Thursday, February 26, 2009

je suis desolee!!!!!

i have not been very good about updating my blog in the past couple of weeks, but currently i have very legitimate reasons...last week my friend from riding ponies when i was like 12 years old came to visit [which was fun but its difficult for me to elaborate right now because im on a french computer at the dorm and the keyboard is completely different and it is SO hard to type!!!!!] and brought with her 5 hooligans who ended up ALL STAYING IN MY ROOM. but that is another story. anyways, one of these hooligans decided it would be a good idea to accidentally spill beer all over my computer, and alas, i am now computerless because mine is at the computer doctor. its quite tragic.
however, in much more exciting news, i am leaving to visit Lauren in Cyprus this afternoon and i am SO EXCITED!!!!! i will be there for 10 days and will attempt to update my blog from there.

au revoir!!!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

So Kate left this morning, and we had a really great time, and i'm going to try to provide an overview of our activities for the week because i have been too busy being an accommodating hostess to update my blog!
THURSDAY 2/5: Kate was supposed to get to paris on wednesday, but due to an unforeseen flight cancellation did not arrive until Thursday morning. I met her at the airport (after accidentally not buying a train ticket for the airport and having to pay a 25 euro fine) and brought her back to my dorm. we went grocery shopping and got some lunch at a little cafe, and then I had to go meet with Vera, the woman i am now babysitting for, to meet/interview for the job. She loved me, obviously, and hired me on the spot and I am now in charge of taking care of her almost 2-year-old daughter Nina on Thursdays and some weekends for a few hours. The family is german, has just moved to paris from texas, and was looking for a native english speaker to watch Nina so she gets more exposure to english. Anyways, after I met with them, Kate and I went to the Latin Quarter for falafel.
FRIDAY: After French and a disasterous attempt to meet Kate at the biggest metro stop in Paris, we went to the Marais to do some shopping/eating. We ended up going to the Place des Vosges, these pretty pink house things that napoleon made all the noble people live in or something, and also went into Victor Hugo's house (the author of the phantom of the opera and les miserables), which is a confusing and not very exciting museum. We went to a canadian bar that night and drank some beer and then came home and went to bed.
SATURDAY: more walking around and eating, and then that night we went to see a band that Kate's friend from Philly is in that just happened to be playing in Paris. They were really good and we got some free drinks because we were cool and knew the band and it was très amusant.
SUNDAY: I can't for the life of me remember what we did besides eating at this incredible vegan/vegetarian restaurant (because kate is vegan)...maybe we slept in all day? i dont know. but the food, even though it was vegan, was probably the best food ive had in paris so far.
MONDAY: I had class and Kate went to visit the eiffel tower and louvre and then afterwards we went to an indian restaurant (for the second time actually, because we couldn't get our fill the first time around)
TUESDAY: I skipped my afternoon class to go visit the catacombs with Kate, which ended up being one of the coolest things i've seen thus far. Basically, it is this former mine 20 meters under the city that is completely filled with skeletons. 6 million skeletons, to be exact. It was pretty spooky, especially because it was dark and claustrophobic, but really incredible to see. The bones all date from like before the 1700s, and the catacombs have been open to the public since the 1800s. All of the bones are like intricately arranged, sometimes in patterns, and it's pretty creepy to think that someone's job was to stack 6 million dead people's bones in an organized and aesthetically pleasing fashion. It's also pretty creepy to think that people have been enjoying going 20 meters under the ground to look at all the bones for about 2 centuries, but after experiencing it, I can say that I understand the allure. Here I am with all the dead guys:

WEDNESDAY: I went to French class in the morning, but skipped my impressionism class to have some more hang out time with Kate before she left. She met me at school and we went to a cafe for lunch and then explored the Pere Lachaise cemetery a little bit, stumbling upon Jim Morrisson's grave, among others. We then went for a stroll down the Champs-Elysses and took pics by the Arc de Triomphe, finishing off the afternoon with some delicious sweet crepes. We stayed in that night and just hung out and drank wine, and I helped her get onto the train to the airport Thursday morning.
today was pretty lazy, the only real thing i had to do was babysit, which was fun and nina is adorable and i got 20 euro which will suffice for beer money this weekend, which i am excited about. i'm babysitting again on saturday as well. it's nice to be raking in some cash.
au revoir!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009


The whole group took a trip to Normandy last weekend, which was so awesome and fabulous and full of delicious food....
the first day we went to Bayeux, a little norman town that is most well known for this really really old tapestry...which at first did not seem like the most exciting thing in the world to me, but when i actually saw it was totally fascinated, mostly with how old and ugly it was. Apparently it was made sometime in the 1000s or 1100s and is 250 feet long and tells the story of some battle between normandy and england. Here it is in its natural habitat:
This post is apparently not going to be in chronological order, because seeing that tapestry was actually the first thing we did on the second day. 
The first thing we did on the first day was check into our quaint little hostel accommodations, which were actually quite homey and not at all reminiscent of a certain horror movie set in prague. Then we visited this 5 bajillion year old church that apparently used to house the Bayeux tapestry:
It was really beautiful and intricate yet creepy at the same time because it was covered with gargoyles and there was a crypt inside that we went into complete with coffins, etc. 
After that, we ate delicious dinner at a little norman restaurant with this delicious alcoholic fizzy cider stuff, which apparently is normandy's claim to fame. Then, we went to the American Cemetery and D-day beaches, which were really depressing. Let me show you why:

Dead people everywhere. Somewhere around 9 or 10 thousand. We also trekked down to the beaches where all these people died, and happened to come across a man in full camoflauge gear pretending to be dead on the beach which was a bit strange, but I guess he was having a profound experience, which i suppose is not difficult in a place like that. From there, we went to this place called the Pointe du Hoc, which was a huge important german base thing during ww2 that the americans totally annihilated, leaving the landscape totally mangled with huge craters caused by bombs and pieces of army bunkers that were blown to smithereens. Quite creepy, i must say. Some of the bunkers were still partially intact so we were able to go inside them and look around a bit, and I was just waiting to step on a skeleton or something like that. Luckily, there were no dead bodies.
So as i said, the first thing we did on the second day was go to that tapestry, and then we traveled via bus to Honfleur, an extremely picturesque little Norman town. Our first stop was a cider mill where we had a delicious stereotypical french lunch of paté, baguette, and cheese, and did a bit of cider-tasting. I accidentally got attacked by a kitty cat, because in my desperation to satisfy just a smidgen of my animal-homesickness, i pushed the kitty who lived at the cider mill over the edge. one minute we were cuddling, and the next he was viciously biting and scratching my arm. I have some serious battle wounds, but it was well worth the small dose of kittycat love. 
We then departed for the little downtown area of Honfleur:
 It looked, as you can see, like disney world. We climbed up this big hill and got a fantastic panoramic view of the city, which i couldnt take a picture of because my camera died. My friends took pictures which i plan on stealing, however. 
All in all, normandy was fabulous, and because i found a brochure that listed all the places to ride ponies in normandy, i might just have to go back for a second visit. 
kate my lovely nurse friend comes to visit tomorrow (she was supposed to come today but the airport is a stupid, terrible place) and i am very excited to show her how knowledgeable i am about all things parisian.