Category Archives: Plans

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Fellow Travel Bugs,

I just booked a trip to Tucson, Arizona!!! I’m super excited (I’ve never been to AZ before) AND I will be going during Winter Break in January, so I’ll escape some of the brutal New England cold *hopefully*. Plus there are rocks, rocks and more rocks for me to climb. Eeeee.

If anyone has any Arizona recommendations, even if it’s outside of Tucson, please let me know! I always appreciate the advice and feedback.

I use this website called student universe where they give you discounted tickets if you’re a student or faculty member. They also send me the occasional email, and one that I received recently was cool, so I figured I would pass it along. They claimed 7 prime destinations for 2016 with reasonable travel price tags, and they are as follows:

  • Reykjavik, Iceland. Cue Northern Lights, hot springs and geothermal beaches
  • Hong Kong, China
  • Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  • Kyoto, Japan
  • Venice, Italy
  • Cape Town, South Africa
  • Queenstown, New Zealand

… okay, so who’s coming with me?!? But really.

 

“Prime” 2016 Destinations

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Nights I Can’t Remember, Friends I’ll Never Forget

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Bonjour bonjour bonjourrr!  Herro beautiful people. Hope all is going splendidly – lord knows I have exactly 0 complaints (well, actually… I wish my Toms didn’t smell as rancid as they did, but that can hardly count as a complaint).

So, where did I leave off? I think I talked about my Friday already, so Saturday is where we will begin. Woooo.

Saturday, September 29th: Slept in a little bit (aka like 10:00am, it’s hard to sleep in for me if I get drunk the night before which is LAMESAUCE), had some breakfast, and came to the conclusion that it was a lazy kind of Saturday – mostly due to the fact that it was nasty, rainy and repulsive outside. Ick. I can’t say I totally hated it though; I haven’t had a day to myself where I just chilled hard since I’ve gotten to Grenoble, so I guess it was long overdue. Madeleine came home for lunch and she made some popular Greek dish (it’s like Mussaka or something like that, and had lamb/beef/potatoes and vegetables in it… uber tasty), and then I spent about 3 hours going through my iTunes library and creating a “France” playlist… it’s 590 songs and is a mélange of dancey, chill, raging, and overall bizarre music that I am 100% in love with. Then I read a little bit, but decided I was still tired from this awesome lifestyle I’ve been living, so I broke in my playlist and took a little nap.

Afterwards I headed to MacDo (McDonald’s in French) to steal their wifi. The beautiful thing about this MacDo is that it is always busy; so I literally just walk in, not order anything (I mean, let’s be real, their food grosses me out unlike any other) and squat for as long as I desire. What did I do on the Internet, you ask? Buy freaking tickets to AMSTERDAM. Jealous? You should be. Nina and I are going October 18th-21st to visit one of her friends, plus we’re going to a concert to see Feed Me, Nero, and other fantastical dubstep artists. It’s going to be a raging good time, and we will be well acquainted with the coffee shops by the end of the weekend (haters, go on and judge/hate, but it’s legal and I mean… COME ON. It’s freaking Amsterdam. Yolo).  Needless to say I was souped beyond believe after my purchase. Eeeeee.

I’ve been outrageously hungry lately, so en route back to my apartment I stopped by Mezzo di Pasta and ordered myself some delectable gnocchi with vodka sauce (only my favorite pasta combo ever).

There was a group of French dudes who kept trying to converse with me, but I wasn’t in the social mood — plus I was trying to enjoy my gnocchi and set a new Sudoku record — so I glared at them with my headphones in until they stopped pestering me. Finally, I made it back home, where I started to get ready for the night, woo! Soon enough, Madeleine came home and we had some dinner (short term memory loss is kicking in and I can’t remember what it was. Zut), and then the night arrived.

Earlier in the week I stumbled upon a poster promoting a “rap battle” called The End Of The Weaknote to everyone: posters are one of the most effective ways (at least in Grenoble) to find out about events around town. I’ve been to so many fun things already because of my searching and taking pictures of every poster I come across.

