Really I should go straight on to Paris, but I didn't want the map to look like I went straight from one to the other. So a short entry about school holidays here in France.
Much like most of the French bureaucracy, the universities follow their own special system that is a mystery to foreigners (and I think French people, they are just more accepting about it). I could go into lots of stories about that, but the jist of it is that my two universities took two different weeks off for "winter break" or "february vacations". Yes they had our winter break, although they came back just after the first of the year to take exams, so that perhaps doesn't count. Anyway, two different weeks. So you ask yourself "Erica, did you have no break at all, since one week you would still have classes at IEP and the other week you would still have class at Mirail?" Well no, I got two weeks instead of one. The Dickinson center took the same week off as the IEP (and pretty much all the universities except Mirail) and it was that week that they took us to Paris. Since it was an obligatory trip (I'm not kidding, they said so) I just told my Mirail professors I wouldn't be there. They didn't really seem to mind :)
So I was in Toulouse for all of 48-maybe 56 hours. In that time I cooked my host family dinner! Oh that was a great success. An experiment in cooking, what with making enchiladas with no enchilada sauce and no cheddar cheese, but a great success :) What really blew my family away were the monster cookies. My host mother and sister seem to have memorized the recipe, mainly to wail about how much sugar and butter there was in it, but they loved the cookies. They have talked about them so much my host brother (who didn't get any as he was on vacation) is insisting I make them again. That was a nice dinner to have with my family, my host mom watched me but never critiqued, and although I was a little scared timing worked out pretty well!