Friday, September 30

the way lunch should be.

In true Verrill fashion, my cousin Gordon emailed me two days ago briefly saying what he was up to and finishing it with "so can I come to Rennes this weekend?" A quick email to my roommate later to announce his arrival and his plane ticket was bought! He arrived exhausted and hungry and so I did what made the most sense: feed him. We hopped over to my favorite tartine place open all day (even on Sundays!) and took advantage of the summer-like weather and each other's company. Gordon enjoyed the special consisting of grilled sardines in a tomato provençale sauce and I had a tartine that was a bit like chicken salad. Add a side salad and a bottle of muscadet and voilà. Let our food adventure weekend begin ...

and that's how it's done.

les sardines

Sunday, September 25


I brought Helen and a rough cold home with me from Paris so this past week was spent taking advantage of our internet, which finally started working, and catching up with Helen over almond croissants and bad internet television. I took her to the market where we stalked up on produce for dinner and then Apple Pie where I had a lovely reunion with miss Lisa and some of the other Rennes assistants as we nibbled on tea and carrot cake. 

Seeing friends and returning to favorite restaurants and coffee shops is such a hue part of reentry. The fact that I have been recognized and have received many “Je suis contente de vous voir! Bon retour!” makes me feel even more at home.

this one is for you margaret. l'epicerie wasn't the same without you.

Helen left this morning (Sunday) and the apartment feels a little empty so I filled the Sunday with lots of mini excursions. The weather has been abnormally wonderful these past couple of days though so I have been getting my vitamin D and took a nice walk today to a brodarie which is a bit like a yard sale for multiple neighborhoods. 

rennes gardens are stunning
especially on a day like today 

Last week Berit and I went to one and we walked around for two hours and only saw a section of it – that should give you insight as to the potential size of them. People sell everything from old clothes and shoes, to TVs and stereos, to kitchenware and furniture. I’m so bad at going to those because I think I should buy something only because it is two euros, but then someone else’s junk becomes my junk … I was controlled today and only bought a sweater. For two euros. However I was wildly impressed by one woman’s My Little Pony collection and “joked” about how I would have loved this 15 years ago (slash now?). 

am i right or am i right?

After a late brunch and some writing, I ventured to have a café with Caely and we took a Sunday stroll to an outdoor photography exhibit called “Passages” where the featured photographer captured important events in adolescent lives. For instance some of the kids were celebrating their first party or their quinceanera (I hope I’m spelling that right). There were some photos from France and the US, but most were taken in Ukraine and Cuba – I’m including a few of my favorites.

i like this one because it reminds me of home! 

So as you can see I’m back to my old routine – seeing friends, wandering around Rennes, and eating food that is so delicious it’s honestly unfair...
apple pie specials!

just a quick dinner helen and i threw together ...
this is why i came back. 
I’m so happy to be back and so excited to have school start – only one more week! There is another English assistant teaching at Chateaubriand this year, which will be great as she is returning from last year she just got reassigned schools. I’m excited to get back into the swing of things and see old students and meet new students!

first market back

quite possibly the quaintest late brunch ever ...

On tap for this week is more IKEA runs, a couple first rendez-vous’ for tutoring, running around trying to get my immigration paperwork settled, putting finishing touches on the apartment, and of course discovering new restaurants and revisiting familiar ones. 

third time's a charm!

evidence of fall in rennes

I am officially in Rennes and moved in to my very new and improved apartment! I have to say I am SO much happier now then I was at the beginning of my stay last year and my living situation has so much to do with it. As does being back in a place I feel incredibly comfortable, seeing my friends, and eating lots of French food.

I jumped right back into life here starting with grabbing a train into Rennes a few hours after I arrived in Paris. Berit (my roommate) and Caely met me at the train station and we went directly home. I’ll be posting pictures of our humble abode very shortly. 
trying to figure out the bed frame ...

After some catching up I showered and we headed to IKEA to purchase the most important missing piece: a bed. Caely, Lise (a colleague of mine), and I piled into Lise’s car with some fake flowers, picture frames, sheets, a bed frame, a mattress for a double bed, and my chair. We were cramped to say the least, but made it home in one piece. I enjoyed a traditional galette dinner complete with crepes and cider before absolutely passing out. Thursday was full of errands. I got a bunch of paperwork done and headed to Emmaus, which is like small used furniture/clothes/book/random-shit store (Salvation Army?). I found dining room chairs, a bedside table, a small table for our terrace (yes, terrace), some things for the bathroom, and a perfect desk for Berit. I then conned Berit and Caely into helping me put together my bed frame. So IKEA is great, but the thing they don’t tell you is how it is a huge pain in the ass to put together. Even three intelligent, strong women had some difficulty. But I can say with complete confidence (knock on wood) that I slept for eight hours and did not wake up in a pile of broken frame wood so I would count that a huge success.

back to grocery shopping on a day to day basis - which i LOVE when
fresh markets are involved ...

Cheers to a wonderful dinner back!
Berit and I attempted to impress Caely
Jetlag didn’t catch up with me until I got to Paris. I went to Paris to see two friends, Helen and Clare, I studied abroad with in Rennes. Clare will be teaching with me in Rennes and Helen is off to a small village outside of Toulouse. The three of us oo-ed and aww-ed about being back in Paris. We ate so well (act like you are surprised), went to the Shoah Museum and Memorial, may or may not have done a little dancing and strolled the Marais and the Latin Quarter along with the rest of Paris on a Sunday afternoon. I have to say I’m always enchanted by Paris, but also always happy to be home.