Sunday, January 10, 2010

Back in Chicago, New Year Resolution

I'm back in Chicago and have to catch up on blogging my trip to Sydney and then a trip to Europe including Paris, Basel, and the Black Forest of Germany... this time of year in Chicago it is cold and dark. We received almost a foot of snow last week and right now the temperatures are struggling to reach double digits Fahrenheit!

While I was in Europe I decided that my New Year's resolution was to learn French. I have the perfect tutor with it being Isabelle's first language and so I think it's time for me to finally learn it. So wish me luck!! Christèle in Paris said, "I think that in six months Andy will be speaking French." so let's see whether I can do it! I think six months is possibly a little aggressive or else we'll need to be liberal with our definition of "speaking French" ... we shall see.

Now to provide an overview of the activities over the past few months: At the end of October I visited my brother in Madison and had the fantastic fortune of witnessing the bloom of a titan arum flower at the botanic gardens there! We also went to a cozy bar for Halloween where many were wearing costumes, and on November 1st I visited the Wisconsin state capitol building and wandered around State Street for a while.

On November 3rd I flew to Sydney, Australia for work. I stayed until November 30th and for the last week my high school friend Matt came to visit, so I was able to show him some of the things I love about Sydney and I also learned how to drive on the wrong side of the road! After a month away from home it was nice to get back but I also got to see Isabelle for one day before she embarked on her voyage to Europe for the month of December.

On December 22nd, I flew to Switzerland to visit Isabelle and her family in Basel. On the 24th we took the TGV to Paris to be with Isabelle's Aunt and Uncle and her 2 month old cousin. We visited Notre Dame, the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower, and other Paris sights. I especially liked the subway in Paris... they have rubber wheels! I also drove on the German autobahn and we spent New Year's Eve in Basel with Isabelle's mother and step-father.

So I promise there will be many photo highlights and blog posts about these adventures, and whatever I get myself into here in Chicago!

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