Friday

My best friend in the whole world came over after work today. He picked up Chinese on the way to my house. Andrew joined in with us at dinner. It was nice to just eat Chinese and enjoy the evening. I drank a couple cans of Truly, the rose flavor. I needed to relax a bit. We ordered the Chinese from this new place called, Little Toyko. I have never ordered there before. Andrew, Anthony, and I all got the same thing to eat; General Tso’s Chicken, Egg Rolls, and Shrimp Tempura roll. It was amazing!

After dinner, we played games on the television with our phones and had a few good laughs. Then we played quite a few games of Mario Kart on the Nintendo switch. Anthony left around 11pm, then it was off to bed for us. I wanted to get up early and get started on my essay and summaries. It was going to be a weekend of homework and writing.

North Carolina for the ACC Championship Game

Today, I took a personal day so we could travel to North Carolina. Earlier in the week, I received my grade on the rewrite that I did. I got 93%. I was so happy. I was so surprised. I have a much better grade walking into the final paper. I submitted my final paper for revision to Nikki before we left for North Carolina. I am going to try not to check my e-mail while we are away. I just want to enjoy North Carolina.
In the morning my dad picked us up and drove us to the airport. It was 3am and way too early! We hugged my dad goodbye and then we made our way to the gate. After traveling to England and France, we were pros at flying. I honestly like flying. It’s relaxing. On the way to the gate, I bought some magazines. I need to read on the plane. It’s hard for me to sleep. It was going to be a short flight to Chicago. Southwest is crazy. Pittsburgh to Chicago, then Chicago to North Carolina. It’s insane.
When we landed in Chicago, we made our way to the gate for our flight to North Carolina. I couldn’t wait to be in North Carolina and see our Bed and Breakfast. The layover in Chicago wasn’t too bad it was only an hour or two. I bought the book a Simple Favor. It was a movie that was in theaters recently. I do want to see the movie, but in most cases, the books are always better than the movie.
When we landed in North Carolina, there was some drama with the communication between the pilot and the guys on the ground, who unload baggage. The pilot pulled up to the wrong gate, and you could see the guys on the ground directing him to another terminal, but the pilot wasn’t following directions. It was kind of funny. This delayed us getting our bags. Eventually, our bags appeared on the conveyor belt. We were meeting my cousins for dinner at some point around 4:30pm or 5pm. We took an Uber to our bed and breakfast. The place where we were staying was called the Morehead Inn. The woman at the front desk, who greeted us her name was Philomena she was from Ireland. She told us about the history of the place and gave us a tour. She kept saying how beautiful of a couple we are.

When we walked into our room, it was called the Dilworth room it was so cute. it looked like a quaint hotel room. There was a door to the balcony. The balcony was a shared space among other guests. Philomena treated us to a glass of wine. While we waited for Philomena to bring us our wine, I got a shower. Apparently, she brought the wine while I was in the shower. I wanted to get cleaned up and ready to go to dinner tonight. When I got out of the shower, I saw there was a glass of rose there for me. She surprised me!
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How am I ever going to leave this place? After we drank our wine, we left the Bed and Breakfast and went to go meet my cousins. My cousins live about 3 hours away from North Carolina. We were meeting them at the Dilworth Grille. We walked to the restaurant and took in this little part of Charlotte that we were visiting. It was raining, but not an insane downpour type of rain.  It was a calming kind of rain and it was bearable to walk in. We saw there was a liquor store next to the shop. We went into the liquor store and picked up some champagne and a can of rose seltzer water from France. I couldn’t wait to head back to the bed and breakfast and drink with my husband.

After the liquor store, we went to the Dillworth Grille. They seated us at a table and we waited for my cousins. We took a seat and ordered drinks. We were starved. While we were at the table, Drew and I talked about how much we loved North Carolina. It has always been my dream to go back to the South to live. I have always been in love with the South. North Carolina everyone is so nice and they say, “Yes ma’am.” They are pleasant. I would love to end up there.

When my cousins arrived, we stood up and hugged them. My cousin Gretchen has a daughter Dorcas. Dorcas is married to Steven and they have 4 boys.  I haven’t met the youngest yet, Edison. All in all, I haven’t seen them since my wedding. It has been 3 years. It was so good to see them.

After dinner, Drew and I went back to the bed and breakfast and wandered around the house a bit. I was in love with the staircase.
Image may contain: Danielle Hornyak, smiling, indoorEver since England, I have been obsessed with staircases. I can appreciate a good staircase. I can just imagine old southern belles who are aristocrats walking this staircase in ball gowns, so jealous.  Drew took a video of me walking down the stairs, pretending to be an aristocrat. The house was all decorated for Christmas. It looked so beautiful.

