Au Revoir Paris

Well folks, the time has come.  I have left Paris to continue my journey this summer in London.

I can’t believe how incredibly fast the month went by. The amount of gratitude I have for being able to take this trip while still only 21 years old is simply incomprehensible.  Paris was an absolutely wonderful city, filled with many smells (both good and bad), fabulous food, beautiful sights, and I made some really incredible friends. I am one lucky girl.

Not surprisingly it was really hard to leave Paris. I became attached to the apartment we lived in, our neighborhood, and just having the feeling of living like a Parisian–no college campus feel, freedom to explore, and of course, taking the metro!

The last week of being in Paris literally flew by, and I don’t even know that I remember it all because the days began to blur together.  I do remember however, that I went to the Louvre museum (the famous one with the big glass Pyramid outside).  The artifacts, sculptures, paintings, etc… were all beautiful.  Of course, I saw work by Michelangelo, I saw the Mona Lisa, and the Egyptian exhibit was fascinating, full of sphnixes, hieroglyphics, and beautiful vases and jewelry.

The second major event that I have yet to blog about is my trip to Brugge, which in short, was one of my favorite days during my first month in Europe.  Despite rather crummy weather for most of the day there, spending time outside of the busy city of Paris was a great getaway.  We strolled along the canals that Brugge is famous for, took a boat tour, and enjoyed Belgian waffles and fries (not together of course).  This trip truly reaffirmed my desire to live just outside of a big city.  Brugge had great amenities like a big city, but still felt safe and comfortable. I know that is a brief description, but I will let the photos do the talking, so please check out the pictures from Brugge!

 Click below for more photos from Brugge, Belgium.

After returning to Paris from Brugge, I had a few more great experiences, one of which was visiting the Champs-Élysées. This is the large shopping street that leads to the Arc de Triomphe, another amazing architecturally beautiful monument by the French.

Click below for more photos from the Champs-Élysées

Another really amazing adventure I took in Paris was to visit the Père Lachaise cemetery. This is where Edith Piaf, Jim Morrison, Oscar Wilde, and hundreds more famous people are burried.  Although it seems a bit morbid to think this was cool, the actual grounds were really neat to see in person, and the trees made for some great photos.

 Click below for more photos from Père Lachaise

I know this isn’t a very good blogging thing to do, but I didn’t have the patience to load all the photos from the remainder of my trip into separate pages and go through to select the best ones, so I selected some of my favorites and put them into one large gallery. I know, I know, I will probably go to Blogger Purgatory.

  Click below for more photos of my miscellaneous adventures in Paris

Anywhoo….. France is over, but I still have another 3 weeks in Europe, visiting London and potentially Dublin for a weekend.  I will try to blog about that more frequently, but I make no promises as I am already exhausted and I have only been in London for a day and ahalf.  Regardless, remember to keep checking in to see when I write new posts about my adventures here.


June 25, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , . Paris. 1 comment.

gardens. churches. six million parisians.

well hello everyone!

I thought I would post a quickie blog (not like the behemoth one from last time) to update everyone.  I have a midterm tomorrow in my media & conflict class, so I need to get studying, but here is the lowdown on what I’ve been up to since the last post.

USD students all went on a second “field trip,” to Chartres and Giverny on Thursday.  Chartres was an absolutely gorgeous Cathedral with spectacular stained glass windows, all of which tell their own story.  The town itself was equally as cute from what we saw, but the cold weather sent us inside.  The bus ride between Chartres and Giverny was possibly the most relaxing part of this trip as of yet.  I remembered to bring my best friend (my iPod) with me on the trip, so as we drove through some of the most gorgeous countryside I have ever seen, I was able to let my mind wander while rockin’ out to some tunes.  After driving over a bridge in a huge charter bus–anyone who knows me, is aware that bridges and I aren’t exactly best friends–and then taking a short walk, we arrived at Monet’s gardens.  Many of you may be familiar with his paintings of the lily pond–this is where we went.  The gorgeous flowers planted everywhere around his home, including the ones surrounding the pond were absolutely gorgeous and the setting was simply tranquil.  If there had been time (and if it was allowed), having a picnic among the flowers would have been ideal.  Sorry to have rambled on, I promised to make this short, so please check out the links below to see some of the photos from Chartres and Giverny.


Click below for more photos from Chartres

Click below for more photos from Giverny/Monet’s garden

Another really amazing tourist sight that I encountered here in Paris in the last week, were the catacombs.  For those of you who don’t know, the catacombs hold the remains of over six million Parisians.   The experience of passing millions of bones in tiny walkways is impossible to describe.  At a certain point, you don’t actually process that the “walls” you are walking past are not walls at all, but stacks and stacks of femurs, tibias, fibulas, and skulls.  The particularly “freaky” aspect of this excursion was learning (afterward) that when walking through the catacombs, you are six stories underground!  You can check out the photos below, no worries they aren’t too scary.

Click below for more photos from the Catacombs

I have had some other really amazing adventures as well, but I just cannot put off studying for another minute, so check back in a few days and I will try to post some pictures and info about my journeys.

