We spent this past weekend in Tampa, Fla., celebrating the marriage of two dear friends, Greg and Kristie. The weather was beautiful - they couldn't have asked for a more gorgeous weekend.
The wedding was even more gorgeous, and the bride was radiant. Sadly, we didn't get a picture with her, but just trust us, k?
B and I decided at my brother's wedding last October that it was infinitely more fun to be a guest at a wedding instead of the bride and groom, and this wedding didn't disappoint. It was so nice to catch up with people we hadn't seen in a while - and to talk to them in English.
But at the end of the weekend, France was calling.
Our connection from Orlando to Paris was in Charlotte. On Sunday afternoon, as we sat in the rocking chairs in front of the Pandora store (why is there a Pandora store in an airport?), my mom FaceTimed me. She was with my dad, brother, sister-in-law, grandparents, great-grandmother, aunt, uncle, and my two cousins. Basically, the only members of the extended Edwards/Payne family not in my grandparents' house were the two sitting in the rocking chairs at Charlotte Douglas. It was so wonderful to get to "see" everyone, especially on Mother's Day. Except maybe my little brother who made fun of me the whole time. My foot hurt, okay?! ;)
They passed my mom's phone around the living room so I could say hi to everyone, and one of the last people I spoke to was my grandmother. As she handed the phone back to my mother, she said, "Have a safe trip home." I don't think she'd realized what she'd said. I've been living away from Davidson County, N.C., for so long now that she's used to my "home" being far away. But she hit the nail on the head.
For right now (and probably a little bit for the rest of my life), Tours, France, is home. I love flying into Charles de Gaulle airport and seeing all the exotic airlines going to places like Johannesburg, Abu Dhabi, Moscow and Shanghai. I love the tri-tone "ding" that's played at the train stations whenever they're about to make an announcement. I love the feeling when I can pick out some words or phrases from a babble of French. I love our sunny, airy apartment with its open shelving and cabinet for dishes. I love the markets, the restaurants, all the outdoor tables to sit at, and the many lovely parks. They are all a part of this adventure, and they make it feel like home. Boy, it's nice to be back.
E & B
P.S. - Stay tuned, because we're heading out on our first trip outside of France this weekend - we're so excited! And don't forget to invite friends to sign up for email delivery if you think they'd like a semi-daily dose of French life!