Saturday, July 14, 2012


Hello! After a brief absence from the internet, I'm back home in Burbank :)

My flight was really good -- really, who on earth would ever want to fly with a layover when the option of a direct flight is available? I told my dad that I'm never flying American Airlines again, now that I know how great Air Tahiti Nui is (direct flights from Paris to Los Angeles? DUH). It was a 12-hour flight, which is probably the longest flight I've ever been on, but it wasn't so bad. The flight attendants passed around tropical flowers that smelled good and everyone was wearing them in their hair, and some of the walls of the airplane without TVs had Gaugin paintings -- always a nice touch! Also, all of the food had shrimp in it, delicious. I watched Hunger Games, which I really liked and it was long too, so that distracted me for about a 6th of the trip. And obviously I slept a lot too, even though it was during my day time.

It's funny being back in Burbank because I almost feel like I never left (except that I didn't remember how to turn on the stove yesterday). Also, a big advantage that Burbank has over Paris: EB & Marisa! They came over last night to eat the Hugo & Victor macarons that I brought back with me.

It's 6:10AM and I've been awake for a while, but it's all good because I made coffee and I'm sitting here in a kimono and with a striped cat next to me (I forgot how much I like patterned cats), and I'll be seeing my grandparents today for lunch. This is my last blog post here (sniff), but when I get unpacked and readjusted to everything, I will definitely start updating Sometimes, I Eat Cake for Lunch.

Thank you for reading, and see you all soon! :)

Thursday, July 12, 2012

A la Prochain!

It's 6:15AM here, and I'm drinking coffee and putting some last minute things in my suitcase before Anne brings me to CDG for my 11:30 flight (another reason why I have the best host family ever...none of my other friends' host parents brought them and their many suitcases to the airport!).

I met up with Emma last night near St. Sulpice and we took the metro to the Latin Quarter so that I could have one last crepe before I left (Nutella Banane). It's mid-July, so I never thought that I would have to unpack my trenchcoat and scarves for my last day in Paris! It was cold and windy and rainy NON-STOP all night. Oh well, the weather kind of came full circle I guess. Emma suggested that Paris was upset that I was leaving.

After my crepe, we decided to brave the rain and walk from St. Michel along to the quai of the Seine to the Musee D'Orsay to get to the line 12 to go home. It was the perfect walk and the perfect last view of Paris before I go home.

My flight should arrive around 2:30PM PST, eek! See you all from the Pacific :)

Last Day in Paris

Hi all! I can't believe that it's time to say goodbye to this city. Today's been a nice last day though, so far. I met up with Lewis at the Hotel de Ville and we walked around for a while and found the Tour Jean Sans Peur, which is a medieval tower I had been wanting to see for a while. Then we said our goodbyes (for now) and I met up with Mariene and our friends Emma (American & an AEPhi) and Lili (German) and we had a picnic in the Cemetery Montparnasse until the guard told us that it "wasn't possible" --sometimes translations are so funny. I wanted to say that actually YES, it is possibly since you can see that our picnic is currently happening as we speak, but she was trying to be nice about kicking us off the grass and even gave us a map of the cemetery, so it was fine. Mariene and I got to ride the metro together for a little but eventually we had to say our goodbyes too, which was sad, but I'm already planning the itinerary for her first tour of America in the coming future, so it will be fine.

Then I headed over to Hugo & Victor to buy some macarons to take home -- Laduree has prettier boxes but a Hugo & Victor box is more worth it to me because Sarah and I used to go after class sometimes and I LOVE their cassis macarons.

Now I'm home and doing every last bit of packing (and a little cleaning too, but not that much!). I'm planning on meeting Emma later for a last crepe and a last walk through the city, and then tomorrow I fly out!


Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Things I'll Miss Part II, & Things I'm Looking Forward To

*Living in a city with a lot of people, because some of them are bound to be interesting. Today, for example, I was walking down Rue Daguerre (a cute street near Montparnasse) and there was an older man sitting outside a cafe with a pigeon in a cage on his table. And it wasn't even a normal, plastic animal carrier, it was a nice cage with a wicker bottom and a wire top. It made him look kind of crazy, having a pet pigeon, but it least it was a clean looking one. I came out of a bookstore 15 minutes later, and now the man (and his pigeon) were sitting at another cafe closer to me. I wanted a photo of them, but I don't like getting up close to people and taking a picture when it's obvious that I'm taking a picture of them without asking, so I thought about actually asking him if I could take a photo "because it was a jolie pigeon", but then I decided he might thing I was being condescending. So I just didn't take a picture at all, but it's a good memory of an interesting person, nonetheless.

