Tag Archives: Dublin

I Just Freaking Love The Irish. And Turkey-Day.

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Bonjour party people; maybe this time I’ll actually be able to cover more than one day…  Oh also, hello new followers. Welcome 🙂

Continuing in Ireland…

Saturday, November 17th: Got the doctor’s recommended amount of sleep, which felt amazing, considering we were still a frazzled from our three-hour amount on the airport floor. I think we woke up around 10h00 or so, and Emily and I went into travel mode and started to pack up our things and got ready to hit the road once more. Oh, in the room we were sleeping in, I found a sweet Russian hat and took a comical self-y. Here it is for your viewing pleasure. Unbearably seductive, I know.

Oh La La

I digress. Apparently Alan was not trained in the art of API students (he claims to have been rowdy last year, but this year has calmed down. Pishposh. YOLO), because Emily and I walked into his room to find him 100% passed out. After waking him up and saying our goodbyes, along with heartfelt gratitude, us vagabonds were back on the road, ready to explore Galway. We wanted to go visit these sweet cliffs, but a) it was supposed to rain and b) we slept too long. To our pleasure (and slight dismay), the weather today decided to be exceptional in Galway, Ireland… the sun was out! Hurray for us!

More GuinnessThey Love It

We took advantage of this fine break in the weather and walked into the center of town where we had gone the night before, except this time we weren’t drunk, and it was nice enough to actually explore. Everyone and their mother seemed to have the same idea as us, because it was bumping; but in the best way possible. There also happened to be a strike (go figure), and a cute little farmer’s market where Emily and I ate some delicious bonbons. Of course, though, at one point it had to start raining on us, so in an effort to escape the wet, we went to this restaurant for lunch to enjoy a real Irish meal. I must say, we were not disappointed.

DANK GRUB

Olives For DaysBONBONSFudge, mmmOystersMy Dank Bonbons

We both chose to have sweet potato and lamb stew — it sounded Irish enough — and it was dank-a-lank. I practically licked my bowl clean, and we were able to pass the time until the sun decided to shine again. Unfortunately, though, as soon as we stepped outside, the clouds opened up and once again we were stuck in a soaking predicament (also Emily didn’t have an umbrella… fail). We went to go see some bridge, but eventually the weather got the best of us and we decided it was time to bid adieu to Galway and hop back on the train for Dublin. Huzzah!

V StatueBossesThe StrikeTrue Words"MUM"!!!

The train ride was once again beautiful, and the trip flew by because before we knew it, we were back in the lovely city of Dublin ready to start the night. It took longer than anticipated to meet up with Emily’s friend, Ciara, and her amazing Irish pals, but eventually we made it, grabbed a quick dinner, and then headed back to Ciara’s house (after missing the bus, of course).

Irish CountrysideSo Pretty

When we finally arrived at Ciara’s, we had about 30 minutes to get ready for the night’s festivities, but of course as we were getting ready we were served vodka-7up’s… such hospitality! Seriously, though, I love the Irish. We also had 2 jell-o shots in the kitchen before we hit the road, and Ciara’s dad, yes, dad, drove us to our pre-game destination while we casually sipped on another mixed drink in the backseat. Wait, what?

I don’t remember the name of the guy’s apartment where we pre-gamed, I was introduced to too many people that night, but it was a fun time. Once again, the Irish melted my heart by giving Emily and I a ‘welcome to Ireland gift’, aka a bottle of some green apple flavored alcohol. We were told to either bring it back with us to France, or drink it then and there… so of course we had to show them we meant business. We had a reputation to uphold, after all. It was actually hilarious because Emily and I thought it tasted delicious (like sour apples! But alcoholic!), so we just poured it in a cup and drank it straight. Apparently though, the Irish take shots of it, so one of Ciara’s friends noticed this mid-conversation and dubbed us crazy. I’m sorry, but aren’t the Irish supposed to be famed drinkers? Whatever, it tasted good, and between that, the mixed drinks and the jell-o shots, we were heavily buzzing by the time we had to leave for the club.

Family PortraitThe Group

Ah, the club. What a fantastic time. I’m withholding details, but just take my word for it when I say it was a night for the books. 😉 Post-clubbing, we went to some noodle place and then took the best cab ride of my life back to Ciara’s, where the three of us promptly got ready for bed and passed out in a satisfied stupor. Did I mention I love Ireland?

MushaboomI LOVE THESEGlowy Man Walking?Dublinnn

Sunday, November 18th: Woke up at an ungodly early hour because Emily and I had to make the 8h30am bus to get to the airport. Of course, being the theme of our trip, we missed the bus. Like, seriously? Ciara was kind enough to drive us to the airport though, and it wasn’t a very long drive, plus I slept on the way, so it passed all the more quickly. Once at the airport, I ate yet another delicious bagel sandwich – there was a brief moment where I thought I was going to be hung-over, but the moment quickly passed – and then we were ready to get on the plane back to Lyon, France. Thankfully this time there was no connecting flight *wipes sweat off forehead*.

Once in Lyon, we had a solid 2-hour layover before our train took us back to Grenoble, so Emily and I just kind of shot the shit and chatted to pass the time, which breezed on by. Before I knew it, we were back in the lovely town of Grenoble, and I was exhausted from a weekend chock full of traveling. I’m pretty sure as soon as I got home I stuffed my face at dinner with Madeleine, then passed out for the duration of the evening. Despite our trip to Ireland having it’s pitfalls, it was an amazing time, and I wish I had the opportunity to go again this semester. Someday, Ireland, I will be back in your lovely grasp, someday.

