Sunday, November 29, 2009

London Bridge is falling down... but I never saw it.

In 2005, I left a piece of my heart in London, so this past weekend I went to go get it back! =)

Who went? Me, Sam, Mathea, Gabi and Lily. (The 3 girls are our wonderful and adorable french friends)

When did we go? Thursday night, Friday, Saturday, got home Sunday morning.

Where did we stay? Hottananny's Hostel.. haha. This hostel had some crazy Rasta party to welcome us at 12:30AM friday morning and continued to keep up this reputation every night. Louie, our 23 year old French British "man in charge," was legit. We shared a room with a Polish family and their 27 year old son tried so hard to hit on me Mathea and Gabi.. haha eww..

What did our trip consist of? Well, Friday Sam and I went to Oxford because he had an interview with Dr. Parkin aka: really legit "man in charge" who is going ot admit Sam into Oxford for Grad school.. also, I wanted to see the real Hogwarts.. Many of you may be thinking, WHAT?! The Real Hogwarts!?! Yes, its true. Many scenes in Harry Potter were filmed at Oxford.
The dining hall was used in the first film, but due to the director's misunderstanding that students eat 3 times a day in the hall, they had to build their own set, but it was still modeled after this dining hall!! =) Also, Lewis Carrol, writer of Alice in Wonderland, attended this school and some of the scenes he wrote were also indspired by things at Oxford, aka: I saw the gold Queen's heads on top on poles in the fireplace (in the dining room).

Also, this large courtyard was used for some outside scenes on the Hogwarts school campus. Other scenes were filmed here too, but I don't have pictures of them (ie: the wall with writing that the Chamber of Secrets has been open, etc..)

Saturday, Sam and I attempted to go to Stonehenge, =( but it didn't happen. As you all know, my money situation is not the greatest, so a 50 pound train ticket was no agreeable with me. Instead we went to the AWESOME free museums =) The National Gallery and the British Museum.
I saw for the second time =) one of my fav. paintings.

Jan Van Eyck's Arnolfini Wedding Portrait.. also Bronzino's An Allegory with Venus and Cupid. =) At the British Museum we saw the oh-so-controversial and very famous Elgin Marbles from the Parthenon, along with the Rosetta Stone which is the only artifact that has ever helped us crack Heiroglyphics.

Apart from our museum trips, we hung out with the other 3 girls and went to Camden Town. Camden Town has this awesome cheap market with so many awesome clothes, shoes, accesories, you name it.. I LOVED it naturally, however, it made me depressed because I couldn't buy anything. boo =(

I think that it is very necessary to add pictures from out TUBE trips. =) Enjoy the following:

AKA: Everything I saw in the TUBE that got me really excited. ;)

I also rode a Double Decker red bus at 5AM... I felt like I was on the Knight Bus in the Prisonser of Azkaban .. ;)

And p.s.. France has style.. classy style.. but LONDON knows where the FASHION is at, let me just tell ya. geesh.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

les choses qui vont me manquer

I have 26 more days in France, and it feels like I got here 2 weeks ago. =(

I'm begining to make note of the things that I am going to miss here. The following are just a few that have stood out recently:

1) The little song "da Da DA da" at the begning of SNCF announcements. SNCF is the company name for the French train stations and at every train station in France, this lady comes over the announcement giving details about arriving and departing trains. The announcement is introduced with a little song and it is SO ANNOYING.. however, I am truly going to miss it once I am gone =(

2) Lyon is absolutely beautiful at night. The reflection of the buildings and lights off of Le Rhone is breathtaking. I have also taken for granted the gorgeous Fourvriere Cathedral... I see it everyday and treat it as if it just sits up on the hill acting as the water tower in Oakdale.. =(

3) The luxury of walking into a beautifully displayed patisserie and getting greeted with "Messieurs, Mesdames, Bonjour!" by the same lady every time... then proceeding to buy an absolutely declicious maracroon or tarte.

However, I will NOT EVER miss the French Arabs and their disgusting ways of "picking up".. I will punch the next Arab that says to me, "Bonsoir fille."

