Monthly Archives: November 2012

Ireland, Ireland, Guinness, Ireland.


Back to talking about Ireland… and this time the good stuff, sans travel drama.

Friday, November 16th: Woke up at 5h00… on the London airport floor, how lovely. I couldn’t begin to tell you how nice and clean I felt after that, harhar. On the bright side, we had only about a 3 minute walk to get where we needed to go, so Emily and I had ample amounts of time to enjoy some breakfast (for me, it was a blueberry muffin and a mint-y hot chocolate. mmmm) and start functioning on the severe lack of sleep. We successfully boarded our plane without issue (yay.. finally!), and about an hour later, we were landing in good ole Dublin, Ireland… and it wasn’t even raining! Traveling light makes life easier, so we were out of the airport in no time and waiting for this special bus to take us from the airport to the heart of Dublin. The bus was a double-decker monster, and we had a nice view during the drive. We got off in front of the Tourist House to grab a map, and then we just started exploring the city. The center of town was getting dressed up for Christmas, it looked so pretty and festive!

Shout out to the Stark Family…

Since we hadn’t eaten since 5am, we were soon starving and in need of some sustenance, so we went into the the first Irish looking breakfast joint we found.. Bewler’s was the winner. I was beyond ecstatic that they had bagel breakfast sandwiches, so it instantly got a gold star in my book. Plus freshly squeezed orange juice! Loving Ireland already.

After feasting like breakfast Queens, we made our way back into Dublin to explore the city and just see what this area of Ireland was all about. Usually, I’m uber anal and have a list of things to do, where to go, etc when I travel somewhere, but this time I winged it, so we didn’t have a set itinerary. It was really nice to just adventure around though, and we walked into this park with a ton of seagulls, saw an Irish castle and then made the hike across Dublin to go to the Guinness Storehouse, which was the real highlight of the day. I loved it.

I took a million pictures and then some at the Factory, but I think they deserve their own album, so I’m going to post them later on. For now, just take my word for it… this place rocked. I mean, I’ve grown to adore the nectar of the gods known as beer, and my Dad is especially obsessed with Guinness, so I figured it deserved the attention I gave it. It’s amazing how much there was to learn about Guinness, and the factory did not skimp on the details. I learned everything from the ingredients used (hops, yeast, water, barley), where they come from, how Guinness has been transported over the years, and just about everything in between. Also, here are some fun facts I came away with:

~ The original genius of Guinness, Arthur Guinness, signed a lease for 9,000 (starting in 1759)!! Talk about having faith in your product. Got to hand it to him though, that guy knew what was up.
~ The Guinness factory itself is in the shape of a pint glass! I kid you not. You can’t tell from the outside, but when you’re inside on the bottom floor and look up, you are indeed inside of a gigantic pint glass (which could hold 14 million pints).
~ It is the largest stout brewery in the world, and in my opinion an amazing, amazing place.

Alors, if you are ever in Dublin and have an itch for some tasty brew, go to the storehouse! We spent over 3 hours there and I could have stayed there for longer, but alas my time in Dublin was limited. Plus, when you buy your ticket (granted if you are over 18), you get a voucher for a pint of beer, which you can pour yourself on the 4th floor, or you can go to the top floor and casually sip on a delicious pint of Guinness while overlooking Dublin in it’s entirety. So worth it. Don’t forget to peep the video below, to see the magic of Guinness cascading in Dublin. Also stay tuned for the multitude of pictures I took, it can almost be like you were there for yourself. 😉

I thought this was a pretty building

After our refreshing visit to the Storehouse (and practically buying out the gift shop), we made the trek through Dublin again to get to the train station… next stop: Galway! This time, transportation was quick and painless. We bought a student, round-trip ticket to Galway, and took about a 2 and a half hour train ride through the Irish countryside into Galway, which is directly across the country from Dublin. When we touched down in Galway it was dark and rainy (lovely), but that didn’t deter us. One of my friends from UVM studied abroad in Ireland last year, so he put me in touch with his ex-roommate, Alan, who currently lives in Galway, so that’s where we were going to stay for the night. He was such a nice, hospitable Irish bloke who Emily and I knew we would get along with on the get go. First of all, how can you not be obsessed with the accents?!

Love the Irish

Alan met us at the train station, and we walked back to his apartment, where we learned that Emily and I would each get our own bed that night (!!!) because his American roommates were on an excursion with their abroad program. Score one. Then we proceeded to take the most refreshing showers — we had to get that airport grime off of us, after all — then it was time for the night to begin. Ireland isn’t exactly known for its cuisine, so we decided to save money and eat some grocery store food (aka yummy pizza) and buy our intoxicating beverage for the night. Alan got a 24-pack of giant Heineken, and Emily and I split a bottle of pretty Skyy (they’re doing this promotion where each bottle is uniquely painted.. who can say no to pretty colors??), mixed with cranberry juice and Sprite of course.

