So, yes. I went on a tour of Tours (har har) and this was what I found. Ah, good ol' France and their protection, we should learn something from them.
Anyway, the morning was not so cool. I had had a long night of not sleeping and thus getting in "jet-lag" mania where I regretted my decision to come out, but luckily it passed as soon as I went out on a walk. Can I just say how nice it is to walk around and see so many people getting their baguettes, pastries, or groceries every morning? Though I didn't splurge because I ate at the hotel (which was not free as I thought, it cost 13 Euros, ouch!)
The train to Tours was a hassle, the metro and TGV is faaaaaaar from disability-friendly, thus making it a pain-in-the-arse to get my luggage around. But the TGV is way nice, and second class is great even if it's 'second.' At la gare de Tours (train station) I met up with Mme. DeRaedt (the head prof for the program) and we waited for my family. Though it was nice I got to see some of the other people from the program, my host family did NOT show up. When I called, she said "telephonez un taxi." Needless to say, I was afraid she was scary and not into being a host.
I was wrong. The house (er, very large apartment) is adorable. I have a great room upstairs, with a queen-size bed, a large window to cool it out and get natural light, a desk (where there is wireless available.) All with nice people and freedom (go out when you want to, come back whenever, can use fridge, etc.) I have yet to meet the student from Saudi Arabia (domain- I guess she came not speaking a word of french, eep!) or the student from Belgium (vendredi).
And of course, I cannot forget the sweet and funny cat, Bisquit:
I later went on a walk around town and saw the Botanical Garden which is about a block (think downtown SLC block) away, and is quite amazing, with random animals there. I also checked out the neigborhood and walked down to la Gare, which is right by the Plaza, which is the center of town with beaucoup des magasins (stores) et cafes.
When I returned, Christine told me we were going to head to the Loire for a restaurant/bar/dance area. We stayed there for about 4 hours just drinking AMAZING Louverny sec and some terrible vin rouge, dancing (think 'Born to Be Wild' in French... scary), and eating. The food was amazing, a huge plate of ratatouille, rice/barley mix with a delicious mushroom sauce, and a salad with just a little oil and vinegar - nothing like America! All for 5 Euros (though I wasn't paying, it's still a screaming deal). I met a ton of French people, only two of whom spoke more than a couple words of English (I guess not all French people speak English, only the ones who work with tourists) and managed to get by. They need to go slow and sometimes reword things, but we can converse. There was un homme tres leche (very sketchy man) who kept dancing with random women, so the girls (there are two older daughters as well) forced Christine to dance with him:
When we returned home, I got on the computer and Christine and her daughter are downstairs talking. It's 1:30 and I think I'm the one going to bed first... wow, this is not normal for me!
Sorry for the long-winded post, I just had a great time today... you know, before and after the whole carrying-suitcases-up-tons-o-stairs deal.