June 12, 2011. Tags: , , , , . Paris. 1 comment.

I’ll be a horse if I can live here

Hello everyone!

Sorry I have been a lacking in the blogging department lately, a small cold pretty much knocked me on my tush, and the slow internet does not work well with my impatient nature!  We are so lucky in the US to have such speedy internet, I will never complain about mine again (haha, yea right!). Buckle up, this is a long blog post–I suggest grabbing a cup of coffee or tea, and getting comfy before reading this.

Anyway, so here’s what I’ve been up to.  Since my last post, I have visited the Eiffel Tower, gone to my first french night club (which was on a boat!), and gone on two castle tours.  Additionally, I went to see a stand-up/improv performance by Olivier Giruad and experienced some pretty crazy weather.

The Eiffel Tower was last week with my three roommates, Alexandra, Colette, and Rachael–we had fun getting dressed up to take pictures in front it! I don’t think that “Le Tour Eiffel” needs much explaining, as it is such an iconic symbol, but let me tell you (if you don’t already know from personal experience) it is way bigger in person than I realized! I knew it would be pretty huge, but when you stand at the base and look up, you feel pretty tiny.  My roommates and I are going to try and take the tour that goes to the top, but apparently the lines and tickets are long and expensive–fingers crossed that we can do it!

Click below to see more Eiffel Tower pictures

A new experience while here in the lovely capital of France, was going out on the Bateau Concorde Atlantique, a night club in a boat docked in the Seine river. I really enjoyed being able to get out and dance the night away. Here is a picture of me, Alexandra (one of my roomies), Stephanie, and Lindsey.

On Saturday, most of the University of San Diego students took a trip to the castles in Chantilly and Pierrefonds. Despite the fact that I have seen castles elsewhere previously, I was still in awe.

In Chantilly, there are stables that make the White House look like it belongs in a trailer park.  Everyone kept commenting on the fact that the horses that live in the stables have a better life than most people–thus the name of this post’s title.  The horses trained there are some of the most elite horses in the country, still used for the hunting missions with hounds.  Fun little fact for everyone, Chantilly is actually the home of Chantilly Cream (a vanilla whipped cream)–which we were able to sample with our dessert at lunch… it was delicious! 🙂  Here are some pictures from Chantilly.

Click below to see more Chantilly photos

After a nap on the hour long bus ride, we arrived in Pierrefonds.  Despite the fact that it was somewhat far away from the main part of Paris, I would highly suggest visiting this quaint town to anyone who visits France in the future.  Unlike many of the Parisians I have encountered, the people of Pierrefonds were incredibly laid back and friendly–they even smile at you!

(Side note: I have a really hard time not smiling at people here because it is so engrained in me from growing up in the U.S.–my eyes are frequently focused on shoes so I don’t make eye contact and subsequently smile)

Sorry for the tangent…. anywhoo, Pierrefonds was simply amazing.  We had a delicious lunch and then strolled a bit around the town and even got to see the commotion created by a local wedding. The castle provided a nice respite from the extreme heat that had taken over.  Enjoy my pictures from Pierrefonds!

Click below to see more Pierrefonds photos

I promise this post is almost done….

Last night was the improv show by Olivier Giraud, and the show’s title is, “How to Become a Parisian in One Hour.”  I would highly suggest seeing this show if anyone reading this is coming to Paris.  A Parisian born comedian, Giraud lived for a time in the United States, and has put together a great show that pokes fun at Parisians as well as Americans and what happens when our cultures collide.  Unfortunately I have no photos to share with you, as cameras were not allowed in the theater, but my final experience to share with you has a video–even cooler, right?!

After returning home from the show, while I was working on homework with my roommates, we started to see some really amazing lightening. Then the rain started. And then the thunder started.  Let me tell you, it was quite the experience! I don’t think I have ever seen rain come down in such heavy sheets in my entire life.  The flat roofs of some neighboring buildings were flooded almost instantly, and a man driving a moped down the street quickly realized that battery powered vehicles that are exposed to rain stop working almost instantly. The thunder was extremely loud and at one point all four of us girls jumped into a huddle together.  Thankfully we did not lose power, or experience any real flooding (some rain came in thru the kitchen windows). Here is the video of the lightening before the rain and thunder started–it was crazier after this, but my camera died

Click the link to see the lightening show

Well everyone, I’m sure that blog post will hold you all over for a while (I know my fingers need a rest). I hope everyone following my blog is enjoying my posts and let me know if you have any recommendations of places to see/go/eat at or just give me some love in the comment section


June 6, 2011. Tags: , , , . Paris. 4 comments.

Bienvenue à Paris

Bonjour tout le monde! I am finally here!

Today is my third day in Paris, and I am completely in love.  The city is beautiful (obviously) and the weather has been pretty much perfect–right now it is about 70 degrees and stunningly sunny!

