Category Archives: Parlez-Vous Francais?

The Rock… Rocks.

Standard

Happy Sunday, Everyone!

It’s been absolutely gorgeous out today, so if it’s nice where you are, I hope you spent a little time outdoors. I had to work until 3pm, but afterwards I took one of my dogs on an hour long walk for some exercise and Vitamin D, chyeahhh. Then I picked up the new and limited edition Game of Thrones beer, called “Three-Eyed Raven” and brewed by Ommegang Brewery, because GAME OF THRONES PREMIERES TONIGHT!! I can’t wait.

I had a pretty fabulous week, so ending it (or starting it… whichever way you look at it) with Game of Thrones is icing on the cake. As I may have mentioned in the past, I had my first climbing competition yesterday at Rock Spot Climbing’s Boston Boulder Brawl, so I spent a lot of time this last week – and the last month – preparing for it. I went to a pretty sweet rock gym on Wednesday called Central Rock Gym – Watertown to mix it up a bit; check out the pictures below.

Central Rock Gym

 

Central Rock (3)

To recap the competition: it was awesome. I didn’t win, but I did score high enough in the qualifying round to compete in the final brawl, where you climb until fail. I was eliminated on the 5th problem along with 6 other women (it was an evil problem), so I felt pretty content about the whole thing. Personally, I did some of the best climbing I’ve ever done to date, so that’s a win in my book! Truth be told, if the women in my division had been honest and competed at the level they belonged in – a lot were WAY to advanced for my level, it was pretty disheartening and unfair – I probably would have had a solid chance at winning, but oh well. Once I can get Max to send me the pictures I’ll post them up here. I also am friends with the manager of the Spot, so Max and I were asked to be judges during other levels of the competition. It was pretty neat and overall just a really great, albeit long, day 😀

Central Rock (2)

I’ve been really craving French lately, so the rest of this post is going to be in said tongue. Feel free to translate if you wish, but maybe sometime I’ll translate it/read it out loud on a video for you all to hear how it sounds. If you just paste it in a translator, just be aware it may not seem to flow as nicely. I also may have made a few grammatical errors here and there since I am a little rusty.

Aujourd’hui, j’ai fait une dĂ©couverte. Donc, pas exactement une dĂ©couverte, mais j’ai trouvĂ© les mots corrects pour une pensĂ©e de mien (<– cette grammaire… c’est correct?). Actuellement, la dĂ©couverte Ă©tait hier, mais il n’importe pas.

Alors, la pensĂ©e. Toute ma vie, j’avais Ă©tĂ© une individuel compĂ©titive; pour toutes la facettes de ma vie. C’est dans mon ADN, peut-ĂȘtre. Mais, je pense que quand j’Ă©tait petite, mes idĂ©es de compĂ©tition Ă©taient complĂštement incorrects et injustifiables. Puis, j’avait voulu dĂ©truire le compĂ©tition; les battre a tout ce jeu et gagner.

Mais, maintenant je vois l’idĂ©e de compĂ©tition dans une lumiĂšre diffĂ©rent. Oui, j’ai encore gagner, mais maintenant il est pour une raison plus juste, plus humaine. Peut-ĂȘtre je dois cette idĂ©e Ă  une sport en particulier… l’escalade. Hier, j’ai eu mon premier compĂ©tition d’escalade, et je l’adorait! J’adore cet sport, et un morceau de cet amour est parce que les personnes qui participent.

Ils sont adorent (eh bien, plus). Les attitudes sont heureux, encourageant et aimables, et ils Ă©taient infectieux. Pendant un moment, j’avais compris. L’idĂ©e de gagner n’est pas comment tu peux battre les autres, mais comment tu peux conquĂȘte de vous-mĂȘme et ĂȘtre parfait pour vous. Je voudrais aider mon compĂ©tition parce que, pourquoi pas? Je voudrais ĂȘtre le mieux. Mais il n’y a pas les autres dans cette problĂšme; seulement moi et le rocher. LĂ ! C’est facile pour moi: si les autres sont trĂšs super, j’ai besoin ĂȘtre trĂšs super aussi parce que je voudrais exceller, et nous pouvons apprendre de l’autre.

