January 25, 2014

Liebster Award

A while ago I was nominated for a Liebster Award by one of my new blogger friends, Dana from As Told By Dana. I've been a bit lazy and the questions she asked were a bit personal so it's taken me a while to get around to it. Nevertheless, I present to you, the Liebster Award!

1. Why did you start blogging?

I started blogging because I wanted to remember every moment where I felt “French.” When French people mistook me for one of them, or I partook in a part of their culture, I wanted to share it. I quickly caught on to the fact that I’ll never be completely French, and now my blog talks more about how weird the French can be (and why I love it).

2. If you could go anywhere in the world, right now, where would you go, and why?

Southern California to spend time with my family and my pets, with a trip to where ever my brother currently is as well. I love to travel and go on adventures, but I have a lot more opportunities to do that than I do to go home and spend quality time with my family. Plus, I could use some good Mexican food.

3. If you had the chance to travel back in time or into the future, which would you pick, and what would you want to see/find out?

I would like to time travel to the future, as Benjamin Franklin said, “The rapid progress true science now makes occasions my regretting sometimes that I was born so soon.” I would love to see the progress humanity has made, not only technologically but also socially.

4. Apple or PC?

Apple. I have a macbook and an iphone.

5. How did we meet?

Through blogland!

6. What is your guilty pleasure?

Right now, it’s Les Ch’tis à Hollywood! I love me some bad French télérealité.

7. At my funeral, I want this song played:

I have thought very little about my funeral. I love Fiona Apple and her album The Idler Wheel is my favorite music so maybe that?

8. What do you think of when you hear, “Wisconsin?”

I think of my cousins. My dad’s sister and her family live in Wisconsin, but it might as well be another country. There are definitely cultural differences between us Californians and them Wisconsinites.

9. What is your favorite season and why?

I think that depends on which country I’m living in! In California, that would definitely be summer. I love spending my days at the beach and nights around a bonfire. In France, it is way too hot and humid in the summer for it to be my favorite. Winter is definitely too cold. I think it rains too much in the Fall, which leaves me with Spring. Spring is probably my favorite season in France because it’s starting to get warm again but it’s not yet humid. Although after writing this I’m coming to realize I might not be all that into this whole season thing, seeing as in Southern California we go from extremely nice weather to a little bit less nice weather during “winter.”

10. I never, ever, want to do this again:

Ride a vomit smelling bus.

11. What do you like most about yourself?

My enthusiasm and excitement about life. I’m a huge geek, love to reread Harry Potter (and read in general), dress up at theme parties, and play games. Sometimes France tries to stifle this part of me, but I really wouldn’t have it any other way, even if it means being a little bit too loud sometimes.


And so I pass this award as well as the questions Dana posed onto some of my much deserving blogger friends:

Bread is Pain

Kaley... y mas

My Blondering Life

January 20, 2014

Chez soi.

Winter break was the second time I visited my parents in their new home. The first time I was accompanied by the boy and had so much to show him that nothing felt different, really. Yes, the house was new, but enough of the old pieces of furniture were there (including, as my dad said, “these old pieces of furniture” while referring to himself and my mom) that it still felt like home.

This trip was different. While only a thirty-minute drive away from my old house and my old neighborhood, it was far enough away. I didn’t visit the beach I grew up with. I only got to eat at a handful of my favorite places.

Some of this was due to the fact that my evil brother got me sick and ten days is already too short, but even still it felt more like visiting a new place than coming back to one I knew so well.

I didn’t feel the need to drive down to Beach Cities Pizza and taste the most-delicious-breadsticks-and-ranch-dressing-of-my-life first thing upon arrival, as has been the practice.

There was less urgency in the visit, maybe because I know I’ll come back again some day even if I don't know when. I was more interested in spending time with my family than hitting my old haunts (although I refused to leave California without having gone to the beach at least once).

Obligatory California Ocean sunset picture. The pacific ocean always feels like home.

Part of me can’t help wondering how much of that is due to the fact that France becomes more my home all the time. After summer vacation, I took more things with me to France than I brought back to California. I took things that I’d never taken before, thinking I’d be moving back "home" soon enough.

I still don’t think I’ll live in France for the rest of my life, but it doesn’t feel so temporary anymore. It would seem that France has become more than just my country of residence, even if I need my own personal stash of Cholula to stay sane here.

January 6, 2014

Deux Mille Treize

2013 went by way too fast with me way too busy getting my graduate degree to blog sufficiently. Here's a quick rundown of my year:

I finished my first semester of my masters with 7 finals, and started my five week inter semester break (can't complain about French vacation days). The boyfriend and I headed down to his hometown, Grenoble.

Grenoble, a city surrounded by beautiful mountains.

We also took a day trip to Geneva.

With vacation still in full swing, we headed north to Lille, Bruges, Delft, The Hague, Amsterdam, and Brussels.

Windmills in Zaans Schans, right by Amsterdam.

We got lost and eventually tasted the best beer in the world, too.

Second semester started and life got back to normal.

My aunt and uncle happened to be taking a trip to Paris, and I was able to meet up with them for two days. We had absolutely gorgeous weather and even went on a Paris by Mouth tour, where I got to taste delicious wine, cheese, and bread.

Poilâne bread, a Parisian specialty.

For Spring break, the boy and I headed back down to Grenoble. This time we went hiking in the mountains to see the Chartreuse monastery.

The monastery hidden among the mountains and fog.

Finished the first year of my masters program, and, yes, headed back down to Grenoble. This time I was able to see a glacier at Mont Blanc and tour Chamonix, a picturesque mountain village.

Chamonix, with a glacier in the background.

The boy and I flew all the way to my stamping grounds, California. We visited LA, San Diego, Santa Barbara, Carmel, San Francisco, Las Vegas, and my hometown. We drove up highway 1 with my folks to get the real American road trip experience, and by the end of it all I needed a vacation from my vacation. Luckily I got just that, an extra week home with nothing but family and R&R.

Las Vegas Blvd and the Golden Gate Bridge.

The boy and I moved into our new apartment, complete with a view of a medieval church.

And so began the second year of school, which is proving to be way more intense than the first. But even more importantly, I turned 26! I threw myself a pirate themed birthday party. It was awesome.

I was vaguely trying to find an internship for next semester, but with reassurances from professors that it was too early to look, wasn't too worried about it.

While missing out on yet another Halloween due to France's lack of enjoying candy while disguised, we did take advantage of the week off to go explore Italy, Alba to be exact. This little known village is surrounded by vineyards and is home to the allusive white truffle.


I finally started applying to a ton of internships.

I celebrated American Thanksgiving with a wonderful group of people, and started to stress out about the lack of response to all of my internship applications. I started to apply to even more internships.

Bought my first ever French christmas tree!

Me, my Christmas sweater, and the tree.

Also finally had some positive answers to internship applications, and took a day trip to Paris for two interviews. Also, I got offered an internship! I can't wait for next semester.

I was also able to celebrate the holidays at home with my family, and so this year ended on a really happy note.

2013 is gonna be pretty hard to beat, but I think 2014's up for the challenge. Happy New Year everybody!!
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