*ESPRESSO EVERYWHERE. Some of you might know that last time I was in France I didn't like espresso and thought the French were behind the times for drinking it and not filtered coffee (I definitely introduced myself on the first day of my language class here as someone who didn't like it), but I've come to appreciate it. When it's coldish and rainy (as it was today on & off) nothing smells better than the espresso brewing inside of EVERY establishment in Paris. Mmmm. Must drink more when I get home.

*Monacos! They're like Shirley Temples, only better because in addition to the grenadine and Sprite, they also have beer. Apparently they are popular with French teenagers (and, I've found, with people who don't like beer).

And on the other hand, there are lots of things I'm really looking forward to when I get home, like:

*Real half & half, WOO HOO. There is nothing fun about waking up in the morning and having to mix your own.

*Target: What? A store that sells everything? WHAT A CONCEPT, FRANCE.

*My closet: For the past while, I haven't been able to sit still because I've been SO EXCITED to get home and A) Give away probably everything that's currently hanging there, B) Wear the pieces that I left behind that I didn't think about for 10 months but am now super excited about now that I remember they exist, and C) Hang up my new French wardrobe, yesss!

*CATS. One of whom won't wait until I'm wearing dark clothes to come over and sit on me while leaving white hair everywhere (the other one, however, will, but it's going to happen half as much at home as it did here, which will be nice).


Some things I will miss about France:

*The older couple who always says hello when we run into each other in Clamart. They always smile with such conviction that it's as if we know each other, when it reality we've never exchanged one word and don't even know each other. Plus, the man has a sea captain's beard. All he's missing is the uniform.

*The fact that as almost-perfect as their English is, the kids still hold onto some things that are really grammatically incorrect just because they feel like it. For instance, the three of them were using the word "style" wrong when I arrived, and no matter how many times I tell them they're mis-using it, they've just decided they like their way more. With some things, Lise will try and then point out proudly when she's finally used it right, but no such luck with this word, and I heard them using it wrong just last week. As in, "Thomas, remember how cool it was when we took the train to Nice? The tables on the train were so style!". But it's kind of endearing that they don't understand that all they need to do is add the suffix "-ish" to make it correct, because I like to pretend that they mean it literally, as in "Those tables that came down from the back of each seat were the definition of style!".

*Apparently there's a big Police & Firemen ball that's going on in Paris sometime soon, because for about a month there have been uniformed firefighters EVERYWHERE stopping people (probably mostly women, I'm guessing) on the street to see if they want to buy tickets. And I've seen a million of them and they're all in their 20s to 30s and each one is better looking than the last. A friend and I were joking the other day that they probably aren't firemen at all, probably just models hired to sell tickets, but either way, I approve.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012


Today was great, because I finally got to the Musee des Arts Decoratifs (why did I wait so long??). It's in one of the wings of the Louvre but is a separate museum. I was kind of shaking as I visited, because it was just too perfect. It is definitely in my Top 3 Museums of Paris due to it's interesting exhibits and wide variety of objects in its permanent collection.

The first part I visited was the Louis Vuitton/Marc Jacobs exhibit, which was amazing. I couldn't take that many pictures because I wasn't supposed to take any in the first place. It started out with Louis Vuitton's early suitcases and then launched into the Marc Jacobs era of the brand (did you know that the famous "LV" and rose pattern was developed in the 1890s?). I left the exhibit with a newfound appreciation of the brand and its history, so I think the best thing to do now is to buy one of his handbags!!

There was also an exhibit about the brand Ricard (an anise-flavored liqueur), and about how the brand advertised itself in accordance with laws about advertising alcohol in the 1950s (I think).

And the rest of the museum has about a million artifacts from different eras of history, including a lot of religious medieval stuff and then furniture and dinnerware from later decades.

