Thursday, September 27, 2012

Things I've eaten in Paris

The things you never thought I would ever eat in a million years:
     - Some kind of cheese soup
     - Stuffed mushrooms
     - Stuffed tomatoes
     - Cheese (but to be honest, I'm not being very brave about the cheese I pick).
     - Shrimp
     - Almost bloody meat (This is true. The meat is extraordinarily pink - and delicious)
     - Risotto
     - Melon, topped with mozzarella, and some kind of vinaigrette
     - Pesto and tuna

Things I eat almost daily:
     - Frosted Flakes (aka Frosties here in France because they don't have an -ED past tense ending)
     - Baguettes. All the time.
     - Ham/Butter/Cheese sandwich

Things I should never eat again:
     - That cheese soup
     - Stuffed Tomatoes
     - That awful gyro at St. Michel
     - The pretty gross Chinese I ate for lunch today, also at St. Michel

BONUS - Things I haven't eaten yet:
     - Chocolate croissants (WHERE ARE YOUUU?)
     - An entire baguette, all to myself
     - Nutella. But seriously, how is it so hard to find some damn Nutella.
     - Escargot, but give me some time and I'll get to it.

Bon Appetit!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Two days; still in a whirlwind.

I've been in paris for just about 2 days now, though it feels like more! That's because everything is happening very quickly.

I got to my homestay in the beautiful 15e arrondissement just around noon. My host-mom, Louise, is fantastic. She's so sweet and welcoming! She even took me to the métro to load my Navigo (pass) card and then on the metro to show me where my orientation was to be held! Dinner last night was amazing, and I had my first Paris baguette. I did not completely pass out last night, but thats only because I took a power nap after I unpacked my room.

Today I had my orientation, which was neat because I got to meet the other people in my program. We learned a lot about the city as well as all of the opportunities we have during our stay. The best part: we got an UNLIMITED pass for the Louvre. I can go whenever to just hang out. I can't even believe it!

Then we took a boat ride on the Seine. It was absolutely incredible. We saw everything from the Louvre, Le Musée D'Orsay, le Grand Palais, and most importantly, la Tour Eiffel:

Aprés ça, my friend, Jennifer, and I went shopping! My itty bitty shoulder bag is not enough for touristy things, and I didn't bring another pick-pocket safe bag. So we jumped on the first metro we found (because we got a little lost on the rive droit) and headed to les Halles - which is a big commercial shopping center. They have everything from H&M to Zara and a lot of little shops and cafés outside the centre.

I actually just got finished with dinner, and I'm ready to crawl in bed, but there are some things about the French I should share.

le Métro:

The metro system in France is beautiful. By beautiful I mean really easy to use, because it's actually not that pleasant look at. Probably better than New York, but just about on par with D.C. There are 14 lines (Just metro, there are 5 train lines and many bus lines as well) throughout the city which means there is a metro stop just about every 500 meters. What's also great is that you can buy a metro/RER/bus pass which is called Navigo. Per week is about 20 euro and per month it's just about 62. BUT unlike D.C., with this pass you can ride an unlimited amount on times during that period. With a single fare card being 1,70, I am saving and endless amount of money given how much I've used the metro already.

The other thing is that on some trains, you need to unlock the doors when the train comes to a stop, they don't all open automatically which is a new and scary thing. Also if you're on the kind of train, and you don't open the doors before the train is at a complete stop, people get very impatient. People step off the train before it's stopped all the way. It was a little embarrassing today to stumble off.

le Diner

Dinner in Paris is a production. Today we started dinner at just after 8pm, and did not clean up the table until after 9:30. My host-mom loves loves loves to cook. Yesterday we had beef cooked in onion and some sort of marinade (the French like their beef veryyy raw), and today we had shrimp cooked in olive oil and some kind of vinigrette, salsa, and rice. After we finish with the main part of the meal we talk and talk and talk and thennnn we bring out the cheese and bread. After that we talk and talk and talk more.

Alright, I just ran into a problem with my french phone, so I've got to go!
A bientôt

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Terminal musings

Hey all!

Here I am, sitting in terminal number #1 of the day, in Dulles, and before I leave, I want to share a couple of thoughts.

First of all, I am so so grateful for this experience that is to come. I spent some time in the past twenty-four hours before weepy, but only because saying goodbye to everything I know is really hard. I do realize that this is an adventure, and I am definitely going to make the most of it.

Second, thank you to everyone who has helped me get here. I am so lucky to have some great people in my life. Most importantly I have my mom who has done everything in her power to make sure that I'm where I am today, both physically here in this airport as well as who I am as a person.

Finally, I am about to achieve one of my dreams, and that is so unreal to me. I've been obsessed with Paris and the French language for years and years, and now I am on my way. I guess at one point I was pretty afraid of what it would mean to actually live this dream, and maybe not have it be everything I wanted. But there is a little Tangled wisdom I'd like to share

Rapunzel: I've been looking out of a window for eighteen years, dreaming about what I might feel like when those lights rise in the sky. What if it's not everything I dreamed it would be? 
Flynn Rider: It will be. 
Rapunzel: And what if it is? What do I do then? 
Flynn Rider: Well,that's the good part I guess. You get to go find a new dream

Alright, the plane just arrived at the gate, so I'm gonna pack up and get ready to head to Atlanta! Thank you again everyone :)

Paris, à nous deux!

Friday, September 14, 2012

The 2-day Blues

A Chronicle of My Thought Process (over the past few days)

1. Wow, I really need to finish packing.
2. J.J. Abrams' new show comes out the day after I leave!
3. I really hope we don't crash on an mysterious island in the Pacific (almost done with Lost, sorry)
4. Crap, I have so much left to pack and I'm running out of room
5. Crap crap crap, I have x many nights left here
6. HOLY CRAP. I won't be back here until next June.

The days left on my calendar have dwindled down to the final few, and I'm staring to panic a little bit. Not about important things - like am I going to do well in my classes, will I meet people I like? They are more like - I can't watch Grey's Anatomy this season!!! 

let's be honest that's kind of a big deal. Are they going to find the survivors? Does Sloane make it?

Still, overall, I know that this is the right decision. I have wanted Paris for so long, and now in just about 48 hours I will be there! Living my dream!

And now when I am afraid, or lonely, or completely lost, I will remember what one of my best friends said to me the other night:

"you just need to be brave, this is your greatest adventure yet"

Sunday, September 9, 2012

7 Day Countdown: Packing Madness

Today (Sunday) marks one week until I leave for Paris! Because it's so soon, packing is certainly underway. 

huge rolling duffels! The other one is filled just as much as the open one!

I'm taking these two suitcases with me, and I'm carrying on my backpack (with my laptop and electronics). Thus far it looks like everything is going fit well - fingers crossed, of course. None of my toiletries have gone in and I still have a lot of clothes to go. Good news! All but two pairs of shoes are packed! 

Alright, I've got to get back to watching Lost, my mom and I have one season to go and, again, only 7 days left... But take a second and check out my flickr account! There's a link to it on the right hand side of this page. I took my beautiful camera to D.C. when we back to get my visa a few weeks ago, and I put some of the nicer pictures up! 

Have a great first football Sunday!
(and Hail to the Redskins!)