that I'm good.
I love you guys :) I promise I'll get my act together and start posting pics again soon :P
And get a life :P I'm okay. Thanks for the thousand views silly back home people who I love to peices :)
I'm sure, I'll talk to you again soon.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Ladies of the Conservatory :)

Everyone, I would like you to meet from left to right:
Victoria- incredibly sweet dancer :)
Dalilah- If I spelled your name wrong I warned you I would!! Opera singer :)
Greta- the beautiful Italian ballerina :)

I've been up at 6:30 am two days in a row... Had to write this before I fell asleep. [post time: 6 pm]

A weekend of dinner parties, one of those yesterdays that you thank goodness are called as much, and today. This is me catching up.
My family has dinners often, so three days in a row, we set the good table out, and welcomed neighbors, friends, and family. Maxime comes back home sometimes, and the eldest daughter is the only one I have yet to meet! They’re all uber sweet :) The eldest girl reminds me so much of her mom it’s crazy! Today, we were helping her move back into her place, with only minor issues, like misplacing all the screws to assemble the furniture delaying us.
That doesn’t even hold a candle to yesterday. By the time night fell, I was hiding in my room, far away from any potential black cats, and mirrors were all well hidden. Any extra bad luck will not do! Throughout the day, my host mothers back window of her car was smashed, Maximes bike got stolen, and after right before dinner, two massive wasps decided to invade the kitchen and try to eat my face. Maybe a trip to get an epipen is in order after all. Lucky for us, the Ailhaud men have a knack for massacring thumb sized wasps, Aurélien’s weapon of choice being his sandal and his fathers being a vacuum cleaner (it’s super effective! ... No. I did not just make a Pokemon reference, what are you talking about?) Moving on.
Yesterday was back to school for me, all yee Labor Day enjoying folk! I met Mr Debenedetto, my music teacher at the Lycée, who had a lot to do with getting me over here, bless him! He’s amazing! He has so much enthusiasm, and so much personality, and he recognized me by face, and I was quite pleased with the whole ordeal! Less pleased with math class, but I don’t really think it’s my teacher’s fault: I just hate math. I answered a question though!! I was really proud of myself :P In French class, I was caught off guard by the whole class standing up when a teacher walked in. It was strange to be the odd one for not knowing etiquette, since I’m used to being the weird one because of my etiquette! 
After school, I went to the conservatory with my Freddy :) I’m really, really behind in math, am working on really, really basic piano excercises to loosen my wrists and strengthen my fingers and coordination, and have really, really surprised myself by how many sax scales I can practice voluntarily after all. My host father picked me up after my tour/ Conservatory history lesson, and may I say, we rode in style. May I also say, that I looked the part: In skinny jeans and a black lace blouse, I looked the part of the biker chick. Mind you, most biker chicks errands stops aren’t the Opera house, nor the Junior High school where her host father works as far as I know.
But the show goes on, with a fresh comedy act I like to call today. 
First please observe: I finished my first bag of gummies that was all by myself! three cheers for Olivia! Hips, Hips, Huzzah! :P
The entire region is on strike. They’re fighting against the government that’s about to make them work for another two years, making the age of retirement 62. Staying on topic of the number two, I haven’t seen a pure blue sky in almost two whole days! The locals are getting the blues. I can sympathize. By midwinter when Canada hasn’t seen a blue sky in two months, I know the feeling! Having had a teacher on strike today and getting to chill around the Lycée Plaza for an hour and a half didn’t even cheer anybody up on this 26° day! 
My lady classmates are concerned about what I’m going to wear this winter, since I’m in jeans and boots now. They don’t realize that I wear jeans all the time and that they don’t have to worry! I brought my parka and dogsledding shoes with me! If I get really cold in their -5° weather come winter, I’ll just take out my picture of my pet polar bear and the sledding team and pretend I’m snuggling with them like I do when my igloo gets too cold! I am Canadian, therefore, it is a sin that I haven’t seen a polar bear, and have not been to Alaska *. Yes, these are veritable statement reports. You heard it here first folks: People actually think that Canadians are fur wearing, seal eating, ice-home building neanderthals. Oh wait. You didn’t hear it here first, I’m sorry, I’m not the best news reporter, in fact, I think I got to that line a few years after everyone else! Come one people. It’s hilarious when I think you’re teasing, it’s less funny when you get confused why I’m laughing. 
Speaking of laughing: Here is my gym schedule in it’s two month increments
Sector 1- Acrobatics (includes pyramids, and a basic cheer leading training....)
Sector 2- Running (NOT complaining, I’m gonna need the training to be suitable for what comes next....)
Sector 3- Swimming (one pieces or two are suitable. My dear school board, are you actually going to stick a couple dozen teenagers in a pool together for two hours at a time? Aha, you’re so smart, you thought of that and are making us wear the swimming caps and goggles too!) 
Sector 4- Volley (for a second there, I thought the teacher was going to add the word ball onto that one! Fiouf! That’s one of the sports that I have the highest tendencies to get pegged in the head in! ... What’s that you say? White balls and nets? Naturally...) 
If a parachutist jumps out of a plane, and is falling at the same speed as his camera man, who’s parallel shooting the whole thing, and the parachutist opens his, and the camera man doesn’t, just keeps filming, is the parachutist rising or slowing his descent? Isn’t that the whole Theory of Relativity? Welcome to Physics class everyone. 
Coming soon the Theater of the Absurd, Starring Olivia Daye: Tomorrow! 
Critiqued as “The latest and greatest of the action/chickflick/horror/superdrama/comedy genre.... Keeps you hanging-awwwing-wantingtoscream/and laughing at how very typical it is until the very end!” 
A bientot! 
*Alaska is a state, not a province.....

