Wednesday, November 16, 2016

200 posts and counting

First of all, happy 200th blog post to me!

I started this blog in April of 2013 when I was leaving to live and study in Jerusalem for the summer. Fast forward to November of 2016, and I've lived in Israel, France, Israel again, and now France again (this time, with my brand new husband!). These have been the best years of my life, and I'm so happy to have this to look back on.

So now onto this weekend. It was a pretty great weekend, especially since I got David for an extra day. November 11th, Armistice Day in France/Veteran's Day in America, is a day off from work here.

For Veteran's Day on Friday, I did some research and found out about an American military cemetery not too far from here. We've both been to others in Europe (for me, in Normandy on Memorial Day 2010 and Luxembourg on Veteran's Day 2013), and agree that they are such peaceful and beautiful places that are worth visiting. 

Do you think if we submit this along with his visa application it will expedite the process?

This particular cemetery is in Draguignan, and has the graves of 860 American soldiers that died liberating the South of France. That was our American moment of the weekend.

We spent Friday afternoon CHRISTMAS SHOPPING. We started stocking up on decorations and it was fun. Benefit of living somewhere with no Thanksgiving=longer Christmas season. Don't hate. I don't get to eat my pumpkin pie, so let me have Christmas in November.

On Saturday we continued our streak of seeing a new city after Avignon and Grasse the previous 2 weeks. This week it was all about Aix-en-Provence.

Similarly to Avignon, it was a bit of a nightmare to find parking, but once we did everything worked out great. 

Our first stop was this mansion and garden, the Pavillon Vendôme.

Next, we headed over to the Saint-Sauveur cathedral, which was actually even better than expected! There was an organist playing which provided some great theme music in the background. Another interesting feature was the baptistery- which was unique among all the cathedrals I've seen in France. There was actually a font from back when the Catholics did baptism by immersion.

After a nice lunch we went on a long stroll through Aix-en-Provence to reach our last stop of the day, the Caumont Centre d'Art. I've heard that Aix is nicknamed the "city of 1000 fountains." I doubt there are quite that many, but there are certainly enough to make it a charming place to visit.







There's a sampling, at least! This is the main street, the Cours Mirabeau.

A happy surprise was stumbling across a bookstore near the Cours Mirabeau where everything was in English!! I do read in French, and it's very helpful to improve my French, but it's just not quite the same or as relaxing as reading in my native language. It didn't take me long to find something to buy. I'm about halfway through All the Light we Cannot See, and I highly recommend it!

The Caumont Centre d'Art is a 17th-century mansion. There are a few rooms that are completely restored that you can tour. 

The mansion also hosts art exhibitions- the current one is a photography exhibit about Marilyn Monroe. It was pretty interesting. My favorite part was when there was a traffic jam and we couldn't understand why the whole crowd was suddenly stopping. When we finally walked past we realized it was because there was a naked picture. Oh France.

That about sums up the day we spent in Aix and a pretty great weekend! I would definitely recommend visiting Aix-en-Provence- one of the prettiest cities I've been to in France!

If you're interested, I went to Nice on election-results day last week. Link: President Trump??

Also... for fun, here's my 100th blog post- reflecting on my year in Strasbourg and Jerusalem with lots of beautiful pictures.

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