Whilst eating our dinner and browsing through Alan’s iTunes, we started to pre-game at the apartment. It was a good time, and we picked up some swanky Irish phrases that I plan to incorporate into my daily vocabulary:

~ Slainte (pronounced slancha) = cheers
~ Messed up off me tits = this is self-explanatory…
~ It don’t make a blind bit of difference to me = again, common sense
~ A dose of ____ = a lot of something

*Side Note: They drive on opposite sides of the road in Ireland! This was news to me, and so strange. I think the Irish realize that they’re in the minority, so they needed to paint this on all the streets, so you don’t get accidentally smashed by a car, I’m guessing*

After getting accustomed with the Irish ways a bit, the three of us made our way to The King’s Head, which is one of the most popular pubs in the area. It was actually really cool, and pretty spacious. Alan, being a gentleman, bought us a round of drinks (we had some cider thing.. I was kind of buzzing by this point though, so I don’t remember the name of it) and we just chilled around the pub, socializing a bit and listening to this really good band play a bunch of live covers. The lead singer was this girl who looked a little bit like that girl from Misery Business, and she had an amazing voice! I was pretty captivated, and the time passed by really quickly.

Due to our lack of sleep though, we reached our limits around 2am, so we went back to the apartment to just be drunk and enjoy ourselves. I must have been exhausted, because while Emily was facetiming her friends, I passed out on the couch (not in a too-drunk type of way, no worries.. though I was drunk) and woke up at 4am so confused. It made me laugh though because Alan had done the same thing, and passed out in his bed fully clothed with all the lights on. Coming to my senses, I crawled upstairs and went to sleep again in a cozy, comfy bed. Ah, sweet success.

Dear EasyJet & RyanAir: You SUCK


Hokay, so here’s the first day of my Ireland adventure (or lack there of… you’ll know soon enough). It’s finally not so fresh and raw that I’m willing to talk about it.

Thursday, November 15th: Class as usual from 10h40 to 12h30, then I went back home to drop off my school stuff and traded it in for my IRELAND things (aka my sweet ass backpack)! From there, Hannah and I met up with Emily and McAuley to get some tasty kebabs at Fraternite Kebabs for lunch. Afterwards, we grabbed some snacks and then Emily and I started the long day of traveling ahead of us. Destination: Dublin, Ireland. This is where things got interesting.

We took the train to Lyon, France from Grenoble; it was about an hour long trip, and virtually painless. Upon our arrival to Lyon, though, the problems started blooming. There was an air traffic control strike — typical French behavior — and our flight that was supposed to leave at 19h00 from Lyon to London (Gatwick) was postponed until 21h00, deux heures en retard! This posed a major problem because London was only our connecting flight, and we were supposed to catch another flight from London to Dublin at 21h55. Umm… problem, considering our Lyon flight was about an hour long. Turns out, there is an hour time difference between London and France, so we would land in London before our Dublin flight left, but being an airport we would need more than like 45 minutes to make our flight. Obviously, Emily and I started freaking out. We talked to the woman at the help desk for Easyjet (the airline we were taking to London), and she was negative help. Seriously, fuck her (excuse my language. I’m still pissed thinking about this). We asked if there was anything we could do to try and make our flight, or if there were other options for us. Her answer? “I have no options or advice for you” — are you freaking kidding me?! You’re job is to help us, you worthless whore, do your goddamned job! So clearly that bitch was no help.

We both called our parents (and Anna, one of our API mentors), who really didn’t have any options for us either, which was expected being a continent away. The only choice we had was to just get on the plane and hope for the best, so we waited in line to check-in. When it was our turn to show our passports, the lady at the desk informed me that our flight was only 20 minutes late, not 2 hours… wait, what?! Emily and I were soaring with happiness at that, and we may or may not have done a happy dance in the airport. In our glorious moods, we made our way to the correct terminal, but it took them about 40 minutes to get us on the plane… and then the bad news struck us in the face: the strike was still going on, and we had to wait our turn in the queue for an undetermined amount of time. SHIT. I swear, now I have an idea what it’s like being bi-polar, my emotions were being brought on a roller coaster of a ride this day. We ended up sitting on that stupid plane for another hour and what a surprise, we didn’t take off until 21h00.

Somewhere on the runway taking off from Lyon, I lost all hope that we were going to make our flight. Emily clung tightly to hope for a little while longer, but it was very apparent our trust was diminishing. Still, we had to try our best. About 15 minutes before we were scheduled to land, I went to talk to one of the flight attendants to explore some options. Here’s how our conversation went down:

Me: Excuse me, sir, but I was wondering if it was at all possible for my friend and I to be one of the first people off of the plane when it lands. You see, our connecting flight is very, very soon, and we may have a fighting chance if we can get off the plane quickly.
Him: *with a mouthful of airplane salmon* It depends on where you’re sitting on the plane. If you’re in the front, you’ll get off first. The exit is in the front.
Me: Pardon? We’re sitting in the middle, that’s why I’m asking you this question. Is it at all possible that 5 minutes before we land, my friend and I move to the front so we can make a quick exit?
Him: No, you can’t do that.
Me: Herm, okay. Well, is there any way that you can call the airport, or the airline or even the flight we are trying to get on, and let them know the situation? It is not our fault the flight was delayed, and we really need to make this flight. Could you possibly ask them to hold off for 5 or 10 minutes? Or let them know we are close and they can expect us?
Him: No.
Me: Alright then. Is there any way, shape, or form that you can help us? At all?
Him: What time did you say your flight is?
Me: *slight sliver of hope shining in my eyes* 21h55.
Him:*looks at watch* It looks like you’re going to have to run.