Friday, September 3, 2010

I think I can, I think I can!....

Maintain this blog!!
So, because I fail at time management, I did not write about my first day at school on my first day of school, however in my defense, it wasn’t really my first day. My first day will be monday. Sort of. It’s complicated, see, my Lycée Massena courses start this monday coming, but my classes there only go from 8 to 12 every day. Confused? Starting the week after next, I have my Conservatory courses too, and those last all afternoon. That is my description on my education system for now since I don’t understand anything beyond that myself. Moving on.
Wednesday night, Thierry brought me along to his choir meeting! It was wonderful! The women in the soprano section (yeppers. Olivia is a soprano. Hide the good crystal everyone!) are super sweet, and I can’t wait to see them again next week :) We learned a Bach piece, it sounds amazing! Im not used to the bass voices too! 
But onto the thursday. “First day of school”. I drove in with Isabelle in the morning, we took the scenic route! This was of course after I slept through my alarm, didn’t have any makeup and thanked my lucky stars and girl guide leaders for the pack-your-bag-the-night-before mentality that saved my life when I threw myself out of bed that morning. Bowl of chocolate petals later, and we were en route! Got to town, parked, saw her clinic, and started walking to school. 
I love how simple that sounds. It looked it too! It’s one straight street, and one left turn, how hard can it be? Well, the streets aren’t marked the way I’m used to, and turns out it’s a really, really long street. My epic crusade to my beautiful high school was dotted with fresh fruit markets, shoe stores that I will inevitably return to frequent, and multiple patient souls who confirmed that indeed, to get to place Massena, you kept walking.
When they gathered the few hundred of us into the school square, and called my specific music class, I waited patiently, until the rest of my class was scurrying off with our french teacher, and my name was definitely not going to be called. Squeezing through that crowd was a party and a half, but when I caught up, and asked the teacher if indeed I was in the right place that my name was Olivia, she cut me off with Dorey. Sounded good to me. 
My class has 11 kids! Our teachers so far seem really nice! French, very strict, but with a really pleasant personality, and I think I saw a glimmer of a sense of humor shining through. Our math and science teacher really seems to get that our brains are arts oriented: We’ll be doing lots of experiments in physics and chem, and learning about things like sound waves, and space dimensions, that kind of thing. Laugh all you like, but I am genuinely sad that I don’t have bio!! I know you can’t see this, but I miss you already Wiseman!!
My friends so far? Dancers, and opera singers, and names I can barely pronounce, and much less am going to try to spell. My justification is that I forgot to tell them about the blog, and I refuse to write about them without consent. Ha. You will all have to patiently await Monday at which point I will have written down their names. I don’t mind cheating every once in a while. 
A lovely lady in my class, with a really cool name, and a great laugh helped me find where I could buy my lunch card, get my bus pass application stamped and make sure the lunch card worked :P My personal angel then got me onto the right bus, and left me to my own devices. This naturally is where things fell apart.
I got off at the wrong stop. Yay Olivia in a skirt and cowboys boots!! It’s not like you’re in the mountainside of a country you’ve been in for a week or anything. How far can the next stop be anyways? 
Far. Really far. And the stop after where the next bus passed you? A lot farther. 
We find our psychotic heroine walking along the rock wall in the winding hills of Nice. No Sainte-Marie. No, Tourettes. No, my friends, I live in the Tourettes-Levens which is a village over. I’m walking for about an hour when a man pulls up in front of me on a motorbike. Panic mode? Yes. When the guy in the tan biker suit pulled off the helmet? Hello host father! 
Never a dull moment! 
All my luggage has arrived with a massive amount gummy bears, and Kinder chocolate, an my Germany family spoils me rotten! Rots my teeth that is :P
I am happy. And exhausted. 
And I will talk to you all later, probably after tomorrow! :)

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Day 3

Mr Roux and myself in front of the Conservatory!