Le rocher ne mente pas et je voudrais avoir toutes les rochers me dire que je suis le mieux, ne personne. Mais je veux le support des personnes et en exchange je veux les support aussi. Ensemble, nous pouvons conquĂȘtes le monde. Je pense que avec cette idĂ©e, j’ai grandi un peu, et à cause de ça, je suis devenue une meilleure personne.

There you have it, folks. Enjoy the remainder of your weekend!

Advertisements

“You Can’t Go Wrong With More Speed”

Standard

Herro again. I just finished freezing my nips off in this snow storm we’re having over here in Rhode Island! I mean, in comparison to Vermont and other areas of the country I’m sure it’s child’s play; but it’s more than the 401 has seen all season I believe. My friend Aly interviewed me for her senior thesis, so I jut spent the passed two hours frolicking in the beautiful snow talking about horses. Whatever, I’m a nerd.

Street Decorations

Anyway, I said that I would try my best to re-cap my final days of studying abroad in Grenoble, France, so here it goes (oh, I’m also going to be weaving my pictures from the Lyon Festival of Lights into this post to add some pizazz):

Blocks

Tuesday, December 11th: Long day of classes, but the last one of the semester! Score. It was also my last literature and translation class (thank god, I HATED THAT CLASS), so I was partially okay with having to sit in that wretched course for two hours. I finished up around 16h45, which was earlier than usual, but I really didn’t have the energy/feel in the mood to party much. I’m pretty sure that after class, I just went home to read more 50 Shades Darker and start studying for the multiple finals I had coming up. If I did anything else of merit, I really don’t remember.

Archway

Wednesday, December 12th: Class from 8h30 to 10h20, which wasn’t too bad, especially considering we spent it watching a movie and learning French slang. After class I actually have no recollection of what I did. Considering I had finals coming up, I think I probably went to the coffee shop for at least a little bit to try and start studying. Honestly though, I could have done anything. Sorry for being so scatter-brained.

This Dragon >>HE WAS SOAWESOMEEE

Thursday, December 13th: Last day of classes for real!!! I had my final regular class on this day, which was actually quite sad. I had come to really enjoy the company of all my extremely diverse classmates (Germans, Americans, Japanese, Chinese, Russian, Australian and South Koreans), and our professor was just amazing. We wrapped up the final class by giving our professor gifts and pictures of our lovely faces, then we finished watching a movie about this guy whose job is to break up engaged couples by seduction.

Afterwards, I went to the post-office to pick up a box to ship home because quite frankly, I have too much shit. I somehow managed to shove 7kg worth of books, nail polish and sports clothing into a tiny box, gold star for me! Once that was over with, I went to the Christmas Market to see what they had to offer, since I still needed to find a few more Christmas presents for family and friends. I don’t think I did anything after dinner this night because I had an exam in the morning, so most likely I just finished up reading 50 Shades and did a minute amount of studying for my exam the next day.

Les Fleurs

Friday, December 14th: I had to wake up early in order to get to my exam on time. At my University, the program I was in was called the CUEF, and at the end of every semester you need to take a final called the DUEF, which basically makes sure that you learned enough French to move on to the next higher level. A lot of people seemed to stress out a bit about it, but quite honestly I wasn’t worried. We only had to get a 10/20 to pass, and my professor prepared us more than necessary for this exam. The only thing about it was that it was very annoying, and took forever! There were three parts to the exam: oral comprehension, written comprehension and actual writing. Between the first and second portion, we had a few hours break, so Hannah, Emily, Ellisa and I went in town to eat a decent lunch, then we spent some time at the Christmas Markets just enjoying the atmosphere and eating tasty treats. It was a good way to pass the time.

Finally, it came time to take the last exam of the day, and once it was over we were just about exhausted with school. Which meant… it was time to rage! I went home, had dinner with Madeleine and let the festivities begin. Hannah and I had plans to meet up with our classmates at Subway, so she came over and we each faced a wine bottle while just hanging out waiting for the time to come. Emily ended up meeting up with us an hour or so later, and then the three of us walked the short distance from my house to the bar. Now, Hannah and I were pretty drunk at this point, which made meeting up with our international friends that much more hilarious. We had to speak French the entire time, which was a lot of fun. The rest of the API group wound up at Subway at some point, but Hannah and I remained behind with our classmates for another hour, then we met up with the rest of our friends at London Pub. The workers at the bar were being douche-bags this particular night, so we didn’t stay for very long… just long enough to get free passes to Vieux Manoir. Finally, we ended the night at the Manoir, where we danced the night away, and I was eventually escorted home by two of the Chinese guys in my class. Night = success.

