jeudi 19 juin 2008


So, the Holiday Inn in Bordeaux is pretty sweet. Free wi-fi.

Anyway, felt like a freaking businesswoman traveling round trip from Bordeaux to Paris Charles de Gaulle to get my stupid, freaking passport. Blurg. Dad called me a "jet-setter". He also said, "You fucked up. HAHAHAHAH!!!" yesterday. It sounds like an upsetting thing to hear, but when it comes from him I'm more prone to laugh than to feel guilty. The guilt comes later.

Took Air France for the first time which was really cool--never took it before. Pretty nice. Felt really sick though (nerves and stress, I guess) and threw up but was very low key about it. Yeah, me, a self-proclaimed world traveler threw up on an hour flight from Bordeaux to Paris. That's like SF to LAX which I did at least three times a year my freshman and sophomore year of school. Weird. I think it was more stress sick though.

Had a really, really good dinner just now with the parentals and we finished a bottle of wine. Lovely. I like seeing them enjoy this, like enjoying their retirement. They ordered dessert too. Seeing my parents laughing and telling stories and enjoying themselves makes me so freaking happy. They like talking about the Lakers, it's hilarious. Too bad they didn't make it. Dad taped all the games on DVR while they're away.

Got to drive our Citroen C4 Picasso for 2 hours yesterday which was pretty cool. Sped throughout the countryside. Beautiful. I've got my driving sense back. Funny thing though. I took over at a gas station, and I couldn't find the exit onto the highway and a truck driver on his break was making big gestures and pointed me to it and then I waved to him. It was cool. I love non-verbal communication.

Tomorrow, onto Madrid. Adios!

mercredi 18 juin 2008


NOTE! CAUTION!: I will curse repeatedly throughout this effing post starting right, effing, NOW:

No...I won't curse. But I just did the most effing amazing thing in my life, in front of my parents...I FORGOT MY PASSPORT IN PARIS. Yup. Yeah. Daughter of the year.

And I just remembered it in effing Bordeaux. So close to the Spanish border. I'm flying back to get it tomorrow and then flying back to Bordeaux same day while Mother and Father sip Bordeaux and the famed cognac from the region over and discuss how wonderful their daughter is. They would rather I fly back than risk not being able to cross the border into Spain.

Thank GOD they got a really good laugh at it. They weren't majorly upset, or at least they didn't show signs of it. They were disappointed, yeah, for sure, but Dad laughed his ass off and will probably bring this up for years to come.

mardi 17 juin 2008

lunch at d'orsay and another adventure

Today, took my parents to my favorite Musée D'Orsay. First they came to my place to use the interwebs and read up on the Lakers. Both Mom and Dad are die-hard Lakers fans. "I've got all the games programmed to record on DVR while we're gone," Dad said.

When we got there, we started at the top, at Impressionism. It was crowded, but still nice to see these paintings before I leave. Dad talked about Burt Lancaster in The Train and how his character is supposed to stop a train from transporting French art into Nazi Germany. I love how stuff reminds Dad of movies. I've never seen this film, but I'm making a list of films to watch with Dad when I get home. Yummy, long French lunch there too. My first time. Mom and Dad did a tour last night and their tour guide said that the restaurant on the second floor was good and not too crowded. The ambience was amazing, like dining inside a palace. The service was excellent as well. Showed off my French skills once again for my parents as I ordered for them, and the waiter didn't change into English, and he said, "Très bien, Mademoiselle." And that made me feel very, very good, and it made me look very, very good in front of my parents. The first time I ordered sandwiches for them on the street at Notre Dame, Dad said very loudly and proudly, "THAT'S MY GIRL!" And then I shushed him and smiled. Mom was impressed with the food, but Dad was nonchalant. Dad is simple though: a $2.50 burrito at a hole in the wall that only has 3 tables in LA appeals more to my Dad's palette than filet de poisson et ratatouille. Yay I finally had ratatouille! He said it "wasn't bad" and then qualified it by saying, "You know, the English never say something is 'very good'. They say it's 'not bad'." Okay, Dad.I don't know when it started, probably when I left for college, but Mom and I can have these grown-up conversations and it feel likes an out of body experience of sorts for me because in a lot of ways I feel like a kid, very young at heart, but in these convos, I feel so grown up. During dessert (profiteroles à la D'Orsay!) Mom complained about a few things going on at home while Dad enjoyed his coffee and would butt in occasionally to say something smart-alecky.Mom then told me a very good story (both of my parents are very good storytellers) about something that happened while they were in line to get into the museum, and I was already inside getting their tickets (with my museum carte I can skip the lines). Anyway, Mom told me that a lady who had gotten ice cream was ducking underneath the line dividers to get to her group who was ahead of them. As she got up, both flavors of her ice cream smeared onto another lady's jacket ("Vanilla and a sorbet", Mom said) and then, "SHE DIDN'T SAY ANYTHING!!" Mom laughed. "I almost tapped her," Mom said, referring to smeared jacket lady. "Can you imagine? That lady taking off her jacket and seeing the stain? 'What is this?'!" And then Mom does this thing where she makes a funny face; smiles and laughs; and then claps once right in front of her. A lot of her funny stories end like that. Oh Mom. I can't stop smiling as I write this.