Poster + Armband

Anyway, I met up with Nina, Emily, Preston, Maddie, Natasha, Evelyn and Ian at 20h30 at the tram stop, and from there we made our way to the “battle” – I put battle in air quotes because it wasn’t exactly a face-to-face battle, but rather a competition for local people who wanted to show off their freestyling/rapping skills. There was also an MC who is semi-famous and a DJ who hosted the event, along with a band (I was on the fence about them, probably because I was crashing by the end of the event) who played at the end. Also… there were break-dancers! Personally, I think break-dancers are an incredibly sexy breed (I mean, look at their abs), and these guys happened to be Italian. Yuuuup. The show in its entirety though was a really fun time; the winner was some guy whose name I can’t spell/remember, and a lot of the contestants (and hosts) were full of personality, and it was just entertaining watching them, despite the fact that I could only understand about 10% of the words that were being said. Dammit, not being fluent in French yet! In due time. The battle ended at 1h00, and we all were completely exhausted by the end of it all, a bed was a really nice place to end the night.

**If you haven’t yet, check out my last post with all the videos from the event to see what a French rap battle is like.**

Sunday, September 30th: Chilled around in bed for the majority of the morning, and then came to the realization that I actually had homework to do, darn. Shortly after I cracked open my books, Maddie texted me saying that her Nina, Natasha and Emily were at our lovely French Coffeeshop, so I moved my homework party to Centre Ville. I actually had less than anticipated (did I mention how much I LOVE how the work load over here is about 3847234098 times easier than last year?), and ended up getting ahead of schedule and doing my big homework assignment that is due on Thursday. Go me.

After a few hours, Maddie and I were starving for lunch, so the two of us plus Nina, Natasha, Emily and Max went in search of some good, cheap grub. It was a success (per usual); we found an amazing smoothie/sandwich/crepe/Panini shop called Naturel Delice, and of course I got one of those cards where at the 10th stamp you get a free item, #fatgirlproblems. My sandwich was bizarre in the best possible way: a sesame seed baguette with Brie, some other kind of cheese, apples, chicken, pickles, lettuce, peppers and a white cheese sauce – soooooo good.

Definitely going back, especially to suck down some fresh smoothies, nomnomnom. We ended up hanging out at Delice for a while; I played some music and it was a nice relaxing time. Eventually, we all parted ways and I went home for dinner (again, can’t remember what we ate… I need to start writing this down the night of regardless of whether or not I blog). I was still pretty exhausted from the weekend, so I was in bed and asleep before 20h45, old lady status. The boy ended up calling me at 22h00, but he awoke me from my deep slumber so I don’t think I was speaking coherently; he ended up just saying goodnight and I fell instantly back to sweet, sweet sleep.

Monday, OCTOBER (WHAT? When did it become October? NO MERCI) 1st: Class, mer^2. Slept until 9h00 and slowly got myself into the whole weekday-shwagu routine (psh…). I had class from 10h40 until 17h30 with some breaks, which sucks, but I trouped through and got it over with. The highlight of my school day was when Emily and I purchased tickets to IRELAND!! We’re going from November 15th-18th and it is going to be yet another amazing time. We’re staying with Emily’s friend Thursday night in Dublin, and then the three of us are going to a friend of a friend’s apartment in Galway and staying there until Saturday, where we will go back to Dublin and fly home on Sunday. This semester is cracking up to be one of epic proportions…

Moving on, the same people who hosted The End Of The Weak had an event starting at 18h00, and since I don’t have dinner until close to 20h00, I decided to go. Hannah and Max opted to join me, and I wasn’t really sure what to expect, but it didn’t disappoint. First of all, there was free food and wine, so instantly it got a gold star. I happened to wind up drunk by the end of it, and considering we were only there for an hour, I crown myself champion of the boxed red wine (be jealous of the esteemed level of class). We ended up talking to this guy named Abba who was from Uganda but currently resides in Berlin (Hannah was excited to have someone to speak German with), who was a featured rapper in the event. Here he is in all his glory, along with friends.

