Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Not a ton went on these last few weeks. I finished my paper and sent it to people at work...
On the 15th I had my work Christmas party, which was so fun! First we had champagne in the lounge and exchanged grab bag gifts where were so funny. I got a guide to Paris restaurants and bistros which was perfect!
After everyone put on skits. Me & the 2 other americans put on a sketch making fun of how french people see Americans... very funny! The germans had a cool drinking game, since drinking songs are part of their culture. The french did a lot of funny ones about work...
after we went out to a traditional french restaurant in the Latin Quarter where there was unlimited drinking and eats. I had escargot and duck. Others had racclet (a cool thing where you melt cheese and eat it with different meats) and fondu (I didn't realize real fondu had no cheese involved! You get raw food and dip it in boiling oil and cook it yourself!) We were sooo full! apparently some of the other people went out after and were out til 3 or 4! I left at 12 b/c, unlike them, i had class at 9am :( Thres pics, but for "security reasons" I cant put them online! haha!!
On Sat I went with a bunch of friends to a creperie for dessert and after we went to a jazz bar near by! also fun... Coincidentally, Mary Beth (the girl from Grenoble who I knew in High school)'s flight got delayed til the next day so she stayed in paris for the night... unfortunatly, but the time we got everything together, we were no where near e/o and didnt see eachother :(
My friend Maddie left Friday, Connie left Monday, and Julian left Wed... It was really sad! Now the dorm is like a ghost town!!!
I'm so glad I left on Wed for England and got to be with a family. For those kids who stayed behind w/o family it was really weird and they didn't do anything...
ENGLAND WAS AMAZING!!! I met Gemma's whole family!!! And I really got to relax which was awesome, I really needed to just veg out...
If I described what I did in England, you would think it was boring, but it wasn't so I'll leave it to your imagination... Everyday there was some lunch or dinner with a different family member at Gemma's, and I think we watched 5 movies.
cool highlights: I went to a real butcher and saw real sheep. Went into Manchester for going out one night and shopping the next.
Gemma's family was so welcoming it was amazing!!! I even got a few presents on Christmas!: candy, socks, underwear (haha- very traditional), a scarf & shirt made by Gemma's sister Ellie who makes clothes and has her own store, a wallet with british things on it, a cool butterfly necklace, and cards from her grandparents! too sweet!
I got them wine, hand made dark chocolates, brie cheese, rochefort cheese (they asked lol), and french soaps... I think they really liked it!
Now back to the grind... I don't know what's up for New Years... I would rather just hang out in the dorm, but something tells me everyone else is going to want to go out and its going to be really lame haha