ARE YOU KIDDING ME??? That makes two shitty human beings that I had come in contact with in under a 5-hour time frame. At this point, I’m starting to hate a portion of the human race… especially those in association with Easyjet. Utterly defeated, Emily and I slunk back down into our seats and started to formulate a game plan to hopefully make our flight (no thanks to the stupid flight attendants). Emily is a serious runner, and God graced me with long legs, so we decided that we had to a) get off the plane as soon as possible and b)SPRINT as quickly as we can with our luggage to customs, check-in at the desk, and the run even faster to our terminal. We had about 40 minutes to do this. A slim chance of success, but we had no other option than to try.

So… the plane lands. The seat-belt light turns off, and Emily and I are instantly up, bags in hand, ready to hustle. We explained to the woman sitting next to us our situation, and her and her fellow travelers are understandable and let us pass. Then I meet terrible human number three: fatty mcfatfat. This guy very obviously spoke English; I tried telling him our situation, and he straight up ignored me! Actually, he reached above my head to get out his luggage while I stood there with a hurt-puppy look in my eyes, pleading to get off the plane… to no avail. Eventually I reached pissed off level, so I muttered something mean under my breath and pushed his obese ass out of my way. Sorry bro, maybe you should go to the gym, you fat, ugly fuck. Within a few minutes we were off the plane, and I started sprinting down the terminal, with Emily at my heels. It was probably quite the sight, us running down the hallway shouting “excuse me, excuse me… MOVE”. I mean, come on people! If you hear feet behind you moving at a rapid pace, and yelling, look behind you and move. I was not above crashing through idiots at this time.

Within minutes we made it to customs, and a kind elderly man gave us directions, and the guy at customs questioned why we were breathing heavily. We explained our situation and he pitied us and let us path without further questions… and then we met the biggest asshole of the day: the ryan air man. We made it to the check-in desk 35 minutes before our flight, pretty damn good considering, and we sincerely thought we had a fighting chance. No one was at the desk when we arrived, so we started pounding on the desk demanding attention. After two precious minutes, a grimy looking man with a greasy ponytail saunters up to the desk asking what we wanted. We explained our situation in rapid succession, and he simply told us ‘No’. I think I almost puked on him, ‘what do you mean no?’ we demand. He simply told us it was not possible (even though we still had 30 minutes, and the plan was still attached the terminal), and that it wasn’t ryanair‘s fault that our plane was late since they only do direct flights. Then he dismissed us and told us we would have to buy another ticket to Dublin for the morning.

Okay, I’m not normally a person who gets worked up, but I was at the end of my motherfreaking rope at this point, and I wanted to strangle this man by his nasty ponytail, then break things, then fall down and cry. I almost did them all, but I remained composed. Of course, to add salt to my wounds, my phone decided not to work, so I left my mom a voice-mail saying “hey mom… I’m stranded in London”, and then waited for Emily to get off the phone with her parents.

At this point, we were officially stranded in the London Gatwick Airport… and we had no idea what to do, so we decided to get some food and ask for help. Of course, no one was at the ticket buying area since it was passed 10 at night, so we found the help desk and she said to try looking for options on-line. So, we bought 20 minutes on the computers in the lounge, ate refreshing mango and pineapple, and started surfing the web. Eventually, my phone decided to function, and Emily and I both searched for ways to get from London to Dublin. We looked at boats, trains and planes, without much success (theme of the day, apparently). Thanks to our lovely parents helping us out, we ended up buying a plane ticket for 6h50 the next morning… for $300. Yeah, not pleased, especially because I’m already broke beyond comprehension; but, we successfully bought tickets and had a tangible solution to our current situation, so that was a large weight lifted from our shoulders.

By the time we had all this figured out, it was after 23h, and we were exhausted from one of the most stressful days in my young 21-year life. Like true vagabonds, we got ready for bed in the airport bathroom and hunkered down for the night, on the airport floor. Lovely, I know. I probably got about 3 hours of sleep total considering we were on the hard ground without blankets, and it was cold! At least we weren’t the only ones, so it wasn’t as creepy as it could have been.

So, yeah… that was how my day went last Thursday. Bet you’re reeeeaaaal jealous of it.

Some Old Grenoble Pics


Let Me Show You Some Things…


Bonjour again! Posting twice in one day, wowza. So, I was going through my photos/videos and realized I had forgotten to add some to my blog for you lovely people. They’re kind of old, but better now than never, right? Anyway… behold the remaining old videos maintenant.

^Self-explanatory title, but a view from the top of the Bastille. Peep those mountainsss.

