Wednesday, June 1, 2011


Hello everyone!
I'm sorry it has been so long sense I updated, I had to change my email for the account before spring break because my university email wasn't working for outside accounts any longer and then I forgot the new email over break, of course! I was also just feeling a little lazy when it came to blogging.

Ok, so I had a wonderful two week spring break voyage to Nantes, Nice, Marseille, Cagliari(Sardegna,Italy), Rome and Brussels! Everything was wonderful, Cagliari was a little grimy once you got past the tourist strip but it was a lot of random fun. Brussels was by far the best. I would tell you all about it but it is a little late, I will direct you to a travel buddy's blog who updated in a timely manner: and  yay!


So this week is Finals Week for me. It is awful, well not really it is just constant studying. I have already had my intense finals. I had etude socio-culturelle which was huge test but it was pretty easy, Monday i had histoire also a huge test over about 7 chapters but it was fine if your studied well, langue; a three hour test and yesterday my Histoire de l'art which took about 30 minutes and my oral exam for langue which was scary but fine. I have a Lit test in about an hour. You are probably thinking why aren't you studying? Meh, I feel prepared and even if I'm not I can make a 50% on this exam and still come out with and American A in the class. Hooray for french grading!

Last week we went to a Picnic at the school with our host mom, it was a lot of fun and probably the most time we've spent conversing with our mere.

So I have about 1 week until I get home. I'm excited to come home but I know I will experience culture shock all over again.  Chantal gave Amy and I some caramels that are a specialty of Belle ile in Bretagne, I think? There are about 12 different flavors and some of them are tasty and some of them are strange, I think it was her going away present to us.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Forgetting things is my life in France

So I am being extremely studious and updating my blog instead of studying for my Histoire de l'Art test.  Studying and homework are not my forte in France. Why should I worry about those things in this great country. Don't worry mom and dad, I've been making mostly As and Bs.

French Donkeys are huge, they can't even hold up their own head.
This weekend I went back to the park that is home to the strange donkeys and cows by the Lac de la Maine with some friends. We took a picnic that we bought at the market that morning and sat out by the lake where we saw a topless sunbather. I knew that happened in Europe but I thought they had to be in a designated area or at least away from a family park. The police even came by to shut down a person grilling and looked right at her and her exposed chest and just kept walking. I was not use to seeing a carefree woman just letting everything show. It was a strange sight to see and I'm sure I'll just see more of it on spring break.

By the way, the cop's uniform are really nice. They have tall boots and tight pants like Mr. Darcy.

So I have had a problem with leaving my backpack when we go out for lunch between classes. But usually remember it pretty soon after leaving and it has always been at a place were I am pretty much a regular, so It hasn't been a big deal before today... I made it all the way back from lunch and through my two hour histoire de France class before I realized my purse with my passport and everything else is missing and that I left it at the panini stand table. I freaked out and Amy went with me to go see if it was still there. We walked faster than we have probably walked the whole time in France and I felt like I was going to vomit the whole way there.  But luckily someone had turned it into the counter with everything intact. YAY courteous french people!  Amy said she was going to start gluing my stuff to me. Its probably not a bad idea.

Ever since it has been constantly warm, I have been hearing this strange noise outside. It sounds like a screeching frog/monkey hybrid. I need to find out what it is.

Friday, April 8, 2011

I will stay in Europe forever.

Europe will either be the death of me or I will remain here forever as a pseudo gypsy working in the metro stations. Since I stepped foot into the EU, the steadily increasing exchange rate has been chomping at my bank account. Can you just go ahead and finalize bailing out Portugal so that the rate will go back down, please?
After spring break I will be poor and this makes me very sad. I will probably have no way to leave europe and therefore I shall never make it out(this is a complete exaggeration because I already have a ticket home). I'm just glad there is only about 4-5 weeks after break instead of several months.