After lunch, more art. I mostly people watched. Lots of Americans. I've never really noticed how big and lazy we are. Seriously. I'm no model, but at least I don't complain walking up three flights of stairs. I guess I'm used to it, but even back in SF, I'd walk 5 flights up the Humanities building to get to class. I watched a group of young girls today staring at the flight of stairs to get to the second floor, and they looked around and said, "Where's the elevator?" The elevator was behind me, but I didn't say anything. Their teacher had to make them walk it. And these were healthy looking girls. I was really perturbed.

Bought myself a museum guide book to take home and then we headed back to my place. I started to pack a little for Spain and home while my parents rested. Lucia gave me her sleeping bag to take back since she didn't have space and I said I could take it back. Only it was way bigger than I imagined. I unrolled it, thinking I can make it smaller, but with no success. Even Mom said, "Don't do it, Elaine. You won't make it better." She was right; it was laughably bigger.

Dad woke from his nap and noticed it and was like, "AAAHH!! WHAT DID YOU DO?!" And he was laughing so hard how I made the sleeping bag bigger than it originally was. He then set out to fix it. We have it so good--Dad can fix almost anything. Our cars, the air conditioner...hell, he is currently installing the wood floors at our house by himself ("I finished your room," he said a couple days ago). So he fixed it.I've packed 2 bags, ready for the Americas, and one backpack for Spain, and my studio still looks the same. It's going to be hectic for the next couple of weeks, I'll definitely update when I get the chance.

lundi 16 juin 2008

reflection time

Mom and Dad went to the Louvre leaving me to do what I gotta do. Packed up one suitcase that they brought with them and will check-in for me. It was weird, my entire school year--all the papers I received, my notebooks, my tests--they all fit in there along with some other books, souvenirs, and winter stuffs. Started packing for Spain too.

Packing, leaving, turning 22 in a week...this is all too much, it kind of all makes me want to throw up. Is this normal?

Walked around the neighborhood to clear my head/get money at the ATM. Mostly everything was closed, boarded up. It's Monday. The cute patisserie that my landlord took me to when I moved in is now a smoothie place. The flower store with the old guy and round glasses retired, there's a pizza place there now. And the grec sandwich place where they had student discount is now a Subway. So much has changed in a year, but a lot of it is the same. I think I'm kind of the same way.

A big shout out to Elaine from Elaine Travels. Elaine contacted me and we have a lot in common other than our prenoms. Check out her blog, it features a lot of cool restaurants that I can't wait to try out when I'm back in LA.

dimanche 15 juin 2008

my last Sunday

Mom and Dad experienced a Mouffetard Sunday today, and they thoroughly enjoyed it. We went to Mass together at the church across the street. Did some translation for Mom and told her what to say when giving peace. One of the priests came down and gave me peace. And we were sitting in the last row! That has never happened before, even in the States. It felt really fitting and special to be there for Mass, my last French mass probably. I was zoning in and out during homily, comme d'hab (as usual), but the priest kept repeating "nation des saints" (nation of saints), and that got to me. My religion teacher once told us girls (I went to a Catholic all-girl's school) that we all can become saints, and I thought saint Elaine had a nice ring to it.

I thanked God for such an amazing year and for all my blessings and for what I've been able to experience. And tears came while in prayer as I thought, how am I going to re-pay this? How am I going to give this all back?

Mom and Dad ate at my place, and we listened and watched from my window my landlord singing and the couples dancing. Dad says I live in some fairy tale, haha. Afterwards, we headed to the Arc de Triomphe and then the Eiffel Tower. Mom went up by herself because Dad didn't want to and she said I could stay with Dad since I've already been up it twice. Dad and I people watched, he told me about the automatic weapons the soldiers were carrying and pointed out the ranking officer for me. He criticized some girl because she threw away the skin of the banana and ate it like that instead of holding the stem with it: "She's eating that banana wrong." And then he kept telling me about the film The Day of the Jackal which I haven't seen and takes place in Paris. That is so Dad.

We got Chinese food and then they headed home since they were tired. Tomorrow, they hit the Louvre, and I'm staying home to get stuffs done like laundry and packing for Spain.