^ It’s a bit of a hike getting to and from the top of the Bastille, so the lovely Grenoblois build these giant balls to take you up and down the mountain, if you so desire. I would hate being that lazy, so I hike up… but we were offered free passes to go down (it usually costs money), so how could you turn that down? I figured it would be interesting to video the journey.

^ I don’t have much to say to this… typical human behavior. In Grenoble, France.

Make A Point To Make No Sense


I’ve been going on a Modest Mouse binge lately; if you don’t know them… get to know them! They are lyrical geniuses. A little bit angst-y, but I mean.. who isn’t?

Also, I realized I never actually posted the Drinking Out Of Cups video that I referenced last post, so here it is. Don’t judge; it’s strange but I find it utterly hilarious, and I quote it regularly.

I digress. Here’s what went down this passed weekend.

Friday, November 9th: Slept in like a bau5. I think the only reason I woke up was because Hannah called me and wanted to meet up.. I mean, if you don’t go to bed until 4h00 it’s only normal to sleep in a bit lot. I had a tasty chicken fajita wrap for lunch from this Lebanese restaurant right next to Burgers & Cie, then I met up with Hannah and Jeremy at the French Coffee Shop. We originally intended to go to SNCF, which is where you go to buy train tickets, because we wanted to go to Bonson (a town on the outskirts of Lyon, France), to cheer on Mike and Emily in their half-marathon, but it ended up being a fail. Normally, it only takes about 45 minutes by train to get to Lyon, but Bonson is so small that the train would have had 2 layovers, and overall would have taken 3 heures to get there, and 3 to get back. It just wasn’t worth it for a simple day trip, plus it was way more expensive than it should have been. Sooo instead, we just chilled out for a while at the shop, and eventually Evelyn, Nina and Richard met up with us and we figured out a game plan for the night.

After I left mes amis, I headed home to shower and have dinner with Madeleine before the night commenced. I met up with Hannah and Jeremy at 21h00 at Chavant, then we made our way to Parc Paul Mistral where we met up with Richard. Jeremy is one of the babies of the group (he just graduated high school), and all of his friends were in Paris for the weekend, so of course we decided that we had to take Jeremy out on the town. Richard is his “big”, so he bought him a bottle of champagne to start off the night. Everyone kept on peer pressuring the poor kid (eventually Ellisa, Nina, Evelyn, Jordan and Max met up with us) and he kept complaining about the bubbles, but I helped coax him into drinking at least a solid amount of it. After we did a little pre-gaming in the parc, our group made its way to Subway, which is conveniently right next to my house. Preston, Ian, Carl and Jordan’s friend ended up meeting us there, so we were totally that loud group up on the second floor. Whatever, we had a lot of fun.. and a solid amount got pretty toasted (notably Ellisa), and poor Jeremy was convinced/pressured into drinking a beer, but his stomach caused him to call it an early night and go home.

Eventually, we found ourselves in Vieux Manoir and boogied once again. My dancing partner for the night was this awesome guy who I originally thought was French, but turns our he was British and from Brighton! Needless to say I was sold with the sexy accent, plus he was another fantastic dancer and we totally killed it on stage. Nina and I ended up being the last people at the club (typical), and we left a little passed 3h00. Another late night, but it was fun per usual, and I burned off the majority of the calories that I drank… I hope.

Well, I had the intention of recapping all of my weekend, but I’m about to leave and watch Twilight so it will have to wait. Bye loves!

Dance, Dance Until You Die


Getting all my ducks in a row, little pamplemousses. I figure it would be easier on me and more fathomable if I just did a few days at a time until I’m caught up. Donc, pour vous:

Monday, November 5th: “Remember, remember the 5th of November, Gunpowder Treason and Plot”, in case anybody didn’t know 😛 I happened to have watched V for Vendetta a few weeks ago, so that phrase was fresh in my memory. Anyway, I had the usual slew of classes, and had to fight the Monday boo’s, yada yada. I finished class at 17h30 – no more extended classes, yay – and then went home to chillax, shower and do the lovely thing we like to call homework, erlack. I know I shouldn’t complain since in comparison to last years hell, the amount of work I get here is laughable, but c’mon! I’m in France, gosh darnit. It should be an unwritten rule that if you are studying abroad in a country that doesn’t speak your mother tongue, homework simply shouldn’t exist. When I become president, don’t worry… that will be one of my first amendments. Amongst other green things.

So yeah, that was pretty much it for my Monday. I spent the next hour or so prepping my expo for Wednesday, which is pretty much a 10-minute presentation on anything you want, as long as it is in French and not read directly off of a sheet of paper. To unwind, I read some Game of Thrones per usual, and went to bed at a decent hour.

Tuesday, November 6th: Class, class, class. My translation professor gave us our “fake exams” back… and I’m pretty sure no one in the class got above a C-, COOL. I mean, for goodness sake, she expected us to know what BD was in French. I’m sorry, no (for future reference, BD = bande dessin, which is comic book in English. Why that should have been in my vocabulary, I’ve yet to comprehend). We actually read some interesting stuff in literature though, so that at least made the hour and a half pass by a little quicker than usual.

