just so you guys know, pictures from my moms visit can be found at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/44825015@N07/#photo4117933593
So after my mom left, I went to Bruges with my friend Julian which was GORGEOUS! The city was beautiful, I have to put up pics soon... It really is like an old city that never changed. So we walked around, not really any particular cites, just beautiful old buildings. There were also quaint canals with little tunnels and people on little tour boats... Conveniently, there was also the Belgian Beer Festival! haha- quite the nice surprise to stumble upon. We tried all kinds of Belgian beers for really cheap! Sour beer (which was really bizarre at first), red beer, poppy beer... and we met tons of beer connoisseurs... theres a pic of me on this guys beer blog (with a ton of other pics from the beer fest). im the last one. google says the caption says: "As always, I shall close with a beautiful lady wants to pose
my digitaalke.This time a young woman fresh from New Zealand" The pic is bad b/c i was so shocked/embarrassed but its soooo funny! (He thinks im from new Zealand b/c my friend was from Australia)... We were really sad to leave. I loved Bruges!
The next day I hung out with my Australian friend again (julian) and his flatmate Bridget (also Australian)...we went the the Petit Palais. We first tried to go into the Grand Palais to see a Renoir exhibit, but the line was over an hour long! So we walked across the street to the Petit Palais. The 2 Palais were made in the late 1800s, right before the 1900 worlds fair in Paris. They were meant to show off the greatness of paris... The Petit Palais is free (except for the special exhibition of F. Pelez) but the free part is huge. There was also an exhibit that was really temporary of dolls made by haute couture designers for UNICEF and they were going to be auctionned off the following day (it was only a 4 or 5 day exhibit)... there were also a lot of impressionist and post impressionist art- it was too big to see it all. there was also a beautiful garden to sit in... then we walked around for half an hour and had lunch in a cafe. Bridget when home b/c she was tired, so Julian and I went to a bar to watch some australian rugby match between Australia and Ireland... It was a tie- Julian was so depressed they did win! haha apparently its a big deal...
The next day was my first full day at work. Awful. But me and some co workers went out for lunch which was nice. We had sushi. I had to have it on the cheap, so I had like basic salmon rolls. pretty good. with miso soup. about 6 euro ($9)
I invited the other American intern to go out to beer and wings night that night at a Canadian Bar. Shes so cool. Of course that Friday would be her last day.
The next day I had a medical exam for my visa. Then I went to lunch at a diner called Breakfast in America and had a huge cheeseburger and milkshake... mhmmmm...
On Fridays I go out with work at 1 before I start, which is nice since it lets me practice my French and meet my coworkers... Its nice, but usually super awkward since everyone is in their late 20s-late 30s... Most people don't actually talk to me (its less of a novelty to them that I'm American unfortunately)...
Then that night I met Julian b/c he would show me where to get the amazing French macaroons that are famous to give to Mary Beth's host family (to be explained in a min)... I had a crepe on the go for dinner from this stand called "les meillures crepes a Paris" or something (lit: the best crepes in Paris)- it was amazing!
Then I left for Grenoble. it was a direct train and I got to sit in first class! I was in a single window seat facing an empty seat in an area that was glassed off from the other 1st class seats! I had soooo much space and it was sooo quiet! When I got there, Mary Beth, whom I've known since middle school and is studying in Grenoble, and her host father picked me up. It was so nice that they came and got me so late on a Friday! And they let me stay with them for free in Mary's room! They loved the macaroons and said that they knew the store where i got them from :) So mary and I chatted for a while then passed out. The next day we got up "early" (10am) and went hiking up this beautiful mountain! Grenoble is surrounded by the Alps- so beautiful! There was even snow on the tops! and I could see the highest mountain, mont blanc, in the distance! Such a fun and beautiful city! Then we had lunch at Mr. Taco's (lol) and went back to her place to shower. Then we met Marys friends for some kebabs (lol again) and met up with more of her friends at her friend's who lives in a dorm! it was sooo tiny but so fun! we ended up going to a bar, and of course Mary's host-brother was there- she was soooo embarrassed... apparently thats the bar the highschoolers go to- oops! It was still fun, and we got to speak French to his friends (the 2 girls that were in his group were really fun!) Then we went home after a good night :)
The next day we woke up at 9am to go with Mary's host- mom and host-mom's friend to go to the Sunday market... I go earrings and 2 hats (in the course of the trip i also got tan boots, tea for a friend, and a souvenir bottle opener! everything was so much cheaper there!). Then I had lunch with Mary's family! It was enormous and soooo tasty!!! I was shocked at how warm the family was so me, as if i was their own family! Then Me, Mary, her host-cousin, and her friends met up and went to the Salon du Chocolat... mmmmm... though smaller than the one in paris, it was a lot cheaper and still really fun! Then I went to mary's to chill b/c I had to start getting ready to leave :(... So we chatted with her host mom (btw, none of them speak English, so it was always in French)... When I had to say goodbye i was so sad I cried! I really loved them! They told me I could come back anytime, which was sooo sweet!!!
Gotta run! 1 more update and I’ll be all caught up!