Moo

Saturday, December 15h: Somehow, I wasn’t hungover when I woke up, which was a mystery to me. Thank goodness though, because I had a lot of work to do prepping for exams. I pretty much spend the entire day at the Coffee Shop stuffing my brain with facts about History of Art, while at the same time trying to start studying for French Literature. I stayed studying and gossiping until it was time for dinner, then went home to spend the night cozy in bed. I figured my liver would enjoy a break, plus I had 35+ slides of Art to memorize, so I hunkered down, did the work I had to do, and had a good nights rest.

Van Gogh

Across The River

Sunday, December 16th: Same old study grind, I’m sad to say (well, not sad — but it’s incredibly dull to write about). I spent more countless hours cramming historical art facts into my mind until I just couldn’t do it anymore. As a break, Richard, Hannah, her host sister and I all went to Tacos de Lyon for some kebab nomnoms, then to “the best” bakery in Grenoble (whose name I forget) where I bought some cookie fruit thing. It was pretty good, but considering I still had a broken retainer in my mouth, it probably wasn’t my greatest purchase.

After our food break, I realized that I needed to go home and be away from the internet in order to make any sort of progress, so I bid adieu to my friends and went back to the apartment to be productive. I figured that since I had already finished 50 Shades Darker, I wouldn’t have as many distractions; I was wrong. I still had Game of Thrones to finish so of course that became my first priority, teehee. Eventually, I did get around to studying enough to feel confident, but I had an oral exam early the next morning, so I went to bed before 22h00. Fiestaaa.

HiSsSsSRAWR

C’est La France

Standard

Wow. Okay everyone – first of all, I apologize for my lack of activity on this these last few weeks. I’ll try to recap all that I can, but it’s been a crazy time so I probably won’t recall all of it.

*Actually, I typed all of this up while I was still in Grenoble, but with the lack of internet I never got around to posting and finishing it. I’m still not caught up, but this seemed better than nothing for the time being. Also.. it’s my 100th post — I am appointing myself an honorary badge for that.*

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

As I sit here typing this, it’s my last day in Grenoble (Friday, 21/12/12), and I can’t quite absorb that idea yet. I think I may be numb to it, but that’s probably for the best. These past four months have been some of the greatest thus far in my life, and this has been an experience that I will never forget. Not only did I learn so much more about myself and travel to some unreal places, but also I met some of the best people on this trip, which is really what made the whole thing so unparalleled. We were (ARE) a crazy bunch, that is for sure, but I became close with some of the most unique and genuine people ever, and some of which will definitely remain friends. I can’t believe I will be leaving them; it’s painful to think about, but at least with all this technology, communication won’t be limited. We gave Grenoble, France a run for it’s money, and it definitely showed us a great ass time. A piece of me will forever be resting somewhere in Victor Hugo, awaiting my return.

What have I been doing, you ask? I’ll try and fill in as many gaps as possible:

Monday, December 3rd: School, blech. It was my last day of Culture and Society though, so that was at least a morsel of niceness. It was wayyy to long ago for me to remember what I did in the evening, but being the day after Rome and a Monday, I can deduce that I probably just went home, ate dinner, did some homework slash read 50 Shades of Grey and went to bed.

Tuesday, December 4th: Today was Carl’s birthday! I had the usual full drudging day of classes, unfortunately. After school though, I went home, ate dinner with Madeleine and sipped on some vino while finishing up 50 Shades! After my lovely accomplishment, I met up with Maddie, Ian, Carl and Max to celebrate Carl’s birthday at the one and only Subway. I was already a little buzzed from my celebration wine (whatever, when in France), so I think I only nursed one drink the whole night, kudos to me. I also was given this semi-gross cherry chocolate candy that has a pretty large amount of alcohol inside. We hung out at Subway for a solid amount of time, but I had a 8h30 class the next day, so I called it a night after the bar and went to bed.