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Ok, Ok... so I left off with Grenoble...
I saw the new Twilight movie in English... Definitely the worst movie in the history of movies. I got told by a French guy to stop laughing. I couldn't. It was just so bad.
I made some spinach & mushroom quiches, my mom’s recipe. Which means that I can now bake. I've never baked before. Finding stuff in the supermarket was hard too... How do you pie crust? Heavy Cream? By using a lot of hand gestures lol
So for Thursday (Thanksgiving) I brought one quiche in to work for lunch and me and my 2 American coworkers make some holiday stuff… My boss made pumpkin pie, which was amazing, and my coworker made stuffing. Epic.
Friday my teacher hosted a dinner for all the students. She made a turkey that was awesome, and I brought another quiche lol Everyone had to bring something. It was awesome. After we went out for one of the girls’ 21st bday, but I was wiped and had said I was going back early. Turns out it wasn’t really planned anyway, and half the group left with me- oops! She was pissed, and it doesn’t make me too excited to celebrate my bday here in the midst of finals… Not going to be fun…
Sat I worked on a paper all day. Lame. But I did go out to lunch with my friend Noelle to Paul (or Chez Paul) a very well known restaurant. I had a hamburger. Really expensive, and small, but definitely the best hamburger I’ve ever had.
Sunday I had girl scouts all day. It is so tiring, but this time we spent the whole day designing a play. I have no idea what the play is about, but it looks good- haha! I made a paper bouquet of roses (don’t ask me how, it was a moment of creativity, never to be repeated, I’m sure) and everyone was soooo impressed lol
Tuesday I discovered the library of Paris. Julian has a card so I and my friend Bridget took it and I got some books out from the library for my paper…
Wed. I went to the Christmas Markets and windows. So nice. The windows are like the Macy’s windows at Galarie Lafayette and Printemps, which are fancy, high-end stores.
Thurs I talked to one of my teachers about how hard it is to find jobs in tourism in France for the summer. He said he would help me out & gave me his card. But I got lost in translation. I don’t know if he said I should call him? Or talk to him after class? And now I don’t know how to bring it up, so I didn’t say anything about it after class today… Maybe I’ll send him an email…
After class I met with my friend Bridget, who has an uncle who owns surf shops in the south of France. She already has a job with him, and she said she's going to ask him at Christmas if he could help me and Julian get jobs too, which would be awesome…
Friday I had lunch with work. We had Italian. It was all pasta. Expensive pasta. I was so pissed to spend over 10$ on something I eat every night. Haha.
Saturday I went to Le Mont-Saint-Michel with Julian for the day. It was beautiful. It is this chateau on a hill in the middle of the water. Definitely worth googling. We got there at 10:30, and took at free tour at 11am of the church/castle on the top in English, which was cool. I learned that it took 1400 years to complete, it has the most drastic tides in Europe, it housed monks, the kings of France, knights, and prisoners, and it has withstood countless attacks. Amazing. The town is really cute but touristy. We struggled to find a good place to eat since most of them are closed for the offseason. Also, it was like an Asian invasion around noon. We were standing on the steps and they came from no where. Large groups of them all at once, snapping away on their cameras! So funny!
Right before we left, they lit the city with Christmas lights, which was beautiful. Such a cool experience.
Sunday I worked all day, and at around 6 I went to the Eiffel Tower. I got to see it lit up, it was gorgeous. It sparkles on certain times of the night too, so I got to see that too. We also saw a weird Asian wedding. There were like 5 brides. So weird.
On Monday I went with Bridget before work to different sites, such as St. Eustache, Notre Dame, and Hotel Dieu. We meant to go to some church that was supposed to be amazing, but she ended up having the wrong location, and it was in the middle of no where so we didn’t go. So I said, let go to rue Claire, I’ve herd it’s very nice (thanks to Rick Steves). Well I was so distracted by the 60 year old prostitutes and hooker bars that I totally forgot to look for rue Claire! Hahahah! Bridget did NOT think it was so funny. So we wandered down to St. Eustace, which is an old church by Les Halles that was gigantic. It was this huge gothic-renaissance church which enormously high vaulted ceilings. It needs a lot of restoration unfortunately. Then we moseyed to Notre Dame, but the line was so long, we didn’t want to wait so we just walked around the building. Then we stumbled on Hotel Dieu, across the street. It was est. in like the 700s as a public hospital by the church, and obviously has been destroyed by fires and things, so the current building was built in the 1800s (1871 I think?), and you can go inside. You wouldn’t believe it’s a hospital. It’s gorgeous. You would love to be sick here! It’s all marble, and there’s a beautiful courtyard and it’s gigantic. It just shows you how integrated into history the French life is…
Tuesday one of the interns came back for a visit before she returned home… We had Mexican, it was really cheap: 1 drink, appetizer, and meal for 10.50 euro (aka $15- yes, that’s cheap). I got the seafood lunch, so I had shrimp and a seafood burrito. AMAZING!!!
On Wednesday (yesterday) I went out to dinner in the Marais to this cool restaurant with a wood burning stove/grill thing right in front of us. It was a French steak house I suppose you’d call it. We had snails for appetizer and steak for the meal. Awesome. It had amazing atmosphere. I adored it!
Yay! So I’m caught up now!!! Hope everyone’s doing well back in the States!!! <3 xoxox

PS Here are some more links to pictures:

Le Mont-Saint-Michel:

Sightseeing with Julian & Bridget, mostly Petit Palais:

Christmas Markets and Windows: