After the beautiful but lonely adventure that was Barcelona, it was such a relief to get into France where I not only understood most of what was going on around me, but I was also no longer alone. It took 10 hours and 5 trains to get to Aubagne but I was so happy to be back where I'd lived two years ago and to stay with my host family again.
The first evening, I was reunited with Anne and Julien and the kids, Paul and Marie, and the pets, Lili, Bubulle, and Choco. We ate dinner together and caught up on everything that had happened since I left. The kids are two years older now and it was so crazy to see how much they've grown! Still so cute though!
After dinner we watched the French presidential debate on TV. I don't understand much political vocab so I was a little lost but I could definitely read the emotions from the expressions and gestures. It was really interesting to be there during this voting time and to experience some of the election with invested French voters.
The next day I spent in Marseille, taking touristy pictures of myself (I was too cool to do that before when I lived there, haha) and visiting all the sites I used to frequent. I was so, so happy to be back! I ate a huge vanilla macaron (best thing in the world) and tried the most delicious cupcake ever at my friend from language school's new bakery. (Who knew French people didn't know what cupcakes are?) Then I met the family at the beach and we had a nice crepe dinner all together and with Anne's sister and brother-in-law as well.
Friday I took a walk around the neighborhood with Anne and the kids and then we went into Aubagne city center. Paul gave me an adorable tour of the shops and video rental store while Anne and Marie were otherwise occupied. Then they left for the kids' sailing lessons and I got a spinach quiche from my favorite boulangerie and went to my favorite movie theater to see Le Prenom, a hilarious French comedy that I mostly understood.
Marie started taking violin lessons last year and so that evening I got her to play for me. It turns out she's studying the same method I did so I knew all the songs she had memorized. They had an extra violin so she and I played together and she was so super adorable! Such a great memory :)
When it was time to leave for Switzerland Saturday morning, it was really hard to say goodbye. I hadn't seen them for two years and who knows when I'll see them again. Still, it was really great to revisit my old haunts and put my memories of that year into my current perspective. J'adore la France!