Monday, February 22, 2010

Paris and Packing

So I have neglected my blog a little bit, but it's going to be that way again for about a week!
Tomorrow, the girls and I will be setting off for Ireland. Specifically, Ballyvaughan, which is very close to Galway. We're staying with Sarah's friend from high school who is studying abroad there and can put us up for free! (Hence the change from Italy to Ireland)
Luckily enough, there's a bus that goes from Ballyvaughan to nearly anywhere else in Ireland!
I'm definitely ready to visit the Cliffs of Moher, even if I have to sit on a bus for hours.
It's supposed to rain for most of the days we are there, but I plan on going out no matter what!
To prepare myself, I'm listening to Flogging Molly. ("If I Ever Leave This World Alive") Also, I subjected Matt this past week to P.S. I Love You, which he gave a 5. And rightly so. It's not THAT good, but I have to admit, it makes me a little teary-eyed. And I do love Gerard Butler. Sigh.

When we looked up trains to take him back to Paris for Sunday morning, we realized there weren't any that would be early enough for him to catch his flight. So, we went to Paris Saturday evening and stayed in a pretty nice hostel. We arrived so late however, that, ironically, the only place open for dinner was an American burger joint, which was absolutely disgusting to say the least. The best part about the meal was definitely the margarita.

I dropped him off the next morning at Charles de Gaulle and had a really long journey back to Rennes, arriving at 8:30 PM. I have to admit, I was not dry-eyed, but there's only three months left! And I intend on making those three months count.

Saturday before we went to the hostel, however, we walked around a lot and I found REAL WINE IN A CAN! Which, as all of you know who watch It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, is AMAZING. I should have bought some, I know, but I can always go back now that I know exactly where the wine shop is.
All those times we poured wine into a can, gang! We could have just BOUGHT some! ...In France.
I also like that in the picture there's a romantic couple together right next to canned wine.

Also, wanted to let you all know if you have a Flickr account, I'm uploading all of my photos from France to my account! My ID is galenchanted and if you can't find me- let me know!

Talk to you all in a week-


Friday, February 19, 2010

The Louvre, my love, and Le Haricot Rouge

I know that I've been MIA for almost an entire week.. Well, I suppose it is a week today, but I've been super busy showing Matt around Rennes! Also, Matt has been showing me around Rennes... While I was in class a few times, he explored Rennes by himself and even made a few friends, who we ran into already!

Last week before I even picked him up, I spent the weekend with Margot, which I enjoyed immensely! She made delicious dinners and we watched the Olympics and had a super fabulous time. She got me into the Louvre for free, too! I took tons of pictures, got lost in the Egyptian section and had a great time all in all.
The next day was Valentine's Day and she gave me a tour of the city, pretty much. We walked by Notre Dame, the Sorbonne (which she attends) and then to Montmartre. The picture of the delicious pastry and coffee was from Montmartre.

She also helped me a lot with getting to Charles de Gaulle to pick up Matt, which was not the easiest thing, I have to admit. It's absolutely huge.

After picking him up, we were delayed for hours at Montparnasse (the train station) because of a suicide on the tracks. Horrible, I know.

The rest of the week has been quite nice, though. Yesterday we went to Le Haricot Rouge and got the hot chocolate extravaganza and moelleux chocolat- molten chocolate cake.
Somehow we ate it all, too.

And that has been my week in a nutshell.
Next Tuesday I'll be off to Ireland for five days as Sarah has a friend in a little town near Galway called Ballyvaughn. So, no hostel fees! And we can bring our own food! I think we'll have a great time. I plan on finding a nice field and relaxing and reading. If it rains, I'll probably do the same.

Bonne journée to you all!!!!!

Thursday, February 11, 2010


Today we had our class called "Labo". It's called this because we are in a sort of lab/classroom where we have huge headphones with microphones and we record ourselves and then listen to them. The teacher can stop our separate tapes at any time and correct our work. Sarah is demonstrating with the headset for me, down below, haha.
Basically, you work by yourself in this class. It's my favorite class. I wish that it wasn't only an hour a week. I would easily get rid of the Comprehension Orale and instead have another hour of Labo. Plus, our teacher is really nice and pretty understanding.
Also, I leveled up in my Oral class- from level 5 to 8!
And now, I need to make some pasta for dinner before heading out!
A bientot!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Snowstorms and Haircuts..

