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Mother's day!

I didn't have school this whole week (except 'till 11 on Monday), because the 11th graders were taking the "bac blanc" (like a practice bac) Monday afternoon and all day Tuesday (the bac is the French equivalent of the Matura - the Matura is the Austrian equivalent of the A-levels - the A-levels are the British exams that you take to graduate high school - there isn't really an equivalent in the US). And since I'm not taking the bac, I didn't go to school! I don't have school on Wednesday anyway, and Thursday was a Catholic holiday and our school took Friday off too!

Sunday the 28th of May
Aline got home late last night, as she works on Saturday, and drove from Saint-Martin-de-Crau up to Vienne for the weekend. We got up at 8 (early for me, since I had been sleeping in the whole week) to go to a lake for the day! It was a 1:30h drive, which I didn't mind at all, because the route was beautiful - I was stuck in the back with Norah and Rémi though, and they are a very typical older brother and younger sister combo, meaning that Rémi likes to tease Norah and vice versa, but Rémi always comes out on top. Rémi keeps it under control and knows when to stop - its very entertaining to watch them "fighting", especially because Rémi is hilarious and Norah can't stay mad at him.

When we arrived at the lake and got out of the car, it felt like the sun had fallen out of the sky. It was like 30 degrees (85 F) and it only got hotter as the day went on, so Aline gave me this amazing visor that I sported the whole day - I looked amazing. My hair looks fantastic with the visor on. We did go on a hike through the forest, which was in the shade, so it wasn't too bad there. The hike was really fun! I took a lot of pictures, and we finally got a picture with everyone in front of a beautiful view. The trick to a good group picture it to ask the right person to take the picture - try to target someone holding a newer smartphone, a teen/millennial or a tech-y looking person. People to avoid are older people, or people who ask which button to press on the phone/camera.

We walked over a 180 meter (600 foot) suspension bridge with the most gorgeous view over the lac Monteynard. There were actually 2 suspension bridges, but the second one was a 8 miles away, and we were hungry, so we decided to just turn around after we crossed the Passerelle d'Ebron (the first bridge). When we returned to the lake, we found a nice, shaded spot under a tree to eat a very typical French lunch - baguettes with jambon and fromage, cantaloupe and yoghurts.
I started to feel kind of sick a little after lunch - my eyes started swelling up (or it at least felt like it) and I started sneezing a bunch. There was a lot of pollen around, but I have never had a pollen allergy, so I was a little surprised. It was a little weird to be blowing my nose while everyone else was enjoying the sun and water. We decided to move a little closer to the lake, so that Laurent, Rémi and Norah could go "swimming". Aline and I sat next to the lake, took pictures, and skipped stones - I have never been that great at skipping stones, but one of the positive things about having a younger sister (at least at our respective ages), is that I am better at a lot of things, so I get to show off my skills and teach her how to so stuff, even if my skills aren't very impressive in comparison to other peoples.
It was super hot, and there wasn't any shade right by the lake, so I just used a towel as sun protection. I don't have any sunscreen, except for a little "kids' sunscreen stick" which I applied to my shoulder and face - I don't want to get sunburned! We left shortly thereafter, and I got to sit in the front, because no one wants to be squished in the back seat with a sneezing passenger.

We had a great Mother's Day dinner with chocolate covered strawberries that I made for dessert. I had an excellent day with everyone, and felt like I really bonded with Rémi - I don't usually talk to him that much, but he has been a lot happier and just in a better mood since he has a girlfriend now. lol.

I can't end my post on "lol", so I guess I'll tell you about something that I have been loving lately - theSkimm. Its an email subscription that summarises important global (and national) news in like a 5 minute email every morning. I don't like having to go through so many unnecessary articles to find the important stuff, and this makes it a billion times easier to sound smart in conversations about current topics. Also, it was started by 2 women which is really cool. This really sounds like an ad, but I just really like theSkimm and just wanted to make being updated on current topics easier: just click here to get signed up! Also, Philip DeFranco (on YouTube) is a great source for news. I read theSkimm and watch the Philip DeFranco show everyday - very trustworthy sources. Ok.


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