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.
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!!