France, I love you but there are somethings that I don't understand. Today, I read a little excert in one of my books about the French brands for bottled water which there are many, like evian and vittel and that the average french person consumes about 85 liters of bottled water a year which I think  might be less than american but that would require research. However, french people never drink anything. I realized that when I first got here that my host family and many other French people hardly drink a sufficient amount of anything, that all of there glasses are tiny and they never pee(but that leaves me a little befuddled as to where the pee stench comes from on the streets). My host family does not drink from the tap either so they only drink from the 1.5 liter bottles that they purchase in bulk.  Wine can't be all that hydrating.

You all may not know that France is little concerned with appearances. They are actually extremely concerned with them. It is why anytime you are in public you are looked over from head to toe. My cultural teacher told us that if you are female who is not slim, pretty and well dressed that you have no chance at all in finding a job in the business world. And that a lot of people start to prepare themselves for finding a job aesthetically when they are very young. Way to be crappy, France.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011


This past weekend I visited some sites of D-Day in Normandy. We went to the Caen Museum which covered all of WWII from France's perspective. The museum was over all, very well done, of course it lacked details in areas that weren't as important to France as they might of been to other countries. But it is definatly interesting to see historical events from another countries point of view. I don't think that I can describe everything in just, it is something that one would have to see and feel what is like to be there for themselves.

We went to the American Cemetery for an hour and for that hour I was actually on American soil. The pure white crosses were plentiful, strategically placed as if they grew there and are forever growing up in glory. It was like looking down at a field of corn that had been sowed with the upmost care.
We walked on Omaha Beach. The beaches seem to be the lucky ones, they have the waves to heal there scars as time goes by. You could step onto to them without realizing what had happened if it wasn't for the memorials calling back the memories. After Omaha Beach we made a stop at Point du Hoc, the ocean side clifftop where the Texas Rangers climbed there way up the impassable cliff. Point du Hoc has many visible scars left in the land. It was a little eery being there.
My Paw was in the 82nd Airborne division that landed in Sainte Mere Eglise. While I did not get to go there, the Caen museum did have a wall dedicated to Operation Overload. You could always get him started with question about the war and I couldn't help but think how wonderful it would of been to have him there telling me about it first hand instead of reading about it. I wondered if those were his buddies on the wall and if he was in the pictures but I didn't realize it.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Weekend in Paris


I don't even know where to begin with Paris. I left at about 11:30 on Friday morning by train with my housemate Amy. We tried to buy tickets for seats next to each other on the train but Amy bought the last normal 2nd class without realizing it which left me with a suspiciously more expensive 2nd class seat even with a reduction card. I still haven't figure out why it was more expensive. So my ticket was Car 20 seat 28 isle seat. Not too difficult right? WRONG-O. I got on car 20 and there was no seat 28 anywhere all the seats were in the fifties. I walk back and forth across cars a few times looking for seat 28, by this time I was feeling a little frustrated and a bit embarrassed that I couldn't find my seat. I asked a poor middle aged women who just told me it was on the other side of the car which it wasn't so i decided to just pick a seat in the front of the car. I found a seat in the isle across from these girls yapping on cell phones and one lone man but this nice girl sitting at the table on the other side stands up and offers me the window seat by her without talking which I found odd. I guess she knew I wasn't French. I'm glad she let me sit there because the other girl talked on her phone the whole time and even put it on speaker phone for a while even though you are supposed to have you phones on silent while on the train.  When the train attendant came around to check tickets I told him in French that I couldn't find my correct seat and just sat here. He couldn't care less but he was nice and told me that they were the tiny fold out seats in-between the cars without arm rest, no seat numbers and extremely uncomfortable looking things for future reference. Why I had to pay 12 more euros for that I have no idea.  So I rode on the train for an hour and half, next to girl who wouldn't talk but who would hand things to me from time to time while she was reading her French graphic novel that I kept peaking at and an old sleepy man who took up a lot of leg room.

For Aunt DJ

Upon arrival in Paris, Amy and I, with a little bit of trouble, found our hotel room and checked in. I was overall pleased with the hotel room for paying about 32.50 Euros per night per person.  We then decided to walk to the Eiffel tower because we could see it when we were trying to find the hotel. After about a twenty to thirty minutes, passing old schools, Ecole Militaire and strange people we arrived at the Eiffel Tower and started snapping pictures. I think I have more pictures of the Eiffel Tower than anything else. There were also a lot of people trying to illegally sell you mini towers, mechanical dogs and other knickknacks.