Saturday, November 21, 2009

My Eclipse experience.

I finished reading the book Eclipse last night. =) Um.. this is what I think about it:
I almost cried like 3 times haha Only because I love Edward Cullen so much and I wish that he would ask me to marry him! I hate Jacob Black. haha. Okay, hate is a strong word, but in real life, if I knew the guy, I would tell him that he did this to himself and should have not gotten in between Bella and Edward's relationship!! UGH! haha Althouh, because I haven't yet read all the books, I don't know if Jacob "imprinted" Bella or not, so I don't know how much he could have helped being destined with her.. But still, even if that is the case, I still choose Team Edward. Some may think that I choose him just because of my ridiculous infatuation with Robert Pattinson, but no really, Edward's character is perfect and second he happens to be played by Robert... haha jk. ;) I also do not like Bella Swan, I cannot believe that that girl just thought that she could cheat on a perfect man like Edward!! Wow! stupid girl. I don't understand how Stephenie Meyer just decided to have Bella love Jake back. I feel like she wrote Bella's character as never loving Jacob romantically, and then all of a sudden, she did.. it was a bit weird. I guess it made for a better book, I don't know.

All I DO know, is that I am going to get Breaking Dawn today so I can figure out what Robert Pattinson is going to do at the end of this story haha.

So, this movie was directed my a different director that New Moon. Its weird that they are changing directors for every movie, because they are all going to be so different than each other.. but maybe this is a good thing. (I hope) Anyway, the director is David Slade. He hasn't directed much, mostly music videos and 2 other films than Eclipse. If any of you have seen Hard Candy, he directed that. I liked that movie, but it was a bit weird and twisted. Apparently he is going to bring a real dark edge to this third Twilight. I really hope its great! It comes out June 30, 2010. SO SOON!! Im so stoked!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

New Moon :: Tentation

I want to blog about New Moon before it is released all over the world.

Last night, November 18, I had the opportunity to see New Moon. =D Two days before the states, so naturally, I want to proclaim this haha. Because I saw it in France, it had French subtitles, and was called Tentation (meaning "temptation") but that did not interfere at all with the movie being more than satisfying. =)

I absolutely loved New Moon. Because there was a new director, it is so different! But different in a good way. I felt like the level of fantasy was raised, which was cool because Twilight didn't have any element of fantasy to it. . . however I'm still not sure how I feel about that that because I think the reason I liked Twilight so much was because it was real, or seemed real to me at least. I want to go see it again though, and maybe I will change my mind lol. I think that Kristen Stewart did such a better job acting this time. I just feel like I could relate with her when she was without Edward. Her depression, emptiness and thought that Edward was never coming back was so convincing.. I loved the scenes where she would scream in her bed. Someone told me that they hated that part because they thought it was a little extreme, but I disagree, I feel like that would really happen in real life. I pretty much almost cried like 3 times in the movie haha I didn't, but I almost did...

I am pleased to see that there were also some really cheesy parts in the movie that made the crowd laugh.. What would Twilight be without really cheesy quotes? haha So.. Jasper Hale.. poor guy. There is a quote at the end of the movie that was just ridiculous haha Bella is asking the Cullens if they will agree to make her a vampire, and Jasper says something like "Yes, so I won't always want to kill you..." my goodness.. really script writer? It might not be that funny quoted, but you should have seen the actors face when he said it.. lol. Also, poor Mike Newton.. the actor gained like 25 lbs and looked like a creepy 40 yr old man haha Plus his character his super cheesy anyway, so I just felt like the actor got the short end of the stick for this movie. =| bummer.

Just a few more comments: I absolutely love the soundtrack. love love love it. Every song. Kristen Stewart actually looked pretty in this movie. Angela looked really good too. I don't think I like how the vampires look more like vampires ... the make-up was a but different, which wasn't bad, but the contacts were a more extreme yellow and I just feel like it was too noticeable if they are supposed to be in the real world... and they all looked older to me =| I hope they can keep them all from aging by the Breaking Dawn movie. Umm.. I am not a fan of Jacob Black p.s. Yea, his body is nice, and it looks like he would be very nice to hug lol BUT I just don't like how he thinks that he can just step in between the love of Edward and Bella.. but that is the book, not the movie, so that is the end of that. I just love Edward Cullen.. I want my own Edward Cullen. =|

Enjoy the movie U.S. =)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

La France, la gastronomique capital du monde.

