“Sometimes the only way is jumping…I hope you’re not afraid of heights.”

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

i got me some souvenirs...

Yesterday was a day full of food.
Lots. of. delicious. food.
I'm getting fat.
I promise you this.
BUT, carpe diem, eh?

Anywho, Carly and I started the day with a trip to Madeleine Church. It is a HUGE church that has a total of four domes in it--it looks like a Roman monument and it is astonishing to look at. Just magnificent!

After hitting that church up, we walked dow the street where we entered the haven of pattiseries! It is a place called Laduree and it is lovely. You MUST go and get a macaroon there if you ever visit Paris. It really is a must. While it is a bit expensive, it is well-worth! I mean it's been around since like 1836...that means it has to be bomb, right?

After Laduree and a crazy man harassing us for one of our macaroons, we left to sit in a park and then traveled to a Perfume Museum. Sounds pretty cool, huh? Well, it wasn't all that cool... I guess that's why it was free. Hmm...

As if we hadn't had enough sweets for that day, Carly and I trecked our way to a little shop that was supposed to have the best hot chocolate and croissants in town. Let me tell you...
those rumors were true.
C'est tres vrai! The hot chocolate was like drinking liquid pudding and I enjoyed every thousand calories I drank. Yummmm!!

That brings us to today. Today was a good day. Today was a great day actually!
I got two souvenirs--one for Alex and one for my mom--that I LOVE. I have been looking all of the freakin' city trying to find souvenirs that aren't just going to be thrown on a shelf or thrown in a box--souvenirs that will actually mean something and that they will love and cherish for their whole life. Now, I don't know if they will like them as much as I do, but I hope they do because I love them FOR them already! I got my dad's the other day too and I love it as well :) I wish I could tell you about them, but that would ruin the surprise, now wouldn't it?

Anyway, souvenirs were only a split second in my day. Before school, a couple of us went to Saint Chapelle, which is a beautiful little church that has the most beautiful stained-glass windows I have even seen. They are all over the place and you can feel the spirit so strongly in that little chapel...it is amazing!

After school, we went to Place des Vosgues. It is a lovely little jardin and Victor Hugo used to live in number 6 of the apartment complex next to it. Yes, we also went to visit his house. It is quite large for an apartment in the heart of Paris, but quite small to pay for a visit. So unless you're a Hugo fanatic, I wouldnt recommend spending the 5 or 7 euros to spend ten minutes in his apartment. It was pretty cool though...but we did get in for free once again with our magic cards that our program gave us :)

After Hugo's house, we went and got hot chocolate from the same place. Again. Don't judge me. I know I'm getting fat, but once... again carpe diem, eh?

Monday, May 30, 2011

remember that one day I got engaged?

She and Him have been engaged for about three and a half months now. Can you believe it?

Here's how the story went:
Maddi's friend Aubrey was in Provo looking for a wedding dress. Aubrey asked Maddi to meet her and her family at Utah Lake because she couldn't pick her up before they would go to the store. Maddi didn't want to ask her roommates for a ride and she thought Alex had to TA for Anatomy. Maddi was wrong and her roommates convinced her to text him and ask him for a ride after much complaining and saying,"He has to work; he's going to think I'm annoying." Alex said yes. He picked Maddi up at around 5 pm and they drove to Utah Lake. At the entrance of the Lake, Alex told Maddi to call Aubrey and see where they were. Sly boy. Aubrey didn't pick up. Maddi was frustrated with her. But Alex drove and parked the car next to the water where we had our first date and said we could wait a couple minutes to call her again. Maddi still has no idea about anything. Oblivious. Alex asks Maddi to get out of the car and look at the water with him. Maddi says no because it is cold outside. Alex begs her to for just a minute. As soon as they are both outside, Maddi goes to give alex a hug because she is cold. Alex pushes her off of him because he needs to get inside of his pocket. I still have no idea UNTIL he is on one knee asking her to marry him.

She said yes. And he smiled.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

i'm definitely a princess after visiting all of those castles...

I want to apologize in advance for my outfits this weekend--not because I think they were bad, but because it looks like I'm wearing the same thing on every day. I promise I wasn't...well just the sweater and the jeans. Whoops?

Anyway, what did I do this weekend in Normandie? That is the question? Well, what didn't we do? HA! Our days were jam packed and super duper fun!

