I spent the first 1 1/2 weeks of Easter Break with my guest family in France. France itself was lovely, and the weather was gorgeous. But I found it very, very frustrating to operate so closely with my guest family. The half hour decision making processes (also known as arguments because one member of the family never listened to or respected anybody else's opinion), the endless leisurely strolls through cities just for the sake of wandering around, the delay after delay after delay before we could just leave when we had decided to leave, only because 'we' 'had' to find the perfect cafe to get coffee, which half of us might not have even wanted, were a bit difficult for me to go with. My guest father's way of operating made me want to scream, explode, and swim the ocean back to my own father as fast as I possibly could. These constantly re-occurring feelings (due to my constant contact with him and therefore consistently re-occurring incidents of his infuriating-ness) lead to homesickness and made for a difficult hurdle to jump over in order to enjoy everything else. Which was really good, honestly!
On Monday morning we left late and spent the day driving to Paris, where we spent the first days. My guest sister and I slept at my aunts house. It was wonderful to see her and my cousin again, as well as some other friends I have in Paris. My guest family did a lot of sight seeing and I chilled for most of that time with my cousin.
On Thursday we all piled back in the car to drive to Tours, where we met the older sister and then spent several days with her old guest family in the countryside near Tours. It was beautiful-- they live in a house which the father's grandfather built, and which has been added on to every generation. The old part is like a museum, and it tore my heart strings to see all the beautiful old books just sitting there and rotting in the inconsistant heat and humidity. During this visit I heard so much strange English spoken that I was afraid that if I spoke English myself it would come out that way too: sort of a mix between a French and a German accent, saying the word 'this' instead of 'that', using reflexive verbs incorrectly, giving nouns genders, and mixing up my tenses like there's no tomorrow. I stuck to German and French, for which I at least have an excuse for being bad at.
From there we drove to Clermont-Ferrand, where my elder guest sister studies. We didn't spend long there, just enough time to look a bit around, get a night's sleep, pack the sisters things, find the perfect place to buy cheese, and drink coffee. At around 4:30 we finally left, five of us squished into this little old red car, and drove (almost straight through) to Frankfurt, where we arrived at about 4 in the morning.
I got a few hours of sleep, showered, and left the stress at home to sleep over at a friends house. The rest of vacation I'm just going to get back into the swing of things, hang out with people, do some paperwork for college, and relax. Let me just say, it's good to be back.