The subject of this blog addresses France as the capital of the art and science of food (gastronomy). If you did not know this as a fact, you know now. In addition, apparently Lyon is the gastronomic capital of France (according to many references on my google search engine), however I would have to disagree with this because then wouldn't that make Lyon the gastonomic capital of the entire world? and I will tell you that I have not had "the best" food here in Lyon... that was in Italy. ;) yea yea.

I am discussing this issue because France has really got there act together when it comes to cheese (fromage in french) and I haven't even discussed the wonderful chesses (besides the Raclette) that I have had here. To be honest, I can't even describe them all because there are so many! But believe me when I tell you that I am not even that big of a chesse fan in America, but here I am!

So different kinds of cheeses are produced all over this country and the names for the cheeses are taken after the region from where they come.. Some of you may have already known this, but Brie is a region as well as Camambert, Roquefort and Beaufort. I once tried Chevre (goat cheese) that had raisins in it... and another Chevre with chuncks of pepper, my goodness, it was the best flavored cheese of my life!! Chevre with honey is amazing as well!! mmmm.. There is this restaurant in Lyon called "l'epicerie" that sells specialty "tartines," which are basically pieces of toast (good toast from homemade bread, not like a loaf of wonder bread put in the toaster), and they put different cheeses, meats etc.. but the one that is my favorite is the tartine with melted chevre and honey.. SO AMAZING!!

The best part though is that my host mom made fondue last night, and to any of you who ever tried the fondue at the Nutcraker in Oakdale will know what Im talking about... her fondue was the best fondue that I have ever had. . . It beat the Nutcracker.. It had the same delicious strong flavor, but it wasn't as heavy as the Nutcraker and you could tell that it was made with real cheese and not processed Velveeta lol. It was so good!

I wish I could take some of the cheeses over to the states for my dad to try, cause he loooooves cheese, but I don't think I can do that unfortunately. =|

Fun Fact:
When the surrealist painter Salvador Dali came to New York for the first time he described it as being "A gothic Roquefort!" Here is a picture of Roquefort cheese:

Its a blue cheese, that apparently reminds Salvador Dali of New York lol I don't know why.. maybe because the gothic adjective denotes the tall and complex buildings in NY and the strong moldy cheese denotes diversity and strong personalities? lol I dont know. But I thought it was a fun fact.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Passion Pit in Lyon

This is me with Passion Pit's set list that I stole from the stage tonight and got told, "This is my stage love, can you please get off.." haha why do I always get kicked out/off of things haha

Anyway.. Passion Pit (awesome band from Massechusettes) came to Lyon tonight =D It was so much fun! They played such an awesome show! I have never seen so many Americans in one spot in France before though haha The band that opened was called the Kissaway Trail, they were really good too.. check them out!

I love a crowd that gets down boogey.

(Paris, Rome, Florence pics coming soon. Im sorrrry.. Im lazy.)

p.s. Not only was today a holiday for America, but France celebrates it too. No school or work for peeps today. It is called Armistice Day.. celebration for the day the world war II ended.. cool huh? Its like a worldly holiday. ;) i

Monday, November 9, 2009

Best week of my life in a nutshell.

I can't believe I haven't written in 2 weeks! Man do I have a trip to write about.

I must pick up from where I left off. Last thing that I wrote about were our problems with trains and meg's baggage, but after such terrible things, we had the most successful trip of my life. I had told you, however, that we were leacing Monday for Florence.. weellll, Meg and I were only slightly irresponsible and missed that train haha yea, I know, how could we have done that?! Well, we were determined to go somewhere because we had stayed in Lyon for 3 nights already, so we went to the train station and begged the nice French later to get us somewhere, she said that it was impossible again to go anywhere, but after talking to her for about 20 minutes, she agreed to fit us on a full train to Paris that was leaving in 20 minutes... of coures, we took it. So that Monday, when we were supposed to go to Florence, we went to Paris. Then we made a reservation for an over night train to Rome Wednesday night.

