a visit from natalie!!

(i wrote this entry probably on the 22 or 23, this last week)
i don't know why, but today was a pretty rough one. perhaps it was the lack of sleep. i'm trying to make it better by sitting down with my dinner of comfort food: ratatouille, bread, a kir cardinal (creme de cassis + bordeaux), and a square of chocolat noir aux noisettes (dark chocolate with hazelnuts). oh, and there's a pretty sunset to cheer me up. today i actually had a moment where i missed corn dogs and mac 'n' cheese even though i eat those like once a year. no, i'm not in kansas anymore (i never was), but i still love this place!

as for the weekend, natalie came to visit! all the way from.... granada, spain. however, i missed her dearly until she got here. i spent the morning making a remarkably delicious ratatouilla, so on saturday afternoon when she arrived, we killed some time at parc de la tête d'or and then headed over to a friend's place for drinks and conversation. it was especially interesting because we had a french speaker, 2 spanish/english speakers, and a bunch of english/french speakers. there was only one girl who knew all three languages, so at times she was explaining stuff to everyone else.

on sunday we got up early to go to the market at croix-rousse (the hill to the north) to see if there were things like clothes and such. but.... sadly there really wasn't anything but soooo much delicious food! (and sizzling rotisserie that was all warm in the cold autumn air.) so from there, we went to hotel de ville and walked to vieux-lyon, perusing an artisan faire on the way. we grabbed lunch for a good 2 hours near st. jean. natalie was in heaven; it was so cute! we did a little shopping (and i got a little tiny purse that fits all my little essentials in it so i don't have to worry when going out to discothèques) and then, as we walked by st. jean again, we got to go inside. i heard some cello music and got really excited, but when i realized it was outside, i ran for the door. there was a guy sitting there playing his heart out on a beautiful instrument. i almost cried. so we sat and listened for probably half an hour before moving on. we walked back to downtown and tried to decide what to do, and that's when we ran into some people from our program. they were going to the tour of hôtel de ville (it's like city hall), which was only open for this weekend as part of "les journées de patrimoine" which is basically a weekend where all these historical and cultural sites throughout europe are open to the public. this is something that the USA should do, i think.

monday we went to the basilica at fourvière (again for me), but it was closed for a while, so we looked at the panorama of lyon and then made our way to the gallo-roman amphitheatre ruins. these things are 2000 years old! it was such a good feeling standing on the same ground that was inhabited by people who were developed enough to leave a mark. i also kind of got that feeling in my bones telling me this is home. i felt so at peace.

we then headed to the "musée des beaux-arts" which is a fine arts museum -- you know, sculpture and paintings and artifacts.

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