Friday, February 26, 2010

"I think chocolate is healthier for you than vodka"

(You must read further for the explanation to the title of this blog)
This week I went to the English Library in Angers and I have contacted a couple people who want help with their English. I'm going to help them with English and in return they're going to help me with my French. Wish me luck...teaching & learning! lol

Thursday we had a crepe dinner party for most of the group + some more. Henna went home this past weekend to Finland and she brought back some of her favorite Finnish chocolate for us to try. It was delicioussss. Afterwards we went out to a new bar. It was fun as always!

Henna and I with Karl Fazer chocolate from Finland

Me and Katja

Me and Stiina

Tonight was the USA v. Finland Ice Hockey match! We attempted to find a bar that we could watch it at, but there is a rugby tournament going on that dominated all public tv's. We ended up watching it live on a computer. All the commentary for the game was in Finnish..I thought it was cool. There were 10 of us in Cahal's room. 10! I have to post pictures of my room soon so you'll understand how crazy it would be to have 10 people in a room...watching a computer. There were 4 of us from Orlando, 2 from Texas, 1 from Indonesia and 3 of the Finnish girls watching the game. The girls got very frustrated with the game (it was 6-0 USA for awhile)and would yell in Finnish. They reminded me of myself during Gator games..except they don't cry when they lose. haha.. When the game ended Stiina decided it would be a good idea to eat nutella to make her feel better so she smoothered a banana in nutella and after one bite she said she felt better already. As you can imagine, we get along very well! :) While we were drowning ourselves in Nutella, Stiina said "I think chocolate is much healthier for you than vodka" I guess it might be one of those "had to be there" moments, but we thought it was hilarious! It was completely random (we weren't even drinking, for those of you who are speculating!)

We're taking a day trip to Nantes tomorrow.
It's about a 45 minute train ride from Angers.
I can't wait!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Some of the Finnish girls and Elizabeth and Cahal (from Texas) made us spaghetti and meatballs for dinner! After dinner we all went to salsa night at the bowling alley. I didn't bowl, but I had fun watching everyone. After the bowling alley some of us went to another pub for a little while and then called it a night. It was a very fun night! I didn't set an alarm on Friday because I wanted to sleep in...I slept until 5pm!! I loved it!

Aura, Me, Stiina, and Riina at the bowling alley

We all headed to the market in the morning. I'm still amazed by it! I bought a lot of fruit, some veggies, and some cheese.

The selection of seafood is amazing! and SO fresh..some animals were still moving lol

Just one of the cheese vendors...

Last night I went over to the other dorms and watched the olympics with the Finnish girls (Aura, Stiina, and Riina) and Elizabeth. It was a lot of fun watching the olympics with them! Afterwards we all went to a new Irish Pub. It was definitely an older croud..kinda quiet, but still fun. They had ESPN America on tv and the Kentucky vs. Vanderbilt basketball game was on. It was a lot of fun watching that! I felt like I was at home :) After the pub we met up with a couple of French guys that Aura and Stiina had met before. We went back to their apartment and hung out and watched the Olympics some more!
My little nephew Spencer was at my Dad and Kirsten's house this weekend and I skype'd with him this morning :) I loved talking to him! He's so cute! He has changed so much since I saw him last!

It was a nice and relaxing weekend. I think we all enjoyed staying in Angers since we have been gone the last two weeks. Not sure where we'll go next weekend...

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Today was the first class for financial lasted 3 hours. Definitely my favorite thing I've done since I've been in France! It was awesome learning about accounting for 3 hours...not! The professor was nice though and she was actually very nervous to teach our class. It was the first time she had taught an english class and she mentioned how nervous she was several times.

We had sushi for dinner tonight!! Danny, Charlotte, Endang, Daniel, and Yize made sushi for all 20 (or so) of us! It was delicious!! I learned how to make a sushi roll :)

Monday, February 15, 2010

Cupid's Arrow Landed In The Gelato...

Friday morning we took a train and plane (with other forms of public transportation in between) to Milan! I got sick right before we left which was annoying, but it was still a very fun weekend! When we arrived in Milan we tried to find the hotel that Shannon, and Kim and I were staying at. It should have taken us 30 to 40 minutes to walk there, but we got lost...I think we walked for about 3 hours until we found it! The other girls were Couch Surfing so they went to meet up with the guy who was letting them stay at his apartment.
( ---You create an account and ask people who live in the city you're planning to visit if they have a couch you can sleep on. It's free, but most people give the host wine or take them out to dinner. It can be risky since you're going to sleep at a strangers house, but that's part of the adventure! lol I haven't couch surfed yet, but I'm sure I will soon) When we got to the hotel the three of us crashed for a half hour or so..we were exhausted! We knew the other girls were eating dinner with Marco (the couch surfing host) so we went to get some pasta at an Italian restaurant by the hotel. It was delicious!! When we got back to the hotel we called Marco to see what their plans were for the night and to get in touch with the girls. It was a little difficult communicating on this trip because we all have French phones and we couldn't use them in Italy. We realized (after we had eaten dinner) that Marco was planning on cooking dinner for all 7 of us!! Luckily dinner wasn't ready until 9:30pm so we were able to digest our dinner and enjoy more pasta :) We hung out at Marco's apartment for awhile with his roommate and a couple of his friends. It was interesting hearing what the stereotypical American was to them. One of them said a cowboy, which was just a little embarrassing.