The Louvre at Night

We then crossed the Seine and started walking along it were a photo shoot was being conducted. We kept walking to see the bridges and other things along the Seine and without really intending to, we walked an hour to the Louvre where we where to meet Leah and Anna. Even with the walking we were early and they were late so we decided to look around the outskirts of the Louvre. We took a peak at what I am going to call the Love Locks Bridge  but it is the Pont des Arts bridge right outside the Palais du Louvre and I found out later, where Leah and her Fiancé put a lock the day before. We also ventured to cheesy tourist shops outside as well. We then met up with Leah and Anna and began to explore the Louvre. We didn't see all of it but it was really interesting to see paintings that I had studied a few weeks before, in past humanities classes and be able to talk about them like I knew something. ha-ha

After the Louvre we went to eat at a restaurant called  cafe Louise or something like that. I had Ratouille with poached eggs which were delicious. Then I had my first metro experience, while it is nice to have cheap transportation, it smells like pee and can be creepy. We made it back to the hotel but not without a few interruptions from French creeps which are worse than the ones in Angers.


The next day we rose early to get to Versailles with Anna and Leah, which was still crowded right after opening at 9am. Versailles was probably my number one thing to see while in France and it was great being able to do so. The chateau and the grounds were unimaginably huge. It was really baffling to be in a place where such grand people ate, drank, slept, walked, lived, loved, thought and fought. We left Versailles around 4 and Amy and I got off the RER near the Eiffel tower so we could wait around to take night pictures. We stopped in small Cafe/Brasserie place where all the workers were really nice and the food was pretty good. We than went to walk around and try to find a pastry. We went around and under the Eiffel tower where we witnessed about 100 illegal knickknack sellers run like they were being chased by Godzilla. However, it was just one cop on bike. The knickknack sellers wandered back less than five minutes later. It was a fun site to see.  We ended up at another cafe closer to the Eiffel tower to get Crème Brulee. The crème brulee was out of this world but the people were less than friendly. Besides the greeter with whom we spoke French with, everyone else just assumed that we didn't speak a lick of it and were not very nice but I suppose they do get a lot of tourist. We got our pictures and went in for the night.

Sacre Coeur

On Sunday, we fit in seeing the Arc de Triomphe, Sacre Coeur and Le Pere Lachaise Cemetery where Edith Piaf, Jim Morrison, Oscar Wilde and others are buried, all before leaving at 3:30.  We went to the top of the Arc de Triomphe which was a work out but the view was totally worth it. Sacre Coeur was beyond crowded and a little sketchier than other tourist spots but it was beautiful. We also saw legit photo shoot number two there and an outrageously dressed famous man who was being interviewed and taking pictures. My camera died there at sacre Coeur but not before getting a funny picture of a live statue. Unfortunately, I did not get any pictures of Pere Lachaise.

Amy and I made it back to the train station at about 2:30 but all the 2nd class seats where sold out and we had to buy 1st class which was really nice but not worth it. However we did make it back to study for our history test on the Revolution.

Tip for future Study Abroad students: You can get into any federal monument for free with your visa and/or student ID card. Think about this before purchasing the ISIC card which would get you discounts on a lot of the monuments if you paid for them.

Thursday, March 10, 2011



Tuesday, March 1, 2011


I had my first test at CIDEF today, I think it went pretty well. The test was in Langue, it was composed of two parts; a reading comprehension and a written expression part. The reading comprehension was a breeze(hopefully) the writing test wasn't too bad. I have four other test next week, bahhh. They are starting to worry me a little bit but at least these grades don't affect my GPA so I just have to pass. I hope to do better than that though.
Everyone seemed to freak out when I told them I was taking 21 hours, my langue teacher  even thinks I'm crazy. Even though it is only one more class than is mandatory here at CIDEF. My study abroad office and my permission to study a broad had 26 hours outlined for me take to transfer over as a full UNCA semester which at CIDEF is not necessary for 21 hours will transfer as 21 unca hours and taking more than that will increase your tuition bill. DOES THIS MAKE SENSE? NO, transcripts are confusing.