During class, I ended up convincing Nina to come on my night’s adventures, so after class we went to my apartment quickly so I could drop off my laptop and headed to Centre Ville for some dinner. Of course, being addicts, we went to a kebab place, ate some tasty kebabs with frites inside (!!!), and we were told that we speak French well. Being the proprietor, I’m sure he was just being nice, but I’ll take a compliment when it’s handed to me. We also didn’t have to pay for our frites, score.

Post-gorging, we met up with Natasha to go to her campus for a hot wine party. Yes, it was very delicious. Plus, it was hosted by GEM (the business school, chock full of foreign students from every corner of the globe), so we had yet another opportunity to parlons français with some natives. One of the students we conversed with complimented our French (twice in one night, quoiii), so it was yet another stroke to the ego, despite the fact that I’m 95% sure it was just a nice thing to say. Don’t get me wrong, my French has definitely improved, but I’m nowhere near good enough to be deserving of compliments from natives, but hey, I’m not going to tell them that.

After an hour or so, Ian met us at the party, we stayed for a little while longer, and then Nina, Ian and I made moves to Ian’s house to drop off our belongings. From there, we bought some brewskis (well, Ian and I bought one, had to keep it casual on a Tuesday night, plus I had my presentation in the morning), and went to a punk concert, wooop. Before we went in to witness the music, the three of us ended up having a mini-bonding session on a stoop for about 30 minutes, reminiscing on the best day of our young lives, aka Marseille/The Calanques. It was nice, and the music was pretty awesome as well.

Unfortunately, there were only two bands, but I guess it was kind of a blessing in disguise considering I really did need to get home at a decent hour to a) do my homework and b) get a full night’s rest before my presentation. I ended up getting home around 23h45, and somehow managed to do all my homework – of course I chose the one night to go out where I had to write a mini-paper thing – within 30ish minutes. Showering didn’t end up happening I’m sad to say, but I can be gross if I want. Needless to say, sleep came easily.

Wednesday, November 7th: I presented my expo in class. It was supposed to be 10-minutes, but my topic was music festivals, so of course I was obsessed (plus I brought in all my rave toys), and ended up talking for about 30. Woops, not my chair, not my problem (don’t get the reference? Peep below). Wednesday’s are easy, so we were all done with class by 10h20, so Hannah and I went to the French Coffee Shop so I could Skype my grandparents and potentially get some homework done, but of course that didn’t happen. Nina ended up meeting us there, and after my Skype date was finished I went to WokBar with Max to hear about his Amsterdam adventures… GAH I WANT TO GO BACK. Oh yeah, and we both got shit on by a stupid pigeon, what the hell. Actually, I thought just he did so of course I was making fun, and then realized there was some on my fleece, eeeeew. Definitely not one of my top ten favorite moments. So gross, stupid rats with wings; I can’t say I’ll miss them when I get back to the states.

Herrrm, afterwards I went home to nap and do the usual necessary life things, had dinner with Madeleine, and then watched most of the first Twilight movie. The last installation is either out or coming out within the next day or something, and I’ve yet to see the most recent, so I was trying to re-cap and watch them all. Unfortunately, that’s not going to happen because Nina, Emily, Hannah and I are seeing the newest one of Wednesday, so I’ll just have to settle with watching the one I’ve missed out on. I think I’ll survive… plus I forgot how absolutely horrendous their acting was in the first one. Gag me with a spoon. Thus concludes my hump day.

Thursday, November 8th: Class from 10h40-12h30, had lunch on campus, and was then forced to sit through a torturous deux heures of translation for the second time that week, erg! We had to make-up for the fact that during Toussaint class didn’t meet, but half of our stupid class didn’t show (well, like 3 of the 8, harhar), and it just wasn’t how I wanted to spend my Thursday afternoon. Thankfully the majority of class was spent watching this French comedian, so I guess it could have been worse, but still, I didn’t get out until 15h00, and then the finally weekend! Woo!

It’s like a holiday every week; I love not having class on Friday. I can only imagine what next semester is going to be like since I’m 98% positive I will only be taking one class, hell yeah part-time student status (I’m so proud of myself for getting all my credits and classes out of the way by my junior year). Anyway, after class I went with Hannah to the shop and attempted to Skype my mom, but that kind of was a fail, plus she didn’t have too much time. Instead I just caught up briefly on the phone, and then ended up Skyping Danielle for a while until she had to go to work. So I guess my afternoon ended up being a success after all.

By the time I was done Skyping, my computer was dead and my iPhone was dying, so I figured it was about time to head to my apartment and start prepping for the night. I showered, had some dinner with Madeleine, and then met up with Hannah, Preston and a few others outside of Parc Paul Mistral to start the evening off right. Richard, Emily, Nina and a few select others ended up meeting us there, too, and once the group was rounded up, we went to La Bobine, which is a bar in the middle of the park. It’s nice because you can drink your own alcohol pretty much on the deck, so you don’t go completely broke at the start of the night.