Today was full of surprises. After rolling out of bed early for Civilisation at 8:15 AM, we went for lunch at a nearby café and had delicious thin crust pizza.
Immediately after leaving, we headed to the Coiffure & Co. for some cheap haircuts. They turned out lovely (or so I think!) for Sarah and I. Meagan got hers there last week as well.

I also bought my 12-25 Train Card which allows me to get cheaper tickets for the TGV. This will be helpful when it comes to vacation! :)

On my way back from the Gare, I ran straight into this ridiculous ten-minute blizzard. It was short and, remarkably, not so sweet. The wind was blowing so hard I walked backwards for a while to my dorm. Ridiculous! And so I took a picture of it just to prove it.
And to think, fifteen minutes later, the sky was blue again. Unbelievable.

Bonne nuit! Another 10 AM tomorrow .......

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Yogurt for dinner

Today was another gray day- I'm really hoping for warmer weather soon!!!
Maybe I'm asking for too much since it's February, but the last time I was in France, it was beautiful and summery and flowers were everywhere. It was, in short, absolutely gorgeous.
So needless to say, the gray skies and the intense wind is getting me down a bit. Which meant I didn't want to go back to the store after being outside and walking back from the campus. Which means yogurt is for dinner.

But things are looking up- I get to get up tomorrow morning early, early for an 8:15 class about Civilization. Which isn't too bad since our professor is pretty great.
Also, I found out I actually have some money, so I'll be buying my 12-25 pass which will allow me to get much cheaper tickets for the TGV train. This will make it much cheaper to pick up my wonderful boyfriend, Matt, who is coming to visit me in less than a week! Can't wait!!

And I may just cut off all my hair tomorrow, too!! Pictures to come...

Monday, February 8, 2010

A cold day...

Sometimes I feel like I can sum up my day with a few words and a photo.
Because I'm a fan of succinctness.

Baguette sandwich.
Walk. Cold.
Curb Your Enthusiasm.
Window watching.
Cheese. Baguette.
Bed. Soon.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

To Market, To Market

This morning we made it to the market around 10:30 and we waded through the crowds through hundreds of people all clamoring for fish, cheeses, jams, breads, chickens, rabbits, fruits, and veggies!

There were a TON of booths full of anything you could ever want. Everything looked delicious and it was even not too bad out weatherwise- it only rained for about ten minutes. We bought some organic and fresh eggs, fresh brussel sprouts, and delicious bread!!

After we went through the market and had a quick cup of cafe au lait, we went to a few shops because the national sales are ending soon! They are set twice a year and all shops MUST have sales at the same time. Interesting, right? Well, it was perfect because I found a beautiful pair of boots for only 10 euros that are COMFORTABLE and fit me perfectly, are brown and even have a little heel... I love them.

After some shopping, we returned chez nous and made some lunch!

I took a few pictures of the market here and there so you can get an idea of how big it is and also how rainy it was... for about ten minutes.
Then it was beautiful all afternoon! Even now it's sunny out!

Also I realize that I titled yesterday's blog "Fajitas and Laundry" and then said nothing about the laundry situation.
Well, the laundry situation is this. I brought Woolite with me to France so that I could wash my socks and delicates in my sink and hang them up on a line in my room. Which I have done.
THEY WON'T DRY. They have been on the line for more than 24 hours now and they REFUSE to dry. This would happen to me. The only way I could hang up the line in my room (because of the lack of hooks and the like) is by putting one end of the bungee cord on my closet door handle with the door shut and the other end is around my desk chair, which is secured in place by another chair.
If I put the hook around my chair without securing the chair, it would have just moved because of the tension on the line and dropped all my stuff on the floor.
I know this because it happened twice before I figured out how to secure it.
Also, it is cutting my room in half and I have had to either crawl underneath or leap over it and either way I end up with socks on my head or on the floor. *sigh*

Anyways, now it is time for a nap. It's a lazy Saturday.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Fajitas and Laundry

One day, four girls decided that pasta just wasn't cutting it for dinner anymore.
And so they consulted the blog of a wise woman and thus made fajitas (an idea that formed from said blog's quesadillas).

