Adventures & Vacation in France: Part 1

A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to go and visit a friend from France. We had met when she was studying at Penn State in 2011 and had kept in touch since then. I promised that I would visit her someday and that someday finally ended up being now.

My friend, Anne-Lise and I at St. Chappelle in Paris
I am so grateful for her hospitality and the opportunity to see a little glimpse into her life there. We had a wonderful time and lots of laughs. 

With the way things worked out with flights and timing I even got to visit Geneva, Switzerland where we had a picnic lunch along the lake there before traveling into France.

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At the lake in Geneva for our picnic lunch. The mountains here in this photo are at the beginning part of the Alps mountains.
Our adventures took us through Geneva, Annecy, Lyon and Paris – all lovely, historic places where I got to see famous landmarks, take in amazing views, and try new foods.
 The best way for your to experience this adventure is through some of the photos and stories from my little getaway trip. Since I took so many photos and don’t want to make this post too long, I’ll share photos and stories over the next couple of days… enjoy!
After our little visit in Geneva I enjoyed the drive through the country roads of France. Lots of poppies everywhere and old French cars.
After our little visit in Geneva I enjoyed the drive through the country roads of France. Lots of poppies everywhere and old French cars.
We made a visit to beautiful, Annecy on our way to Lyon where she lives. I really liked it here and would go love to go back here and visit longer.
Some of the beautiful views in the heart of historic Annecy.
Some of the beautiful views in the heart of historic Annecy.
Ann-Lise and I in Annecy, France.
Ann-Lise and I in Annecy, France.
 I got a chance to explore other parts near Lyon with Ann-Lise, meet some of her friends, and go on a grand adventure!
In Lyon there is a place you can go to play board games and card games with friends. With so many games to choose from, I am glad I got in a game of Dominion (in French even) and of course the oh, so popular Jungle Speed game that Ann-Lise introduced us to in State College, PA.
In Lyon there is a place you can go to play board games and card games with friends. With so many games to choose from, I am glad I got in a game of Dominion (in French even) and of course the oh, so popular Jungle Speed game that Ann-Lise introduced us to in State College, PA.
One of the many beautiful views of Lyon from the big church on the hill, Fourvière Hill.
One of the many beautiful views of Lyon from the big church on the hill, Fourvière Hill.
The church sits atop Fourvière Hill, overlooking Lyon, France on a beautiful summer day with bright blue skies.
The church sits atop Fourvière Hill, overlooking Lyon, France on a beautiful summer day with bright blue skies.
Fontaine Bartholdi sits in the center of town behind town hall.
Fontaine Bartholdi sits in the center of town behind town hall in Lyon.
I loved the cobblestone, historic streets of Lyon.
I loved the cobblestone, historic streets of Lyon.

What would a vacation be without facing a fear? A few days before leaving for France, Ann-Lise asked how I felt about going kayaking. I responded “Sure! Sounds like fun!” And didn’t think anything of it… until we got there and I realized: 1) this kayaking adventure included lessons; 2) I don’t speak French; 3) It was on a big lake that was a little choppy; and 4) bodies of water still intimidate me… I tried to hide my nervousness and desire to run away from the situation but I stuck it out and challenged myself to at least give it a try. Why not?!

Trying to follow instructions in French on how to prepare the kayak was a bit confusing... and I kept responding in Romanian. I was definitely the challenging student of the day for our guide.
Trying to follow instructions in French on how to prepare the kayak was a bit confusing… and I kept responding in Romanian. I was definitely the challenging student of the day for our guide.
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This kayaking adventure brought a lot of laughs for both my friend and I. It was a humbling experience for me as I tried to understand what I was being told to do (and translated by my wonderful, patient friend) and as hard as I tried, for some reason my kayak had a difficult time going where I wanted it to go and would often find myself going in the opposite direction, speeding ahead, lagging behind, or stuck in a current. At least we were all still smiling and laughing by the end of it all!

Coming up next… Adventures & Vacation in Paris: Part 2

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