When we got to Paris, it was 8:30, we had no idea what to do or where to go so we romed around for a while until we found an internet cafe where we could google hostels. We found one that Katie had recomended and then we went on search for it. Oh my dear, the search was awful. I think Meg and I walked around Paris for probably 2 miles until we finally found the hostel, by this time is was past midnight. We had some issues getting in because obviously at last minutes, the hostel was booked, but our dear friend at the counter hooked us up and gave us a private room for the price of a 4 person dorm room.. YES! Meg and I spent our first day in Paris on a free tour of the city where we saw everthing and got to climb the Eiffel Tower at night! The next day we went to the Louvre where I got to see my favorite sculpture (Nike of Samothrace) and the Musee d'Orsay where I got to see works by two of my favorite painters (Edouard Manet and Vincent Van Gogh) aaaaammmaazing!

Wednesday night we took an overnight train to Rome where I had the worst sleep that I have ever had in my entire 21 years of living.. seriously. The cabins fit 6 people and the beds are stacked on top of eachother like a bunk bed with 3 beds would be. I was on the bottom and the bed or whatever you want to call it, sunk it diagonally so I was like falling into a crevice. It was freezing, the pillow was about square foot and I hated it... lol but we arrive in Rome at 10 AM and didn't even know that we were in for the biggest treat of our lives! =] Meagan's mommy was the sweetest thing ever and bought us two nights at a hotel in Rome so we would havent to search, pay or stay in some crummy place for two more nights. That day Meg and I walked all over Rome! It was shockingly small enough to be able to walk everywhere!! But I guess that makes sense because when the Romans were buidling awesome monuments like the Coleseum and Pantheon, they pretty much walked everywhere too, so they kept everything close ;) I cannot even explain in words how amazing it was to see Rome. Everywhere you turn there is history and beauty.. my goodness, it was incredible. Seriously, when I saw the Coleseum at a distance all lit up (it was the first time) I like freaked out and ran towards it haha. I could not shut up about how pretty and surreal it was. The next day we woke up early and went to the Vatican. =] You know Renaissance painting everywhere! =D Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel and Raphel's "School of Athens".. unreal. There was also this Dadism/Surrealism exposition at a museum in Rome that I went into a saw Marcel Duchamps famous toilet ("Fountain") haha which was prettty cool!

The next morning we left for Florence (730AM) so we arrive there around 9AM where we imediately settled in and set off for the Florence Cathedral. The church was so pretty! I would have never imagined it to be that pretty in real life! It was so colorful with marble and the designs were far more elaborate that it ever looked in pictures! The facade reminded us a lot of "Its a Small World" ride at Disneyland lol. Anyway, we walk to the very top of Brunelleshci's dome! AH! =] so cool and look out over Tuscany Florence (beautiful) Then we went off to the Galleria dell'Academia. . . do you know what is there? The giant, the perfect, the beautiful white marble sculpture of David.. now that was a dream. Seriously. I walked around the corner and there he was alluminated under this globed ceiling, it was so great! Then that night, since it was Halloween, we went to this club called "Space Electronica" and hahaha my goodness, this was that icing to our cake.. Space club was so legit.. they were playing awesome music, there were hundreds of people there dressed up for Halloween, there were like 3 levels and Meg and I met some hottie Australians.. lol it was just a lot of fun. We left the next morning, sadly, but very pleased with our trip.

I know that was kind of long, but I still didn't include all details. I do find it very important, however, to note some of the best things we found in Italy.

1) Best Lasagna
2) Best Tiramisu
3) Best Gelato times 5
4) Best Capuccinos and Lattes
5) Not best pizzza =( unfortunate
6) Best Club
7) Best leather gloves (which I bought in Florence.. so classy.)
8) Best water

hmm.. and I actually think there is more.. but this blog is already days long. Pictures will appear in a seperate blog! Yay!