We even made nachos beforehand in the microwave and shared them with an unknown co-resident and made friends!
We often monopolize the kitchen and so when we make a LOT of nachos, it's good to share with whoever happens to be around.
I will always stand by the saying that you learn everything you ever need to know in kindergarten. Don't hit, be nice, and SHARE.

Two classes today and they were GREAT. The second one was, at least. The second was Modern Art and it is incredibly interesting. It also helps that the teacher is completely hilarious and batty. In a good way.

Today I noticed for the first time that I can listen to any of my teachers and I understand .. nearly everything. It's very exciting to me that this is happening so early into my semester!!! Two weeks in and everything is becoming clear.

Until tomorrow folks- the Saturday morning market at Sainte Anne begins early and I plan on taking copious amounts of photos and hoping for NO RAIN!!!

Bonne nuit! Et comme toujours, bon appetit!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Un coca light..

Mercredi (Wednesday) is the one day I have an early class, AKA 8:15 A.M. A little too early for a college student who has groomed her schedule to start around 12:00 P.M. (Which means waking up at 11:00ish).
This was far too early. Yet somehow without any breakfast, or coffee or shower I made it to class with the girls and even learned a little bit about "Civilisation" with Professor Chuberre.
This is the last new class to me, which was somewhat exciting. What I mean is that since classes started last Thursday, this is the last class that is new to me.
I like this because it establishes routine. I like routine.

I also like Diet Coke once in a while. Here it's called Coca-Cola Light. (If you're ordering it, you can just order un coca light, however). A delicious pick-me-up and when I saw it at Carrefour this evening, I decided it had been too long since aspartame and I had a tasty exchange.
Considering it's Coca Light I decided to photograph it in the light. Ha ha.

In other food news, I have eaten nearly an entire package of delicious macaroons that were only 1,50 euro at the cheap Super Asya. (So much for losing weight in the land of butter and cream_.
Super Asya is a convenience store that is comparable to Campus Convenience in Keene minus the tobacco products, plus liquor and fresh veggies all the time. Also there's a lot of Asian food that I will never, ever buy.
Also, dinner tonight was pasta, yet again I know, with fried potatoes, onions, tomatoes, garlic, and pesto. Delicious again and again. I'm hoping it will not get old. If it does, however, the salmon that Meagan made last week was a slice of heaven.

It's interesting to me that hard liquor is sold at the grocery store and at the convenience store. It's a fascinating cultural difference between the U.S. and France.
Is the idea in the U.S. that if the liquor is harder to reach people are less likely to go out of their way to acquire it? Because clearly this is something that just doesn't work when thousands upon thousands are involved in drunk driving every year.
In this way, I'd consider the French to be quite blunt. As if they think, might as well put it out there.

This will be followed up on after tomorrow night, when we all brave La Rue de la Soif. I insist upon going because it's going to be fabulous to see our age group in a casual, drunken setting. (AKA the street..)
What is going to be not so fabulous is me (and the other girls I'm sure) in at my 10:15 A.M. class I have on Friday.
Ah, the things you have to give up to experience the quality of my appearance at 10:00 in the morning after what I hope will be a very late (or early) night.

Before I left, a very intelligent woman told me that if anybody asks you to do something, or go anywhere, you HAVE to do it. Take advantage of every opportunity to go out, meet new people, or go anywhere. Go broke if you must.
I have to admit this was one of the best pieces of advice I have received and really taken to heart for this voyage of sorts. Thanks, Kristy!

And so to take advantage of everything people have asked me to do here, I will now do my homework as my Professor Chevalier has asked.
Bonne nuit tout le monde!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010


Today was a full day of classes! Well, not a full day.. I started at 1:30 and then had a fifteen minute break at 3:30 - 3:45 and then I went straight into another 2 hour-long class that was our basic class that we have three times a week.

After picking up some bread and yet MORE cheese from Carrefour, we headed back to home sweet home. AKA the building pictured on the left. Yep. That is the infamous dorm, Normandie. Gorgeous, right?

At least we can make delicious dinners, as we are right now!
The lower picture is cooking right now! We have carefully mixed together chopped baby potatoes, spinach, red pepper, onions, and garlic. Mmmmmmm. To be enjoyed with baguette and brie, per usual here. :) Bon appétit!