What a weekend!
Started out in Monaco on Friday afternoon, and I loved it. Would have loved it more if I had loads of money to spend in all the ritzy boutiques, but it was fun nonetheless. The casino, le Jardin Exotique, the panoramic views...it was all fantastic. But my favorite part? The Musee Oceanographique! If you're ever in Monaco, I highly recommend it. The bottom 2 floors are an aquarium (which I didn't know before going) and, although I've never been one to get overly excited about fish, this was awesome! I broke out my iPod and turned on "La mer," classic French song, and it was a bit surreal. And that's Monaco in a nutshell!
Saturday there were 3 noteworthy occurrences. #!-I slept in until 10:30! Might not seem like such a big deal, but I haven't been able to sleep since I got to France, so it was miraculous! Got my day off to a great start! #2-I went to the flower market that happens every morning in Nice. It's breathtaking!!! I love flowers in general and the variety at the market was unreal. Fantastic scents, gorgeous colors...truly beautiful. #3-There was a type of "fair" going on along the Promenade des Anglais called "L'Italia a la table." Inside a series of enormous tents they had displays of everything edible Italian. Cheeses, meats, pastas, treats...you name it, it was there. Once again, there were some amazing scents! And although I'll be sad to leave Nice the end of this week, I realized that Italy will definitely be bearable.
Sunday was the definitive day of the week! Randomly found out that one of the elders in the ward went to school with my sister Karlie. Also met a girl who had arrived in Nice to meet up with her friend and travel around Europe. She just happened to be from Orem, UT and goes to UVSC! Small world! She'd been in France studying (French) for 5 weeks and was just returning from Paris. So I totally ran around with two girls from Utah for an entire afternoon/evening! It honestly was a bit odd to speak English nonstop, and I found myself constantly wanting to respond in French. New sensation. But I was reminded of the beauty of companionship! While my solo traveling routine is convenient in many ways, it's also nice to have people to share in your experiences. So Melissa, Melissa and I roamed throughout Nice, revisited the chateau, waded in the Mediterranean and ate a fantastic French meal! Random acquaintances, but now friends! It was probably one of my best days in Nice. When I came home in the evening, I also found out that I have a new apartment-mate. He's from Madrid, Spain and speaks almost no French so I've been picking up Spanish and he's been putting his English to good use! And while it's not the best French practice, it's nice to have another person to talk too.
Last interesting development of my life came today. There are 2 new students in my class and it turns out that one is from Houston, Texas! It really is a small world. It seems to be the pattern of my life that as I start getting settled in a city, I immediately have to uproot. Apparently it's no different here. This will be my last week in Nice and then it's on to Italy. While Italy will be equally amazing, I can't help but feeling like I'm leaving home all over again. Such is life!