Saturday, October 23, 2010

And we're off!

Today the group is en route to Paris! It will be about a ten hour or so drive to get there, but it will all be worth it because those who opted to drive will be detouring at Le Chateau d'Usse (aka: Sleeping Beauty's castle)! In fact, I'm supposed to be downstairs with all my things in just ten minutes!

We will be in Paris until the end of next week, when a few other students and I will be heading to Roma (happy shriek!) for our mid-semester break. Since I won't have much time to keep in touch with everyone during these next few weeks, I have decided to temporarily deactivate my facebook account.


P.S. Don't worry, Mom, I'll send you an email to let you know we're safe in Paris as soon as I get the chance!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Make art not war

In honor of today's devotion to homework for my art class, here's a fun little thought via Everything Fabulous:

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Mon reve est un voyage a Paris.

In just nine short hours, I will be taking my mid-term in French class. (Contrary to popular belief, we do have real classes here with real homework, real papers, and real tests). And at the moment, I'm finding it a whole lot easier to daydream about all things French (read: Paris) than to study for this test. If only I were getting a grade based purely on my appreciation for French culture, I'd be feeling a lot more confident right about now.

Photo courtesy of A Cup of Jo.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

London from A-Z

ABBEY ROAD airports BEATLES big ben BRITISH ACCENTS british museum BUCKINGHAM PALACE bus route 27 CAMDEN cavalier arms CHANGING OF THE GUARDS chinatown CIDER dicken's tavern DOUBLE DECKER BUS elephant castle EMILY THE TOUR GUIDE fish and chips GHANDI STATUE harrod's HOUSES OF PARLIAMENT hyde park IPOD MUSIC COURTESY OF GRIFFIN j.k. rowling KING'S CROSS let it be LONDON BRIDGE millennium bridge NATIONAL GALLERY oxford circus PADDINGTON peter pan PICADILLY CIRCUS platform 9 3/4 POUNDS AND PENCE pubs QUEEN ELIZABETH II rain ROSES rubbish SAINT PAUL'S CATHEDRAL shakespeare's globe theater SHERLOCK HOLMES' RESTAURANT tea TELEPHONE BOOTHS thames river TOWER BRIDGE tube UMBRELLA victoria station WALKS IN THE PARK window shopping X-AMINATION OF MAPS yellow submarines ZZZ'S THE WHOLE WAY HOME.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Jolly good show

"Ello dahlings,"
I made it back today from the most delightful long-weekend in Great Britain. I now adore the city of London-it has such a positive energy and is inhabited with some of the most charming people I've ever met. Unfortunately, a proper summary of the weekend will have to wait until I accomplish a good bit of the homework that was waiting for me upon my return to France. Until then, cheers!

In front of Buckingham Palace.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds

Hello my Jolly Good Friends!
This evening we leave for London for our long weekend and I am beside myself with excitement. I have wanted to visit this city since the days I obsessed over "Peter Pan," "The Parent Trap," and "What a Girl Wants."

This week, I have been incessantly listening to the Beatles, U2 (technically from Dublin but pretty close to Great Britain), and even some Elton John just to get ready. You should also know that a few of us have lately made up this wonderful game in which we quote the Beatles whenever possible. My favorite phrase as of yesterday is "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds."

Just imagine all the stories I'll have to tell when I return!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


It's about time that I update you all on last week's adventure! We returned on Sunday night from a spectacular 5-day trip to Barcelona and back. I visited some of the most fascinating places in Barcelona, as well as on our way to and from Spain. Some of my weekend's highlights: Carcassone, seeing the Mediterranean for the first time, Gaudi Park, the view from the terrace of The Gaudi Museum, Temple de La Segrada Familia, a private tour of Barcelona's Gothic quarters given by Dr. Woods (my history professor) who studied in Spain at one point, The Picasso Museum, Flemenco dancing,a paella and flan dinner with Kerstin, lunch in Salvador Dali's hometown (he could have sat exactly where I did for all we know), The Salvador Dali museum, and much more! Here are some of my favorite pictures:

I was told that Carcassone is the largest medieval fort still standing in Europe (and therefore the world because there are no medieval forts outside of Europe). Carcassone dates back to Roman times but played an especially large role in the Albigensian Crusades when Northern France declared war against the southern Catholics and Cathars. (Being there, I sort of chose to forget about all the fighting that happened and instead focused on taking pictures of where I thought the knights and princesses would have spent time together).

A view of Gaudi Park.

Proof I was in Spain! I'm sitting on the edge of the mosaic wall at Gaudi Park that outlooks the city.

From the terrace of The Gaudi Museum. This was such a difficult place for me to photograph because the architecture was unlike anything I had ever seen before. Incredible, nonetheless.

The Birth Scene facade of La Segreda Familia. This cathedral has been under construction for over the past 100 years, but is supposed to be finished within 15. Pope Benny is coming Nov. 7th to dedicate the church, but I want to come back to see it when it's all done.

The inside of this cathedral was by far cooler than anything else I've ever seen-ever.

A Gaudi depiction of the Crucifixtion lies at the end opposite of His birth.

The real deal.

My Spanish flan...what other kind of flan is there?

Finally, follow this link to see an all too short clip of what I saw after walking out of a Catalyn Mass at the medieval Spanish cathedral!

Overall, the trip turned out to be overwhelmingly wonderful. I found Barcelona to be such a vibrant and photographic city; one that I would gladly return to in order to better explore the many parts that I was unable to make it to in the three short days we were there. You're more than welcome to come with the next time I go!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Au Revoir

At long-last, the group is headed to Barcelona, Spain for the weekend! On our way to Barcelona, we will first stop in the French cities of Narbonne and Carcassone, spending the night near Europe's most well-survived Medieval city. On Thursday, we will continue our journey and should be arriving in Barcelona by noon! I get goosebumps just thinking about it. I hear that tapas, el Templo Expiatorio de la Sagrada Familia (the church of the Sacred Family), and the Salvador Dali Museum are all a part of the itinerary.


Monday, October 4, 2010

Sainte François d'Assise

In honor of St. Francis' feast day, we visited Notre Dame de la Drêche, a gorgeous Franciscan church close to Albi. The friars invited our class to a beautiful Mass which was followed by a delightful reception attended by our group as well as a number of the church's regular parishoners. After a large lunch, SFU was given the VIP tour of the church, which included a special trip up to the bell tower. I played Twinkle Twinkle Little Star on the church bells and felt a little bit like Quasimodo!

Friday, October 1, 2010


Thank goodness it's finally Friday! Despite all the fun I've had this week, I would be lying if I said that I wasn't excited for the weekend. I was told early on that the French are so enthusiastic about their weekends, in fact, that they will always go on strike on a Thursday. This allows them to take off Friday as well, thereby creating a four-day weekend for themselves! Smart.

Plans for this weekend include an organ concert in Albi Saturday evening; Sunday is reserved for church and a hike with our charming French professor, Marie, to the ruins of an ancient chateau.

P.S. Isn't this little scratch map super fun? It's like playing the lottery...except you're a winner every time because you get to scratch off all the places you've visited!

P.P.S. Happy October!

P.P.P.S. How is it already October?