*haha! you can't see my sneakers!!

Day 2

From top right to bottom left (excuse the bizarre layout, I was messing with photo options for your future entertainment :)     :
(Mr Roux, myself, Chris)- in the alps, in a village called Gourdon! It's one of the perfume and soap cities I described in the blog post. The photo is lopsided, because it was taken with a timer resting on a hundred year old rock wall.... :)
(myself, Chris, and nameless passerbys)- I think this one is on Grasse, but I might be lying. This is what most of the streets look like, the buildings are beautiful, and the signs are unique... The one above Chris' head happens to have my name on it. Good eyesight, Mr Roux! :P
(Chris, myself)- a plaza, very common, and an olive tree!! :)

Day 1

In the kitchen, with my favourite curtains, and of course, my beautiful, french grandmother figure, Chris :)

A Much Belated Post

The Marvelous Mr Roux!
It would be easy to jump directly to present, and describe the beautiful place I’m staying, and the incredible people I’m staying with but first, I really must describe my weekend with the people who introduced me to this beautiful country.
Their apartment is old french style decor, with a giant grandfather clock that had all the insides hollowed out that I adored. The love seats, and sofas were done in a thick coat of patchwork quilts, and cat themed pillows. 
When I walked into my bedroom, there was a little package, nicely wrapped and in brown paper, and tied with ribbon. Later during the trip, they brought me up the mountain side, and showed me the shop where they made the soap bars that were contained by hand. The entire village was perfumed, so many were there boutiques! :)
This is the fourth time believe it or not that I have stopped and started this entry. It turns out that a blog is much harder to maintain that one would think. When I started this, I thought, oh, I’ll just pop on at night for 10 minutes or so, tell everyone about my day and stick up a picture!
Well, to catch up with a lot of missed important info, I am going to start with one picture from everyday I spend with the wonderful Mr Roux and the lovely Chris. 
But back to the tale of my stay in an adorable french apartment! 
In the mornings, I was serenaded by half hour of piano to wake me, followed by 15 minutes of a valve trombone (yes. They exists, and they’re pretty much the coolest thing I’ve ever seen!) when they realized that the expression sleeping like a rock is an understatement in my particular case. Next up was breakfast à la française! Fresh bread, toasted, buttered and jam covered along with a green tea. I had no idea I liked green tea before that stay, but I did enjoy it probably because it was sweetened with brown sugar cubes and creme: delicious!
Over the course of two days, our schedule was something along these lines: teach me jazz concepts until my brain was full ( :) ), go traveling the incredibly beautiful french countryside or city scape, drown me in ideas for welcome home gifts, and by the time I got the chance to blink, be back home for supper! Always outstanding cuisine by the Cordon Bleu Chris! Please note that I probably just made a minor fool of myself trying to compliment her... It’s a term I learned since my arrival with the Ailhauds, and I more than likely misspelled it. My intentions are good :P
The last night, we went for a walk after supper, and naturally ice cream (did you know that in french ice cubes and ice cream are called the same thing? I was pretty seriously confused!), we went for a walk along the boardwalk of Antibes. It was packed full of merchants, mostly selling tempting arrays of jewelry for poor accessory addicts like myself, Italian ice cream shops (this continent is addicted to ice cream, in case you didn’t notice), and everyone from seniors, to teenie boppers, to new mothers in high fashion. It was quite the spectacle! 
During my stay, I saw castles on the peak of hill tops, modern sculptures overlooking the turquoise waters, ancient villages who’s streets cars can’t pass through, billion dollar three automated masted ships, a village of artists, and aloe vera plants that look like they could be from a prehistoric era. I saw palm trees on every corner, and drove for 10 minutes to find myself on a winding cliffy road, bedazzled by sports cars, was mesmerized by floral patterns in cobblestones, was introduced to my modern conservatory and my ancient high school, and was, and am surrounded by my namesake olive trees. They are everywhere! 
My cowboy boots aren’t exactly high fashion here, and in the photos, people from my godmother to best friend will cringe and grind their teeth to see that I am wearing sneakers with a floor length bohemian dress. To say that I am going to be behind in my music classes is an understatement to say the least, and I really don’t have a clue what’s supposed to, much less going to happen tomorrow when I get to school... But the way I see it? They say my boots are up and coming, I was uber comfy roaming the bumpy streets, and didn’t trip when I stepped aside to evade being hit my the motos that run rampant. And I’m here to learn and grow, so that’s exactly what I’m going to do. 
Tomorrow will bring what it will. As someone very wise who loves Maxims told me, “that’s what music is: ceasing to be a goal, and becoming a medium” Sorry, the translation is rough. 
I will get to the past few days in my new home as soon as I finish choosing which pictures to post, supplied by my beloved paparazzi, the marvelous Mr Roux himself.