January 3, 2012

Deux Mille Onze

2011 was a busy year, of which I spent a little over 11 months of in France. Having traveled around to a lot of different countries the previous year, I dedicated 2011 to seeing more of France, and I think I can say, "mission accomplished!"

I spent last New Year’s Eve on the Belgian coast with FBF and friends.
I moved into my lovely studio by the Quai de Wault in Lille.
I met fellow blogger TravellingAmber and we quickly became best friends.
I was working at Lycée Henri Darras in Lievin as an English teaching assistant for the second year.

The famous and beautiful Quai de Wault which was a meager 30 second walk from my building.

For Valentine’s Day I cooked FBF a romantic dinner of French onion soup and a leek and goat cheese casserole.
His present to me was a certificate to get my ears pierced again. Needless to say, each of my ear lobes gained a hole.
We also took advantage of having to drive La Soeur to Charles de Gaulle airport and spent a lovely day in Paris.

Sacre Coeur.

FBF turned 24.

My job as an assistant finished, but I found a new one teaching business English with a company that provided me with a car, meaning I had to drive in France for the first time in my life.
La Mamman’s birthday present was a trip to Dublin, and they graciously took me along.

The Molly Malone statue in Dublin.

My parents came to visit me in Lille. Then I joined up with them for a day in Brussels, followed by a weekend in Paris.

View of a gargoyle and the Eiffel Tower from the top of Notre Dame,
which I visited completely hungover from drinking 116.7cl of wine with my parents.

LOSC (Lille Olympic Sporting Club – Lille’s football/soccer team) became FBF and my obsession as they were competing to win both the French league and the Coupe de France. We watched Lille take home a victory in both matches (games), and proceeded to party like crazy people in the city streets.

We took a day trip to Bergues, to see the city where Dany Boon’s Bienvenue Chez Les Ch’tis takes place. I was surprised to discover that the city has a lot more going for it than what they show in the film.

The remains of an old monastery turned garden in Bergues.

FBF and I visited Disneyland Paris.

Me chillin' with Donald Duck.

FBF and I went on our month long France road trip, visiting Brittany, Charente-Maritime, Nantes, and Bordeaux.

I turned 24, and FBF took me to Reims for the weekend.

The Cathedral in Riems, where the kings of France were crowned.

I also experienced my first Braderie de Lille.

I stay-cationed, and visited most of Lille that I hadn’t gotten to yet.

I took a trip with Travelling Amber to visit Andromeda in Metz.

I headed back home, and FBF gave me the best Christmas present ever; he visited me for 10 days.


Bonne année (happy new year) everyone!


  1. Wow! What a year! Are you back in California now or headed back to France? You certainly made the most of your 2011 - c'est impressionant!

    All good wishes to you for the year that is unfolding...

  2. What a great year! I love coming to your blog because the pictures make me think fondly of France. And how much I wish I could be there again.

  3. Hard to believe you're not a tangible permanent fixture in my and V's lives this year :( Meeting you was by far one of the greatest things that happened to me in 2011.. FBF isn't the only one anxiously awaiting your return :)

  4. What a wonderful year! Happy New Year...may 2012 be filled with much success, good fortune, health, happiness and most importantly love.


  5. Leslie: I'm back in California for a while. My work visa didn't get renewed so I'm applying to grad schools in France at the moment hoping to make it back in August/September. I hope you have a good 2012 as well!

    Joshua: Why thank you :) Happy New Year to you!

    Amber: I agree. It still feels a little bit off being back home. I miss you and little V!

    Kris: Why thank you! The same to you :)


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