Thursday, October 22, 2009

Our First Week In Paris

I am not sure I could even begin to blog about what our family has learned and experienced in our first week in Paris! From the cultural things like learning to eat with our fork in the left and knife in the right to parking in very small tight parking places, learning many new French words, observing cultural things and enjoying tasty foods like pastries, coffee, and French bread.

A few fun high lights:

-Natalie thought the VERY small sink in the Bradford's bathroom was super cute and wanted one in our house!

-Soon after we got to the Eiffel Tower Natalie had to go potty. So we went searching for restrooms only to discover there small "restrooms" that you go down under the city to use. There is a small charge to use these toilets. We decided it was a fancy port-a-potty restroom that was actually clean...and worth the change!

-Parking seems to be a matter of seeing a spot and taking it. Even if you park on the opposite side of the street in the wrong direction. If your car will fit, take it! Stephen's truck would have never fit down some of these amazingly small streets. And Stephen is getting really good at zipping in and out of the round-a-bouts and tight corners. I plan to stick to my "back seat driving" and give him directions a little bit longer!

-We have explored Saint-Germain-en-Laye. This is the district that we are looking for an apartment in, mainly because of its location to the bus stops and RER (train system) to the center of Paris, but also because so many internationals live in the area. What an incredible opportunity we have as a family to live in a area where God has brought the people of the world to live so close together! We have also observed that there are many students in this district and we are excited about the opportunity to reach out to them.

On Sunday, we attended our first core meeting! It was so great to finally meet the team members that we had been facebooking, hearing about, and praying for this past year or so. We had our team, plus a few other people from the city that want to join the core group and help begin the church. What an amazing morning it was! Natalie jumped right in and loved playing with her new friends and Landon enjoyed all the attention he was receiving!

We are excited about all the new things that are ahead for our family in the coming weeks and months! Below I have posted some pictures from our first week. Enjoy!

1. Natalie at the Eiffel Tower- she was SO excited to see it!!
2. Stephen and Natalie enjoying a baguette
3. City Street
4. View of Saint Germain

5. Natalie & Stephen in front of the Chateau de Saint-Germain. Yes, Natalie was excited to see a real castle, and wanted to know where the princess and her carriage was!
6. Landon and I looking out over La Defense (business part of Paris). The Eiffel tower is just to the right, but did not come out clear in the picture.
7. Stephen demonstrating the very small parking space in the parking garage. Its important to line up just right as we found out today, so that you don't hit the brick walls that divide each space.

8 & 9. Eiffel Tower pictures
10. Flower shop in Saint Germain