Yesterday was my first (and probably last) day by myself. All of the kids were at school from 8:00 am (left at 7:30) until 4:30 or 5:00 - Andy didn't even come home for lunch. I was pretty excited to plan my very own day! I woke up with everyone, said good-bye to them, enjoyed my coffee and greek yogurt while watching CNN and Fox News and working on the puzzle (1500 pieces - castle). Cleaned up the kitchen, straightened bedrooms, made a list of errands to run in preparation for our big weekend away for Nathan's birthday and got into the shower.
After a shower these days, while getting dressed, doing hair and makeup stuff and cleaning up the bathroom, I've been enjoying a Columbus, Ohio radio station that streams live on the computer - so I had Sunny 95 on and listened to some tunes and the not so local news.
At about 10:30/11:00 I grabbed my new fancy coat, my very chic beret and my purse (making sure I had everything - euros, passport, list of errands, bank info. etc...) opened the door and stepped out ---- into OUR FIRST MAJOR RAIN! Had I opened the shutters to see what the weather was doing ?? NO! We have had nice weather, although sometimes cloudy, every day! Today was the day for rain, and rain it did. So - I sat back down with my puzzle for awhile, decided to cut veggies up and make some soup while watching Eclipse on the computer - a very relaxing, although, not as productive as I had hoped, day.
Today - It's GORGEOUS! Nathan is home doing homework so I did everything mentioned in the first couple of paragraphs above, over again, and headed out. My first stop - La Banc! I was able to withdrawl some euros (not enough for the weekend, but some). From there, the plan was to walk to the Tram line and purchase 3 10 ride tickets for Andy and me. There is a credit card slot so i saw no problem with purchasing these tix since I had an "English" language option. The tram was 5 min out - plenty of time! I pushed all of the buttons, inserted my CC - saw an odd message in French come up - couldn't read it so withdrew my CC since another girl was waiting to purchase a ticket. At that exact moment an old begger came along (there are many many people-young, old, kids, women, men... who beg for money here - Pride??? I don't think so!) He began talking to me to which I replied "je ne parle pas Francais" so, of course, he continued talking to me in FRENCH and then began gesturing that I should put my money in the slots. He pushed all of the buttons for me (to purchase one ride) I dug in my purse for coins, he pointed and gestured for me to put the $$ in, which I did, and which promptly came back out of the machine - so, he took the coins, rubbed them on the metal part of the machine and put them back in - they, of course, fell out of the bottom of the machine again! So - He gestured for me to follow him to another maching about 25 ft. away which I did - he pushed the buttons, I put the money in and WALLAH!!! Out came my ticket! I gave him the rest of the change in my hand (because that's all of the money I had in change) and said Merci! and walked over to a bench.
The rest of my morning was less embarassing and nice. There are no Hallmark stores, Card outlets etc...so I was on the hunt for a birthday card for Nathan who turns 16 in two days - I found a few in the electronics store in the mall (of course!), picked one (post card style for 1.85) and headed out of the mall toward the tram. I decided to get off of the tram at the stop before ours where it isn't so busy and try to purchase the 3 10 ride tix again. At Station Boutenet, I hopped off of the tram, pushed the buttons, inserted my credit card and actually got the tix! In celebration, I went to Maison du Pain (not house of pain but House of Bread!). I ordered a coffee and a croissant, sat at a little table in the sun and pretended to read a french newspaper - I think I was pretty convincing too! THAT is what I've been soooo looking forward to. A little cup of coffee (and I mean little - like a shot glass! but very strong!- when you order a "coffee" here, you get espresso, if you want a bigger coffee with creme - you order a Grand Creme and if you prefer coffee like we have in America, with more water? - Cafe Americana), croissant, sunshine and something to read. Next time, I'll take my book and stay a little longer. I loved that 15 minutes of relaxing!
I headed over to the Shoppi, bought toothpaste and apples for our weekend and headed home where Nathan was waiting - still in his P.J.s, still at his computer, still doing homework. We are excited for his birthday weekend which I will write about after it happens! :)