He was a pretty cool dude, and definitely had some goals lined up for the future. I’m envious that he just plans on traveling for a shitton of years acquiring knowledge and making friends; I’m starting to think that I want to do the same thing… anyone else in?

Eventually, duty called and Abba had to go and rap with his fellow brethren, so I went and took a tour of the graffiti exposition (see the below video for the virtual tour), and listened to the medley of languages that these guys were rapping in – we heard Italian, French, English and German… gnarly.

Unfortunately the hour arrived where I had to go home to eat dinner, and we weren’t able to see the live graffiti painting. Oh well.

Saw this on the walk home. Not gonna lie, it made me giggle.

Also a walk home spot. Would you carry your child like this?

It was pretty comical going home and being decently drunk by 19h45; I definitely thought my French was way better than it actually was/my tongue was way looser, but Madeleine didn’t seem to notice (also, she wouldn’t care regardless), so it’s all good. After dinner was finished, Max and I decided to go back to the event and see what was going down. There were definitely more drunk people — the rapping got progressively worse — but it was a fun time regardless. By the time we got there, the “live graffiti” had already been finished, but I can’t really say that it looked like much. I took a picture, so feel free to judge for yourself… but to me it just seemed like some drunken sailor splatter painted everywhere, wahwahweewah. We didn’t end up staying too long (I had a test the next morning), so I still managed to get a nice sleep. Three cheers for combating the Monday blues!


Tuesday, October 2nd
: If there were an opposite of a Mecca, Tuesday’s would definitely be it… so long and drudging. So yeah, I was in class from 8h30 until 17h30 with some breaks, but my teachers/classmates decided to be amazing people, and it turns out my day wasn’t so bad after all.

First off, it was my Russian classmates birthday today (she turned 25), and my Australian classmate, being one of the sweetest boys to walk the planet I’ve now decided, bought her a freaking cake! Not just any cake either; it was a raspberry/mousse/chocolate cake from one of my favorite patisseries (Cordon Blue), and it tasted amazing. He also brought in candles and these cookies called Tim Tam’s (epic as well), and my professor was in on the plan and brought in all the necessary utensils along with orange juice.

How delicious does this look? RIIIIIGHT

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A great way to end a Tuesday morning, if I do say so myself. We spent the last 10 minutes of our first period happily munching on delicious food and chugging fresh OJ, chyeahh. Have I mentioned I love France and never want to leave? As if the tasty sweets weren’t enough, in my translation class (which I now have decided I like), my professor saw me rip a gigantic yawn and gave us a much-needed break, plus more cookies! A run is in my near future after all the tasty treats I’ve been gorging on, that’s for sure.

Finalement, the end of the school day came to a close, and I took the tram home and hung out at Victor Hugo for a little bit to absorb to sun’s appealing rays. Due to having such a long day, I didn’t last very long, and soon enough found myself back home, got my homework over with, wrote some postcards, and had dinner with Madeleine. We had salad, cooked veggies, couscous and *GaSp* MEATBALLS – fhoasudhasodnas BLECH. If you don’t already know this, I detest meatballs. I think they are repulsive, icky balls of nasty that have a special place in hell reserved for them. It was here that I found myself in a predicament. Normally, I would slyly hide small fragments of the dreaded meat under other bits of food, but in France you’re supposed to clear your plate, zut. Not wanting to be rude, I squished a bite of ball between vegetables and couscous and just sucked it up. I can say with pride that I didn’t gag once; thank goodness she didn’t give a large helping. Sheesh, the price you pay for being polite! Post-disturbing dinner encounter, I wrote the majority of this blog, and went to bed at a reasonable hour. After all, the API weekend starts on Tuesday, (except I stayed in this Tuesday… my liver probably thanks me) so I’ve got to rest up for the fun that is sure to ensue!

Wednesday, October 3rd: Tis today! I had class from 8h30-10h20, then Nina and I went to the API office to let them know we are going to Amsterdam, and now we’re sitting in our regular Cafe doing homework and such. So far, so good! The weekend is slowly approaching and we have a ton of stuff planned, so get ready for even more stories! =)

Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?

