The ever-diligent Maëlle soon needed to be back in Toulouse to finish up her revisions and sit for her exams, so I accompanied her for an afternoon around the city. I was on my own for a while, following Toulouse’s narrow, colorful streets, before meeting up with Maëlle’s sister, Anna, and her mother for a scoop of ice cream at Place du capitol, followed by dinner a few streets away. We ate pizzas at the same open-air restaurant that they had taken me to years ago, a fact that we didn’t realize until half-way through our meal; then we remembered that on that same trip to Toulouse, we ordered bowls of sorbet in the heat of the day at the same café.
In fact, for most of the day, I intentionally and unintentionally revisited many of the sites I most associated with Toulouse from my trip there at sixteen – la mairie, l’ensemble conventuel des Jacobins, a view of the Garonne from Pont Neuf. But, walking about town, what I remembered best from that day was how exciting it was to be in an unfamiliar place, speaking a new language, meeting wonderful people, and realizing that travel would absolutely be a priority in my life. Mercés, Tolosa, t’estimi! I will always have fond memories of the former capital of Languedoc (langue d’oc!), and hope that I can make the trip back soon, per Tolosa totjorn mai!