Saturday we walked around the park and went to a castle.
The castle was really nice and I'm sure we would have spent more time there, but there were a ton of guys trying to sell us bracelets (it was just a piece of thread that they braided) and asking us if we wanted a husband. I came really close, but don't worry I'm not married! Due to the fact that they were all coming up to us trying to sell us something we were speed walking through the castle. We went to the cathedral called Il Duomo.
It was beautiful! We walked inside and climbed to the very top to see the skyline of Milan. In the mall area around the cathedral there were piano steps which we found to be very entertaining. As you walked down the stairs they made the sound of keys on a piano. We did a little more shopping and then met Marco for dinner at a place called Noon. It kind of reminded me of restaurants in Atlanta.They had a buffet set up on the bar of the restaurant and if you bought drink, the buffet was free. So I had to get a drink! After dinner Marco took us to a couple bars. It was a lot of fun! They played American music in both bars which surprised us.

Sunday We went to the Steve McCurry photography exhibit. It was really powerful! The pictures were amazing! I could have spent a couple more hours there. Afterwards we did some more shopping and then we went to two Leonardo Da Vinci museums and saw the original drawings of the Codex Atlanticus. We went to a restaurant near the cathedral and had pizza and pasta for dinner and gelato for dessert :)

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Went on our first trip this Bordeaux

Tuesday Federico cooked everyone an Italian was delicious! After dinner about 8 of us went to the Ducks d'Angers hockey game. It was so much fun!! Angers won 4-2! The city bus doesn't come as frequently late at night so we had about 45 minutes to wait after the hockey game. It was freezing outside so we found this really cute cafe to have hot chocolate in while we waited for the bus.
Thursday We had a field trip with one of our professors, Monsieur Danion. We went to the tapestry museum, Musee Jean Lurcat De La Tapisserie Contemporaine. The tapestries are displayed in what was once St. John's Hospital. They were really nice and I enjoyed it more than I thought I would. We went to the Trinity Church of Angers afterwards and had a guided tour by this cute little French woman. She only spoke French so Danion translated everything for us. We ended up staying in the church for an hour and a half...which was about an hour longer than any of us wanted to be in the church! It ended up being kind of funny because we felt like it was a joke. We were all ready to leave (and freezing!), but our tour guide continued to find new bricks that she needed to tell us about. When the tour was over I'm pretty sure the entire class sprinted to get to the bus stop haha
Friday Our train left around 9am to head to Bordeaux! We arrived at about 1:30 and checked into our hotel: Hotel California (we did not choose this one on purpose, I promise!) We visited St. Andrew's Cathedral. Although I had had enough church viewing on Thursday, the architecture and stain glass in St. Andrew's was gorgeous! We climbed to the very top of Pey-Berland Tower which is St. Andrew's bell tower. It was SO high!! There was a huge market on the main street in town so we walked around there for awhile and then had a delicious dinner at Cafe de Arts. Anna, Katie, and Megan and I went out Friday night to a few different bars which ended up being a lot of fun
Saturday We went on a wine tour and visited two wineries: Chateau Prieure-Lichine and Chateau du Taillan.
The bus ride to the Chateau's was beautiful! We had a tour guide at each chateau that gave us the history of the winery, took us on a tour of the property, and then provided a tasting at the end. It was interesting to learn about the process of making wine. I drink enough wine over here so I might as well learn something about it! :) After we got back from the wine tour Anna and I went to this pasta place called Mezzo and I met my Fairy Godmother. She works at the restaurant and is the sweetest woman I've met since I've been in France.
Sunday It was such a nice day! It was pretty cold, but the sun was shining, so it was perfect! We walked along the river in Bordeaux. There were so many people outside running, roller-blading, riding bikes, and skate boarding. I couldn't believe the number of people outside exercising! Maybe that's why the French are so thin...We went to the gardens (which will be much prettier in the spring) and the ruins.
It was a fun weekend, but we were all ready to get back to Angers!
Today There was a reception for all of the hospitality exchange students who are in both english and french classes. One of the directors of the program mentioned to the group that he was very excited about the Saints winning the Superbowl and he also mentioned that he was an LSU of course I went up to introduce myself and I told him that I heard he was an LSU fan and I just happened to be born and raised in Gainesville...he responded with "I think my mother is calling me" and slowly started walking away haha :) He was very nice and we chatted for a little while..mostly about college football.