When you stop blogging for a month…

Things get a little overwhelming!!

Okay, so you might notice that I took a little break (little being the understatement of the year). I knew that I wanted to continue the blog again after Israel, but I was lacking motivation. Coming back from Israel was a huge reverse culture shock and a lot has happened in the last few weeks–while I was dealing with all of that blogging kind of took a backseat. So I’ll give you all of the updates and we’ll just pretend that I didn’t skip out on the last month, okay? Okay. Glad we agree.

So, I got home from Israel and it was a pretty abrupt change. My life was so exciting in Israel, everything I did was new and thrilling! Each day was an adventure in speaking another language, navigating the city, and meeting new people. My life in the states, while still fun, was remarkably more relaxed and “everyday.” I had fun doing typical New England activities like swimming in Taunton Lake, going to diners (missed this so much!), and hiking. After spending so much time in desert-like conditions, being in Connecticut just seemed so green! There are trees everywhere, there is so much grass, and lakes too! It was really relaxing and peaceful–very different than 110 degree weather and sand. However, at the same time I was resigned to the fact that no one spoke Hebrew anymore, not everything was a new and exciting experience, and that my life had gone back to pre-adventure mode. I loved visiting my family and friends–I seriously missed everyone so much–but it was weird being back in an environment that wasn’t the craziness of the last 6 months.

However, it only took a week or two before that strange homesick/reverse cultural experience went away. I felt comfortable being in the U.S. once again–there were still those pangs of wanting to be in Israel–but I was ready to move on.

And move on I have! But I’ll talk more about that a little later…;)

First, however, another little post Israel adventure to mention. Before I decided to come home in mid-July, my parents had booked a trip to visit me in Israel in August. Luckily, they were able to change their plans and re-route to London and Paris. I was super excited (and super lucky) to join them on this adventure! Adam and Ava (my brother’s girlfriend) also came with and we took off on August 9th for a trip abroad!

Don’t they look so excited to get their touschies on this flight?? Adam looks like he might be in pain, but that’s entirely besides the point.

Our first stop was London where we stayed in a great apartment near Westminster. We spent our days eating fish and chips, touring the city (with our handsome guide Giles), and going to a showing of Blood Brothers in the London theatre district. The music of Blood Brothers impacted Adam and Ava so strongly that they couldn’t stop singing for the whole rest of the trip (like Marilyyynnnnnnn Monnnroooeeeeee).

We went in the London Eye.

Which provided this incredible view.

And afforded an extra opportunity to go to a 3D show (and wear these super awesome glasses).

Perfect.

We saw Buckingham Palace.

Funny men in funny hats.

Saw Westminster Abbey

Fought off fellow tourist to watch the changing of the guard.

Walked over Tower Bridge.

Toured the Tower of London.

And saw much much more.

I even met up with Anna, a Londoner and fellow participant on Tikkun Olam! She toured my family and I along the Thames and took us to a great street market. It was wonderful to see her again!

After 3 days of touring the capital of Great Britain, we took to the English Channel (or underneath it at least) to travel onwards to Paris! We took the Chunnel (which was a whole lot shorter than I thought it would be!) and moved into a cute apartment in the Marais. Fun fact: Our apartment was on Rue du Saintonge, the same street where the Starzinsky’s lived in the book Sarah’s Key. Craaazy.

In London we were a bit rushed and ran around trying to fit everything in, but in Paris relaxation was the name of the game. Each day we would pick one or two things to go see and spend hours lazily walking around the city.

The paparazzi were out in full-force as we experienced the beauty and charm that is Paris.

We saw Notre Dame.

Walked over the “lock” bridge.

Couples coming to Paris write both of their names on the lock, chain it to the fence, and then throw the key into the Seine. Isn’t that adorable?

We waltzed down the Champs Elysee.

(I accidentally wrote “waltzed” instead of “walked,” but I’m keeping it that way because the image of my whole family waltzing down the Champs Elysee is way funnier).

We spent a day walking through Monmartre and saw (got assaulted at) the Sacre Coure.

And another one of our days was spent laying under an infamous Parisienne structure.

Can you guess which one?

I title that shot, “Rob spots the Eiffel Tower.”

After sitting under this bad boy Adam, Ava, and my dad went to the Louvre.

While they toured the museum, my mom and I sat at a little cafe and read. We also did quite a bit of people-watching 🙂

On one of our last days in Paris we were on the hunt to find the Shakespeare and Company bookshop…and we eventually found it!

Adam thought it was hilarious that my mom and I were reading our Kindles outside of a bookshop. All the hipsters definitely hated us…I was okay with that.

Paris is beautiful and I’m so happy I got to explore the city with my beautiful family (and the beautiful Ava!).

I loved our trip, this will definitely not be my last time is Paris. The city is so whimsical and romantic…I will be back!

Okay, so I have some exciting new information to share about the next step in my life, however I am exhausted and I think I’m going to have to go to sleep. Tomorrow’s post will share more, but for now I’m off to bed. (And yes, I do realize it’s 9:30. I’ve turned into an old woman. So sue me).

Goodnight!

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