 I don't feel like I am taking 21 hours at all, I don't have that much homework and most of my classes are at the beginning of the week which is tough but I hardly notice it by Thursday. Although I do take an extensive amount of notes in Histoire de France and Etude-socio culturelle.

France has been good to me but she seems to be tearing up my stomach and exhausting me...

But on a good note this past weekend I visited three chateaux: Azay le Rideau, Chenonceau, and Chambord(the castle in beauty and the beast was inspired by this chateau). The chateaux were beautiful of course and had plenty of history and chimneys, Chambord has 365.

Here is Azay le Rideau, the smallest of the three. The Chateau gives the illusion of floating over a pond and would be absolutely gorgeous in spring and in sunny weather.

This is Chenonceau. Because the castle was privately owned there were a lot of little touches that made the castle feel like people actually lived there at one time. The grounds were also kept extremely well with formal gardens, a labyrinth and fountains.
And last but not least, we have Chambord. Defiantly the most eye catching and largest but it was also very easy to get lost in. It was more like a museum than the rest, with lots of portraits of famous people and their belongings.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Saint Malo and Mont-Saint-Michel

Yesterday I went with a school group to visit Saint Malo and Mont-Saint-Michel. After a three hour bus ride, we arrived in Saint Malo, a small seaside town with a rich history and lots of crepes and sea food located in Bretagne.  It was home to Cartier who is credited with the discovery of Canada and the writer Chateaubriand. Statues of both. as well as other note worthy people can be found in the walled city. The city also got a good pounding during WWII and had to be completely restored. A good portion of the city is surrounded by ramparts with towers and entries on to the beach. You can walk on the top of the ramparts and see the tight knit city from above.
The girls and I were more than happy just walking around the ramparts and exploring the beach. We searched for a place to eat some crepes and drink some cidre(when in bretagne you must drink cidre or eat some apples). We couldn't decide on a crepe place even though Rick Steves told me which one to eat at, so we settled for a glass of cidre instead.

After another hour bus ride we arrived at the famous Mont-Saint-Michel. Mont-Saint-Michel depending on the tides is an island off the coast of Normandy. The island has been home to Saint-Michel monastry since the 8th century. The Abbey is loacated directly on top of the Montain and it is neccesary to climb a lot of stairs to see its beauty. The Abbey is surround by a small town that surrives off tourisme. The island has only about 30 permanate residences.

After making are way up to the Abbey we took are time looking around. It was amazing to see the views of the ocean from the top. Even though there really isn't enough to look at to spend a whole day, I wish we could of, just to see it at different times. There is suppose to be a good population of salty sheep around Mont-Saint-Michel but unfortunatly we didn't see any.

I uploaded photos from the trip on Flickr. There are a lot of different photos of the same thing, sorry.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Kitty in my bed, flowers on my doorstep

This weekend, my host family's daugter(L) came to visit with her husband(B) and two children. I wasn't expecting them to arrive until Saturday but their car was sitting in the drive when I returned late Friday night. I ran into the daugther and caught a glimpse of her husband when I got up in the morning. Later that day I found this little fella in my bed:
Well actually its a girl named Lilu, she belongs to L&B. She was a sweetheart but a bit of an attention hog. We were invited to dine with my host family that night. We went down a little before eight to sit, talk, and drink champagne. We met the little ones V and M. V the yougest child resembled a cherob and is an American, M was very shy but would offer us some snacks without speaking and hide behind her dad. L&B lived in New york for three years and we were informed they loved Americans. B had a lot of questions for us like what we liked about France, what we missed and if we drank beer. He said something like:  J'aime "Blue Moon" mais on ne peut pas le trouver en France ( I like blue moon but you can't find it in France), and the middle of dinner put on the strokes (If you know me well, you know I saw the Strokes at age 14 and have loved Fabrizzo ever since). We had north African cuisine that consisted of couscous, vegetables, chicken, lamb, and spice with red wine and cheese plate of course. Followed by dessert with Pyrenees, hazelnut, and rum infused dried cranberries and golden raisins. It was extremely tasty and everyone was really nice.