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Paris, France

This morning we woke up, got showered, got dressed, and then went downstairs to eat the hotel breakfast again. This time we had double espresso. It was so yummy and the little cup is so cute.
After breakfast, we went to our hotel room gathered up our luggage, and went downstairs to the desk to check out, then we got a taxi to take us to St. Pancras, where we had to catch a train to Paris. I was so excited. The Euro Star station, was so huge. It had a bunch of stores in it, including a Chanel store. Drew gave me some notes to get coffee to distract me from the Chanel store. 🙂 I bought my first coffee with a British note.

Image may contain: 2 people, including Danielle Hornyak, people smiling, people sitting Once we got on the train, I made sure to get the window seat, so I could see us arriving into Paris. When the train operator made the announcement that we were in Paris, I instantly freaked out! I was so excited. Right before we arrived to the station, I kept looking around for the Eiffel Tower, and I think I may have caught sight of it for just a moment. I can’t wait to see it! Once we arrived in Gare Du Nord, we followed the signs for taxis. All around us, we could hear the French language. I was in heaven. I was loving it. I heard “Salut, Ca’va, Monsieur?” I saw French police patrolling the station. On our way to the taxi area, a woman approached us and asked if we were looking for a taxi? I said, Yes. She told us to follow her, but we decided against it. It seemed shady. We walked outside and followed the line for the taxis, so apparently there was a demonstration (protest) happening, which was causing all the taxis to be late.
Once we finally got a taxi, it was around 3:30pm-4:00pm Paris time. We were so ready to get to our Airbnb, but so happy to be in Paris. On the taxi ride, I took some pictures out  of the window, we were finally in Paris, my dream city:
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Once we arrived at our Airbnb, I took a picture of the outside of it. Our Airbnb was located in the 9th Arrondissement of Paris. You need a code to get inside the red doors.
Then go past the mailboxes, where you enter another set of codes.No automatic alt text available. Now you are in the lobby of the building, there is a tenant office, a staircase, and a small elevator, that looks like you could only fit one person in it. Drew took the stairs, with two suitcases. I got into the elevator, and I stacked one suitcase on top of the others, so the door would close, automatically. Then I pushed the second floor. Once, I got to the second floor, the doors opened, right in front of me was the door to our Airbnb. Drew came up the stairs at that point with the two suitcases. We used a card key to open the door. You put the card up to the door and turn the door knob to the right then the door, unlocks. You have to do all motions simultaneously for it to work.

Once inside, it looked just like the pictures. We put our suitcases in the bed room, and then we both go showered and got dressed in clean clothes to explore Paris and have dinner at a cafe, and sit outside like Parisians. We stopped at this place called, Cafe Marguerite.

First Night in ParisNow is the time to try out my French. When the waiter came by, I said “Bonjour Monsieur.” he said, “Bonjour.” He handed us our menus. I looked at the menu. It was most certainly in French. My eyes widened a bit. I only had French 1 and 2 in high school. I ordered a glass of Rosé, so I said, “Une Rosé, sil vou pliat.” and smiled. I was really trying here. Drew said, the name of the beer he wanted, and said Sil Vou Plait. I gave him a crash course of French basics, as much as I could before we arrived, plus he heard me speak French here and there.
When it came time to order our dinner. When the waiter came back over, I broke down. I said, “We are Americans. I am trying.” He said, “No problem. I will get you the English menu.” He took our French menus away, and brought back English ones. I sighed. I felt disappointed and bummed. It took the fun out of it for me a little. Drew tried to reassure me that I am doing well. I sneered. I wanted so badly to be good at this and perhaps wanted them to think I was Parisian. It mattered a little to me.
When the waiter came back with the English menus, I have to admit it was easier, but definitely less fun trying to deceiver what everything was. He gave a us a few minutes. I was going to try the chicken and spinach thing with potatoes.
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Drew at first ordered a burger, and the waiter said, “How American of you.” he had a little smile, but not really. We both laughed at the awkwardness. He said, “Okay, what do you suggest?” He said, “Chicken Cordon Bleu.” He said, “alright I will do that. I said to Drew, “You have had it before, however it is not like back home where it comes out of a freezer.” He said, “True.” Dinner was amazing. We had another drink, then thought about going some place else, or calling it a night because we didn’t want to be out and about after dark. We had a day of exploring Paris tomorrow.

When we arrived back at our Airbnb, we got ready to go to bed. The only down fall about our Airbnb is that it did not have air conditioning. It was so hot. We slept with the balcony doors open. We weren’t sure if Eric (the guy that owns our airbnb) was going to come back or not, or if he was gone for the summer and rented his place out, while he was away, but we were never sure if he was going to show up or not. It was 80 degrees while we were in Paris.