France, April 2007 - If this were my final exam, I would have failed. Or at best have managed a "D" from a sympathetic teacher. I could read fairly okay, but speaking was hard, and comprehending spoken French was often impossible. Oh, I got phrases here and there, but neither here nor there enough. Fortunately, most people understood that I was a person who needed to be spoken to in English. Especially in Paris, I would ask a question or order something in French, happy that I got the words out with a minimum of stammering, and almost always the person I was speaking to would respond immediately in English. I didn't know whether to be embarrassed or relieved.
Less English was spoken in the Loire, but at least people were nice enough to speak slowly, and with Sue's help, I got by (though she needed some help herself).
Oh, it was all just so wonderful and I wish I were still there. So far I've uploaded 25 out of 596 photos (captioning takes longer than one would hope). Watch this space for more photos and more stories!