So yesterday was Valentines day. While my American friends and I were missing our american valentine's day traditions and celebrations, a kind friend left some tulips on the doorstep for my housemate and I. They are very pretty and made my day.
List of things learned continued:
14. I don't know how I left this out but you usually have to pay for public bathrooms, 20 centimes. If you're a lady this is not worth it at all, unless you  are about to pee all over yourself but even then I am not sure. The toilettes, if you can even call them that are awful.
15. I haven't really found that many inexpensive things besides bread. Make up, even our cheap brands are outrageous, a tube of rimmel mascara will run you about 15 euros.
16. When receiving change the cashier doesn't want to touch you! haha, they usually want  to place the change down on the counter and let you struggle to pick it up instead of placing it in your hand. I'm not sure what this is about because I know those centimes have more germs than I do.
17. I haven't learned what french cheeses I like besides the ones I ate in the states. All the types I've tried have been unsatisfactory or smelled like a toilet bowl.
18. The French should learn how to use goat cheese (chevre) and sometimes mustard(spicy brown) in moderation.
19. Sauce blanche is  ranch, and all the Kebab sellers think it is the best thing ever.
20. A majority of the food here is sweet or sweeter than what we have in U.S. Ketchup is one, toothpaste?, soda, chips and fries are less salty. Vending machines contain two types of chips the rest is candy, cookies, brownies, pastries, etc.
21. Valentine's day is not as commercialized as it is in America.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

School time

I just finished the trial week at CIDEF.  Everything seems fairly easy so far but I will be taking 21 credit hours and will actually be in class for 21 hours.  Fortunatly there will not be a whole lot of homework besides reading and langue homework. I will be taking Histoire de France, Histoire de L'art, Langue, Phonetics, Litterature XX siecle, Etude socio-culturelle. My Phonetics teacher is hilarious and a little crazy. For a phonetics teacher she has a lot of speech ticks and really intense ones at that but I love it.

I haven't done too much beside the usual walking around and hanging out with friends. Leah, Amy and I passed through the Jardin de Plante one day. It was a lot more fun than I thought it would be in the winter. They have a lot of "exotique" birds to look at, a goat and big lop bunny area. yay.
I bought a ticket for  a trip to Normandie in March and one to Chateaux de Loire in a couple weeks. I'm pretty excited.

I don't really know what else to say everything seems a little boring right now... :/
But I think I'm having fun here, and haven't really been homesick yet.

Friday, February 11, 2011


For those of you who can't see my album on facebook here is a link to a flickr page. I haven't put up any captions yet but I will try to soon when I'm not feeling so lazy and I will try to give a real update.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

une Aventure Gastronomique

So, I'm sure you all are wondering about the French food, after all it is suppose to be the "best" food in the world.  While I have had my fair share of traditional french foods most of them have been street foods which are still pretty amazing. The best food that I've had here has been with my host family. The night that Amy, my house mate arrived we had a terrific dinner. I'm not exactly sure what they would call it but the best way to describe it is a savory tart with a flaky pastry crust, onion, ham, potatoes, with cream on top and I'm sure there was some butter in there somewhere. Followed by cheese and bread and then a dessert composed of creme fraiche and mascarpone cheese and what I think were speculoo crackers on top. It was a good meal and wish I would of had pcitures but I think the Sabatier's would of found it very strange if I pulled out my large camera at the dinner table.
 The only real french resturant experience I have had was at a Creperie called La Flambee. I had a formulaire with a salad, a galette with cheese, ham, an egg and a tomato salsa, a bowl of cidre, and a crepe with apples and chocolate. It was rather delicious as well. Crepes are everywhere here.
There are also pastry shops on every corner with several in between. These pastry shops often sell magnificent sandwiches, croissants, quiche, pizza, etc. I have tried a steak frite panni, a croque monsieur that was killer and wide assortment of pastries. The pastries are delicious of course, I get one about everyday.
As far American food goes, McDonalds is really the only distinct american place I've ate and I did not enjoy it. It was less greasy which is a vast improvement but there is a strange sauce on most of the burgers that I did not like. The coke tastes different, it is made with real sugar instead of syrup. I didn't like it at first but I think I am getting use to it. I hope to try much more french food but the Chinese Resturants and Pizza places are very tempting.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

