A Canadian Surprise

Two weeks ago, I hopped on a plan Friday morning to go to Canada…2 flights, 14 hours later, I made it and my mum was in for a surprise…

My mum, my niece and nephews had no idea I was coming…. and also see everyone who I haven’t seen in over 9 months.

Can’t believe I’ve been in Paris for that long and it’s officially the longest time I’ve been away from immediate family for the first time in my life. Since i’ll be super busy for the next year or two, I won’t be going back to Canada so I figured I better make the jump now!!!

Spent a week in Manitoba with strickly family as we were out of town for half of that week, then headed to Ottawa and spent another week there. One week in each place was definitely not enough time to see everyone.

Sorry to those I missed!!!

So here’s the surprise video as well as some photos of a cool trip with family and friends.

IMG_2608
Plane #1- Paris → Toronto
IMG_2609

Toronto → Winnipeg

 

IMG_2610.0

Waiting in the Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge in Toronto

————————–

The Surprise Video ↓

————————–

IMG_2610

My Old Bedroom

IMG_2612

Brother & Sister in Law

IMG_2613

My brother and I doing what we do best… clean his garage. Its a yearly affair.

IMG_2614

Mimosas, crepes and the Germany/France game.

IMG_2615

The prairies in Manitoba

IMG_2616

Gelato date with my nephew

IMG_2617

Nephew Sebastien and I

IMG_2618

Cute little rental car in Ottawa

IMG_2619

A nice welcome home.

IMG_2620

Girls night with a group of awesome ladies

IMG_2621

Desert

IMG_2622

Desert selfies

IMG_2623

Only the strong survive… !

IMG_2624.0

Didnt know whether to grow my hair out or cut it… Well, I went there and got the shortest haircut I’ve ever had. http://www.texture.com and ask for Suzanne (at downtown location) if you’re ever in Ottawa.

IMG_2624.01

Did a bit of shopping and hit up a great Michael Kors sale. ♥

IMG_2625

First time meeting my other nephew ♥

IMG_2628

Flowers received, that I got to enjoy for one day only.

IMG_2624 IMG_2627

 

Great trip and I have two friends so far coming to visit in September and December… possibly more coming!

Looking forward to it!

♥♥♥

 

Happy Canada Day Long Weekend

Especially to those who took Monday off!

Lucky!
​I must say that Canada day is pretty awesome in Canada, tons of people show up to celebrate the anniversary of July 1st, 1867, when the enactment of the British North America Act, 1867 (today called the Constitution Act, 1867) united three colonies into a single country within the British Empire.
Called Canada.
How’s that for a little history?? ☺

Last year, I got to watch the fireworks in Ottawa from my 17th floor apartment balcony with a man drinking Europeean beer.

CANADA DAY 20080701

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada Source: Click on picture

Always amazing to watch gorgeous fireworks.

Before Ottawa, we used to go to my Uncles cottage and spend the weekend boating, fending off mosquitoes, drinking insane amounts of beer with friends and family and playing ‘survivor’ type games including eating a whole onion or shot gunning a beer.

Fun. Times!

July long 1

My brother skiing

july long 3

Manitoba, Canada

I’m no longer in Canada nor with that man but I’m still Canadian at heart (but also french at the same time) and we take being Canadians pretty seriously.

I sure miss these weekends and the time spent with family and friends but in two weeks from now is France’s national day on the 14th and I can’t wait to experience it. ♥

So to everyone back home…

HAPPY CANADA DAY!!! ♥♥♥

Living in Paris

What my friends think I’m doing… 

What my mom thinks I’m doing… 

What I let people think I’m doing… 

What I wish I was doing…

or

What I’m actually doing…

Reading about the strikes going on in France…

Grève

”It must be two important words…. They come back pretty often! ”

 

 

A little Sunday getaway

On Sunday, I met my dad for coffee right outside my apartment at around 9:30 AM.

As I was walking out of my door, I noticed I would have trouble with my swipe to get back into my apartment, was in panic mode for 10 minutes… wondering how the hell I would get back in!!!
Then realized I could use my code to open the door.. PHEW!

