Today marks five months away from home, and lucky for me, hitting this almost half-year post of departure from my loves is less of a blow thanks to the awesomeness that is my European family.
So, Van Doo’s and de Kerchove’s, this one’s for you–
First up, un grand merci to mon Papa for meeting me in Belgium over Christmas. It was hands down the best present ever, and Maman, thanks for packing dad’s suitcase full of winter clothes for me. Definitely very necessary.
And, Yannick, thanks for just being you and for the post-birthday chat.
Merci to Olivier and Kei for an awesome time in London and to Céline for an amazing getaway in its sister city, Paris.
Merci to Rosine and Philippe for the warm abode and shower and cozy dinners à trois.
Un grand merci to Mimiche and Thierry for hosting me for over a week and for the birthday shindig, made super special thanks to the attendance of my fantabulous cousins and their spouses, Alexis and Pascale, Pauline and Stijn and the cornichons, and Laurence and Stéphane, who, to you, I give you an extra kiss for my last-night-in-town spaghetti bolognese.
Merci to Bonpapa and Francine and Jean-François for our noontime visits; always a joy.
And to you, Tante Pouce, for a feast at Christmas, accompanied with your descendants, my cousins and their spouses–Françoise, Hervé, Christine, Pierre, Céline, Pierre, Laurence, Nicolas.
Guy, Colette, Nicolas, Manon, Marie, and Thierry, thanks for the Christmas Eve seaside fête; fabulous to meet John and Louis and to see you all at once.
Thank you to my tantines, Pascale and Karin, for a most excellent fireside chat for an evening; I loved it.
And, to you, Manou, Glwadys, and Virginie for a fabulous four day feast entre femmes. It was splendid company and discovery of you all.
Merci, aussi, Vincent, Sylvie, Thibault, and Quentin for giving me a home away from home for a weekend of excellent company and retrouvailles.
Mamouchka, thank you for for the pleasure of your company for two afternoon teas. The macarons are an added surprise.
For Morgane and Alix, thank you for being such awesome people and for being steadfast companions while I crashed in your house. I find you to be pretty amazing gals with lots of heart and soul.
Second to last, but not least, a huge thank you to you, Nathalie and Roland, for hosting me for over three weeks in Geneva, making your home feel like my home, both in the city and in the mountains, and for letting me experiment in your kitchen and letting me be a part of the day-to-day normalcy, a walking companion, chauffeur, laundry maid.
Nathalie, you are a godmother carved from what dreams are made of, and I thank my lucky stars to have you as my marraine, starting from the time you first rescued me from my playpen in Kapellenbos to today. Thank you for all that you do.
Finally, a huge hug of gratitude to my Graham for holding down the fort so that I can kick start my dream.
Gros kiss à vous tous.
(And, to my Mexian sister, a happy, happy birthday today, Patycake!)