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Mary Oliver said it right, folks.

I’m procrastinating. There are about a million things I could and should be doing right now. Instead, I am watching Gilmore Girls because it has some sort of magnetic pull.

Isn’t this the point of being young? People can live 100 years without really living for a minute. You climb up here with me and it’s one less minute you haven’t lived.

Carpe Diem, baby.
So I’m going abroad next semester, and I want to use this to document my travels, but I want to use this beforehand too, like research and stuff. It’s like my own little travel diary. I feel a little bit like Samuel Pepys, except I can travel the world, and he has slightly better hair.

Anyway, I’m either going to Caen, France or Grenoble, France. There’s some hogwash about whether or not Caen will run because it’s a new program and they need a set amount of people. Caen is my first choice, because when I finish the program I get a Diploma of French Studies. In all honesty I don’t really know the significance of it, but who doesn’t love a nice diploma?

It’s pretty cool; I somehow managed to be on top of my class game since freshman year, and I can technically graduate a semester early. After this semester, my English major will be completely done and I will only need 17 credits to graduate, huzzah! Instead of actually entering the real world a semester early though, I am going to gallivant in Europe for a semester abroad. I am pretty much going to perfect my French oy vey. That means that the only classes I plan on taking will be the ones that will give me that certificate. It will still be about 15 credits, but I’m going to try and mold my schedule so that I never have class on Thursday. Travel, travel, travel.

It’s unfortunate that traveling costs beaucoup d’argent, but I am determined to pick the brains of my friends and do my research so that I can travel and keep the cash in my pocket. That, and I won’t really have much of a choice because I am slowly going broke and will only have a summer to work, plus I’m trying to only work part time so I can land an internship. Big fun but hey, life of a college student.

Here it goes. These are baby steps in the direction towards abroad research, but you need to start somewhere. I guess what I want to do is compile a list of everywhere I want to go. Now, this is going to be completely unrealistic considering I will only be in Europe for four months, but dreaming big is never frowned upon in my book. I’ll obviously be cutting it down massively when I start to delve deeper.

The List

  • Armenia
  • Belgium
  • Croatia
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Georgia
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Iceland
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Luxembourg
  • Monaco
  • Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Russia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Turkey
  • Ukraine
  • United Kingdom
  • Vatican City State

Yes, I am aware it is a very long list; it looks menacing right now. I also desperately want to go to Morocco. Clearly I am going to need to go to Europe multiple times… life goal: visit every country. Now that’s dreaming big.

I think the best way to attack this now is to make sub-sections in each country, picking the top towns/states/whatevers I want to visit. This way I can narrow the list down while starting at the surface as far as historical background goes. Being spontaneous is fun and all, but I can do that someday when I actually have money to toss around. Again, thumbs down for being broke.

aaand this is when 2:30 am (Happy Birthday, Sarah!) starts creeping up on me. Actually, it’s not creeping; it’s in my face jabbing me with a jousting pole. Armenia is going to have to wait until tomorrow. But before I hit the hay, I wanted to share some hilarious videos with the world. The professor for my 19th Century British Novel class showed these to us in class and I have to say they are highly hilarious. She even claimed that the Kate Bush video was an icon, so maybe this beauty has already been shown to you. If not, you’re in for a treat.

Side Note: The book that we are currently reading for this class is Wuthering Heights , a straight up classic. I highly recommend that everyone read this book, it really is a timeless, endearing love story… but with violence! Well, as violent as these saucy authors were willing to get. The language is beautiful as well, and for me that’s one of the most important parts of a good book. I digress; enjoy the videos, or laugh at them, whichever suits you. And take thirty minutes out of your day to read a book. It’s good for the soul!

Oh yeah, and you can’t really understand what she’s saying, so here are the lyrics my prettys.

Ah, yes. Such poise and grace. Now here’s a uh, The Ukelele Orchestra of Great Britain’s rendition?

Don’t worry, I saved the best for last…

I bet these videos really make you want to read the book now, huh?
Nighty night.