Once we were finished our café latés, he asked what I wanted to do for the day.

‘Get outside Paris!’, was my answer.

So we headed to Barbizon, followed by Fontainebleau, about an hour south of Paris.

Short story on both places: 

Barbizon – small town known for its renowned painters (example: Jean Francois Millet)

Fontainebleau- large town/city known for its castle

All I can say is WOW WOW WOW!
Napoleon, Marie Antoinette, Henri IV, as well as MANY other historical people walked the exact same gardens and courtyards that we were walking on and it was pretty surreal to think about it and imagine what it was like back then with what they would wear, who was who and what happened INSIDE the ‘chateau’.

Pretty cool stuff.

All in all, it was a lovely day spent in the sun and with great company.

Here’s a little sneak peek of our day as well as small video I made.☺

Enjoy! 

Processed with VSCOcam with t1 preset

Café in Paris

IMG_2271

Arc de Triomphe

IMG_2272

Barbizon, France

IMG_2273

Barbizon, France

IMG_2274

Barbizon, France

IMG_2275

Barbizon, France

IMG_2276

Barbizon, France

IMG_2277

Barbizon, France

IMG_2278

Barbizon, France

IMG_2279

Restaurant in Barbizon, France

IMG_2280

Lorsque Provence rime avec élégance. ♥

IMG_2281

Crostini à la tomate et aubergine

IMG_2282

Dad eating tripes… (not my thing… !)

IMG_2284

Barbizon, France

IMG_2285

Barbizon, France

IMG_2297

Barbizon, France

IMG_2295

New car lease option… but I want it in mint green.

IMG_2298

Barbizon, France

 

IMG_2286

Fontainebleau, France

IMG_2287

Fontainebleau, France

IMG_2288

Fontainebleau, France

IMG_2289

Fontainebleau, France

IMG_2290

Fontainebleau, France

IMG_2291

Fontainebleau, France

IMG_2292

Fontainebleau, France

IMG_2293

Fontainebleau, France

IMG_2294

Fontainebleau, France

 

Make sure ♫ ♪ sound ♪ ♫ is ON!! ☺

Up at 6 AM for…. Drivers Permit

Woke up extra early this morning, having put this off for quite some time, so I could get ready to go exchange my Canadian drivers licence to be able to drive in La France!
Legally.

You can drive in France with a foreign drivers licence up to 1 year, after 1 year your licence is void.
So to avoid that situation (I technically don’t need a car in Paris but I keep thinking possible car rental situations or buying a car in the future), you have to deposit your request before your 1 year anniversary is up.

Mine is up in October and since my Canadian drivers licence expires in August, I had to get it done ASAP.

So I hauled @$$ to ‘La Préfecture de Police’ in the 18th arrondissement to Porte de Clignancourt – Metro line 4 and the address of the office is  92 Boulevard Ney, 75018 Paris, open from 8:30 to 4:30 PM most days except Friday when they close at 4:00PM.

Link to site:  Prefecture de Police – Permis de Conduire

Map Permis Conduire Paris

Different situations apply to different situations so read carefully. 

My situation falls under #4:  Exchanging a foreign driving license issued by a country not belonging to the European Union or the European Economic Area

I had all my papers ready to go and the only thing I was worried about was my Minister of Transport paper from Canada called a Drivers Abstract as it isn’t an official certified document but I headed there anyways with everything neatly organized in a folder.

What do you need for papers? 

