Monday, March 30, 2009

Trel, Belle, and Liz again!

After a very tough week of spring break planning, goodbyes (Beth had to return to the US wednesday), and lots of homework, I was glad to be picking up Liz off the train in Dijon!

She came in on Friday...and that night we headed out to the cinema and saw Harvey Milk in English with french subtitles.

Saturday we headed into down town Dijon to the Marche (the covered market), bought some fresh raspberries, and followed the Chouettes (markers in the form of Owls that are on the ground that take you on a course all around the city and show you the major points. Later that afternoon, we met up with the boys and headed to Carrfour (the french walmart) and got food for dinner saturday and breakfast and dinner on sunday. We came back, made some tacos (as mexican as we could get them at least) and then went to a cute little cafe all together.

Our dorm has this rediculous rule that we can't have anyone stay with us for the weekend (no visitors after 10pm) so we ended up sneaking her through someone's window on the first floor. It was hilarious.

sunday we woke up late, made crepes with the boys, and then all 5 of us headed to Lac Kir, which is a cute little lake/park area just a 30 min bus ride away. We walked around in the fresh(cold) air and sat around for abit before returning back to make a big spaghetti dinner. Sunday night, liz and I watched some episodes of friends and rearraged my room--it looks so much better!

She left me this morning ...which was sad :(..but I get to see her in a little over a month when we go to Berlin.

It was so nice having her with me this weekend...a good distraction since I'm kinda getting the 1/2 way through well as the unfortunate sudden departure of Beth. On the bright side, I get to go see all of the beautiful Chateaux this weekend!

until later..ciao

PS..sorry there aren't more pictures..but both of us forgot to charge our cameras!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Provence...roman ruins and more!

this weekend i went on a guided CIEF tour to Provence (the south of France) that is heavily influenced by the Romans...well..i guess they lived there and France took it over...or something. all the explanations were in french...give me a break!

But I got to see some reallllly old roman theatres and arenas and ruins. It was sweet. We also got to spend a few ours and the was windy so there was so sun bathing, but walking up and down the boardwalk was beautiful.

I think my favorite part was on the last day seeing the Pont-de-Gard..the most famous roman aquaduct. It was HUGE and beautiful. and we got to hike around it for a few reminded me of Northern Michigan.

After 17.5 hours on a bus in one weekend, it was nice to return home--but it was so cool to see all of these historical sights...the history on the land just blows my mind! I think thats what I like about europe the most.. all of the history.

Liz is coming to vist me this will be fun :) except that it is supposed to rain all weekend :( we'll see though!

grand bisous!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Finally something worth blogging about!

This weekend I was able to hop a train down to Clermont-Ferrand...home of THE Liz Mclane! It was so nice to feel so at home with her.

I got in friday night and trekked it to her dorm (there are TONS of hills and such there) and then we just hung out and talked all night long. We got up early the next day and wandered around her city seeing le Cathedral and doing some serious window shopping. Later in the afternoon we joined some of her very french friends in a "little hike"


It was NOT the little hike pierre had described at all, but a trek across mountains! The weather was beautiful... warm with a cooling breeze.., but it was definitly a difficult hike not meant for tennis shoes and jeans. We started at the Cathedral (the black thing in the center of one of those photos) and ended 1/2 up the Puy-de-Dome (the mountain with the snow)

It was fun though...we were able to get out in nature and take some amazing pictures. About 6 hours later we made it back and were so exhausted we fell alseep halfway through watching Beauty and the Beast! (we were inspired to watch it from the views and photos of the French countryside hehe)

Sunday we hung out for a bit and I headed back to Dijon where I was greeting by dinner from my friend and then locked myself in my room to study for my midterm this morning. ( was hard.)

This week is going to be long I have a feeling..but it's sunny for the third day in a row! and hopefully it won't rain..doubtfull though. I am wearing flip flops though!! (but also a coat, scarf and mittens...I just really want to believe its spring.

Ok...time to go learn about cubisim...whooo

grand bisous xoxo

Friday, March 13, 2009

La la la

Still not doing too much...BUT I am headed to clermont-ferrand in about 30 min to go visit Liz (my friend who goes to OU ) for the weekend. It's going to be super fun--apparently Clermont is beautiful (70 degrees!!!) and we're going to go hiking in the mountains :)

I'll post pictures and such when I get back!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Les differences entre la France et les Etats-Unis

So in lieu (that's a french word btw..translated directly as "place") of all of the interesting things i am NOT doing a ce moment, I decided to explain some of the MAJOR cultural differences contre les US.

1. Bisous are a must when meeting someone new. That means you kiss someone on the cheek 1-4 times depending on how well you know the person introducing you. Complicated? YES. because it requires your judgment on how well you know the other person. Normally its about 2 and i just follow the other person's lead.

2. Warm milk: Milk here is never cold. Its warm. all the time. in cereal. in coffee. in everything. its gross.

3. It's a must to always say hello and goodbye to everyone you in a shop, resto, room. so many hellos and goodbyes!

4. On the other hand though, no one smiles here. If you pass someone on the street--don't smile because they assume its fake. Also when you are asking for food at a resto or shop or buying anything there is no smiles and jokes. straight business.

5. Public Transportation is HUGE. everyone rides the bus. everyone takes the train. period.

6. No light colors to be found in clothing. Black, Brown, Grey SOMETIMES red. I love it.

7. They drink their coffee from a bowl. No joke. My cereal bowl and coffee bowl are the exact same.

8. Also, if you're ordering a coffee from a resto or from a vending machine, expect a dixi cup size.


10. Rarely do you find prepackaged food items. Everything is bought fresh...even at the french equivalent of walmart is there fresh food everywhere.

11. everything is smaller. EVERYTHING. everything.

12. yogurt is everywhere.

13. you pay for the table more than the food.

14. pretty much everywhere closes from 12:30-2:30 for lunch. I can't expect to get anything done on my lunch break.

15. nothing is open on sundays. Its nice to have a break. but if i'm hungry I'm screwed.

16. taxes are the price you see is the price you pay. same with tips either.

17. French women (younger especially) do not leave the house with out perfect makeup, hair, and heels. my sweatshirt and jean approach stand out quite a bit.

18. Most bathrooms (unless you're in a touristy spot) are coed. Same with showers.

19. French men are way to forward for my comfort.