We walked into Marti’s cute French apartment after the most beautiful day yesterday, but as soon as I opened my laptop, my mood changed completely. Hearing about the explosions at the Boston marathon pretty much put me in shock, knowing so many of my loved ones were there. I rushed to account for everyone, and so thankful and happy that everyone is ok. Brit and Megan finished successfully, but knowing that they were greeted with explosions instead of a celebration breaks my heart. My heart goes to all those effected, and everyone who was scared in Boston yesterday. It made me miss it, and everyone there. I loved what Obama said and know Boston will be stronger because of it, so happy to call it home.
That being said, I think it is important to find peace with what happened, be thankful that everyone is ok, and not dwell on it too much for the sake of sanity. Although, my thoughts are with the families who are suffering from death and injury as I know Boston is providing a ton of support.
Even though it is hard to think of much else, I want to continue writing about my days here to look back on, as life must go on… so here it goes!
I arrived safely at the Marseille train station after a beautiful and sleepy train ride down to the south of France. I was greeted with a big hug from Marti and David, and they showed my around the city by car before heading to their home in Cassis, about a 30 minutes drive up and around a mountain from Marseille. Their apartment is so beautiful! Cute and French with a beautiful courtyard, and walking distance from the town and the shores of the Mediterranean. I dropped off my stuff and we walked down the hill into the extremely cute, resorty, beautiful, village of Cassis, that has a ton of nice stores and restaurants, with sail boats docked throughout. Up on the mountain is the Chateau of Cassis, where people can stay in one of the four guest rooms for about 600 Euro a night. We had a really nice dinner at one of the restaurants on the shore, I got a dorade royal, a beautiful fish, Marti got moules (mussels) and David got beef bourguinon, with wine! Might have been my best European meal yet. We walked back to the apartment and had a nice piece of apple pie. Great Day!
I woke up on Monday and we had a breakfast on the front porch with fresh pastries and homemade OJ! The weather yesterday was PERFECT. Sweater weather without a cloud in the sky. After breakfast we headed into Marseille- first stop, St. Charles train station.
I experienced my first travel glitch since my arrival in Europe (which I think is pretty good so far), so i had to go to the train station to work it out. Long story short, the train ticket I purchased for Friday from Marseille to Zurich had to be picked up at an SBB ticket counter- the problem, SBB is only in Switzerland and I wasn’t going to be in Switzerland before I needed the train ticket (duh.) There was no way around buying a new ticket through the french rain system. So dumb, I know!
After that was worked out Erik (!!! Our Italian exchange student from senior year of high school) met us at the train station with his friends (Ivana and Rocco, who I met 2 summers ago at Erik’s sister’s wedding)! They were in Monaco for a tennis tournament and decided to drive down to see me :). The entire group took a beautiful boat ride to the island that houses Chateau D’If, the setting of The Mount of Monte Cristo. We had the loviliest day on the island, including a picnic with the Lauderee macaroons I brought from Paris. Back on the main land, the Italians really wanted Starbucks before they headed back (haha). It was a perfect day with them and it was sooo great to see Erik!
We sent the Italians off and Marti and David took me to a cool Marseille museum and on a little trolley tour up to the Notre-Dame de la Garde Cathedral on the top of the hill, it was BEAUTIFUL. We had a beer and an Irish pub near the water before heading back to Cassis. WHAT A DAY. It was the loveliest.
It is when we got back to their apartment that I found out about the explosions (very shortly after they happened, actually) and that’s when my heart started to sink. Marti poured me some wine, and we had a nice dinner here of salad, pasta, mushroom soup, cheese, crackers, and salami (so yummy). It is Tuesday morning now, and I am watching news of the explosions on French TV. Devastating.
Today Marti is taking me to explore another French town, she has a PT appointment there. Did I mention that Marti surprised me with a train ticket to Nice for Wednesday and Thursday!?!?! How exciting.
Despite everything amazing happening here, my heart is sad thinking of Boston, and I can’t shake the feeling.