In looking back over some favorite memories of the past year, I can't help but start with February, right before I left, because my best friends threw an amazing going away party for me. Saying goodbye to home and friends in Dallas marked the beginning of the move to Paris.
February - The Going Away Party
Even an Eiffel Tower!
The most epic clean-up session I've ever been a part of. If you haven't tried dance-cleaning, you must.
Perhaps one of my all time favorite pictures. Mid-dance, gangsta rap, making it rain with lettuce.
March - The first month.
The month of all things new. The first two weeks were hard, stressful, different, and there were a lot of unknowns. I remember walking home from work past the Eiffel Tower crying, and thinking, this isn't how it's supposed to be. But once I got my apartment, I started settling in and got to lean into all the reasons I love this country - pastries, strolls, cobblestone streets, lingering in cafes for hours doing nothing in particular, picnics under the Eiffel Tower. Quaint, gorgeous, classy, beautiful, delicious Paris. I ate a 9-foot baguette every day and never looked back.
Dropping me off at the airport. Love these girls so much.
One of many pictures from apartment hunting...that endless search that was usually a combination of small, expensive, gross, an 8th floor walk-up, and an owner who didn't want to rent to a foreigner. I don't look back fondly on those times.
And then...the pastries. The baguettes. The Nutella. Wandering out my front door on Saturday morning, taking 5 steps across the street to my favorite bakery stand spilling over with freshly baked everything. Great times were these.
My first crack at deciphering the washing machine and its lights, symbols, and knobs. Wha??
First picnic with the Fat Tire Crew. New faces, new coworkers, eventually new friends, and, delightfully, the beginning of picnic season.
April - Settling in
The epitome of discovering that this is not a desk job. Wet swiffer wipe dropped on my shoe while cleaning the bathroom, covered in dirt and tire tracks, about to start vacuuming mounds of dirt, probably sweating. I specifically remember every time I cleaned the toilets, thinking "I'm almost 30, and I'm cleaning toilets." and just repeating "You live in Paris, you live in Paris, you live in Paris."
My adorable Rue Cler apartment. You drained my savings...but you were worth it.
Filming with House Hunters.
My guilty pleasure...overpriced Chinese take-out from New Asia, just outside my door.
The gorgeous view out my kitchen window. It's what sold me on the apartment.
Plenty of relaxing solo picnics in the Champs de Mars, watching the sun set behind the Eiffel Tower.
A first of many delicious meals to come with Maygan and Kyle. One of our all time favorites at O Chateau, before the amazing top chef contestant left. And the beginning of our obsession with French R's and the word derriere.
May - Normal life develops, plus my first vacation!
A great story.
Raise the roof for Wednesday Friendsday!!
Epic cloud night - spent the whole evening wandering Paris. What a beautiful night.
Pastry class!! Learning to make pain au chocolat and croissants.
One of the last people in human history to finally get my first iPhone. Waited until Paris.
Two Julie's in Italy!
Florence is meant for model shoots.
A ridiculous, hilarious meal with two Italians born in Florence. Ending with Julie being force-fed baby-style with airplane noises.
And finally, a ten second clip overlooking Florence, beautiful!