A Learning Process

 It is going to take a bit of time to learn how to live successfully in Angers. Here is what I've learned so far. 
1. At some supermarkets you have to purchase your plastic bags for about 0,03E so to save a few centimes bring your own sac.
2. French boys stare a lot but it is nothing to be alarmed by, they all do it. If they start to yell "les belles filles, viens ici" keep walking. If they don't stare and aren't occupied with texting, etc. then chances are they aren't French.
3. Loofahs are either impossible to find or very expensive running from 5 euros to 6 euros in the supermarkets, but oddly enough they are very cheap at Sephora.
4. McDoner Kebabs has the best tea ever.
5. Peanut butter is also extremely expensive especially American brands, so bring your own if you must have it. But they have a spread called speculoos which is a cinnamon cookie kind of like graham crackers made into a spread that I might fall in love with.
6. In France, We don't scramble our eggs.
7.Toliet paper is scented here which drives me crazy.
8. While riding with a French driver is not scary because they all drive in the same manner, an American driving in France might have a panic attack.
9.  I saw a small French child go to the bathroom on the sidewalk with assistants from his mother. I'm not sure if this is the norm but it is something to watch out for.
10. If you are thinking about going out between 5:30 and 6:30, Don't! The traffic is terrible. While you have the advantage of walking, the sidewalks are still swarmed with students and workers.
11. What to eat is an extremely difficult decision.
12. There are a lot of French Bulldogs here which makes me extremely happy.
13. Watch where you step!

Friday, January 28, 2011

A few photos...

I remembered to take a picture of my food today but only after I ate some of it. C'est du pain aux raisins.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Bonjour de la France

I arrived in Angers yesterday! I was met by a member of my host family who drove me to the house with a petit tour on the way. My host family is very nice but I feel kind of strange in someone's home. I don't want to hinder them and I'd rather be alone anyhow. When in my room I became a little emotional when I couldn't figure out if they had internet or not to email my parents. I had a more extensive tour later and went to the store for a few things. I ate a dinner with my family, kinda of stew with pork and vegetables followed by a little bit of cheese and bread and then nutella with caramel crepes! C'etait bien. I went to bed early for me around 10 after I failed at trying to watch american tv on the internet.  After 24 hours without sleep and a lot of traveling I was extremely tired and a bit emotional.

My room is nice and rather big but the set up is odd. In the main room their is a desk and awesome hutch type thing as well as twin bed that is not in use, my double bed is in a connected room that is bit like a storage room or attic with a sky light and a wardrobe.

Today I went on a small walk around the city.

I went to my school.

And then back around to the super market where I bought more necessities and my first pain au chocolat in France at the separate bakery.  It was awesome. I meant to take a picture but than I ate it. oops. I bought some soda that comes in strange shaped bottles like a missal or a torpedo.

Here are some more photos from my walk.

"Je t'aime Margot"
This last one was the wall outside of a private music middle school.  I thought it was extremely cute and reminded me of american middle school.
I'm not really sure what to do on my own here, my other friend who is here doesn't seem to have internet and neither one of us have phones yet. I want to journey to the center of town soon, but not alone. I might though.
I miss everyone already! A bientot.

Friday, January 14, 2011


Who has a French Visa?  I HAVE A FRENCH VISA! Yay!  I won't be deported from the country that I have worked so hard to be in, hopefully... That's all I really have to to say on the subject of my trip to France at this time, and that the idea of packing is a bit overwhelming at this point. It would also be great if the weather was nice on the 25th. :-) 

On other notes: If you haven't see The Figther, I recommend it. After watching it tonight I give it a good solid "A".  Christian Bale was terrific and Mark Walhberg had a role he was made to play.

I refuse to take heed in this new astrological chart/extra constellation nosense that is floating about. 
That is all. A bientot!