Hannah and I, of course, ended up splitting our usual whisky and coke, and we stashed a bottle of champagne in the bushes for later. Actually, when were drunk, we kept on just running outside and filling up cups of champagne. Yes, we are classy, and yes we are nuts. Thank you very much. Max, Maddie and her friend ended up meeting us at the bar, and once we were all sufficiently drunk, we made our way to Vieux Manoir. Actually, we ended up losing a good chunk of the group, and Richard was rejected from the Manoir, and Heather and Evelyn didn’t even try due to their level of intoxication (go hard or go home, that’s the API way), so it ended up being Hannah, Maddie & co, Max, Preston and myself. I think; I may be forgetting someone, and if I am… my sincerest apologies. We ended up running into Robin and her friend at the club (Robin is an API member who I virtually never see, so it was exciting, especially because I was buzzing), and we soon became dancing machines. I had my first experience dancing onstage at the Manoir, and it was a pretty fantastical experience. I ended up dancing with this French guy who had incredibly sexy dance moves, so needless to say I was satisfied. Robin’s friend also knew how to boogey down, so of course I danced with her a lot, too. We stayed there for a while, and then had to walk home in the rain… eew (it’s been raining here a lot lately, I guess we’re in the heart of the rainy season). I got home at 4h00, and then fell into a deep, uninterrupted sleep. Great success.

Toussaint Vaacaation


Bonjour my sweets.
It’s about that time where I need to update you once again. I’m sucking and over a week behind now *gasp*, so here’s to hoping I can remember everything clear enough.

Friday, November 2nd: From what I do recall, Nina, Hannah and I larded it up at my house for the duration of the morning. After we were done filling our lazy person quota, we met up with Emily and Peter to head to Grand Place, which is a mall outside the city center. We went there originally to participate in a free cooking class offered to Grenoblois, but there was a bit of a language barrier and we had difficulty figuring out what exactly was going on. It kind of seemed like it was a cooking class primarily for children, and parents cooked a little while waiting for their kids. So, we ended up calling it a failed mission, and had some lunch instead at a pizza place. I decided to branch out a little, and ordered pizza with baby shrimp on it! Not gonna lie, I was nervous it was going to be weird, but it turned out being pretty delectable, mission success.

After munching down, we decided to explore the mall a little bit. I’m still broke student status, so I had to resist the urge to buy about a million things, but I actually succeeded so I gave myself a pat on the back. Not going to lie though, I was thissss close to caving in and buying a pair of fuzzy footsie pajamas. Don’t hate.

After the mall, I made my way to the French Coffeeshop to have a Skype date with Sarah, which was a semi-success. Sometimes the internet decides to be a pill and cut out on me mid-conversation, but talking sporadically is better than not talking to her at all. Once my date was over, Nina met me in centre ville so we could grab some dinner (I don’t remember what we had… mersauce), and then we made our way back to my apartment to get ready for the night’s festivities. Woo! Hannah, Emily and Peter ended up coming over to pre-game, so before long the room was a buzzing a little bit 😉 I remember going to London Pub, then waiting until close to 1h00 so we could get free tickets to Vieux Manoir. We went to the Manoir, but it was early and there was no one there, so Nina, Hannah and I just ended up going home and eating copious amounts of bread before passing out in the apartment. Great fun.

Saturday, November 3rd: Another morning where we lazed around for a few hours to try and not suffer a hangover. Emily ended up calling me before noon, and we made plans to go to Vizille, France for 12h30. Vizille is a beautiful, adorable town about 40 minutes outside of Grenoble, and there is a bus that takes you there from Victor Hugo, which was pretty awesome. Before the bus, Nina and I grabbed Texan sandwiches from Sandwich House, and they were pretty much amazing. I just realized I haven’t uploaded my pictures from Vizille yet, so once I get home I’ll get on that and include the pics in the next post, they’re totally worth seeing. We spent the day in this beautiful park that had ponies and peacocks and reindeer! Along with rivers and bridges and a free museum, so overall it was a pretty fantastic day trip.

Remember that guy Hugo I mentioned in the last post who I met on Halloween night? Well, he ended up giving me a call this day, and wanted to hang out… so being a nice person I let him know where we were, and he ended up driving to Vizille to spend the day with us. He was a pretty cool kid, but my fake crush soon faded, so I kind of lost interest after the park, but still, it was nice to hang out with a real life French guy… especially one from Marseille! The reindeer and peacocks though were what really made me day, since I don’t think I had ever seen those animals in real life before.

When our little excursion came to an end, it was time for dinner.. so Nina and I, being addicts, ate Curry Sandwiches from Sandwich House and then went back to my apartment to start getting ready for the night once again. Around 21h00, Hannah, Emily, Peter, Evelyn and Ellisa came over to my place, and in the usual fashion we played Kings and got sloshed. We bounced around to a bunch of different bars and clubs, and met up with Hugo and his friend, and I probably didn’t get home until close to 3h30. It was a rowdy time to say the least, and we learned that sometimes combining the three sassiest girls of the group (Nina, Hannah, Myself) and adding alcohol is not always the best idea, but always the most entertaining. That’s all I’m going to say, haha. Once we got home, I drunkenly snacked on eggs and then went to bed. Rawr.