On Friday, we traveled to Mont St. Michel, which is a giant fortress with quicksand around it! It was pretty awesome and the view was absolutely gorgeous.

We had like a million hours there, and the top was closed due to a strike, so we decided to buy a four-museum pass for 9 euros. It sound like a pretty good deal right? No. Worst decision ever. I won't tell you the whole story, but let's just say I know why it was only 9 euros for four museums. We didn't even bother going into the last one, and went and got lunch on the terrace instead.

We didn't even bother going into the last one, and went and got lunch on the terrace instead.

Let me tell you about lunch: there were the most obnoxious and stereotypical American girls sitting next to us... and I was embarrassed. They were speaking at unreal volumes in comparison to everyone else, were dressed in PINK sweatshirts with their oversized sunglasses, and were trying to say the french alphabet as fast as they could. Ummmm...yeah.

So, if you're American, these are some TIPS I will give you for when you come to Europe because most of the time you don't even realize you're making these mistakes:

1) There is no need to yell when talking to someone who is a foot away from you. I promise they will still be able to hear you AND you won't involve the whole restaurant in your conversation about hot french boys and english accents.

2) Do not wear white tennis shoes and a camera around your neck. I don't care how comfortable your tennis shoes are--you will be a target for pick-pocketing. And you definitely wouldn't want that, right?

3) When on the metro, do not lean against the pole that is in the center for EVERYONE to use. Besides the fact that it is not for your personal comfort and leisure, it is quite dirty. Ew.

4) Do not automatically use English with the locals because you assume they know it. Most of the time they do know English, but let's try and fit in with their culture just a wee bit, eh?

5) Embrace the culture, try the food, and observe the locals and what they do. Here in Paris, the people are always observing their surroundings and they aren't afraid to look at you and everyone else for that matter. Play the staring game with them! They like it. haha ;)

Ok, so now that we have that out of the way. I will tell you about Saturday in Normandie--we went to TWO castles and they were tres grand and tres gorgeous! I loved them, but once again I loved the grounds around the castle more. It was lovely.

The first castle was called Blois and was built in four different time periods, so each wing is built in a different style, including Renaissance, Middle Ages, Neoclassical, and Flamboyant. It was AWESOME!

Then after walking throughout the castle, we had some left over time to explore the town it was in, so we went to a little Saturday market and got the best sandwich evah!!! On a fresh baguette, there were fresh tomatoes, lettuce, a grilled sausage and ham, topped with grilled veggies and a white sauce that tasted similar to a Gyro sauce. AHHHH! I want one now!! :)

After eating and visiting the first castle, we went to another castle called Chambord. This one was my favorite--more than Versailles, more than Mont Saint Michel, and more then Blois. I loved it! The most recognizable feature of this castle is the double helix staircase that Da Vinci designed so that a lover could come down at the same time someone was going up and they wouldnt see each other. Terrible, I know. But pretty cool in terms of architecture.

The grounds of this castle were huge and wonderfully magnificent! We had a blast renting a six-person peddle cart/ bike thing that we put seven people on. I can't even tell you how heavy that thing was and how heavy it was to peddle...but it was so so much fun!...and I got a bit of a needed workout. haha

Kayla and I ended the day with a real workout--a full-length workout off of Exercise TV. We tried to explain to our host mom about exercise videos and gyms and stuff, and they don't have those things here because people don't really consciously work out here in France, so she didn't get it. Hmm...why is it that french women don't get fat then?

And of course, we had to go to McDos for dinner after, right?
Typical nighthere in Paris and you know what...you're missing out!! ;)

Friday, May 27, 2011

Peter Pan (English Accent, please) and Normandie with an -ie!

Sorry I haven't blogged in a couple days, but I want you to know that I brought my computer all the way to Normandie for YOU!

Ok...and mostly for me so I can skype with Alex. Shhhhh...

But anyway, I guess I will start from the beginning on Wednesday day.
Wednesday was fun filled! Between classes, Taylor and I went and got some A-MAY-ZING pasta right down the street from where we have class. The restaurant owner was so so nice and told us we had very good french (yay!) AND they give you your pasta-to-go in a little Chinese box. That was most definitely my favorite part, of course!