A school group working on a tapestry-themed project. There was a group of 7-year-old boys and girls on a tour of the Louis Vuitton exhibit too. ONLY IN FRANCE. 


Really nice Art Nouveau piano!

And then I finished off the day by meeting up with Amanda and Dina, two of the AEPhis from my chapter who just arrived in Paris to study for month. It was nice to see some familiar faces from back home :)

Anyway, go to the Musee des Arts Decoratifs! You won't regret it! 

Monday, July 9, 2012


Today was a nice day. I woke up early to meet my French friend Eve for breakfast kind of near the Denfert-Rochereau area before she had to go to work. This is actually only the second time we've hung out even though we talk a lot over Facebook and texts. We know each other because she did the same volunteer program with the Israeli army last summer that my friends Courtney and Daniel did, so when I got to France, Courtney made sure that her two friends now living near Paris met up. It was nice seeing finally seeing Eve, since it's been hard to get together during the year because of our schedules, and I'm also glad that I got to fit in another opportunity to speak some more French before I left.

I went back home after, and then a few hours later I went out again to meet Mariene and see her new apartment for next year! It's great, neat the La Motte-Piquet Grenelle area, with an amazing location next to a bunch of Metro lines, low rent, and a LOT of space. I'm super jealous. Hopefully I'll get to come back and visit while she's still living there!

Then I had some time to kill so I took the metro a few stops with her and then got out and walked for a bit to Invalides, and from there I took my normal walk from Rue du Babylone in St. Germain all the way to the part of St. Germain with the church St. Germain, and then to the Latin Quarter to meet Lewis via the incredibly adorable Rue du Buci. It's one of my favorite walks in Paris not necessarily because it has the nicest views, but because it takes you through two of my favorite areas. Lewis and I hung out for a little, and I got the BEST SANDWICH OF MY LIFE. It's good that I didn't discover this little sandwich stand earlier, or else I would definitely be a few pounds heavier. It's just a normal baguette sandwich, but with tomatoes, huge chunks of feta, olive oil AND DOLMA. What could be better??? Grape leaves IN a sandwich? Ridiculous!!

Sunday, July 8, 2012


First off, the last few days, in photos:

As you can see, I've been busy. In addition to lots of pastries, the past few weeks have also been full of a lot of spontaneous music. It's been hard lately not having an iPod lately (see: post about getting mugged), but it's not that uncommon to stumble upon ridiculously gorgeous music playing in public in this city, so that makes it a little easier. A few weeks ago, Sarah and I were walking in the Marais, and we realized we had never been in the church St. Gervais-St. Protais before (it's a VERY tall church surrounded by a nice courtyard full of cafes), so we stepped inside. It happened that Mass was going on, and normally we would have just left so as not to disturb the people inside, but we were so entranced by what we were seeing that we just couldn't leave. There were about 30 nuns and priests at the alter, all dressed in all white, and they were singing (in four-part harmony, based on the research I did after) and it was so moving that we stayed and listened to the Mass for a while because we had never heard anything like it. The music coupled with the incredibly tall cieling made for impressive experience. I have a video that doesn't want to upload, but I can show anyone who's interested.

Then yesterday I was walking through Luxembourg to meet my sorority friend Charlotte (for pastries), and I stumbled upon a whole orchestra playing a medly from Sound of Music. The surprise of hearing that in particular in Paris and because it was so good made me almost cry. Again, I have some video if anyone is interested.

And a few days ago, I was walking through the Tuileries before meeting my friends in the Marais, and there was a fancy orchestra set up playing a concert near the entrance. I couldn't stay too long because I didn't want to be late for my friends, but whatever they were playing was literally the most GLORIOUS THING I HAVE EVER HEARD. It sounded familiar too, but now I can't remember the melody. I did some research and saw that that night they were playing things by Leo Delibes (?), Debussy, Offenbach, Bizet and Saint-Saens, but I don't know who wrote was I heard. A million thanks to whoever figures out whatever piece of music I am so vagely describing (more help: it was big and loud and fast and was not the Can Can). Running into music everywhere is definitely something I'll miss about Paris. 

