Wednesday, June 30, 2010


Dustin just called- we got our number 1 choice! We will get to watch the Eiffel Tower sparkle every night! I AM SO EXCITED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Apartment Search!

Paris smells in the summer. Well, maybe I should rephrase – Parisians smell in the summer. At times it is hard to breathe because it reeks so badly. I don’t get it – deodorant is easy to find. I saw it myself on the shelves of several stores. Perhaps the problem is the advertisement posted all over the city for 48 hour deodorant. Maybe I need to take it upon myself to let people know that it is best to apply deodorant DAILY. Or maybe I’ll just have to get used to breathing through my mouth. :)

OK, now that is off my chest, I will start at the beginning of my 2nd trip to Paris…
Dustin was already in Paris for work, so I left from Detroit on my own. After a storm delay that resulted in having to rebook my flight, I ended up on a nonstop flight in business class! I must say, I could get used to that kind of treatment. I have never flown business class on an International flight. The Frenchman next to me laughed as I discovered that the chairs reclined like lazy boys, a remote was hidden in the armrest, and a pair of socks was in a little compartment in case my feet were cold. I felt very fancy!

Once in Paris, Dustin and I went with our relocation specialist – Ralda – to look at apartments. We looked at 8 apartments over the course of the day. I was getting a bit frustrated as we looked – nothing seemed to be the right thing for us. In fact, some places were absolutely the WRONG place for us. There was one apartment that was located just off a street by Moulin Rouge…you could walk out of the apartment and within a matter of seconds be within reach of a dozen scandalous shops (if you know what I mean J). This was not the Paris I had envisioned living in. Where were the cute cafés? The markets? The romance?

I was getting more and more frustrated as we continued to look at apartments. At one of the apartments, I got in an elevator with the owner (who did not speak English). He asked me – in French – if I spoke English. I proceeded to answer – IN SPANISH (WHAT?!?!?!)- that I, in fact, did speak English. When I realized my mistake, I did a Homer Simpson “DOH” against my forehead, and answered him again in English. Boy, was that guy confused!

After the 6th apartment, we still hadn’t seen anything that we could picture ourselves in for the next few years. At that point, Ralda told us that the last two apartments we were going to see were in the 7th Arrondissement. The 7th is in the middle of the city on the Seine and is one of the most beautiful (and famous) parts of the city. Both of those apartments were doable – and in an awesome location. Both are within walking distance of Rue de Cler – one of the most famous market streets in Paris. They are also within walking distance of the American Church of Paris. Here’s the kicker – the last apartment we looked at is small, but it has a balcony with a straight on view of the Eiffel Tower. I wish I had a good picture of the view. In the picture below, if you look carefully, you can see the bottom of the Eiffel Tower outside of the glass doors.

Needless to say, the apartment with the awesome view is our first choice. At this point, we don’t know if we are going to get it. Apparently, our agent has to send our file to the owner of the apartment. The owner gets to decide if he likes us. The jury is still out…

On Saturday and Sunday, Dustin and I got to explore the city as tourists. We walked up to Sacre Coeur (if you do this, I suggest lots of water and comfy shoes. There are a gazillion steps) and took in the sites of the city. It was pretty incredible.

We also practiced the commute to Dustin's new office. He will have to walk to the metro station, switch from a metro to an RER train, take a bus, and then walk to the office. WHEW!

Saturday evening, we watched the pregame happenings for the US/Ghana World Cup match on a big screen set up in Trocadero by the Eiffel Tower. It was amazing to watch it in that setting. People from all over the world were gathered together. We watched the actual game in a small café by our hotel.

On Sunday, we visited the American Church of Paris for their contemporary service. The church is absolutely gorgeous and is the oldest American Church outside of the US. I nearly cried during the service because it felt so much like home. Looking around, I could already tell that some of these people (who speak English!!) would be my friends. Relief flooded through me as I realized that we had found a church home.

Now it is back to the US for a few weeks before embarking on this adventure that God has placed before us. I’m not sure how I am going to be used in Paris once we arrive, but I am definitely looking forward to finding out.


P.S. I was able to buy water and chocolate at the same time! SUCCESS!