Mandi’s adventures in France


Paris…it’s always been one of those places that I wanted to visit, but I didn’t think it would ever actually happen. After making friends with a French student who came to Kalamazoo for the summer, though, plans for a trip to Paris were in the works.

Since my mom was coming to visit me in Spain and I had a week off from my classes, we decided to travel to Paris together! We had a very special time together – what a beautiful city! Essentially, our time there was spent going to most of the famous places, art museums, and tourist attractions: Versailles, Notre Dame, Sainte Chapelle, the Louvre, Tuileries Gardens, L’Orangerie, Champs Élysées, L’Arc de Triomphe, Musée d’Orsay, Sacré Coeur at Montmartre, and of course, the Eiffel Tower. We did a lot in one week!

In addition to spending time in the city of Paris, we were also able to visit some special friends of ours, Frank and Karen Mills (no relation to us, actually), who used to go to our church in Kalamazoo and are now living in France. It was great to be able to see them, since they live in a town called Chantilly about an hour north of Paris. Frank and Karen really helped us by picking us up from the airport, letting us stay with them for a couple nights, and telling us which sights in Paris were truly worth seeing!

Enjoying food & friends at a wonderful French bakery in Chantilly

At the end of the week, I was finally able to connect with my French friend Maïlys, the one who was in Kalamazoo for the summer!! I was SOOOO excited and thankful to see her again, and we had such a great time together, even though it was short.

The main thing I noticed about France was that I MISSED SPANISH! It made me realize how much I love Spain and the Spanish language. It was really, really hard for me to go a week without it. And it really frustrated me to not have the ability to communicate with the people around me or to be able to ask a question (my French skills could use some work!). I’m not trying to say that I didn’t enjoy being in Paris – it was an incredible experience – but I’m very, very happy to be back in Spain. I think I appreciate life here even more than I did before.

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