Grateful for...

The south of France.

Although I could stay in Paris forever, it's always nice to spend the last week of the trip in the south. It's a nice change of pace and I love that we get to go to so many places. We stay in Antibes and do afternoon/evening trips to Cannes, Monaco, Nice and Juan-les-Pins. It's pretty amazing.

I'm also grateful for my colleagues on the trip! A few hours after talking with another teacher on the trip (who became a good friend) after a difficult day, I came out of my hotel room to find these waiting for me. She knew I was a sucker for fresh flowers. I may have cried a little.

I got to know the wonderful woman who cleaned my room during the three weeks in Paris, so I left them for her with a card when we left for the south. You know, passing the joy along.

While we're on the subject, here are some photos from the flower market in Nice. I could have stayed there all day.

On the excursion to Grasse to do a tour of Fragonard (the first perfumery), we stopped in a little village called St-Paul-de-Vence. That's where I snapped this photo. People actually live here. Crazy. It's hard to tell but there's a beautiful view through that crack between the two buildings.

This last photo I took in Eze, a village we stopped in on the way to Monaco. I am absolutely in love with this sign. In English, it says "If you take my parking spot, take my handicap". Amen.

I probably should have taken many more photos during the last week, but because they were all places I had been several times before, I wasn't as trigger happy as I normally am. Either way, it was a wonderful month but I'm glad to be home!

Grateful for...


For the past two summers I've worked for a company that pays you to travel the world for the month of July. And everything is free. Everything. Oh wait, except lunches.
This summer, I'm doing the same trip that I did last summer - Paris for three weeks and the south of France for a week. Hard life, I know.

Although it sounds amazing, there is some work involved. The company is called Global Journeys and it's for students from Ontario who want to get a credit over the summer while traveling overseas. Last year I taught for the first week, and then was the Group Leader of the trip; in charge of everything that happened outside of the classroom. This year, I'm teaching the grade 11/12 French Immersion class solo. And it has been amazing. Amazing.

Here are some of the things I'm grateful for from the first week:

Sitting in Jardin du Luxembourg watching the jets practice for Bastille Day this weekend after having a picnic and teaching in the park.

Getting to the Louvre before anyone else and watching the Parisians head off to work.

Hot chocolate and pastries at the famous Café Angelina.

The beautiful village of Chartres.

And it's incredible cathedral.

Walking the Champs-Elysées (this year, no floods or storms!)

Spending time in Monet's gardens and walking through his house.

Nighttime boat rides on the Seine.

And the fact that I am doing all of these wonderful things for free. And getting paid.
Last time, I promise.