Our California Visit
Our California VisitTwo whirlwind weeks were spent in Marin County, Los Angeles, Balboa Island and San Diego visiting friends, completing some business that needed to be done, being with our family for the marriage of our nephew Kevin to Liza and hanging out with my parents and sisters and their families in San Diego.Zoe-Pascale spent two days with her old Lycee friends and felt extremely confident in her French. As she said, I speak as well as the native French speakers. Zoe-Pascale has been an amazing trooper through all the changes she faced this year, but preparing to return to her old Lycee through her for a loop and she lost it. For months she had been planning her return and perhaps the anticipation was too much or because she didn�t have her bookcase or books she wasn�t sure what she would do at school. Once we were there all was well with the hugs and kisses from everyone and smiles welcoming her to school.Our learning here is that when you least expect it (9 months later) change does catch up with you.Jean and I had an opportunity to see lots of friends and business colleagues as well as catch up some loose business ends at the bank. It was wonderful to see everyone and the major thing we miss in France is the people. This was a confirmation!One morning we were driving to a breakfast meeting and Jean turned to me and said. Marin is a big city. Living here is not different than living in a big city. The pace of life, the bombardment of things to do and places to go, the traffic, the shops, the people are all big city living. It was a major realization that living even out of the city was still like big city living. Our perspective now of country living was so much slower, simpler, and less pull to have to do everything and buy everything you see. (There isn't much to buy and lots less to do). We love Marin for the beauty, the nature, the people, the great yoga studios, the fabulous hiking, the views, the many movie theatres, and the proximity to San Francisco, but it was living in the fast lane and we definitely noticed the difference from St. Quentin la Poterie.
Kevin my nephew and Liza his new bride had a beautiful wedding on Balboa Island, the playground of my childhood summers. The most fabulous and different desert spread was provided that included cupcakes, donuts, jars of candy, and chocolate covered bananas! The dancing started and never ended until after we left. In fact Jean who stayed a bit later after I took Zoe-Pascale to bed, said the party started after you left. The wedding couple and their friends danced up a storm to music and movements that he was unfamiliar with. What can I say but it made him feel older than he liked. The next morning we asked Liza what they were dancing and what the music was. �Hip-hop� she answered. I innocently thought Hip Hop was like aerobics I didn�t realize it was an entire dance movement of the20-30 year olds today. Maybe soon we will sign up for a class so we can stay up with the times... after all what else is life about...
San DiegoSpending a week in San Diego, Zoe-Pascale got to visit the San Diego Zoo and Sea World with her Granny and Partner and Aunts. Jean and I snuck off to see two movies back to back and join them for dinner later. Coffee every morning was delivered from Starbucks by my dad directly ordered as we like it, Tall Latte, 2%milk, 2 squirts of sugar free vanilla, a Venti non fat latte for Jean and a chocolate chaude for Zoe. What better dad could you have than that? We swam and went in the hot tub which is a luxury that is not seen very often in France as well as roasted marshmallows over my sister Cynthia's fire pit in her back yard.
Back in FranceAfter a long flight we were happy to drive back through the countryside seeing the beautiful red wild poppies we had only seen in pictures before. Entire fields were covered in red with blankets of yellow mustard plants lying in between the growing green vineyards. What a way to come home.