Also, today was the kids' last day in Paris because they flew to their grandparents' house in Nice today. They left in the afternoon, but we spent all morning together and it was a perfect last day. I had left them some photos of us together in a box with cupcakes on it, and when I woke up this morning, the photos were already in frames, and Lise even said thank you, which I didn't expect. Juliette and I watched some Tour de France coverage together, and Lise and I spent some quality time on the trampoline together before Eric called to us that it was time to go :( It's weird that I'm still here, but they aren't, since they make up so much of my Clamart experience.

Our last lunch together :)

Me with the kids and Anne before they headed to the airport.

One last "monster face" before they left :)

Lise hugged me before we were even out of the house, even though I was coming to the car with them, which was really sweet, and then once she was in the car, she took my hand and I had to finally to finally make her let go so that the car could take off. Apparently she did enjoy my company this year after all. It's really weird that they won't be here tomorrow, but I think it will probably take a while to sink in that I'm not going to see them everyday. 

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Last Saturday in Paris

...Now THAT I really can't believe. I am officially freaking out about the short amount of days I have left here before Friday morning, when I fly home.

But today was a really good day, and a perfect way to spend my last Saturday here. In the morning, I met up with my friend Charlotte, who's an AEPhi from Stanford, and we got coffee and pastries at this place near the Pantheon that I had walked by once a few weeks ago. It was ridiculously inexpensive and ridiculously good. I'm still kind of suspicious. Of COURSE I should discover it right before I head home, grrrr.

Then we met up with Robert and Pat and headed towards Montmartre so that they could see Sacre Coeur before they head off to Nice tomorrow. Montmartre was fun, and we were having a good time taking the stairs down from the Basilica, when it started POURING rain like never before. We decided to keep on walking towards the metro, but apparently we were the only ones, because literally everyone else was standing still, hudding under any cover they could find. There was one street in particular where we had to walk in the street instead of on the sidewalks because the water was coming down so hard from the awnings, and everyone was just staring at as making a mad dash for the metro because we were seriously the only ones not taking shelter in a souvenir store. Even with our umbrellas and hoods, we were all still soaking wet, as if we had been in a pool with all our clothes on. I had the good fortune to be wearing my Converse today for the only time in 10 months (on account of my blisters), but I felt bad for everyone else who expected today to be a normal, nice July day. I really didn't think I still needed my trench coat at this time of the year!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Last Day of Work!

I had a really perfect last day of real "work" today, especially because things hadn't been as picture perfect as I wanted them to be lately. I picked Lise up from gymnastics at 4, and we decided to buy some candy to celebrate her last day of gym. We walked home with it and played the game where we each choose a candy for the other and they have to guess what flavor it is....much better than our recent walks to gym, where she's walked in complete silence the entire 15 minutes. Then when we came home, instead of running to The Disney Channel, she wanted to finish watching the movie we had started on YouTube yesterday (Barbie's Christmas Carol), which I was happy about because it was in English. We were watching it in my room and having fun and she was being cuddly, and only when the movie was over did I remember that this morning Anne had told me that she found LICE EGGS in Lise's hair...I jumped up and grabbed the pillows that Lise was leaning on, and of course the one time I do NOT want to cuddle or want her anywhere near by bed, she proceeded to rub her head all over it. Oh well. If I come back with lice, you all will know why.

Then, because Juliette had gone on a massive shopping spree at Hollister today with her friends, we had a lengthy fashion show, in which Juliette tried on about a million different combinations of things for us, and Lise and I held up score cards after each with our own rating (Most of Lise's were 19 or 20 out of 20...I was a little pickier). And then Anne and Eric got home around 9, and we had Italian food together (mmmm, my last salmon pasta!).

Also, today was super fun because my friend Robert and his friend Pat are in town, and we climbed the bell towers of Notre Dame! It was great, I highly recommend it, even if you have to wait in line for an hour and half like we did.


Great close up views.

That's the Pantheon sticking out on top. And in the right corner just above the little park is the tiny church St. Julian-le-Pauvre in the Latin Quarter, which I think Aunt Sarah said she liked (correct me if I'm wrong). 

