These two components are what made up my trip to Lyon last week, and I loved it!
Visits with extended family are always a little hectic, a little chaotic, but ultimately you come away feeling happy and more connected to your roots. At least in my experience. Knowing where my roots are [without trying to sound cliche] is something I struggle with. The question 'where are you from?' genuinely speeds up my heart rate and makes me do a little internal groan. It's like, people want a one-word answer, not to hear my whole life story. And then they hear my accent and assume I'm all American so when I tell them I'm French too they think I mean, like, one 64th French from my ancestors, not actual French. Then I somehow end up feeling pretentious for specifying that it's actually a dual nationality, so I sometimes avoid the situation altogether. And it's not right for me to be avoiding my heritage. I love being American [sometimes] and French and it's important for me to get reacquainted with that side of things. My last trip here was 3 years ago!!
So, basically, that was a nice, long-winded way of saying: 'look at all the pictures I took in France!'
* Eating so much food I almost exploded [I will proudly tell anyone that Lyon is said to be the food capital of France, and well, France is kind of the food capital of the world, so...]
* Wandering through the historic neighborhood of St. Jean, its cathedral, little restaurants and shops, overlooking the city
* Enjoying the delicious sunny days on my grandpa's balcony with a magazine
* Catching up with cousins, aunts, uncles, etc. over apero [extremely popular pre-dinner drinks]
* Chocolate shopping in the fancy boutique my grandma once worked at
* Baking [this was my mom] and devouring said baked goods [this was me]
And my personal favorite:
* Going to the Friday morning market with my grandpa and watching him "flirt" with the little old ladies, as follows:
Old Lady: "Ooh well, that's a lot of bananas isn't it?!"
Grandpa: "Well, you know, I have my family visiting!"
Old Lady: "Oh lucky you! Isn't that nice?"
Grandpa [ever the charmer]: "Indeed! They're visiting all the way from Germany! Have a lovely day mademoiselle [the word used for young women, like 'miss', even though this new friend was clearly in her 80's]"
My heart pretty much melted witnessing this. :)