Sunday, November 4th: In Grenoble, the first sunday of the month means that all the museums are free to the public, so Richard, Hannah, Nina, Peter, Evelyn, Emily and I decided to take advantage of that. We were all kind of dying though from our weekend ways, so we didn’t fully experience as much as we wanted to, but I still got to see some old Roman Ruins which was pretty sweet.


















We ended up losing Nina along the way, and after our museum excursion the majority of us went to the movies to see 007, Skyfall… it was so good! Seriously, if you haven’t checked it out I totally recommend it. The acting was pretty fly, and you can’t really go wrong with Daniel Craig. <333

Apparently it’s the rainy season in Grenoble, because I was practically drowning from all the rain this day, which obviously made it perfect for the movies. The movie ended pretty late, so from there I just went home, gave Nina all her belongings, ate dinner and went to bed. It was a nice and much needed loooong sleep. Thus ending my splendidly long weekend for Toussaint. Allez!



Without further ado, I present to you… my parapent (paragliding) videos! Bask in the awesomeness that was my life this day. I want to go back and do it again, like now.

^Before running off that mountain that you see in the video. Quoiiiii?

^ SO close to take off


^And again. So freaking AWESOME.

^ Just cruising above a lake… and spinning… *stomach lurches*

“What’s our plan for tonight?” “Live”


Oh la la, désolée mes amis, mais j’étais très occupée cette semaine passée!

Sorry for the miniscule amount of French lovelies; I want to start writing some blogs in French to keep up with the language slash put it to good use, but I’ll make them random ones that don’t have to do with my day-to-day life so my American peeps can actually comprehend what I’m saying. Anyway, time to focus. My apologies for the lack of communication this past week, I’m living it up too much 😉 don’t hate me for it.

Monday, October 29th: Technically, this whole week was a vacation week for France, a holiday called Toussaint, but of course us international kids had to have class… LAMESAUCE. Well, not all classes, which was nice at least, but my regular language class still met today, so I was in class from 10h40 to 12h30. My culture and society class (14h-15h30) still met this day, but I decided that since the French could be on vacation, so could I… so I skipped. Hannah, being the supreme student that she is, didn’t skip, and she was kind enough to sign my name for me, so I still get credit. Wahwahweewah.

I had the intention of going home after lunch and taking a nap, but I realized I wasn’t sleepy, so instead I met up with some API peeplettes at the French Coffeeshop to get my homework done (we have a weekly-ish homework assignment for my language class that gets intensely graded so I did some of it) and start studying for my first grammar test. EW. I hung around, blogged a bit, and then went home to have dinner with Madeleine and study some more/work more on my homework. I can’t say I studied intensely hard for it, but even looking at my notes is a great deal more than I usually do. However, since I had a big exam the next day, I went to bed early so I would have a full nights rest. Party on.

Tuesday, October 30th: Another usually painful day made a bit easier thanks to the French and their vacations. My translation class and my literature class didn’t meet this day, so I just had class from 8h30-12h30… which I mean, still isn’t fun, but I survived. Actually, my classmates brought in SNACKS, and snacks make everything better. Mike made milk and dark chocolate Oreo truffles and Miro brought in these Japanese cinnamon cracker stick things, both of which were delectable. I also got two truffles so I was doubly contented. BOO-YAH.

Unfortunately, after the tasty snacks we had to take our grammar exam… I can’t say I was pleased. We ended up getting the results back today though and I got a 13.5, which is a B+/A-, so I’m not totally bummed about it. Still though, I’m a perfectionist and got A+’s on my other two exams thus far, so this kind of brings down my average. Oh well, grammar sucks balls anyway – too bad it’s crucial.

Post-class and exams, Hannah, Mike, Jeremy, Olivia and I headed to centre ville for some Burgers & Cie, aka our favorite burrito/burger stomping ground. I ordered the cowboy burger (how American of them), which had BBQ sauce and tomato and lettuce and all that jazz, plus frites. It was dank and reminded me of home, so gypsy mission = success. From there, you can probably guess where we went… that’s correct. French Coffeeshop; honestly, they should give us free muffins or something for all the money we give them.

I hung around there for a few hours and got my big homework assignment done, and then Max showed up and I left with him to go carve a pumpkin. Wooooot.

Well, if we’re being technical, Max carved the pumpkin; I just gutted it, separated the seeds and told him that the design had to be a unicorn (licorne in French). Obviously. It came out pretty awesome though, his artistic skills are much better than mine… if I had tried to carve that the unicorn most likely would have looked demented. Afterwards, I had to go home and have dinner with Madeleine, followed by some Game of Thrones and a good nights sleep.

