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so a ticket to Kazakhstan alone  is around $4,000 round trip. So it looks like my first goal  (in order to reach my “new” goal) is going to be saving up enough money to take that trip. that’s a tough one to think about during the holidays. I better get down to business and do a budget for December. Everyone is getting a home-made gift this Christmas, I believe.

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I love France in the spring. I love France in the fall too. I just love France. I know I may get some flack because it’s not cool right now under Bush II to like anything that has to do with France just because they didn’t back the Iraq invasion (turns out they were right, too). Freedom fries, freedom toast. You know what I’m talking about. And hey, they’ve got problems there, it’s not a perfect place. High unemployment and

One of the reasons that I love it so much is because there is a palatable sense of history. These people know where they came from. They’ve been invaded and occupied. They’ve been decimated by disease. and through all that they built amazing buildings, wrote beautiful poetry and prose. painted and sculpted. the feeling i had when i crossed into Notre Dame de Paris–into a church that had been anchored to the earth for over 800 years was like time resting on your shoulders. i felt a little bit heavier (years woven into a mantle), a little more connected. part of a greater timeline.

Most of my time was spent in the country. I remember when my family traveled to france for the first time. i was 18 and had never been on an airplane before. I couldn’t believe that when i got out of the airplane, I was going to be in a different country. i stepped out side the airport and took a deep breath and everything was different. the sun was different, the smells were different. 18 is a perfect time to go to a foreign country. i really think it changed me in ways i couldn’t comprehend at the time.

I’m not sure what’s caused me to pine for France so acutely right now. I miss my family there. I miss Lyon. I miss the chateaux and the Dordogne. I miss the anticipation of travel and adventure, seeing ancient remnants of history and riding the train. i miss watching the sunrise and eating the first croissant out of the oven of that tiny patisserie near my uncle’s apartment that my grandmother used to buy baguettes from when she was young.

ok…enough. i’m making myself a bit sad and wistful thinking about it. i can’t get back there this year as we’re planning on taking the by to Disney World, but we are SO going next year. evan has family to meet after all…I can’t let the connection be lost when my grandmother and uncle are no longer with us…i have to keep the connection for the two parts of my family. I’ll be the only one to speak French. It has to be me.

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