In the summer of 2003 I had the opportunity of a lifetime. I spent the summer with a family in France as part of an exchange program called AFS. For four weeks I spent my time in the heart of France down in the central region near a town called Bourges. As part of a language study program we spoke only French helping me learn the best way possible.
When it was possible we were able to visit with each other after our initial summer. There has been trips back to the French countryside, trips to Disney, trips to Disney & trips to my hometown of Toledo. My French sister & French mom came to visit in 2011 for a quick trip when I married my husband. This past winter we got the exciting news that my French sister was engaged to “her heart”.
My mom and I were able to make the trip over for her wedding this past weekend. It was a very quick trip but even though I haven’t seen some of them in 9 years, it was as of no time had passed at all.
There is no way to describe a French dinner, especially when a celebration is involved. Some of my favorite memories from 2003 were during some of our dinners. With at least five courses spanning over 2-3 hours, you never feel full but have had the time of your life. Jokes, conversation, wine, bread, cheese, stories and new friendships develop over the dinner table.
That is exactly what our weekend was.
From all different walks of life, we were able to meet new friends and continue with old friends.
Once we arrived on Friday, we quickly jumped into the celebration. A pre-wedding celebration dinner Friday night lasted close to 4 hours. We joked & laughed with each other with three different languages (French, Italian & English) and not everyone speaking all of them. It didn’t matter, we all still made memories together.
The wedding on Saturday couldn’t have been more beautiful. There were four parts: the civil ceremony, the church ceremony, the cocktail hour & the reception. Over the course of the evening we had pâté, fish with tomato basil salad, steak with mushrooms & potatoes, cheese, salad, desert (four small ones) and there was still cake to go.
Around 2am we let off lanterns outside. Watching them fly away was so much fun. We decided to head back to the hotel, yet we still managed to miss the cake.
Sunday we spent the day with family & our new friends. There was a brunch, swimming, stories, jokes followed up by our last dinner together.
Monday we said our goodbyes.
It was a quick weekend but such an amazing time.
With 4,000 miles, seven time zones & an ocean to separate us we rely on technology to keep in touch. So much has changed in the last 12 years, yet when we get back together again it is as if no time has passed at all…we pick up right where we left off.