Wednesday, December 5th: Hah. So, I had every intention of going to class, but I just couldn’t force myself to get out of my cozy, warm bed at 7h00. C’etait trop tot, et j’avait seulement one class on Wednesdays, so I skipped. Turns out I picked the best day to skip though, because we did nothing in class. So much so that my professor bought everyone coffee and they just hung out in the cafeteria.

I’m pretty sure after I peeled myself out of bed, I went and met up with Hannah at the coffee shop to do whatever. Once again, it was a very long time ago, so I can’t quite remember the details anymore. I do know though that after dinner, I went to Max’s to hang out while he prepped all his stuff for Florence and Rome. That’s about it for this day, though.

Thursday, December 6th: Finished up school for the week at 12h30, yippee! Unfortunately, I had to spend the majority of my afternoon copying down all my Culture and Society notes, since my exam was on Monday. It was a fun time, let me tell you.

After we logged a bunch of studying hours, I went home to drop off my stuff, then grabbed dinner at La Salsita and met up with a bunch of kids from my program for our soiree theatre. We saw this French film, called Populaire (je pense), which was about this small town girl from France who ended up being the best speed typewriter in the world. It was a romantic comedy, and I actually really enjoyed it. I was also very pleased with the fact that it was entirely in French, and I understood all of it minus a few instances. Three cheers for improving!

Once the movie was finished, those who were still in Grenoble felt the need to let loose (when don’t we have that urge, though?), and we instated a girls night. If I remember correctly, it was Hannah, Emily, Maddie, Ellisa, Evelyn and myself. We speed drank some wine/champagne in the foyer of my apartment with pure class and then walked around the corner to Subway to get some more liquor in our bloodstream, duh. We were a rowdy bunch of individuals this night, and Hannah and I become even crazier when a few kids from our class wound up at the same bar for our friend Jascha’s birthday. It was a fun time, and we were probably there for almost two hours. When we exhausted Subway, we changed the scenery and made our way to Couche Tard and were equally crazy. Fun things ensued, and I got to practice my French, that’s all I’m going to say. 😉

Friday, December 7th: Let’s just not talk about how exhausted everyone was after our night full of extravaganzas. Unfortunately being lazy all day wasn’t an option since we had that stupid exam to study for
 mer. I spent my day at the French Coffee Shop with Emily, Maddie, Natasha and Hannah prepping for finals and draining our brains. Multiple breaks were taken. I was too beat to even think about going out that night, so I simply went home for dinner then hunkered down for the night to read 50 Shades Darker; I’m pretty sure I read close to half of it. Great success.

Saturday, December 8th: After a full night’s sleep, I was back at the coffee shop squeezing a few hours in before I went with Natasha, Maddie and Hannah to the Lyon Festival of Lights!!!! We took the 16hish train into Lyon, and hung out and enjoyed the festival in all its beauty until 23h30.

 Peacock

I think the entire population of France was crammed into Lyon that night
 too many people. Don’t get me wrong, it was a grand experience and the lights were unreal, but it was just too crowded for my liking. You also had to pay for toilets, which is outrageous; so we just snuck into Quik’s. Another thing that was irksome about the festival was how poorly the map correlated to the city itself. We got lost a bunch of times, and it was almost impossible to figure out where you were. One would think for such a popular festival they would be more organized. No matter though, I had fun and got to see some crazy lights. Don’t forget to watch the insane video that I will most at some point in the near future.

CrazinessThat's A Building

The train ride took foreverrrr, and I didn’t crawl into bed until passed 1h00. It was freezing that night, so my cozy covers were more than appreciated.

Do DaLook Closely

Sunday, December 9th: I bet you can guess what I did all this day
 that’s right: study. My electives here in France were tricky business. On one hand, it was very nice that I didn’t have homework for the entire semester, but at the same time
 our final exams were 100% of our grade. How insane is that?! That’s not how we do it over in America, so needless to say I was massively stressing out for this exam. It was also extra important because I needed to pass the class (and History of Art) in order to get credit for one of my necessary classes for the European Studies major. I don’t think I had ever studied for an exam so much in my life
 literally all weekend, blah!

After once again posting up in the coffee shop for hours on end, I went home to eat dinner, de-stress with 50 Shades and get a good night’s sleep before my exam. Eep.

