Family in France

Indeed it has been quite some time since I’ve last posted. There’s been a lot going on over the past month and a half or so and at times its been chaotic, however its been nothing but good things all around. And it’s already February – time is flying way too fast for my comfort, but the extra day with the leap year this year will be quite welcome.

One of the bigger things that has happened over the past month and a half was my family coming to visit me in France. Since I had not gone home over our Christmas break a number of them (my grandmother, great uncle, mom, sister, and sisters new FIANCÉ (we’ll get there)) decided to pack their bags for a little getaway. Undoubtedly I would say it was exactly what we needed to get through the next 100 days or so – and its ridiculous how the unofficial countdown has already started. It’ll be nice to be home and in a familiar once more however it will be devastatingly difficult to leave this place I now call home and more familiar than I would have ever thought.

In any case, my family and I first spent a number of days in Paris. Most of them have never been in France before (except my great uncle, who as a priest taught and gave mass across France and even came to Dijon once in the 1950’s) so it was neat to explore. Unfortunately French public transport was still very much on strike, rendering very few lines of the metro working. This pushed us to do most things on foot which actually worked out quite well, allowing us to really explore the city.

From the Italian quarter we went to Notre Dame and Saint Chapelle (the latter I had never seen before and was quite stunning). We proceeded to walk along the Seine to the Louvre, easily proceeding next door la Place de la Concorde after our beauteous stroll through le Jardin des Touileries. All this time my family was in awe, for one of the first things many of the Holy Cross students including myself noticed upon our arrival was how rich the architecture was – certainly nothing one could find in the US. We proceeded to l’Arc de Triomph, giving us a brilliant view of the entirety of Paris; in addition, at the very top was the place at which my sister’s then-boyfriend proposed to her! (She never cries but the tears definitely came down). As I’m writing this they are currently wedding-dress shopping, so hopefully that goes well. Anyway, after descending as an engaged couple in addition to my mom and myself, we walked across a number of streets and bridges to see the Eiffel Tower at night which shone brilliantly for us.

Translating was definitely a little interesting – while it is always fun, it becomes a little more difficult when you have to translate for four or five people. Usually we had the great privilege of most Parisiens and Dijonnais people knowing English however that was not always the case. I could really write for hours about this little vacation with my family however, as usual, I think it’s best to let the pictures do the talking (I am no English major, after all).


Saint Chapelle Exterior
We went around 10AM so this sun will still rising, giving us absolutely stunning colors coming through the stained-glass windows
This was probably my favorite part of the Saint Chapelle – the teal / mint color was simply stunning and no picture can take that in. Naturally the place was packed by I HIGHLY recommend getting tickets online beforehand so you can skip the line.
Johnny (left), myself, my grandmother Mary-Ann , my great-uncle Gerard, and my sister Nicole
Nicole REALLY loves the authentic French crêpes
Really mom, really?
Post-proposal photos on the top of l’Arc de Triomph
Nicole and Johnny on the train telling my brother they’re engaged!!!
La chouette de Dijon (did you see the ring? Yeah it’s kind of tough to see I agree)
Dinner at one of the best restaurarants in Dijon – Le Pré aux Clercs right on la Place de la Libération
This was probably the best part of the entire trip. We had dinner at my house, Jocelyne and Martin (my host family) preparing an authentic Burgundy meal of beef burgundy with potatoes, as the meal, du jambon persillé, a full cheese platter and plenty, plenty of wine. We were twelve at the table and spent the entire evening talking amongst ourselves, learning about each other and what life in France consists of. There were plenty of laughs and this was easily the highlight of the visit for me – the best of both worlds ! (family back home and family here in France).
Saying goodbye to the filles (Meghan and Emma) after getting on the train. (But now they’re all back in the States and have already gotten lunch together so it’s fine).

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