This is Canaan and I before consuming delicious homemade pasta, wine, and tiramisu with her (actual, real French!) friends.
So, after our first catered and only semi-authentic Thanksgiving feast with Canaan's study abroad students, she and her friend Caitlin decided to create their very own Thanksgiving celebration for their friends, roommates, and hangers-on. It was a lot of work, but they pulled it off. (I mostly just supervised. But moral support isn't just going to give itself, you know?)
The amount of food that was cooked and consumed in such a short period of time was quite frankly a miracle, considering that none of us had ever actually cooked a turkey before. But in the end, everything came off without a hitch, and eight French people, three Americans, one Greek and one Brazilian professed thanks and dug in. After several bottles and one box of wine, however, the evening quickly degenerated.
Here are Canaan and I pretending we want to eat a piece of bread that I know we couldn't have had any intention of actually eating. My skirt was unbuttoned and I could barely hold myself upright at that point, so why feigning interest in more carbs seemed like a good idea is beyond me.
Here Canaan is pretending she doesn't know me, as I attempt to combat the droopy-eye effect that so often plagues me in photos. Much better, non?
My long weekend also included a trip to see my dear, dear old host parents from my study abroad days. My host mother makes the best gratin dauphinois ever. It made up for the fact that when I walked through the door, she greeted me by saying, "We actually had two students named Rachel. Paul said he recognized your voice, but we weren't sure..."
"So, wait," I said. "You didn't even know who was going to show up tonight?"
"Well, we were eighty percent sure," she said.
Here I am looking droopy-eyed with my former host parents, Jeanne and Paul. If I can't be the only former American student Rachel, at least I can be the preferred former American student Rachel.
And finally, I leave you with a view from my seat on the train going home today.
'Tis beautiful, non? But look closer. 2nd class, no smoking, and...no bugle playing? What the hell? Apparently woodwinds, harps, and loudly ringing cell phones are all a-ok, but when traveling on the TGV, make sure to leave your French horn at home. You have been warned!