  •  Forms CERFA #14879*01 and CERFA 14948*01 Réf 6  (found on link above)
    (Fill them properly, these forms have RULES – black ink, capital letters, etc)
  • 2 photos recently taken following photo specifications
    (you can take these at the cell phone provider Orange or in the Metro, they have tiny kiosks for 5€’s for 5 photos which I did for the first time… super efficient)
    Booth
  • 2 colour copies of VALID passport or national identity card (titre de séjour in France).
    Something proving that you’re allowed to stay in France beyond 1 year, once again legally.
  • 2 copies of proof of address
    - Gas or electricity bill (for EDF- I found out that the attestation is not enough, has to be the actual bill, luckily I had a backup) , water bill, mobile or home phone bill, rental contract, etc)
  •  2 colour copies of your VALID drivers licence (translated if it’s not in french and legalized)
  • A recent certificate of foreign authorities attesting to the validity of the right to drive and its official translation if not exclusively in French.
    This is where my questionable drivers abstract comes in.

Pieces of advice: 

  1.  Always bring the originals of everything!
    (I saw fellow canadians refused because one of their papers was scanned and even if it had an original stamp, it was refused because it wasn’t the original paper with original stamp)
  2. Bring copies of everything and keep the extra photos with you!
    I had to provide an extra photo because one of them was scratched!
  3. Bring a few proof of addresses with you just in case.

Paper, paper and more paper.

For those living in Paris (75), you can’t do any of this by mail, you have to present yourself with all informations requested.
There is 0.00 cost for those exchanging permits in Paris.

If you have to do anything in France regarding paper work, I suggest going earlier than ‘when the doors open’.
I was about 7th in line at 7:25 AM and the line included two types of people…. the drivers permit people and the international students.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

I waited in that line for over an hour and I swear time stood still!! Checking my phone every 10 minutes, I felt like time wasn’t moving.

AT ALL!!

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

But finally 8:30 rolled around, the gates opened and we were told to put our bags through a security conveyor belt like at the airport and then I headed to the second floor via the stairs. *Faster than the elevator*

I then stood in another line for frontdesk to check my papers, the lady stalled at my drivers abstract, my heart pounding for a minute as she said she didn’t know if it would pass but she still handed me my ticket…. to yes, yet again, wait until my number was called.

number

Another line. But sitting down this time!

I got my ticket at 8:42 and wasn’t called for another 25 minutes. I seriously thought they forgot my number because it felt like everyone else behind me in the line at reception was going before me.

I was finally beckoned, walked to ‘Guichet D’ and handed my papers, she looked everything over and then….up comes the drivers abstract and she asked what it was and if it was translated.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

PANIC!!! 

Thankfully for us Canadians our drivers permits and abstracts are in french as well as english, (I FULLY SUPPORT BILINGUALISM!!!) and I kindly explained this to the clerk and that this paper explained that I had to wear glasses/contacts to drive and was ok to drive, also showed 0 demerits!
Woo whoo!!!

She seemed to accept the damned paper… she pilled everything up, looked at me and then told me to go sit down again and wait until I was called a second time.

I waited another 20 minutes, she showed up out of nowhere, handed me a paper and pen and told me to fill it out and come see her once it was done… Finished by a ‘don’t forget to bring back my pen’.

I filled it out, went to her station and she filled out a bit of information on the computer, printed a paper, made me check that all information was ok and then gave me another piece of paper.

Processed with VSCOcam with g3 preset

Then proceeded to explain that my licence should be ready in 3-4 weeks, I could check the website and see where the request is, once I see that it’s been delivered, I could come pick it up on the 4th floor with this piece of paper, my Canadian drivers licence and piece of ID.
They’ll be keeping my canadian drivers licence and give me the french one until I ‘go back’ to Canada.

And this!!! is how I officially applied to get my canadian licence exchanged for a french one!

So happy this is 90% done.

Still don’t have it officially in my hands but I stepped into the office at 10:45 this morning with a well deserved starbucks.

______________________________________________________________________________

PS- This may seem like I’m annoyed but it’s the opposite.
I find certain processes, paperwork, peoples attitudes absolutely hilarious and if I were to take things seriously?
I would of flew back to Canada a long time ago.
Things take a bit longer here, with a bit of extra work, no big deal and  I need to poke a bit of fun at it.
There are worse things in life. ;)

Have you ever read this ladies story on how she got her car licensed in South Africa?
Now THAT is a story!!! LoL!

2 Summers – An American in quirky Johannesburg.