Monday, December 10th: Had the normal class protocol from 10h40 to 12h30, then it was exam time, ew. I didn’t think it was that difficult. The one good thing is that these grades don’t get factored into my GPA, so I only need to get a 10/20 (that’s a C in France) on the exam to get credit for it. I am pretty positive I passed
 if I didn’t I will be really angry and shocked, especially after all that studying I did.

Normally after I take an exam I am much more relaxed and just hang out for a little afterwards, but sadly this was not the case this time around. Classes were still in session, so directly after the exam we had to sit in History of Art for an hour and a half. It was not my idea of a good time, but it was the last time that class met, so that was a positive aspect of it.

I got home after class to find out my host mom was gone, so I was able to eat dinner while reading 50 Shades, which was a nice way to unwind. Afterwards I just hung out and putzed around for the night; it was all I could manage.

~~~~~ So, that’s all I had written down in my draft box. Looks like that’s all you’ll be getting for the moment. I don’t have too much on my agenda tomorrow so hopefully I’ll make some strides. Happy Holidays, Everyone! I know I’m a little late, but the good times should always be in session. ❀

Well, We Once Were The Jesters In Your Kingdom By The Sea

Standard

Bonjour! I’m once again in the French Coffee Shop “studying” my arse off for my Culture & Society exam tomorrow… eek. I really have been studying, but I need a mental break from all this nonsense. BLECH EXAMS — je les deteste.

Sunday, November 25th: We were supposed to leave the hotel by 9h00, so I was up and munching down another tasty breakfast by 8h00, but one of our lovely API family members (whom shall remain anonymous) never made it back to the hotel the night before *coughfrenchlovercough* so there was a mad search around the city until said person was dragged out of a locals bed. Teehee, I love my group. We probably ended up leaving passed 10h00, and then we were piled onto the bus once again for the dreaded ride back to Grenoble.

Quite The Attractive Courtyard

In order to break up the monotony, though, we made a two hour pit stop in Colmar, which is an hour away from Strasbourg to discover this lovely town’s marchĂ©s de NoĂ«l (Christmas Markets). Obviously, it was not as awesome as Strasbourg’s, but I bought a tasty honey lollipop and another Christmas present for a family member. We also did a quick walk through of le MusĂ©e d’Unterlinden, but if I’m being honest… the museum kind of freaked me out a little bit. I took some pictures, so you can see for yourself, and if you agree with me or not.

Well, Hello There

Note: Bottom left corner

Note: Bottom left corner

So SicklyWhat On EARTH Is Going On Here?Er...Heyyy, Boys

In case you’re interested in some factoids about Strasbourg and Colmar, I copied and pasted them from our itinerary below. It’s in French — sorry, I’m too lazy to translate for you… just use google translate if you’re curious:

  • Colmar: ancienne ville libre du Saint Empire romain germanique. Elle est devenue française en 1648. C’est la Capitale des Vins d’Alsace et la troisiĂšme ville de la rĂ©gion par sa population. Colmar est la ville natale du crĂ©ateur de la Statue de la LibertĂ© Ă  New York, Auguste Bartholdi.
  • Strasbourg: Strasbourg est une ville situĂ©e dans le nord-est de la France, sur la rive gauche du Rhin. C’est la septiĂšme ville de France par la population, et l’un des principaux pĂŽles Ă©conomiques du nord-est. Elle est devenue française en 1681.
    Grand carrefour historique, Strasbourg fut de tous temps un lieu de rencontre de religions et de cultures diffĂ©rentes.. En 1440, Gutenberg y inventa les caractĂšres d’imprimerie ; Mozart y donna de nombreux concerts ; Goethe, le cĂ©lĂšbre poĂšte allemand y fut Ă©tudiant ; la future reine de France Marie-Antoinette, s’arrĂȘta Ă  Strasbourg en arrivant d’Autriche
.
    Aujourd’hui, Strasbourg, est devenue le symbole de l’unitĂ© et de la reconstruction europĂ©enne.  Elle est, avec Bruxelles, l’une des deux capitales de l’Europe, siĂšge du Parlement EuropĂ©en et du Conseil de l’Europe.
    SituĂ©e au cƓur de l’Alsace, Strasbourg est aussi  une capitale gastronomique (foie gras, vins d’Alsace, chocolat et eau-de-vie).
    Enfin, elle est aussi connue pour son MarchĂ© de NoĂ«l, autour de sa prestigieuse CathĂ©drale, marchĂ© qui date du 16Ăšme siĂšcle (1570)….