After class, a couple of us went to the Latin Quarter here in Paris and saw a lot of cool stuff including:

The narrowest road in Paris

An old theatre that aspiring artists used to perform at...so cool and tiny!

A cafe that Voltaire, Rouseau, and some other crazy writers used to sit and discuss philosophy at...wowee!! ;)

And the coolest bookstore you will EVAH see! It was like a little piece of London in the heart of Paris.

Then Friday evening came and we all went and saw Peter Pan. It was very entertaining and definitely in French...who would have thought? Although the songs were in English. :) Oh and a couple of times they broke into English in their dialogue when singing about green cake and screaming the f-bomb. Don't even ask about that one!! haha

That brings us to yesterday. Yesterday was absolutely freezing. But still fun!
At around 7 am (ew. early.), we all packed up and started our voyage to Normandy. Ok it was only a three or four hour bus drive--but that's a lot! At least we were riding in style. Our program rented out a pink Mercedes party bus. Can you say PAR-TAY!? So. much. fun.
After riding for what felt like forever, we came to a small town called Bayeux where they have tapestries that are almost 1000 years old! It was way cool, even if it sounds boring.

I also got a delicious pizza from that small town :) Loved it!

After Bayeux, we headed to the American cemetery where all of the soldiers that died in D-Day are buried. It was so lovely. But once again very cold, so a little bit difficult to fully enjoy it.

Oh and btw, I LOVE being American! I've learned that a lot more while being here and I really do the love the good ole' U.S. of A. Yay for eagles!

Finally we ended the day with a trip to the D-Day beaches. Well technically it was called Pont du Hac I think, but it was B-E-A-utiful! ;)

It's getting quite late here and all of my roomies are trying to sleep, so I will tell you about today's activities here at Mont Saint Michel in Normandie tomorrow.
Take it easy guys!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

everyday i'm shufflin'...

So for those of you who are unfortunate enough NOT to know what this is...I introduce you to the world's greatest dance move: the shuffle. The song is pretty dang awesome also. Yeah, it's pretty dumb, but it gets in your bones and you just gotta dance!

limited time? go to 3:40 and start watching....AWESOME!

It's pretty much the theme song here in Paris because everyone sings it and then once someone starts singing it, we all have to shuffle to it...doesn't matter if we're in front of the Eiffel Tower, or in the metro station, or walking on the cobble stone. Everywhere, everyday! It probably doesn't help that I also start my mornings off with this song. It gets stuck in my head. :)

So anyway, the shuffle. It looks quite simple, but really...it's quite difficult. But after you learn...you will look freakin' SAWEET! So I have found a tutorial for all of you and I urge you to learn it right now. It is really for your own good! haha
BUT if you don't have time, simply watch the music video and THEN you will make time. Promise.

P.S. Sorry for the little bit of inappropriateness in the tutorial :)

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

the BIGGEST grave yard in the world!!!! ...ok ok, only in Paris.

Yesterday was Monday. We didn't have class. Yes. I love study abroad schedule.

So we went to lunch and then went to Paris's largest grave yard--Pere Lachaise cemetary.
I went there with my family my freshman year of high school when we visited Paris, but it was a little bit more interesting this time around, as I knew who a couple of the people buried there were--only a couple. HA! I need me some more culture to fully appreciate that place ;)

Anyway the couple people I knew there--or should have known at least--were Oscar Wilde, Moliere (who we have recently studied here in our French Lit. class) and Jim Morrison.

Oscar Wild is a well known author who was apparently gay. I guess it was a big deal back then because everyone and their mom kisses his grave with lip stick. Lip stick is everywhere!! ...let's just say I would never actually kiss that being the minor germaphobe I am. Ew.

Jim Morrison. I'm not really a fan, but I got a picture with it just to say I did. That's really it. Haha

Today we had class, but I am now done at 3 pm instead of 5 pm because my photo class ended last week. Once again, I love study abroad schedule. It's so nice!!
We have a new professor though--Doctor Hudson. Professor Olivier is back in the states and Hudson is here to take over--and we have LOTS of fun things to look forward to. On Thursday morning we leave for Normandy for three days and I. Am. Stoked. So excited!!
But today, we simply ate treats and talked about our excursion. YES!! I introduce you to the millefeuille:

Well tomorrow should be full of more surprises!! Take it easy and see ya soon!