This week was the first week since coming back from our first excursion - Paris. Paris is like no other city in the world because of the fact that every street, every building, every monument has something to offer in terms of beauty and history.
The Pont d'Avignon.
Sophie painting the pont.
Abby and me, painting the famous bridge.
That being said, coming back to Aix from Paris makes us realize how lucky we are to call a place like Aix our home away from home. In Aix, we walk the streets like we have lived there our whole lives.
photo: Michelle Asch.
If some of the guys want to go to Doner Kebab after their literature class at Le Festival for lunch, they know at least three different ways to get there to enjoy a Kebab that cannot be found in the States.
If you ever feel lost in Aix, don’t fret, because all roads and side streets and alleys lead downhill, or to the massive fountain at the heart of the city that is a landmark for all of us - La Rotonde. We have explored the center of Aix extensively in the past month that we have been in France, but what is great is when Dave takes us to the outskirts of Aix or surrounding villages that we cannot get to on foot.
For example, on Tuesday Dave took us to the studio of Paul Cézanne in the suburbs of Aix. It is like stepping into a time machine when you walk into the studio because everything has been preserved as if Cézanne himself just finished painting before you walked in. The old, wooden floor that creaked with every step, the stairs leading up to the studio groaning under our combined weight, and Cézanne’s ladder in the corner of the room that reached all the way up to the ceiling so he could paint his huge canvases all made us realize that this place was legit. The people in charge of the studio today even went as far as to allow the trees and shrubbery around the building grow to give the allusion that the studio is in the country - like it was when Cézanne was painting there.
This week was especially special for me because my parents actually made the trip over to France to visit me.
They came with us on our Saturday trip to an artist friend of Jen and Dave’s.
Doris is her name and she paints the way we want to learn - beautiful southern France and outside.
View from Doris's studio, Miramas le Vieux.
Several people bought paintings there. My parents were not the only parents present this weekend either. Sam Fisher’s Mom and Grandmother made the trip over and we had lunch with them at a pizzeria in Aix and then we invited them over to dinner for a delicious meal of baked chicken. Then, Abby Lander’s Mom also came over on Saturday and brought the group many treats from back home like chips and shirts for the super bowl. It was great having all of the parents with the group because everyone is on their best behavior. Also, especially for me, there is a sense of pride in having my parents in France and showing them around our house and around the city of Aix. I felt so proud ordering their meals for them in my limited French today at a cafe in Cassis. But then, it all comes to an abrupt halt when they head back home and we have to stay here in France. It was strange in that before when I left to come to France, I was leaving them. But this time it was flip flopped - they were leaving me here in France while they returned home. It was sad to see them go but we all know that we are in great hands here and that we will be taken care of.
photo: MA. Unusal snow in our back yard.
The reality of it is that we will all be home in a month and will be able to see our parents again and be back in our comfort zones. So we need to make the most of this wonderful opportunity that we have here in France and study art and be immersed in a world and a culture that we may never return to again in our lives.