Well, there you have it! Haha, I’m sure most of you didn’t understand a lick of that, but maybe that will be incentive for you to learn a little French 😉

Awesome ColorsHitler 'Stach?UNICORN

Anyway, after we finished our stop in Colmar, we continued on and sat on that dang bus for hours on end. I thankfully fell asleep for a little, so it didn’t seem as bad. We arrived in Grenoble close to 20h3o I think, so I made it just in time for dinner with Madeleine. Wahwahweewah. I was supposed to go to a party for my classmate, Kevin, but I was so exhausted that I had to bail on that fete. Hannah wasn’t pleased, but I wouldn’t have been any fun. So instead, I took a shower and passed out into a much needed slumber.

Monday, November 26th: Had the usual nonsense and was at school from 10h40 to 17h30 for classes, and afterwards I went with Hannah, Richard and Emily to renew our tramcards for the last time! Ahhh, so sad. It was actually a rough time because while I was waiting in line, I was going in on a semi-stale gummy, and I broke my built in retainer! There aren’t any dangerous sharp points in my mouth or anything, but it is definitely broken, and if you touch the right spot, it is sharp. Woops. I mean, I was supposed to get it out once I turned 21, but I just didn’t have time over the summer. My mom is making me an appointment for once I’m back in the states though, so this won’t be in my mouth for too much longer.

After my dental issue, I walked through the Grenoble Marche de Noel to see what it was like (it opened while we were in Strasbourg) and browse the shops. I ran into Max while I was there, so we explored it and I ate this tasty little number:

After 8 Mousse on a Waffle Encased in Dark Chocolate.

After 8 Mousse on a Waffle Encased in Dark Chocolate.

It was delicious, and would not be my first rendez-vous. After we explored some more, I had to go home and do the usual homework and personal cleansing routine, then I read some 50 Shades of Grey, and went to bed. Cheeel.

Tuesday, November 27th: Another rough, long day of classes. I actually ended up skipping my Translation class a) because the professor sucks and b) because there was a hockey game this night, and I really wanted to go, but I had my last big homework assignment due on Thursday, but since I wouldn’t be in class (ROMA ROMA), I had to hand it in on Wednesday, so I spent those 2 hours where I should have been in class doing homework. It felt good to be productive, teehee.

After my Literature class was over at 17h15, I went home to eat some dinner and get ready to go to the hockey game. Madeleine wasn’t home, so I was able to eat while burying my nose in 50 Shades. The weather ended up being terrible, and the hockey game was more expensive than usual due to it being the semi-finals (we lost…mer), so I didn’t end up going. Instead, I had a movie night and watched Cool Hand Luke — I had never seen it before, and I must say I really liked it… except for the less than happy ending. Oh well.

Wednesday, November 28th: SNOW IN GRENOBLE!!!! Usually at this point in the year, I am used to being bombarded with snow due to living in Vermont, but I was spoiled this semester. I can’t say I was entirely thrilled for the snow, it was cold, but it did make Grenoble look even more beautiful than usual.

Erm, after class, I think I went to the Coffeeshop to either dick around, work on this darling blog, or do some homework. I can’t really remember, but I know I didn’t hang around for too long. Then, I went to the train station with Emily and Nina to buy our bus tickets for the next day to Lyon, and we made a pit stop in the 2 euro store, where I bought this:

My Sign <3We also walked around the Grenoble Markets, where I bought some more Christmas gifts (seriously, I am beyond broke it’s disgusting) and another one of those tasty morsels.

Nomnomnom

Mocha Mousse This Time

Eventually, the cold got the best of us and we parted ways. I went home to read some 50 Shades and pack for ROMA!!! I had to be up pretty early the next morning to make the bus, so after dinner I just relaxed and went to bed shortly after. Week of school = complete. Next stop: ROME, BEETCHES.

Xmas Trees, Acrobats & Happy Things

Video

Here are some sweet vids from Strasbourg, France. WHY DO I HAVE TO LEAVE EUROPE?!

^Sorry about this being sideways. It’s a crazy old clock made ages ago, but it’s so freaking cool! And high-tech for it’s time. Watch and you’ll understand.

^ There was a full on choir at the big church in Strasbourg. It was pretty neat, to say the least.

