Apartments, Holidays and More

It’s been a crazy couple of days. In fact I would go so far as to say this week was crazy and a little stressful. There were apartment viewings, bus issues, a wine tasting, a Christmas market, school work and the Cyber Monday prep. I wish I could say that things will be calmer next week but I think I’m looking at a sprint to the finish.

I’ve got school projects galore! And on that note – check out the latest post on my second blog! In fact, my team was one of the four from the English cohort chosen to proceed to the next level on our large professional project – the wine challenge! I’m excited that our hard work paid off but it means another round of crazy preparations and hard work. And coming up on the 16th of December I’ve got two major presentations for the same class. And to top it all of next weekend I will be on a school trip to Cahors. So…not much work getting done then. Oh well..

Let’s see….what next…Thursday. Let’s chat about Thursday. It was a LONG day. And not a very successful one. I ran into problems with the public transportation in the city. First there was a problem on the tram. Which required a switch to the bus, then back to the tram, then a line change. And it ended with me missing the morning bus to work. But good news…there is another bust 30 minutes later. I would only be about 10-15 min late. Perfect. If only things went according to plan.

I froze waiting for the bus and was glad when it finally arrived. Only as we went along it became clear that there was something wrong – I wasn’t on the normal route. Apparently there was a bit – okay a lot of confusion as 10 other people were confused as well – and the number had not been changed on the bus display. We were on the “91” bus but the route was 92. So fast forward to 11:30. I am horribly late for work, my cell phone has died and after going about 20 kilometers of out the city I had to return and trek another 25 back out before I made it to work. Lord.

Then Thursday night I went to view a new apartment. It was a promising start. I really liked the studio and the owner. However, I was disappointed by the distance. It was a mile out (1.5 kilometers) from downtown and the closest tram station. While there is a bus – given Thursday morning’s adventures I think I am going to have to pass. I’m concerned that I will have further issues.

Thursday was also Thanksgiving. This year I did nothing to celebrate. Even the year I lived in London I went to a dinner. But not this year. I ate mystery meat for lunch at work. And my dinner consisted of a vanilla yogurt and some berries. And I have to confess – aside from not getting to enjoy the extra two days off – I didn’t miss it.

IMG_0333Saturday night I joined a few friends for an unofficial tasting after a very lovely dinner at the local Basque restaurant. Mmm..lamb…mmmm. As you can see from the photo it was a really good night. IMG_0335Christmas has also finally arrived in Bordeaux. Thanksgiving is over in the United States and the official Christmas season has begun there as well. Funny how that works. While not great – note to self go back with the DSLR – the photo above is the Grand Hotel decorated in lights for the season. I haven’t yet had a change to grab a picture but the tree lots have arrived as well. I had a good laugh yesterday when I walked by the local miniature Statue of Liberty to see her surrounded by Christmas trees.

But the Christmas season in France isn’t just about lights and trees… there is also the Christmas market. Roasted Chestnuts. Mulled Wine. Fun gifts. SIlly Santa hats. It’s a little bit of the holidays all rolled into one. (For my San Jose peeps – think Christmas in the Park with more booze and more shopping!) This evening we made our first foray into the market and sipped the mulled wine (necessary to stay warm), shopped and enjoyed.

But as the Christmas season is already here that means that I will also be coming back to California for a visit soon. 18 days to be precise. It’s amazing how much time has gone by. It feels like a short time ago that I was arriving in Bordeaux and trying to find my way around. Now I have the occasional aha moment have learned a few short cuts. Never-the-less I am looking forward to my trip home and more importantly…to being warm for a while!

Also on a side note – thank god for apple and it’s tendency to be user friendly. In the process of finishing this post my computer froze. I had to power down and restart and without having saved my writing! Yay for auto restore!

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