Thursday, July 5, 2012


Today was very hot. I stayed home for most of the day because I have a shorter free day than usual since Lise is at gymnastics rather than school, but I did run into Paris for an hour to grab some ballet flats -- I was trying to avoid buying new ones before I left, but my two pairs here are so worn thin that I didn't want to risk stepping on glass and spending my last week in Paris with a bandage on my foot.

Tonight made me feel better because the girls were being cuddly again. Thank God I decided to stay up with them and watch Master Chef Junior as they curled up on either side of me/on me, or else otherwise I would have gone to bed assuming that they were totally over me. And I wasn't going to bake again since it's so hot, but Thomas actually asked me to make my chocolate chip cookies again before I leave, and since that's probably the biggest compliment I'll ever get from him, I definitely couldn't NOT make those cookies.

Lately I've been documenting little things I see all the time, since those things are are important to my 10 months in Paris as are the photo of specific things I want to remember:

It's weird that now I can pretty much say "See you in a week!" to my friends back home...and mean it!

Last Week of Work

Our Wifi ("weefee") has been going in and out over the past few days, which is why I couldn't blog last night.

Yesterday, Lise and I made our last cupcakes together before we part.

Apron over her leotard.

Lopsided but delicious.

She was in pajamas by the time we were done!

This week has been a little strange. Tomorrow is my last day of work, and then the kids leave for Nice on Sunday. Obviously I wanted to have a fun last week together, but Lise and I have barely had one full conversation since last week. Anne has been home in the mornings lately, and Lise misses her so much when she's gone that she hasn't been paying any attention to me when she's here. And after school, Lise now only wants to watch TV (either crappy Disney channel shows or the MTV-like reality shows that Juliet now watches). Obviously I'm more sentimental then they are, and I can't hold that against them because they're 8 & 12 and, but it kind of sucks. Lise was great a few weeks ago, but she's been particularly not good lately (flat out "NO!"s for homework and showers, etc). And both girls are SO distracted by the TV, that they don't even answer me when I ask them a question. It's the end of the year and I know they're exhausted, and I hope that's what this is, so I'm trying to not be upset because that will just make me exhausted too. 

Tuesday, July 3, 2012


I stayed home today because Lise is in school but Juliette and Thomas aren't, so even though I can go out if I want to, I like to be here to make lunches most of the time so that they don't think I don't want to be here.

I've been wearing ballet flats the whole time I've been here (except for in rainy and cold weather), but the soles are so thin that the other day I got really fed up and decided to wear my new platform wedges in the city because they were sturdier. I don't regret it -- the shoes themselves were comfortable and I love being taller. And it's a good thing that I like them, because I'm pretty sure that stores don't let you return merchandise with bloodstains on the inside. There are two chunks of skin missing from one of my feet. I'm hoping that doesn't end up being as bad as it sounds.

I keep reading about exhibits I want to go to and I don't want to spend my last four days here packing, so I am literally all packed up as much as I can considering I'm still here for 10 days. But I keep getting antsy, so every day since I started to consider myself all packed up, I've managed to find at least one thing still laying out that I can put in my suitcase. I knew the end was near when I packed up my favorite red flowered scarf -- I'm probably wearing it in 75% of the photos on Facebook, and folding it up and putting it in my suitcase was when it really hit me than I'm leaving. Sarah and Rachael are now mid-air as I type this, which also makes everything for me seem very final.

Monday, July 2, 2012

10 Days!

Today was strange because it was Sarah and Rachael's last day in Paris since they leave tomorrow morning. The three of us and Mariene met in the morning for coffee and to help Sarah move out of her apartment (she and Rachael have the same flight tomorrow so she's staying over there tonight). It was kind of a struggle (three very heavy suitcases and other miscellany down 6 floors from near the Eiffel tower on a bus that took us to the Arc de Triomphe where Rachael lives, and then through the lobby's multiple doors and up two flights of stairs). And of course when we got there, instead of finding an empty apartment as she had left it (Rachael has a complicated situation where she pays discounted rent to live in a large apartment owned by the family she babysits for), there was entire mystery family running around who she didn't even know -- her own host family obviously didn't bother to tell Rachael that she'd have guests (i.e. and that Sarah wouldn't have a bed). Annoying.

