Sunday, December 30, 2007

Off on grand adventures

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Chelsey and I are off voyaging around France and Spain. Ok so we are really just going to Reims, Paris and Barcelona. We probably found two of the only vegetarian restaurants in Paris during our 4 days there.

But we are having lots of randomness and good times.

The lady who rode in our 4 person sleeper train made unimaginable and somewhat unearthly sounds throughout the night.

Updates soon. Oh and Happy New Year.


Monday, December 17, 2007

The Return: A trip to Lyon

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Last weekend I went back to Lyon for the first time in four years! It was a whirlwind. I went with a few of my friends and we had a great time. We took the train to get into Paris then onto Lyon. The tickets weren't very expensive because it was a trip we had planned way in advance!

We got into the city around 1 and looked for my friend Laura who had flown in from London to meet us. Tanya and I looked around for her for about 5 minutes and then we hatched a plan of epic proportions. We would call her on the loudspeaker. Because who doesn't want to be called on a loudspeaker in a foreign train station. It was brilliant. But we then realized that it would be a tad difficult to find the plan where the loudspeakers comes from. Just when we thought we were getting near to the epicenter of loudspeaking, my phone rang. It was Laura. We told her our plan and she still wanted us to call her on the speaker. We didn't. We reunited and then headed over to the house we would be staying at for the weekend.

The Northeastern students in Lyon live like kings. I mean seriously. Their apartments are so nicely furnished in the same tradition as my most favorite place in the world: Ikea. We ate at a fun little joint where we got a barrel of french fries.

Then the night began. The Lumière is an amazing celebration of light, Lyon et art. It is a spectacular way to see the city illuminated with all good things and each building kissed with beautiful combinations of color and light. I am in love and I think it will be my goal to go every year. I just love Lyon. I've put some photos up (on flickr) because I don't think my descriptions could do the immense beauty of the installations justice. The rain, cold, and crowds couldn't hold us back from enjoying such an amazing sight. One thing I love about the Lumière is the participation of the city. In the windows all over the city there are candles put on the windowsills to celebrate the promise made to the Virgin Mary during the black plague.


I got to see one of my host families. The third and last of my host families in Lyon, they were definitely a very cool group. I was really nervous. Tanya and Laura could here it in my voice as I told them what my plans were for Sunday afternoon. I was sweaty palms and all. I was going over to have lunch for my host mum's birthday. I was really excited, but really nervous.I got there and I was pretty much shaking, my hands were all clumsy and I felt stupid. But I'm always a mess about things like this. But I soon relaxed, my voice falling in cadence with the comfortable feeling of familiarity. I had told my host mum I was a vegetarian (something I had agonized over the week before), but I'm glad I did. We ate a delicious little buffet with a wonderful cheese plate after and then my little birthday present to my host mum: cookies!I had made two of my top three cookies: turkish hats and chocolate chip cookies. We couldn't find Kisses in France so instead we used fondue chips. It really works and looks really cute. Though the cookies might need to be renamed because they ressembled less and less turkish hats and by that I mean not at all.

I spent the afternoon lazing around with my host family, watching a movie and playing with my host sister's baby! It was a really good time. They are really good people.

I went back to find my friends who had moved into the Auberge de Jeunesse and we then decided to go get dinner. We had found a friend. A fellow traveller who had just decided to go off on her own and see a bit of Lyon. She told us that she had been on a "cheap ticket frenzy" and this is where she had ended up. She was nice and we ended up eating at this hilarious Italian place. I forgot how much Lyon is centered around pork. It was the first time in France that I had had a problem finding food.

The next morning we got up and set off to finish our last mission. To find me a dress for the Christmas Ball. I had found a backup dress but I didn't really want to wear it. So we looked. And looked. We didn't really find anything spectacular. So I knew where we had to go. The Gap. There is always something at the Gap. I am totally a Gap person or maybe Gap Corporation person. But I like their clothes. I like that they don't have a brand on them and that they are somewhat plain. I dig it.

I found two dresses. I bought both. I'm wearing one to the Ball and one to my first interview.One was even in purple.

The weekend ended in a bar in Paris with margaritas, chips, and salsa. Badass. It was even happy hour. Even more badass.