Thursday, September 6, 2012

What Time Is It Anyway???

Amsterdam Airport

We left from Indianapolis on Tuesday, September 4 at 5:00 pm which is 2:00 pm California time.   After a hot meal on the plane (really)we slept for a few hours. They passed out hand wipes at about 1:30 am (I think that was Indiana time) and we had breakfast at about 2:00 am (which I think would be 5 pm the day before California time) with the sun shining into the plane windows.  We then arrived in Amsterdam at 8:00 am (European time) for a 3 hour layover then flew the 2 hours to Toulouse and arrived in Toulouse at 1:20 pm (Toulouse time) on Wednesday, September 5. Does this make sense to anybody??  It was almost as confusing to write as it was to live through.  I'm not sure I have all those times right but you get the picture--I hope. Nancy was at the airport to welcome us.  The mild 80ish temperature was also quite welcoming.

Toulouse is about as big as Fresno which surprised me.  From the pics my sister sent me it looked like a tiny out-of-the-way village.  That's because her apartment faces an enclosed courtyard that blocks out all the traffic and it feels like an old world French village.  Way cool!  Here's mes soeurs on the terrace of Nancy's home. I was going to take pics of the outside but just as I got there my camera died.  More pics for later!  We have had some really great meals at her house and, of course, some yummy desserts.  Why do the French eat so well but still look so svelte? I'm trying not to eat too much. We are doing a LOT of walking to make up for all these good meals we're eating.

Today (Thursday) we took a little train around the city of Toulouse.  It was very "touritsy" but also very informative.  They handed out English translations of the narrative but I didn't want to have my head down reading so I just listened to the French, not recognizing many words.  There are many historic buildings.  The one to the left of the tram is the local government offices (also see below) with an Opera building and hotel behind the tram.  The blank area is a city center where festivals and markets take place.

Government Building

Toulouse is big but has a lot of small pockets that look very villagey with lots of shops, bakeries, delis, bookstores, art galleries, restaurants and coffee shops with the requisite sidewalk cafe flavor. 

 Em's Next Place of Employment?
 Here's a picture of a local Pharmacie.  That's not me in front, but I had to take this one as a shout out to my daughter.  "Hey Emilie--maybe you could get a job in one of these!"

Do we look like we're happy to be together?  We are!
After the tour we went to "The Florida" for some cafe creme which was one of the reasons I wanted to go back to France.  Another was for the baguettes.  The sandwich with frommage, jambon, buerre and baguette (ham and cheese with butter on a baguette) is definitely my very favorite.  I've already had one plus baguettes with every supper at Nancy's.  I really do have to do a lot more walking!
This picture of Nancy and me sums up the day pretty well.   This is "The Florida".  We sat and watched people and vehicles go by as we sipped out hot, wonderful coffee--which was served my favorite way: in white ceramic cups with saucers.  I felt very French.  What a great day!

Tomorrow and Saturday we will be with our cousins from Canada who are traveling in France as well.  They wanted to visit Nancy and will get three sisters for the price of one. We are looking forward to that!

I have to quit because I'm making mistakes.  It could be that it's because it's not 12:30 am (Toulouse time) which would be 3:30 pm yesterday in California or 6:30 pm yesterday in Indiana or 11:30 yesterday in Edinburgh, Scotland or 2:30 am in Moscow or maybe 12:30 pm next Tuesday in

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