Anyway, it was kind of upsetting that they were leaving, obviously. But before we parted we all walked to Marks & Spencer together one last time and bought English food. I'm not as sad as I could be because I know we'll see each other sooner rather than later. I'm not worried about that. It's amazing how fast ten months went buy because I can remember the first time I met each of them perfectly.

Tonight at home wasn't great either because Lise was being Very Difficult. I let her stay up until 10PM, which is super late, and even then I couldn't for the life of me get her to go to bed. After one struggle, we ended up in a different part of the house, wrestling on the stairs. I'm sure we looked ridiculous...there were arms and legs flying everwhere, and I couldn't just pick her up because we were on the windy stairs and if I fell I was going to drop her and I didn't want to. And while our arms and legs were flying everywhere as she tried to slide down the stairs and I tried to push her back up, she managed to keep her eyes shut the whole time while "sleeping" with her head on the pillow from the couch that she had held on to as I initially dragged her from the living room. But it was great because she knew she was supposed to be in bed, and at one point in this struggle, by some miracle the front door opened by itself, but of course Lise thought it was Anne coming home so she instantly let go of the railing and was upstairs in her bed before I knew what has happening. Yesssss.

Sunday, July 1, 2012


I would probably be writing more but it's 12:44AM and I need to get up in 6 hours. Anyway, it was a really nice day. I slept in and didn't do anything until 4PM except laundry and two naps and two chai tea lattes using the Trader Joe's powder mix that Sarah gave me because she leaves on Tuesday and couldn't finish it.  DOING NOTHING FELT AMAZING.

Then I met up with Sarah on Rue de Rivoli (in Zara! Sales!) and then she and Rachael and I had a nice dinner in the Latin Quarter. It was good.

Then Rachael and I walked towards the Eiffel Tower and took a bunch of photos because it was still light out at 10:30PM. When I got back on the metro to go home, everyone was going crazy because Spain had just won the Euro Cup (soccer). Apparently French people are allowed to root for other European countries sometimes.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Long Day

I started my day at my last tutoring session with Pierre (it's not really tutoring, just me getting paid a lot to make him speak English with me for an hour), and it was the last time so the family surprised me with a gift - a French novel to read that looks interesting, and I was really touched that they thought my English-speaking skills deserved a gift :)

I had lunch with Sarah and Rachael  in the city and we did some shopping (souvenirs and sales) and then I came back home in the overbearing humidity to watch Lise perform at her gymnastics show. Then I went back into Paris (the walk from the stadium to the train station was a half hour by itself), where I met up with Mariene and our friend Emma to crash some Jewish person's birthday party at one bar in St. Germain, and then we went to another bar to say hi to our friend Haley who works there. And now it's 1:21AM and I'm really tired and disgusting.

It's seriously really humid here. Obviously not as humid as the American East Coast is, but still too humid for me. European weather SUCKS. Why do people live here?

Friday, June 29, 2012

My New Blog!

I know some people (i.e. my dad) were devastated upon realizing that since I'll be home in 2 weeks (!), my blog is almost over. But never fear...I decided that I like blogging so much that I plan on having a permanent blog which will document my adventures and opinions when I return home to Southern California!

Sometimes, I Eat Cake For Lunch

I probably won't be updating much until mid-July when I come home, but I just wanted to give you a sneak peak.

Happy Friday!! :)

Thursday, June 28, 2012


Some Recent Lise-isms

Today, as soon as I picked her up from school:

Lise: Tundra is married.
Me: ...What?
Lise: The cat of my friend Leonard (their neighbor whom she goes to school with) is going to have babies. And it's with an orange and white cat, so it might be Toundra! And maybe we'll get some of the kittens!

I know for a fact that Tundra has been fixed so it's unlikely that he is this cat's significant other (Lise literally uses the word married). I tried to explain this to her, but she still spent the rest of the day trying to get in touch with Leonard to figure out with Tundra was in fact involved.

A few days ago:

Me: ...But you can also make a Shirley Temple with 7-Up if you don't have Sprite. Do you have 7-UP in France?
Lise: (counting on her fingers), we have them in six here.

