St. Emilion

Pictures from St. Emilion, the most picturesque town I have ever been to in my entire life.  Seriously, if you ever get a chance to come here, do it.  Vineyard filled hills, amazing old architecture, fantastic outdoor cafes with fancy ice cream drinks, macaroons rumored to be the best in the world, and an 18th century chateau with a fantastic bath tub, a washing machine (Amen!), a swimming pool, and a breath taking view that only costs 85 euros a night!  Now that’s my kind of place!


Paris Pictures

Melissa Dean, greatest friend in the world, hostess with the mostess, Paris tour guide extraordinare, fabulous artist, and incredible cook, also happens to be quite the photographer.

She snapped a bunch of photos of our time in Paris.  Here’s the link to her Flikr page.

Making our way to San Sebastian

Yesterday seems like it was three days long.  We relaxed at the wine château in St. Emillion (i cant believe i can even write that sentence) until mid afternoon, I went for a long walk through the vineyards, and then we headed out for Spain via three train legs and one taxi ride.

At Libourne, where we were supposed to make our first train switch, we arrived just after a woman killed herself on the track.  We didn’t know that is what had happened for a long time though.  The firemen, paramedics, investigators, the whole kit and kaboodle arrived just as we did.  For a long while, we didn’t know what was going on and no one spoke a lick of English. It was a pretty overwhelming situation.

My mom, who tries to get out of all airports, train stations, etc, as quickly as possible kept asking people to let us go to the track we needed, but unfortunately it was pretty clear that something  was going on that would prevent trains from coming in to or leaving the station.  We saw a body covered on the platform, and my mom saw a fireman carrying the woman’s purse, which understandably disturbed her, and we pieced together what had happened.  Later, we met a Brit that spoke French who told us that it wasn’t just an accident.  The whole thing was just so sad.

A young woman wearing a conductor’s hat and jeans with a tattoo like designs embroidered on the back shepherded everyone into the station’s small lobby, and workers quickly tried to cover the windows to the track, where they were preparing the body.  It was pretty chaotic, but in those situations there isn’t really much you can do.  We just sat by the door, and kept asking the young woman holding in the crowd, “Bordeaux?” over and over every time they made an announcement that we couldn’t understand.  I was impressed with how calm and collected the conductor was.  She was very patient with everyone, even us, and I know we were a bundle even though we were trying really hard to just go with the flow because as stressful as the situation was, it certainly gave us perspective.

Being there, I felt so profoundly thankful for my life.  I felt grateful that the biggest worry in my life right then was figuring out how to get to my next vacation spot.  It just made any concern I had seem so silly.  It’s hard to get upset about missing a train, when a woman is lying on the track who will never travel anywhere else, see another movie, hug another person, have a next great meal, swim in the ocean, play with a puppy, meet her grandchildren, or do any of the small and big things that make life so amazing.