Wednesday, October 31st aka HALLOWEEN (!!!): Okay, Americans who read this: Halloween is indeed an international holiday. Granted, other countries aren’t weird like us and dress up their children and go door-to-door begging for candy, but they do indeed celebrate it. In France, mostly it’s an excuse to party, dress like a freak/slut and get drunk… who can argue with that?

I tried to take a picture… but it was kind of a fail

Anyway, I had class from 8h30-10h20, where we watched a movie about some guy who mildly stalks this girl then my weekend arrived (no classes on Thursday and Friday thanks to Toussaint)! Apres je suis sortie a centre ville, I went to Batman Kebab with Nina to get my last Kebab from there for a month 😦 so sad. They’re closing until the first week in December for renovations, so I had to savor every bite. They didn’t disappoint. Per usual, once done gorging, I stopped by the shop – that’s what I may start referencing the coffeeshop as, I’ve decided – for an hour or two to check my e-mail and do all those real life things, then I went home to take the necessary nap, pre-festivities.

I racked out for about two hours I would say, then woke up, started getting ready for the nuit and had dinner with Madeleine. After dinner, I finished donning my costume (I was a French maid, considering the country I’m staying in) then headed to Richard’s with Max to start the night. For a while it was just Richard, Max, Hannah and I, so as per API custom we played Kings and started the night off right. Hannah and I started off by splitting Jack Daniels and Coke, chyeahh. Needless to say by the time the others arrived (Nina, Emily, Evelyn, Preston, and Kaitlyn… forgive me if I’m forgetting anyone. It feels like a lifetime ago) we were starting to buzzbuzz. Nina and Emily had pre-pre-gamed at Nina’s with a giant bottle of wine though, so we weren’t the only ones. Also somehow Max got hammered, and we didn’t end up leaving Richard’s house until almost 1h00. Woo.

From Richard’s, the group splintered, and Richard, Emily, Nina, Hannah, Preston and I made our way to Theatro, the club/bar where we went the weekend before for the Halloween Party. It was pretty freaking dead though, so we only stayed long enough to take some drunk pictures, then we made our way to the infamous Vieux Manoir. At this point it was just Nina, Hannah and I, so we danced our costumed bootay’s off in the club until I was exhausted and ready to call it a night. Hannah ended up sleeping over, and thus ends Halloween in Grenoble, France. Zut alors.

*Note: While waiting outside of Vieux Manoir for our friends close to the end of the night, I was approached by a native French guy named Hugo who asked me if the “Dressage” on my jacket was the horse sport. Of course, we we’re instantly friends because he knew what Dressage was. Turns out he is from Marseille, which further cemented the obsession. We ended up exchanging numbers and chatting some more, but alas, my interest faded after he came out with us Halloween weekend. Gave me a chance to practice French, at least.

Thursday, November 1st: Woke up and refused to get out of bed for a small chunk of time. Surprisingly, I wasn’t really hung over, but I was pretty damned exhausted, which brews the same I’m-never-moving-ever-again feeling. Eventually, Hannah went home to shower and be a normal human, and around lunchtime Nina texted me saying she was in need of a burrito, so I was forced to start moving with the rest of the world. We wanted to go to Burgers & Cie, but they broke our hearts by being closed, so we went next door to this other place instead. I should really remember the name, but alas I can’t. Regardless, I ordered a tasty falafel, and then Nina and I just putzed around Grenoble for a while. Since it was an actual holiday not much was open, and the streets were eerily dead.

Eventually, Nina wanted to go home and gather her belongings (Madeleine left this morning, so Nina was spending the weekend with me at my apartment), and I finally caved and bought black boots! They aren’t real leather, I’m too broke for that, but these are cute in my opinion, and they were only about 22 euro, which made them in my price range, so purchased they were.

Emily’s cousin Peter from Denmark arrived around 19h30, so after he dropped his stuff off at the hotel he was staying at, Emily, Peter, Nina, Mike and I all went out to dinner at an amazingly tasty restaurant called Chez Meme Paulette, famous for it’s tartines, which is essentially a grilled piece of bread with a medley of delicious things cooked on top. I stupidly deleted the picture of my main course, but it was a tartine with jambon cru, pommes, et une type du fromage que j’oublie(for my english friends: thinly sliced ham with apples and some yummy cheese). It was amazingly delicious… and then we decided to have dessert :0

Emily’s Dessert

My dessert












I opted to have warm pears and dark chocolate sauce with cinnamon on a tartine… yeah, it was awesome. Emily went for the house specialty: lavender creme brulee, which was equally as epic. Obviously, we will be going back; it was cheap too which was an added bonus. Score! We didn’t end up finishing dinner until close to 23h00, so afterwards Nina and I just went back to my apartment and went to bed. After Halloween night, drinking was most definitely not on the agenda… plus the whole weekend was ahead of us.


Well guys… that has to to be it for now. At least now I’m less than a week behind. I’m uploading my paragliding picture as I type this, so hopefully that can be accomplished before my computer dies (I have :19 left, so it’s up in the air). It’s only like 7h15 in the morning for y’all right now, so most of you aren’t even awake yet, but enjoy your day when you! kisses and hugs.