Sunday, May 30, 2010

Germany. Saying goodbyes.. Packing and cleaning my little room.

I honestly can't believe I leave to go back to the USA tomorrow.
These past four months although they went by incredibly quickly also seemed to last a very long time. I've been so lucky to have all the experiences that I've had.. I have so many stories to tell now.

My trip to Germany was wonderful!! (Photos above!) I did fahrrad tours with my opa all around Enniger and saw the Bodies Exhibit in Bremen with my cousin (second cousin? step-second cousin?) and attended a neighbor's (nachbarin) 70th birthday party where everyone sang accompanied by accordion and saxophone. I learned some new recipes and wrote them down and read two books (Lolita and The Virgin Suicides) and went to the Mohnesee and to Soest and I made the local paper, too. It was lovely to say the least.

My suitcases are somewhat packed.
Things aren't fitting perfectly, so I've had to sit on them to shut them. (Albeit carefully on the one containing the wine and champagne, tee hee) .. Still, I hope I can fit my pillow in too.. sigh.
I can honestly say that I've learned an insane amount about life during these four months away. I did believe my friends and everyone that I talked to before I left who told me these months away would change me completely,  make me more independent and more individualized, but I really didn't think I could grow up quite as much as I have.
I think that coming home tomorrow (getting up at 4:30 AM woot woot) is going to show me just how much I've changed, too.

Tomorrow's schedule is this:
4:30 AM - wake up/eat/make sure all is in order
5:00 AM - return sheets and pillowcases and key to the front office
5:15 AM - catch the metro
6:10 AM - train to Charles de Gaulle from Rennes
9:30 AM - arrive at CDG
9:30 AM - 2:15 PM- hang out in airport/go through security/etc..
3:45 - arrive in Reykjavik and change planes
6:30 PM - arrive in USA's Boston airport

It's going to be quite a long day... but it's so worth it. I'm sure I can get through as long as I have plenty of good playlists. . . And tissues, too. I think the crying will commence today and end after I see everyone from home... It could take a while to get it all out. :)

I can't even put into words how deeply I've missed everyone from home. And there are so many things I've missed.
I've missed inside jokes and Sunny and just being with everyone that I love. I've missed the convenience of walking to Cumby's in Keene at 2 AM just because I want a snack and I've missed how places are OPEN ON SUNDAYS. I've missed living with roommate(s), eating at the Dining Commons, and sitting outside Brewbaker's with iced coffee on warm spring days. All these things are of course a huge part of missing my insanely amazing friends. Because all these things I miss would not make a difference if I did them by myself.

However, in being far away from home I have also come to appreciate greatly the place and people that I left. I have realized how important and dear my friends and family are to me. I didn't take anyone for granted before this journey, but after this journey I can honestly say that I never will.

So to all my friends and family, I love you all and I absolutely not wait to come home and give each and every one of you a huge, huge hug!

Monday, May 10, 2010

The semester wraps up : rainy days, finals, the park, saying goodbyes, etc.. etc...

The weather actually stopped being weird for one whole day on Sunday so that Meagan, Sarah and I were able to spend the whole afternoon out at the Parc du Thabor and have a picnic!!! 
Also we were able to walk around the rose gardens which, sadly, haven't bloomed yet, but we did get to read all the names of each individual rose bush, which was so cool. A few of the names included Toulouse Lautrec, Marilyn Monroe, Princesse Grace de Monaco, Exciting, and Quebec. Hilarious, I know.
However, my personal favorite was "Joie" :)

Finals have started and everything is starting to wind down... 

I'm hoping to have a few more adventures before I leave... A trip to Germany is in order at the end of the month and I'm hoping to see Gogol Bordello with Pretty Bright Lights the night before I leave in Parissssss :D 
Only time (and funds) will tell if this will be possible, but I really hope it happens!

This weekend should be especially good- I'm planning on going to a football (soccer) game on Friday night and there are also some traditional Bréton celebrations this week and weekend, which I hope to get to! 

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Back in Rennes..

Finally, Sarah and I managed to make it back to Rennes safely.
After many adventures in Limerick after we left Shannon, we hopped on a bus Saturday morning to Rosslare Harbour, where we waited for a few hours with our respective reading books until we could board the ferry.

We boarded the ferry around 5 PM Saturday and set sail around 6:30. We arrived in Cherbourg, France around 12:00 PM the next day after sleeping in the chairs that were our reserved seats.
Uncomfortable? Yes. Unbearable? Not really.
We made a French friend, Thomas, on the boat who hung out with us while we passed our time on the ferry eating, reading, and later on in the evening, watching a man play guitar and sing amid a large group of truckers. Sarah and I were two of the five ladies in the bar area while watching the musician and it was pretty hilarious to watch all the older men progressively getting more and more drunk and singing Irish tunes.
The icing on the cake was that for the last song played, one man grabbed Sarah and made her dance with him in front of everyone, making up the steps as he went along. I just about died laughing.