She was Not Good today, but her cute days make up for her bad ones. On another subject, today was good because I had a chance to say goodbye to some people who I thought I wouldn't get to. Every Thursday when I drop Lise off at Ballet, I usually spend some time with Steve, who is her friend Alana's grandpa who's dropping her off, and Alana's brother Luke, who's 5 and ADORABLE. They're really great -- Steve is American from Brooklyn but he's lived in Paris for 40 or 50 years, and his now-adult children were born in Paris and went to bilingual schools (and obviously speak French and English because their parents were American), and one of them now lives near San Francisco while the other lives here in Clamart (Alana's dad). Alana (who is Lise's age) and Luke also go to bilingual schools in Paris and have lived here all their lives so they speak French too, but their English is even more perfect than Lise's, since their parents are American and Irish. I've met everyone in the family separately at one time for another since sometimes Alana gets dropped off by different people, and they're all really wonderful. I think it's really cool that they've made their lives here, but are still able to maintain their American (and Irish) identities, even though some of them have lived here their entire lives.

Luke and I have definitely bonded, over tickling and playing I Spy With My Little Eye while we wait for the girls to finish class. A few weeks ago, Steve and Luke were going to go to the park next door to play and they asked if I wanted to come, and I couldn't that day but I promised I would come the next week. So when I found out later that that next week's class (the last class ever!) was canceled, I was genuinely devastated because I had become good friends with them and I was upset that I wasn't even going to get to say goodbye. But it turned out that the teacher had added a class today, so I was able to go to the park with them after all and Luke and I played a (very long) game of hide and go seek :) I'll miss them, they were really fun.

Today Sarah and I went to go see Moonrise Kingdom, which I really enjoyed and would recommend (it takes place during the 1960s!). Also, it was VERY WARM today. I don't like it.

Friday tomorrow!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012


Today was my last "real" Wednesday, because next week Lise actually has school on Wednesday since it's the last day. I say "real" because it actually wasn't....Lise had to be somewhere really far away in the middle of the morning for a dance rehearsal for her show on Saturday, so Anne stayed here in the morning and took care of that, and then stayed and made lunch, which was nice.

Lise was cute today. I managed to wrestle her in front of my computer to show her the Do Re Mi song from Sound of Music (she's suddenly very interested in singing and playing the guitar). Surprisingly, she liked it (maybe because she already knows Julie Andrews from Mary Poppins). We actually watched a few clips from the movie before she started squirming, which I count as progress. She even told me she wanted to watch more of the scene where Maria eats dinner with the family for the first time, but unfortunately we couldn't find what came next in sequence, so of course she lost interest right away.

On another subject, I'm still freaking out about next year because UCI won't make financial aid decisions until August. AND I called Housing today and they said that because of my status as a graduate student who isn't guaranteed housing, it's likely that I won't be placed into cheap housing until WINTER QUARTER. Lately I've been researching off-campus options, but none of them fit within my budget (No thank you, I'm a graduate student, I don't want to share a room with 20-year-old and her friends, thank you very much). I could get very nice campus housing in one or two of the new communities (apparently they have trouble filling them because of the price), but I don't want to pay over $1,000 a month. I *might* decide to go that route, but if and only if my financial aid is AMMMMAZZZING. And let's face it, it might not be. I really don't know what to do. I still have the option of applying to start Cal State LA Winter Quarter, but I just don't trust the program. There website literally tells me NOTHING about what I would be doing next year/how student teaching works/what time frame I'll finish it, etc. Every link just goes in a circle, which I consider a bad sign.

Whereas UCI, on the other hand, has been sending me helpful email updates all the time, answering my questions in a timely manner, and has just been all-around smiley and encouraging.

I'm really scared of taking out huge loans, but I guess sitting at home for another year isn't going to help either. No job I get in the meantime will make this that much easier.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Back from Brittany!

It was fun, I spoke a lot of French and ate a lot. We were there for Pascale's birthday (and I think someone's anniversary?) and there were about 30 people. I couldn't really tell who was related to who in what way, nor can I remember anyone's name, but everyone was really great and it was a good weekend.

