6 months: 8 countries, 14 cities

My post-grad plan, my redo of study abroad and my year of teaching English in France is over! What an experience, what a trip.

1.ICELAND

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Cities I visited: Reykjavik

Landmarks I visited: Viking World Museum, Blue Lagoon

2.FRANCE

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Cities I visited: Lyon, Bourg-en-Bresse, Paris, Amiens, Grenoble, Annecy

Towns I visited: Oyonnax, Bellignat, Charix, Apremont, Samognat, Creil, Montataire, Nogent-sur-Oise, Pierrefonds, Versailles, Beauvais, Perouges, Villefranche-sur-Saone, Nantua Continue reading

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Spring break plans!

Tomorrow, I set off for my last 2-week vacation of my TAPIF experience- and I’m heading out of the Schengen Zone! Dont’ worry though, I’m not going far- just to England! I’m meeting up with Adam in Paris, and then we will be taking an 8 hour bus through the Chunnel to London, where we will spend a week with my cousins! I’m very much looking forward to seeing more of London, taking a day trip to nearby Cambridge, and speaking English!

For the second week of break, Adam will be working, so I will stay with him in Creil and adventure on my own to Paris- already have a day trip planned to visit Monet’s gardens at Giverny.  Stay tuned!

Snapshots of February break

I made it home yesterday- sick and exhausted- from a jam-packed 2 week long February vacation! It kicked off with a weeklong family trip to Portugal, where we stayed in Lisbon and Evora, with daytrips to nearby Sintra and Cascais. We had an absolutely wonderful time in Portugal- and it was so much fun to see my parents and sister! Portugal was beautiful, food was delicious!

After saying goodbye in the Lisbon airport, I headed back up to Paris for some time with Adam. However, while he had classes, I visited a friend from my study abroad year in Montpellier, up in Esch-sur-Alzette, Luxembourg! Elisabeth showed me a great time in Luxembourg City and the Castle of Vianden. I finished off my vacation with 2 relaxing days in Paris with Adam. Stay tuned for my posts and here are some photos!

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Lisbon was super cool.

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To Portugal and beyond!

Finally, after being gone for 5 months and having my very first Christmas without my family, I will get to see 3 out of 4 members in a new country for all of us. My parents, sister and I will spend a week in Portugal- Lisbon and Evora, with daytrips planned!  This has really been the longest stretch of time I’ve gone without seeing them- since when I was in Montpellier for a year a family Christmas in Europe split up the time in two. I will miss my brother, who has to stay in Mississippi for school, and of course our dog, but looking forward to seeing my parents and sister outside of a Skype screen!

After our family trip to Portugal, I’ll head back up to Creil/Paris for the second week of my February vacation, to spend time with Adam while he works. I have a few days planned to visit an old study abroad friend Elisabeth of The Francophone Files, who is currently a Fulbright grantee in Luxembourg!

Stay tuned for posts and pictures about my February adventures!

Its Christmastime in the city…

When I found out Adam was just half an hour outside of Paris by train, I knew we had to tack on a few days in Paris before jetting off to Berlin for Christmas. One reason: to see the Paris Christmas markets and the city all decked out for the holidays! Paris certainly did not disappoint. Everything was decorated for Christmas- from the train station to the restaurants to the sidewalks to the national monuments. I absolutely love holiday decorations and felt like I was whipping out my camera every five seconds (probably because I was!), but it really was that good. You can read more about the Christmas markets of Paris here.

Gare du Nord

Gare du Nord

As I mentioned during my October break, Galeries Lafayette is seriously underrated as a beautiful spot in Paris. Best part is: it gets even better for Christmas! Continue reading

Snapshots of Christmas break

Happy New Year! I recently-just this week, actually- got back from a 4 country trip for the Christmas holidays! With Adam, I got to visit the Paris Christmas markets, spend Christmas in Berlin, New Years in Bratislava, Slovakia, along with a much-too-short day trip to Vienna. I had an absolutely amazing time and wil have several blog posts up in the next few weeks, but here are some initial photos from my fantastic trip!

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one of the lock bridges in Paris

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Paris- beyond the main sights

When I go to Paris, I do love the big attractions: the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, Arc de Triomphe, Louvre, and Sacre Coeur, to name a few. They`re tourist attractions, and popular for good reason! All those monuments are symbolic of Paris and France in general and appear on almost every postcard, magnet, calendar…you name it. However, there is so much more to the City of Lights than the most-visited tourist attractions, and I enjoy stumbling upon these hidden gems when I visit. Here goes!

Not exactly a hidden gem anymore, but Shakespeare and Company is a popular English language bookstore right across the Seine from Notre Dame.  You can check them out here. . The shop became quasi-famous in the film Midnight in Paris, and was one of my first off-the-beaten-path sights to see this time around! The bookstore sells both new and secondhand books in English in a whole variety of topics. One of the most unique things about this shop is upstairs, there are couches and even beds for people to relax and read! I heard so much English within those walls, though, I thought I had gone back to Delmar!

I`ve always loved to read!

I`ve always loved to read!

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Getting cultured at the Louvre

One of the best parts of spending lots of time near Paris is the ability to fully enjoy the attractions, rather than running from one sight to the next. Last time I was in Paris, I spent only a few hours at the Louvre, and so was really pumped for the chance to spend all day there! The Louvre is free for residents of the EU under 26, so all we had to do was show our passports and we were off to the races! I was glad to have Adam with me- I like art as much as the next person but he is much more familiar with artists and specific styles of art, so I learned a lot about Romanticism and Expressionism!

 

the famous glass pyramid

the famous glass pyramid

Some notable paintings Continue reading

A very German Christmas

I`ve been dying to go to Berlin and I am very excited to be spending Christmas there!

I`ll be visiting Adam in Creil, visiting the Paris Christmas markets, maybe Lille. Then an overnight bus to Berlin, where we will celebrate Christmas with schnitzel, bratwurst, and mulled wine! Bratislava is our destination of choice to ring in 2016, with a possible daytrip to Vienna, as the two capitals are very close. Stay tuned!