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Un week-end vraiment fantastique!

I have been looking forward to this past weekend for a whole year! And "enfin", it came and went....and it was absolutely perfect!

My friend from France, and her family came to the US on "holiday" and spent the weekend in San Diego. After about 2 years of writing back and forth, we were finally able to meet! I was so excited beforehand...and so nervous. Would they be the typical Parisian stereo-types? Would we come off as typical Americans...loud and un-refined? Would we not be able to understand eachother at all? Would they be impressed at all by San Diego? Etc etc. But we had a great time together. I got to practice my French (and realized exactly how much I need to improve!), and we learned so much (even in just 3 short days) about France and the people there and how different but very similar we all are.

To start with, I put a gift-basket together which we took down to their hotel the day before they arrived, so it would be waiting when they checked in:

Just some simple stuff...some snacks, a magazine for Sylvain, a bottle of wine, a book about San Diego, and of course a hydrangea to brighten the whole thing up. :O)

The book was really neat, and I thought it would be nice for them to be able to look back on it and recall some of the places we showed them during our time together. I wrote a little note on the inside cover:

Saturday we picked them up and took them around town. We started South at...

Then we headed north to Point Loma & saw Rosecrans Nat'l Cemetary, and the lighthouse:

It was about that time that Mallory took a strong liking to Sylvain, as you can see:

From there we went North still to the city that makes me especially proud to say I live in San Diego!...

We saw this sweet guy (who was quite active and fun to watch):

And even this many times do you see one of these walking the streets in La Jolla, or anywhere for that matter??:

The kids checking him out:

That night for dinner we went to Alcapulco Restuarant, which was convenient since they were staying at the hotel connected to it in Old Town. Francoise had gifts for us all!:

And a bottle of Lancome's Tresor, straight from Paris, for me! It was so very nice and thoughtful. I will treasure it forever!

M&M, making themselves right at home:

Sunday afternoon we picked them up again and showed them around the parts of San Diego that aren't as picturesque as La Jolla but that we call "home"....Lemon Grove.

We also spent some time at our house, where the girls showed off their various stuffed animals and scrapbooks. I showed Francoise my hydrangeas (which of course she had heard much about from me...she has several "hortencias" also. We were meant to be friends!). Then we met some family & friends at the most popular eatery in town:

We had pizza & salads & antipasto & wine. We all couldn't even tell that there was a language gap. It was as if we'd been friends for many years. So much fun!
(Not pictured is the Stidum Family who also ate with us but left before we took this picture. It was so nice of them to come and I was so glad they did.)

From there we went back to Nana's for some ice-cream and conversation. Once again, maybe I'm just simple-minded and naive, but it really amazed me how not only did we understand eachother, but we chatted just like old friends. We asked questions and learned all about the differences between life in France and life in the US, and also of the many similarities. I just loved it.

Monday night we again went out to eat, at the Chicken Pie Shop in Hillcrest. I figured we'd had mexican, we'd had italian, might as well go for the all-american meal (without it including a burger and fries). It was another lovely evening.

We did a little more sight-seeing, and then dropped them back off at the hotel, and they left for France on Tuesday. I miss them very much, it was such a great weekend and I am so glad that Francoise and I found eachother when we searched google for a penpal 2 years ago!


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