Monday, November 19th: Errr, school. What a drag. Someone up in the sky decided to like API today though, because our culture and society class got cancelled due to the professor being ill, hurray! Not to her being ill (though I do mildly detest her), just to not having class. During the break, I went into Centre Ville with the usual gang to kill some time. It was kind of a while ago though, so I don’t exactly remember what we did or where we went, but I’m guessing we went to the coffee shop, since that is our go-to destination.

Sadly, I had to go back on campus for my art history class, and then went home afterwards to do some homework and have some dinner. Madeleine left for a few days, so I had to fend for myself for dinner, but thankfully she left me a bunch of food, so I was able to gorge and read Game of Thrones at the same time… so that’s about it for Monday; mostly I just really needed to catch up on some Zzz’s.

Tuesday, November 20th: Another long, drudging day of classes. I did however find some sweet graffiti on one of the tables in my building on campus, so I figured I would share them with you. They made me giggle at least, which is a nice thing on a Tuesday morning.

Rat, teeheeTortugas!French...Worm DogLolszPunnny

When the million hours of class was over, I went home to do the usual routine of homework, food, and Game of Thrones. Madeleine was still gone, and I actually had the urge to go out and celebrate life, but then no one wanted to go out with me. Well, turns out Ian and Maddie did want to go out, but at that point I decided to hunker down and conserve my energy for the upcoming weekend. Can’t complain about that, it was relaxing.

Wednesday, November 21st: Yay, easy day of class! I was done by 10h20 per usual, so when we finished I went to the French Coffee Shop to get access to the Internet for a little bit. Natasha told us about this cheap Mexican place in town, so a bunch of us met up at 13h to go and test it out. Unfortunately, it was closed for renovations until that Friday, LAME, so instead I went with Natasha, Maddie, Mike and Max to Burgers & Cie for some nomnoms. I ordered the special of the week, the honey burger, which was heaven on a bun with cheese, onions, honey and other tasty morsels. Not quite as good as cheap Mexican food, but I’ll take it.

Post-lunch, I met up with Emily to go shopping for Thanksgiving! It’s not exactly a celebrated holiday in France, but our program was hosting a potluck dinner (they supplied the Turkey and drinks), so Emily and I decided to cook a turkey day classic: stuffing. Once armed with the materials – onion, bread, celery, spices, chicken stock and cranberries – we went to Emily’s apartment and started cooking up a storm, whilst munching on the ingredients, of course. As it turns out, we are fantastic cooks, and gave ourselves gold stars for our cooking prowess. Also, she had a cat, so I was over the moon about having an animal to fawn over.

Finished Product!Kitty

Madeleine was supposed to be gone until Thursday, but she finished painting up north early, so she was home for dinner this night, so we had a nice meal and were able to catch up since we hadn’t seen much of one another in the recent past. Afterwards, I started reading 50 Shades of Grey (taking a small hiatus from GoT) and instantly realized what all the fuss was about. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve read much better, but it’s still a quick, entertaining read, so I powered through some of that before going out for the night. La-la-la.

I had every intention of slightly raging, but I think I caught the Grey fever, because I only met up with Max, Maddie and Natasha for one round of drinks at Subway. Well, I guess technically two. There was this giant sheet of paper hung up outside of the bar, and people were painting on it, so I decided to paint my name on it, in blue of course. Afterwards, an employee congratulated me and poured me a shot, urging me to drink. Who am I to turn down a free drink? There was also this slightly creepy guy who painted a vagina on the sign (…weird) and then painted a green dot on my face. Needless to say I was annoyed, especially when he kept insisting on painting my face some more. No thank you sir, go stick your head in the dirt. Soon after I called it a night, read some more 50 Shades, and went to bed.

Thursday, November 21st: THANKSGIVING!! Although not a big deal here, it was still nice to have something to celebrate and be thankful for (everything). I thought I was going to be really homesick, but I think I’m just totally infatuated with Grenoble, I really am going to be heartbroken once I have to leave.

Anyway, after class I went out and just walked around town with Richard, Emily and Hannah to enjoy our lovely city and window shop. Around 15h00, we all parted ways, and I went home to read some more 50 Shades and get ready for our Thanksgiving Dinner with the API family. Nina and Emily came over at 17h00 to drink some wine beforehand – we aren’t allowed to drink with our RD’s, but what’s Thanksgiving without wine?

Per usual, Nina and I wound up slightly drunk, which made the dinner that much more entertaining. I thought I was hiding it well, but of course those who know me were not fooled. ‘Tis the season! It was a really adorable dinner (the people in our group sure do know how to cook, it was delicious); we all went around saying what we were thankful for… it got pretty sentimental. Or maybe that was the wine talking. Whatever. Then we took some pictures of us as a group, and I called my family back home in the states to wish them a Happy Thanksgiving and touch base on this lovely holiday. It was weird not being home, but you only live once, right?

The Family

In typical Thanksgiving fashion, we all suffered from bloated stomachs due to wayyyy too much food, so Nina and I went back to my apartment to try and digest for a little bit. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to relish in that for too long, because within 45 minutes Hannah was calling me telling me it was time to go out and party; gotta love my German. I called Max, Ian, Maddie, Evelyn and others (I can’t remember anymore, too long ago) and we all met at the balls to figure out a game plan for the night. We ended up hanging out there for a while, actually, and I came to the conclusion that I just couldn’t drink anything alcoholic after the dinner, and plus I really didn’t have the energy to go out due to my semi-food coma. Hannah was not pleased, but Nina and I called it a night pretty early, and I went home to fall into a deep, sweet slumber. Boy, do I love the holidays.

Stout, Glorious, Stout

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Ireland, Ireland, Guinness, Ireland.

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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

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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.

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! =)