les petites choses

July 29, 2011
I don't really have a story behind this post. These are just some of the little things I loved at the beach house in Capbreton. I loved the fact that I had fresh baguettes with butter and homemade jam (and tea) every day for breakfast. I loved the quirky kitchen accessories. And I loved the bright green cabinets in the kitchen.
Sometimes, it's just about the little things. I hope your weekends are filled with lots of wonderful little things! xoxo


July 27, 2011
One of the strangest/kinda nice things about France is that the sun sets at 10pm. Sometimes, this is really disorienting-- like when you think you have the whole evening ahead of you because the sun just set but not really. Sometimes this is a great thing-- like when you're traveling and you get a few extra hours of daylight to wander.

This is where Biarritz comes in. While I was in Bayonne, I realized that my "day" was longer so I took another bus even further south to Biarritz. Again, I knew almost nothing about this city. But when I got there it reminded me of Monaco with its glamorous buildings and beautiful ocean views.

Hydrangeas everywhere. Cute, colorful beach tents. Tons of people in the water even with an overcast sky. Macarons. Chocolate waffles.

I'll even admit that every food-related purchase that day was spent on dessert-related foods. Yup, it was a good day.


July 25, 2011
people watching
Even though I'm leaving Coly today (!!!), I still have a lot of photos from the past few weeks to share.

Going to Bayonne was the first time I'd been by myself after at least 10 days of being in France. It was my first afternoon off while we were in Capbreton, so I took the afternoon bus south for the day.

What do you do when you travel alone? I wander and get lost. From the bus station, I didn't have a map or know where to go, but I just followed my instincts across a huge bridge and before I knew it, I was in the city center with wooden shutters and hanging garlands galore.

My favorite views of Bayonne were found just by looking up. At the charming windows, the hanging flower boxes, the people-watchers, the cathedral, the garlands, the lamp posts along the river... I'm surprised I never walked into anyone after spending so much time admiring everything above my head.

I didn't know where to eat, where local favorites were, or anything like that. But I loved Bayonne because I got to discover it in my own way.

the violet

July 22, 2011
It seems ironic that the day after I write this post, my "Do Something That Scares You" article comes out with The Violet's summer issue.

I wrote to Camilla, asking her if she thought it'd still be a good idea to publish the article even though au pairing didn't work out. This is what she said,

"I'm so sorry to hear that it didn't work out - but you know I still think it's incredibly brave that you tried. I'm sure you learned something from it...and that's worth everything

I'm going to go ahead and keep the article in because it's a good story - and it's your story. You did something that scared you....

It's not about the end result - its about the effort. Right?"


Merriam Webster defines "adventure" like this: an undertaking usually involving danger and unknown risks.

I took the risk, I did something that scared me. And now I have a story to tell.

So, without further ado, I present you with the The Violet Summer 2011 issue. Lucky for me on French time, I've been able to go through the entire magazine already and I am in love. I'm honored to be part of such a positive, inspiring collection.

PS - Thank you for all of your kind words and support. Really, I feel so lucky.
PPS - I'm on page 69!

in which i explain

July 21, 2011
A lot of things have gone wrong.

I blame myself for being so sporadic about my decisions but now that I know there's nothing I can do, I just have to try to find the next best thing.

Have you seen 500 Days of Summer, when Tom goes to Summer's party and the screen splits into "expectations" versus "reality." In my head, I can see both. Before coming to au pair I "expected" to be part of a new family. I love and cherish my Italian host family so much that I thought that living with a French family as an au pair would be the best way to discover a new country. I saw myself playing with the kids, trading American and French games, and living here so that my "work" with the kids wasn't work at all. Just being there, loving them, and starting a new adventure.

Now that I've been here for almost a month, the "reality" has kicked in. Upon moving here I wasn't given a room in the family's house as promised, but a room "in the back" of the hotel with the staff. The kids didn't listen, they fought and hit all the time, they were disrespectful. I worked 9-10 hour days, the first two weeks without a single day off. I'd never wanted my time with the kids to be "work," but soon I felt like I was being taken advantage of since I worked so much. I felt like I'd been misled about what life would actually be like here. Last Monday, I spoke to the mother and explained that this wasn't the experience I'd come for and I didn't think this was what she wanted for her kids.

And so I'm leaving.

I asked to stay until the end of the month, but at the moment it looks like I might have to leave come Monday with no where to go. I'm not writing this for criticism or sympathy, just to explain and be honest.

My flight home isn't until the end of August, so I'm not sure where this turn of events will take me. I'm scared and excited. Maybe more scared. But this is an adventure, right?

PS - Thank you for all of your loving comments on the last post. Even with my vagueness I couldn't believe how much love can be found via the internet.

PPS - The photo is of some of the French yogurt here. It is by far the best yogurt I've ever had, and it's simple things like this yogurt that are keeping me afloat.

the truth

July 19, 2011
Sometimes things don't work out.

You wish and hope and pray they do, but it wasn't meant to be.

capbreton (la ville)

July 18, 2011
When we weren't at the beach, the town itself was also very fun to be in. The city center was very close to our house so it was easy to walk over for some fresh baguettes or ice cream whenever we wanted. One thing that I found most surprising was the abundance of flowers (and flowerboxes) all over the city. Along the bridge, by the fountains, in front of stores. Everywhere! It reminded me how easily a few fresh flowers can brighten up your day.

le 14 juillet

July 15, 2011
matthieu et celine
terrasson sans tripod
french friends
For the past three 4th of July's, I've been abroad in Europe (Greece then Italy and now France). I've always been a little sad about it because I miss the fireworks and the celebrations, but this year was the best substitute I could hope for.

Little did I realize that France's day of independence is ten days after our own! For the FĂȘte Nationale Française (which commemorates the storming of the Bastille), my new French friends (staff at the hotel restaurant) invited me along to Terrasson to see the fireworks. We were running a little late so Matthieu sped through the tiny, twisty countryside roads, I felt like I was on a roller coaster (this is no joke). Just as we were approaching Terrasson, we saw the fireworks go off and we thought we were going to miss them, but we made it in time to catch the end of the show.

Speeding in a tiny European car with fireworks straight ahead was one of the best feelings. When we finally made it to the rest of the crowd, there was a carnival, a bar, and a dance floor where everyone was just celebrating. It made me miss my "own" country but still feel happy about being here.

capbreton (la plage)

July 13, 2011
beach umbrellas
juliette et capucine
goute (pain avec confiture)
i like the sun
light house
la plage
les enfants
everywhere i go
Less than a week after I arrived, I took a trip to Capbreton with the kids and their grandmother. After a six hour drive (thank you, Bordeaux traffic), we arrived in one of the cutest little beach towns I've ever been to.

Unlike my overcast (albeit beloved) Pacifica, the water here was actually warm enough to go into and enjoy. We played in the waves, ate jam sandwiches every day (for goute aka snacktime), and relished in the ultimate beach weather (warm with a perfect breeze). I've never really considered myself a "beach person"* but after my first day in the beautiful Atlantic and the perfectly soft sand I couldn't help but fall in love.

*Maybe I was just waiting for southern french beaches this whole time.