I finally decided to go through with keeping a blog (much like the responsibility that comes with keeping a diary) mostly for my personal use because I’m not sure how many people are going to read it. I will definitely not mind if you do, though and it will be oh-so-flattering!
Today marks almost a month in Paris (I got here on September 17th). It’s been a whirlwind. I live on Ile-St.-Louis which is beyond beautiful, chic, quaint, and EXPENSIVE. It is also quiet at night and I feel super safe here. You can just walk from Notre-Dame and over a bridge and you will be on the island that is known for its Berthillon ice creams (Oh, and try Amarino Gelato if you come, as well- it’s less famous but just as good). Although for the ‘how it’s super expensive’ part, I do live in a International Foyer, which is like a dorm. There are over 30 represented nationalities, and hardly anyone here is American or British. It’s awesome to be able to practice my French ‘chez moi’! I started school at the Catholic Institute of Paris (Institut Catholique de Paris), or ICP, on the 24th. That was a little exhausting though, because I feel like I would’ve wanted more time to ‘settle in’. Only just now do I feel settled in/ feel like I actually know where the grocery stores are, know how to use the metro, know where some major sights are, know how to do my laundry with the French machines, etc. Also, I feel much more confident in my language skills and in my ‘being independent in a big city’ skills now. There’s people everywhere and I just have to be street-smart, I keep reassuring myself.
We did a lot of touring and visiting in and around Paris (WAIT: places like Germany and all other Western European countries are a pretty short trip away?!) and saw the Versailles gardens on one super rainy day where I somehow lost all of the pictures I took, went to a chateau (that’s castle) in Nitray, FR for wine tasting one weekend, and went to Germany for Oktoberfest this past weekend. We went to Heidelburg (sp?), a super cute city, for a few hours first and then ended up in another city (I don’t know how to spell it, but it starts with an H and was pretty close) where our hotel was. There, we partied it up with our Paris Program’s son and his five French friends who all bought as beer and gave us shots. These Europeans are pretty generous and they don’t seem to want money for the stuff they buy us. I actually drank more that night (or so it felt like) than I did the whole day at Oktoberfest, leeeet’s be honest. Oktoberfest, though, was a blast and a half. Like, a really, really good time and I would recommend it to anyone who can tolerate beer/ anyone who’s gonna be drinking or is down to have a good time. I would love to come back someday and maybe go to the one in Munich. I enjoyed Germany a lot and would like to explore it a bit more/ actually eat a bratwurst and sauerkraut there.
As for right at this moment, I’m pretty sick with a bad cold. My throat was super painful though, and that seems to be going away. I felt much like I did when I first came down with mono last summer! Not fun. I’m just going to be resting this weekend, cleaning my room, getting things organized, etc. Maybe a couple minor outings, but I’m not quite ready to do toooo much until this is gone! BUT, I am thrilled to announce that I’m going to Mont St. Michel in Normandie for the 20th and 21st of October!! I am super excited to be spending my birthday there. What more could I ask for, really? I enjoy weekends spent with my program from university, too. Until next time…
Hillary, Sofie, and I at Oktoberfest from last weekend!