It was also (obviously) fun to see my French cousins and aunt IN France for once. Julie and I played this game with the other girl who was there who was 13, and it involved calling out the names of the pictures printed on the cards, so I picked up a bunch of new vocabulary by playing. Also, I had managed to never actually learn how to conjugate s'asseoir, which means to sit (I have avoided using it up until this point in my life), so Pascale's mom helped me run through the different tenses of it, which was much appreciated. It was very rainy, so there was also a lot of talk of escargots and limaces (slugs, new word for me!!). Also, at one point someone started talking to me, and I had absolutely no idea what she was saying because it was so fast, and then she apologized and said that she had heard me talking to someone else earlier and she thought that I was more fluent than I was, which is pretty much the best compliment that she could have given me.

I made Paul take a walk with me. 

Memorial to the people in Loyat who were deported to Mauthausen in 1944. 

Cute little Breton house. 

The soiree!

Giant seafood lunch at Pascale's aunt's house right before we drove back towards Paris. 


Chez Pascale.

It was really fun (if wet) weekend, and now I can cross another region of France off my list :) 

Friday, June 22, 2012


I've been collecting photos of some of the houses in my suburb over the past few weeks, because I get to look at really pretty houses almost where ever I go in Clamart. We have our fair share of boring apartment buildings too, but a lot of the houses are all the same style. I think they're probably old (a lot of them have some art nouveau-esque tiles), but I wish I knew when they were actually built. Unfortunately, most of them have really ugly fences around them (probably to stop American au pairs from taking pictures of them) so most of my photos can't fully capture what the houses look like. The other interesting thing about these houses is that for the most part they seem BIG. But unlike big houses in the States with lawns leading up to them, these probably have either no yards or at least they're in the back, so all of these huge houses are right up on the sidewalk. They're kind of overpowering sometimes.

I really like this one, especially the 3D green vase! Some of the other ones have statues in their walls. 

Nice tiles. 

Not the same style, but I also like this apartment building.

This is my favorite, it's impossible to capture on film! It might be part of the church next door, it's hard to tell. 

This one has REALLY nice tiles underneath the upper window, but again, hard to get in a photo.

Hope you enjoyed your mini tour of where I live. I won't be updating for a few days because I'm taking the train and a bus to Ploermel tomorrow, to meet up with Julie, Paul, Marie Madeleine, Pascale and other people, yay!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Musee Quai Branley & Musee de la Poste

I hit two new museums these past few weeks! A few days ago, Sarah and I finally got to the Musee Quai Branley, which is a primitive art museum. It was great. I think the sign of good museum is that it makes you interested in something that you didn't previously appareciate. This one had stuff from Africa, the Americas, the Oceanic countries, Morocco, etc. Lots of figured carved out of wood and lots of jewelry!

Ethiopian hand crosses. I think I read that the king of Ethiopia converted around the same time as Constantine. 

Scary St. Michael costume for a traditional festival in Chile.

Oceanic Art. It reminded me of It's A Small World.

I liked this one :)


It was really dark inside, which I liked. Overall it was really enjoyable, and I would recommend it. They were about to have an exhibit on Chinese Food which I was sad hadn't opened yet.

And today I ducked into the Musee de la Poste (the French Postal Service Museum). Yes, it really exists, and I liked it a lot.

 A map of the mail lines in 1738. Apparently the lines didn't reach Bretagne at the time because it was too hostile to deliver mail there. 

Uh oh!! The tides coming in at Mont St. Michel! Stay dry little mail!!


They also had a whole section related to the mail-by-hot air ballon during the Franco-Prussian War of 1870 (which I am recently very interested in). Paris was under siege, so the Parisians had to rely on hot hair balloons to get their mail to the rest of France!

Stamps. Originally, the recipient paid the postage fee (possibly a lot depending on how rural an area you lived in). Fees weren't standardized until 1848, and in 1849 they starting sticking labels to things to show how much they would cost to send...thus, the stamp was born! 

How to make postage stamps.

The weird thing about the museum was that in addition to the real photographs and artifacts, there were also a lot of fake things. Like this:

The "Gastropostale" from the 18th Century. 

And this: A "photograph" of the Centrale de Telephone Sprite in 1897, putting Napoleon in contact with Cleopatra after the telegraph was invented. 

Anyway, it was a really good museum and I walked out having learned a lot, so yay!