"Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed."

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Visiting My Roots

In a souvenir shop

 We went on a short trip to see our friend (well, he's really family), Samer, for a few days.  He told us to meet him in Paris this time, so that's what we did.  The flight was supposed to leave Raleigh and connect in Atlanta, but a maintenance issue prompted me to call the Delta helpline and we got an earlier flight to Paris through Detroit. Nice. I'd never been to Michigan so it was good visiting another state even if it was just the airport.  The flight over took 6.5 hours. I guess we had a good tailwind because even the airline ladies seemed surprised that it was so short.  It wasn't the most comfortable trip for me, however. I desperately wanted to sleep because I knew once we got there at 7 AM local time (1 AM back home), we'd be out and about all day without resting.  Alas, the more I tried to sleep, the less I did.  I resigned myself to just being tired, and I was for the first bit.  I felt like I could crawl up beside Napoleon's grave and just sleep for hours.    Thankfully, once we got outside in the cool (but not cold) air and sunshine, I felt more alert and happy and started feeling more peppy. I was able to make it until around 10 or 11 that night and fell asleep pretty readily!

This photo is from the first day. See how upbeat I look despite not sleeping for hours?

 We had a great visit with Samer. To be honest, Andrew and I aren't big-city type people, and I probably would never choose to go to Paris because it's not a place I've ever dreamed of going.  I am content hiking in the mountains or walking along the beach. That said, I really do enjoy most everywhere I've ever been.  I try to see the good in each place, and enjoy what is there. And Paris had some great sights!  Samer had been there before so he acted as our guide.  Of course.

It was raining a bit when we got to Versailles Palace.
November 5, 2013

 One thing Andrew really wanted to do was go up to the top of the Eiffel Tower. Samer had not gone all the way to the top. I think it might have been closed last time he was there.  Since Andrew wanted to, we went back to the tower one night. Actually it was the night of our visit to Versailles, and the weather had cleared so the view was great!  We saw for miles and miles. Samer took some great photos (a few of which I shared on Facebook), but here is one of just the three of us that someone offered to take for us.

It was cool up there - especially the two sides where the wind was whipping!

We did other stuff in Paris, but I won't bother with that now.  (Oh, we found the American Hospital where my mom was born.) I knew Paris for 6 days would be (or could be) museum overload for at least one person in our group, so I told Samer we should probably look for another destination.  He chose Belgium. He had never been to this country so it was the first one we'd all visit for the first time together. And it was lovely!  We landed in Brussels, but took a couple day trips to Bruges and Ghent. 

The rain in Brussels added a pretty sheen to the streets.

Bruges had several quiet streets that we enjoyed.

We got home Sunday night (Brussels to Atlanta to RDU - 9.5 hours, but a much more pleasant flight), and I've been trying to get my body back on North Carolina time ever since. It's 9 PM and I am ready for sleep now. I got up around 5:15 so I am tired.


Niki said...

Beautiful. I'd love to go to Europe someday, but that probably won't happen.

I have ancestors from Ghent. :-)

sanil said...

Hey, you were in my state! :D I used to live near Detroit, but I haven't actually been there in years. Weirdly enough, I think the last time I was there was to pick up my sister at the airport!

Your mom was born in Paris? That's really cool, and even greater that you got to see the hospital. Both my parents were born in Michigan...not far from each other, really. So I have seen where they grew up, which was kind of cool. (In fact, my grandmothers both still lived in the same houses when I was born, so I frequently visited the houses where my parents lived as kids!)

Thanks for sharing your pictures and stories! Looks like a great trip.

jaraad said...

You have French roots? I didn't know that and you will be the first American I know who has French roots. I guess in the South it is more common right? In Missouri almost everyone is either German or Irish. But I think I met more of German's roots.

Lovely pictures. I want to visit Europe. I really, really want to visit Europe :)

Susanne said...

Niki, Ghent was really nice! I hope one day you can visit Europe. I want to see your photos and read your stories. :)

Sanil, yes, I was in your state unexpectedly! I wish I could have visited you! :) I enjoyed reading what you said about your own family. I've visited where my dad was born (he was born at home), but never my mom's place of birth until last month. I'm thankful for the opportunity.

Jaraad, well, lots of Scots-Irish, English folks here, too. Quite a mixture, I guess. I think of French roots in parts of Louisiana and Maine although they are, for sure, spread elsewhere including the Carolinas. :) My maiden name is Fuqua which we think was changed from Fouquet, and my mom's maiden name is Truax from du Trieux. You know how names changed spelling and pronunciation once Anglicized. :)

I also have Scots-Irish, English, Dutch...probably more. I'm quite mixed, but the French last names were passed along. :)

Yes, i hope you can visit Europe,too. I want to see your photos and read your thoughts, too.

Thank you all for your comments!