^ Some international dancing. Huzzah!

^This tree was a magical thing to behold. Not quite as big as the one in Times Square, but it’s quite impressive nonetheless. Apologies for the fact that it’s sideways, I don’t know how to change it.

^The French… I love them and their randomness. In Strasbourg, there were two acrobats attached to a giant moon looking thing, and they did a routine wayyy high up in the air. It was pretty freaking baller.

Merry Merry Happy

Standard

Continuing the Strasbourg Adventures…

Saturday, November 24th: Woke up pretty early because we had to leave the hotel for a guided tour of Strasbourg at 9h30, so I was downstairs with the roomies by 8h45ish to gorge on breakfast nomnoms. In Grenoble, we pretty much only eat bread for breakfast with various toppings (jam, butter, nutella, cheese), so being able to eat a full on breakfast buffet at the hotel was a treat and a half. I think I may have eaten my weight in food: eggs, bread, ham & cheese breakfast sandwiches, fruit… the list continues, but you get the point. Traditional breakfast deprivation.

There We Are

Anyway, at 9h30 we left the hotel and went to meet up with our tour guide. Now, usually on these types of tours I get a little bored, but this tour guide did a solid job of holding my attention. That, and the fact that the Strasbourg Market was awesome!

Hot Nutsss

There was so much to feast my eyes upon. The tour lasted about an hour and a half, then we were released to enjoy Strasbourg. I used this time to to the following:

  1. Eat
  2. Hot Wine
  3. Buy Christmas Gifts
  4. More Hot Wine
  5. Eat Again

Ellisa & The Gnome

It was a fantastic afternoon, and afterwards I could proudly say that most of my Christmas shopping was done! Three cheers for me. Also, I thought I would give you a little insight on the Strasbourg food specialties:

  • La choucroute : White cabbage simmered in white wine from Alsace (the region we were in). Once cooked, a combination of sausage, pork chops, bacon and ham is added, sometimes even a boiled potatoes. ‘Twas delicious.
  • Flammekueche: Tarte Flambee of Alsace. A very popular regional specialty; the classic consists of a pie dough covered with bacon, onions and sour cream, grated cheese gratin and then baked. I had a vegetarian one so it was different toppings, but the premise was the same. Also delectable!
  • Baeckeoffe: This dish is a stew that blends various meats. Beef, lamb or goose leg marinated in a dry white wine, (Sylvaner or Riesling). Onion and garlic are then added, and the pieces of meat are placed twenty-four hours later in a casserole baked between two layers of potatoes and onions. I can’t say I tried this, but it must be pretty dank.
  • Le kougelhopf: traditional Alsatian cake. Didn’t have this either…
  • Le Bretzel: A pretzel pretty much, but quite large. I had mine with dark chocolate on it. Yummm.

Veggie Tarte Flambee

Everything I ate was worth the price (and it wasn’t even that expensive!), and the wine was amazing. You can bet your asses that I will be making that regularly this winter. Stay tuned for those sweet recipes.

Ermmm, after the market, I branched off with the babies: Camillo, Jeremy, Aubrey and Olivia, and Maddie, Ellisa and Natasha, and we wandered further into the heart of Strasbourg in search of some local dinner.

Purty

We found this cute restaurant overlooking the river, and this is where I had my first taste of the tasty tarte flambee. We all just hung out there for a while and chatted, then we migrated to the main area of the Christmas Market where an amazing show was about to go down! View the pictures and videos, it’s pretty difficult to put into words. I will tell you though, that Strasbourg boasts the biggest Christmas tree in France, and probably one of the bigger ones in Europe. It was huge!

LOVE THE TREE

After the spectacle, we went back to the hotel to gather some energy and switch into night mode. I changed quickly and then went to Richard and Preston’s room to meet up with them and Emily, and from there the festivities started.

Preston Giving Heather A Dance

In typical API fashion, it was a shit show. People puked, cried, passed out and did the typical drunken things. I was actually one of the more controlled ones, which is strange.. but I kind of liked it. I was able to actually remember everything, yay! Sans details though, it was a fun night, and I probably went to bed around 3h00.

Day Two, Complete.