Once we were off the boat and went through "customs" which consisted of the three of us simply walking through an empty building with no one to even show our passport to, we took a shuttle to the city center (AKA the train station) and got on the very next train that would take us to Rennes. 
After parting ways with our friend when we had to switch trains at Lison, we fell asleep for the last leg of the journey. 

Once we arrived in Rennes, we hopped on the metro and practically collapsed.

The most brilliant thing, however, was climbing the escalator out of the metro into the 70 degree and sunny weather. The trees were green, everything was blooming, and it actually felt a little bit like home to walk into my little single room that I never imagined would feel like home.
This is the view of spring outside my window! 

It really did though and it does even more now that I got a wonderful package from my dear mum with some arty things that I hung up.

This wall has certainly been spruced up :) The string of felted hearts is my favorite :)

Now that I'm back, however, I'm completely not in work mode, which isn't good, but it's to be expected after two weeks of vacation. I'm already thinking about my next vacation, which will be at the end of May and I'm hoping to get to Germany to visit the grandparents and maybe Angie too :)

And now, I have to get to class on this exceptionally gorgeous day. Schade.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

More pictures from Ireland.....

There is not much to do in Shannon, that's for sure.
Last night we went to a medieval dinner at Bunratty Castle because it was half off due to no one being able to go because of all the delays from the volcanic ash mess... Which I have to admit, I'm a little more than frustrated with. Also, my stomach is having severe pains and I'm not too happy about that either.
Really I'm just super frustrated in general...
So here are some more pictures in any case.

 Horse and buggy ride on one of the Aran Islands!
 dandelions in doolin

Saturday, April 17, 2010

A week in Ireland... that is being extended.

This past week in Ireland has been amazing- beautiful weather, great food, spending all day outside, the Cliffs of Moher, the Aran Islands, Doolin, and traditional Irish dancing!!!!

Due to the volcanic ash issue, Sarah and I are staying close by the airport in Shannon now, waiting for Tuesday when our flight has been rescheduled.
Who even knows if THAT will even happen though- with all the glass and ash in the air, there's no telling when we're actually getting back home to France.

For now, I'm just enjoying it. Tonight we're going to a medieval banquet at Bunratty Castle! It should be a blast...

And here are some of my photos from this past week! :) More to come when my computer is recharged!! :)

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

This blog is WAY overdue for an update.  Last week, my camera finally bit the dust and so I was unable to upload new photos.
Luckily, I now am in possession of a new one that is very pretty and works beautifully.

Last week was lovely because our Etude de la Langue professor was in Morocco for the week and thus there was no class! Of course we had to make up the hours the week before AS WELL AS do the regular hours for the course for the week. It was a looooong week, but it was very nice to have last week off.

This week is already flying because the Easter weekend was a long one and we had Monday off. Friday morning, Sarah and I will be leaving for Ireland for the week and then we will be on our separate ways for the second week of vacation.

I am most likely going to be visiting a good family friend, Angela in Baden Baden, Germany which is very close to Strasbourg. And I CAN'T wait! Lots of pictures to come from this vacation, I assure you.

This was dinner last week- fajitas!!! As messy as they were, they were deliciousssssss. Now it's back to good old pasta and sauce to save on cash for vacation.....
À plus!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Giant parties and sunglasses and kebabs

So on Thursday night the ENTIRE town of Rennes decided to try to one-up Nantes and have an even BIGGER party. Which means there were about 4,000 people in the area in front of Gaumont, a big movie theater. (YouTube has videos! Look for them because my pictures can only show so much)
We went with some friends from our class, too, which was great!

Okay- now on the subject of kebabs. They are little pieces of heaven that are so delicious (and super fattening I'm sure) but so SO good. I usually get this one (shown below) that is called Kebab Salade Frites. Basically it means that I get this scrumptious sandwich made from the meat that turns and is sliced off with a knife and then is drizzled with sauce blanche (AKA tzatziki sauce!) And also it comes with fries which go wonderfully with mayo and ketchup.
Yes, it's true- I have converted. Mayonnaise with fries = excellent!!!!

In other news, I have decided to start a photo album of everyone and anyone that wears my sunglasses. I hope it gets to be extensive. I've started it on facebook, but I'm going to put it up on my Picasa web albums and also on Flickr, too. I'm going to try to get as many people as possible before I come home to the states... And even then, maybe I will continue it. :-)
Probably I should start a website about it.. hmmm....

Bon weekend a vous!