Wednesday, June 29, 2011


So on Sunday, June 19 my friends Kat, Leah, Morgan, Meagan and I went to see Versailles. We waited in a SUPER long line (it snaked around about 3 times) for about 2 hours before we could even get into the palace. Once we were inside, we got to take a guided tour (audio guides let us go at our own pace) of the palace and then we went out into the gardens to walk around and see the fountain music spectacular thing. I'll let the pictures speak for themselves. 

We decided to get a work out in while waiting in line

All the girls!

The Chapel

The Queen's bed

The Three Amigos in front of Lady America

The fountains were beyond beautiful

After we got back to St. Johns, we went to the Marais to get the BEST falafels ever. This time I took a picture to commemorate the experience.

Israeli beers


Bri gives the thumbs up!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

The Loire Valley and des Chateaux

This weekend we got to go to the Loire Valley to see some Chateaux with our entire study abroad group. We first went to Chateau de Blois. It was a very boring tour, but Blois itself was a cute little town!
Spiral Staircase Chateau de Blois

Me, Park and Bri overlooking Blois

Queen Katherine and her loyal man-slave Sean


Blois again

Gardens in Blois

After leaving Blois, we travelled to the Chateau de Chenonceau, about 45 minutes away. This chateau was MUCH more exciting than the first one, and each room had BEAUTIFUL flower arrangements. It was home to Catherine de Medici at one time, which is pretty interesting. We have a couple of fraternity gentlemen (Park & Asa) on our trip and they have been making "frat" jokes the entire time. It's hilarious, but the best one so far is when they call the "chateau" a "Frateau". I guess it is true that our sorority and fraternity houses are like Southern "Chateaux" in the states. 

Chateau de Chenonceau

Gardens of Chenonceau

Bridge of Chenonceau

Beautiful flower arrangements

Park showing us the view from the 'frateau' de SAE
After the Chateaux of the day, we got a "surprise" which was (drumroll, please).... WINE TASTING!!!! We went to a local winery and learned how they made the wines and then got to try quite a few. Not only did we taste White, Rose, Red and Sparkling wine, we also got to try three different types of local goat cheese. I normally am not a huge fan of goat cheese, but this stuff was just about the best cheese I've ever tasted! I ate more cheese & bread than I drank wine! 

The group touring the winery

A True Wine & Cheese Party
After the wine & cheese tasting, we went to the Chateau de Razay (remember this Mom & Dad, this is where I'm getting married) which is a beautiful farm chateau in the Loire region. The owners have SO many animals, here's a list of a few: llamas, emu, pigs, horses, bison, deer, golden retrievers, and geese. They used to own a white peacock, but it passed away earlier this summer. Sadly my photo uploader is not reading some of the pictures from this part of the trip, so I will try again tomorrow to upload them and finish our tour of the Loire valley.

Trust me-- the last chateau we saw deserves its own private post.

Ups and Downs

So the beginning of this week was kind-of a bust-- upon arriving in Paris from Barcelona I got a fever and stayed in bed the rest of the day. Monday, I tried to go to the doctor, but alas, there was another French holiday and I wasn't able to make an appointment. So there goes another day of staying in bed all day, but the good news is I found a new television show that I'm now obsessed with! Tuesday I finally got a doctors appointment, and I got to wander the streets of Paris alone.. with a fever.. in the rain.. So not the best situation, but I actually enjoyed seeing a part of the city that I've never been to before. The American Hospital in Paris is on Boulevard du Chateaux, and if I ever move to Paris, that's where  I want to live. It was beautiful! Thankfully, French doctors are very liberal about prescribing medicine, so I got everything I needed at the local pharmacy on my way home, and rested for the rest of the day. 
Wednesday, my friends Meagan and Nicole were going to the Seine river and Shakespeare and Co. book store, so I decided to tag along. It was a really cool little store, PACKED with all different types of books. We had a ball looking through all of their selections and at the different old books. 

After our tour de english books, we wandered through the back streets near Notre Dame and saw some cute little Salon de The boutiques and found the BEST gelato place EVER. They made their ice cream cones look like artwork!
Amazing Gelato
Beautiful Tea Room restaurant

We also passed through the park that holds the oldest tree in Paris (maybe the world?), which was planted in 1602!!

Planted in 1602--Crazy!!

Thursday I went with Nicole, Janna, and Jennifer to see the monument where the Bastille used to be. We thought there would be a museum or something else of interest near the monument, but we were wrong! We did get to see a beautiful park next to the Seine river and we also found our favorite Patiserie in all of Paris!
Me, Nicole and Janna in front of the Bastille monument

Walkway in the park

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Pictures Galore

Here is a "photo gallery" if you will. I'll post again tonight with the happenings of this week. 


The little girls who serenaded us with a Taylor Swift song

Terrace at our Hostel

Part of the Historic District

The Sagrada Família Basilica

They were SO much fun to watch & listen to!!

Leah and Kat in front of the band

Girls weekend in Barcelona!

The Metro

The Marina!!

Finally, a beach weekend!!

The day was BEYOND beautiful

Sailboats on the horizon; I'm in heaven

The little girl was dancing with her mom

Leah & I in front of the square where one of the bands was playing

Side street near the beach during the festival

Bubble Art

Shakespeare and Company!

Nicole & Meagan out front!

Meagan and me out front!

Oldest Tree in the Wold

When it was planted: 1602!!

Exploring Parisian Side Streets

Where we ate our "Welcome" Dinner!

There are pastries on every corner...

..and crepes- How do Parisians stay so thin!?



And SO beautifully put in a cone! (Chocolate, kiwi, raspberry)

Love at first sight

Meagan, Nicole, Brittany, Morgan & me before the comedy show