My trip to Paris went just fine, no cancelations, and only a few delays.  That 23 kilos or less requirement was hard to accomplish, but after moving some things around in my bag, I successfully checked it without paying an extra fee–thank goodness.

The apartment I am living in is quite quaint, despite the Pepto-colored walls in the bedrooms.  My three roommates, Alexandra, Rachael, and Colette are all here as well and we had a fun dinner last night at an Italian restaurant right here in the 13th arrondisement (district).  Here is the view out of my bedroom window… gorgeous, huh?

Yesterday was the first “real” day here and the company that hosts the study abroad (CEA) took everyone to lunch and then on a boat tour on the Seine River.  Lunch was fabulous–hopefully my photos show just how amazing it was!

After the excursion to Cafe Louis Philipe for lunch, we went on the boat tour and were able to see many of Paris’ unique historical landmarks. Unfortunately, yesterday’s weather was not as wonderful as today, so Alexandra, Rachael, and myself were huddled up like penguins, while trying to take photos.

The photos from the boat trip were not spectacular due to this weather issue, so I don’t have many pictures worth sharing (plus I will be going back to the locations on better days anyway). Of course I have to post at least a few though, so enjoy a look at Paris 🙂

Well blog-o-sphere, that is pretty much all I’ve done in the last three days along with getting to know how to ride the metro like a true Parisian.  I hope you are all enjoying a summer full of adventures as well, and I will try to update my blog soon.

Bisou Bisou,


June 1, 2011. Tags: , , . Paris. 3 comments.

23 Kilos or Less

Tomorrow is the big day–my journey to Paris and London will begin! I’m pretty much packed and getting more and more excited by the hour.  I am a little nervous about the 23 kilo (50 pound) weight limit for checked baggage, as my suitcase is pretty huge and extremely full (as you can see). It may not seem that large, but this is a 29″ Samsonite suitcase (from Costco, of all places!).

**sorry about the terrible quality, my bberry doesn’t quite get it done 😦

I’m not typically one to sleep on planes–I have a rule about not sleeping in public places that I can’t seem to bypass even on the longest of flights! So of course, I feel the need to occupy my time the ENTIRE flight.  Here is my reading collection that will be entertaining me for as long as humanly possible.

We’ve got:

Wall Street Journal magazine

Costal Living magazine

Forbes magazine

People magazine (with the announcement of Kim Kardashian’s engagement–so tempting to read it before I leave!)

Bill Bryson‘s book: Notes from a Small Island–this is my reading requirement for the London portion of my trip

Lauren Weisberger‘s book, Chasing Harry Winston (I’ve been reading it for a while, but hopefully some uninterrupted plane time will allow me to finally finish it!)

Any other reading sugggestions? I could always use more!

Obviously, my ipod will be accompanying me the whole flight as well (who doesn’t take their ipod on flights these days?), and when I finally can’t stand any of those activites anymore, I will whip out my computer to watch a movie.  My computer comes last because the battery life will not last me very long, and I hate using the most boredom-reducing piece of technology first!  Does this sound crazy? Does anyone else out there do the same thing? Let me know in the comments below 🙂

Well everyone, I will try to blog about my flight and first few days in Paris next week sometime, but keep checking out this blog, as well as my regular blog over at .   Hope everyone reading this is well and embarking on your own journeys wherever they may take you.

Time to check in for my flight 🙂


May 28, 2011. Tags: , , , . London, Paris. Leave a comment.

A Big Pile of ….

Laundry! (what did you think I was going to say? haha) Well actually there is not one big pile, but 5! Today I’m starting the packing process for my trip–only 8 more days!!! (I’m giddy with excitement)

I’m not  sure on my exact game plan for packing yet, but I have created an excel spreadsheet that I feel will make my life easier! This is what it looks like (yes, I’m a bit neurotic):

I’m going to wait until later this week to actually pack, but I’m sure there will be piles of things all around my apartment until the last zip of my luggage–no worries, I’m sure there will be pictures of me being a crazed packer–that’s fun for everyone!

Is there anything missing on my list that you would suggest? (I accidentally forgot to write down my camera and it’s cord, but other than that give me any suggestions you have).

Also, if you are sitting on your computer (at work or home), bored and looking for something good to read you can check out my regular blog at the link below–I’ve posted a few things lately 🙂 

May 21, 2011. Tags: , , , , . London, Paris. Leave a comment.

Cappuccinos & Metros

Hi there friends, family, and other random blog surfers!

As you can tell I’ve decided to start blogging again.  I decided that since I don’t have the funding to call all of you while I’m abroad, blogging to share my experiences with you is probably the next best thing! 🙂  As most of you probably know, I am headed to both Paris and London this summer for a study abroad trip.  I am so excited to travel to new cities, and take in the wonders that I know they have to offer.  So, the countdown begins: there are 24 days until I board a plane (or three) to Paris–exciting stuff!!

Hope everyone is well, and make sure to leave me suggestions of destinations to see or activities I simply cannot miss.


May 5, 2011. Tags: , , , , . London, Paris. 2 comments.

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