It’s December!

Hello again!

Another post… surprise, surprise.  

Well, I’m just laying here in my comfy bed, on Pinterest, and I thought to myself, “hey, you. Maybe you should post in that blog you started!”

And so, here I am!

But the thing is, I don’t have much to say!  What is there to say? I’m really happy. Yes, it’s true.  I’ve moved to Paris and I’m really happy and there is nothing more for me to say.  It’s not that moving to Paris is like what is portrayed in the movies.  I’m not rich, my clothes aren’t fancier, and I haven’t met a gorgeous French doctor (yet…..).  🙂

But yes, I am happy!  So, I will tell you why…

1. I love that the grocery store smells like pungent cheese and seafood.  It’s weird but every time I go there, I just get a big smile on my face.  It’s different than going to Publix, which smells like it’s constantly being sterilized in lemon scented lysol.  Not saying that something smelling like lemon scented lysol is bad… just saying, it’s different.  And the grocery store here smells nothing like lysol.  It smells like aged cheese and a sea port.

2. I love (looooooovvvvvveeeeeee) that I can walk to the boulangerie every day and get a fresh baguette.  What I love even more, is that I don’t even have to get a whole baguette (which is impossible to eat in one day for one person), I can get a “demi-baguette” (half) meaning I can eat a bit for lunch then save the rest for breakfast the next day.  Also, I love that this week, I bought a baguette that had literally just come out of the oven.  It was sooooo warm and soft and delicious!

3. I love waking up knowing that for breakfast I’m going to eat bread smothered in butter and nutella.

4. I love that number 3 is perfectly acceptable in this country and that I am not fatter for it.

5. Because I walk so much.  I love that I walk so much.

6. Christmas in Paris!  Ok that is as wonderful as the movies make it seem.  Seriously, there are prettyyy lights everryywhere!  And I’ve loved walking through the Christmas markets with my friends and drinking hot wine.  Hot wine is sweet, delicious, red wine sold during these cold winter months.  It’s delicious!

7. I still love my amazing host family and I love my job.  I’ve loved getting closer to the girls; they are the sweetest, funniest, 17, 14, and 9 year olds I know.  They make me laugh and just generally make me happy!

8. I’m making some great friends.  Really, I’m so thankful for the people I’ve met here.

9. Getting back to baguettes…. I love that there are 3 different boulangeries within walking distance of my apartment (about 5 minutes or less) and that they each have different ways of making the baguettes, meaning they all have different tastes, meaning it’s kind of fun to switch around between the 3 and change up my routine once in a while!  Plus, I know there are at least 3 more boulangeries in my neighborhood alone that I still haven’t tried yet.

10. I love how much art there is to see in Paris!

So, there you have it.  Somehow this post turned into a list of why I’m really happy and still loving Paris so much!  

🙂

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Recent Photos

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Jardin du Luxembourg

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La Tour Eiffelllllll in autumn!

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Yummy red wine (inexpensive, too!)

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Le Centre Pompidou at night; it’s so pretty all lit up

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Musicians performing arias one night outside of the Centre Pompidou

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Moving sidewalk in the metro

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My friend and I at the Louvre 🙂

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My french class 

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baguette and camembert 🙂 🙂

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Arab building that I was excited about because it’s in the film “Paris, je t’aime”

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Daphnis et Chloé at the Louvre!

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le rue Mouffetard; such a cute street in Paris!

🙂

Who am I?

Aaaaand I’m back!

So, people say that moving to a new country changes you (true).  Moving to a new city changes you, too.  But I’m just gonna say that life changes you.  Not that I know so much about life; I’m only 25 years young.  But I’m learning more and more about life every day, every year…  So the purpose of this post is to present to you those things about me that have changed…

For instance, I can no longer stand a mess.  It realllllly bothers me when my apartment is a mess, especially my kitchen, or if there are dirty dishes in the sink or if there are clothes on the chair and not hanging (hanging!!!) in their proper place.  I don’t know who this person is… who the heck am I to be bothered by a mess?  Never in my life NEVER in my life have I ever been bothered by a mess.  Never would I have ever thought I’d be bothered by a mess.  Never would I have ever thought that I’d rather just put the clothes away now and clean the dishes now than wait a week until they’ve all piled up in a huge mess in the sink.  Never would I have ever thought that I’d hang clothes for goodness’ sake.  Is my mother reading this……???

I can also no longer drink my coffee with white sugar.  Ew ew ew ew.  I must have brown sugar cubes for my coffee.  White sugar is too sweet and fine and not meant for drinking with a delicious, dark roast coffee.  Just a moment while I put on my princess crown….

I also cannot go out the door without makeup and a cute, fun, thoroughly thought through outfit on.  Um… this is the girl who would wear the same jeans almost every day, substituting them only for a pair of leggings and a long, ill-fitting shirt every once in a while.

I officially look better with my glasses.  No, really.  I get hit on and stared at with my glasses on (although never by cute guys….) but when I wear my contacts… nothing.  It’s as if I have an ugly face or something…………….

My bed sheets?  I need them to be washed at least once a week.  I need my bed sheets to be washed at least once a week… as gross as this is to admit, I used to go months without washing my sheets.  Now I hope my mother isn’t reading this….

I see going out to eat as a fun adventure.  I used to go out to eat between 5-8 times per week (if not more).  And now, it’s like “oooooo! this weekend I’m going to go out to eat with some friends!”  and “Oh I’m so tired and just want to grab something quick to eat….. eh. I’ll wait until I get home; it’s better.” 

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Who am I????

Well, maybe I’m Belle from Beauty & the Beast because I now have a certain bookshop that I go to (my favorite English bookshop in Paris) where I trade out books every couple of weeks.  And I’m starting to form a very serious relationship with the owner of the shop (an old British man); probably the most serious relationship I’ve had in my adult life so far…..

🙂

This post is inadvertently about my new life in Paris! 

Pictures next!

Photos!

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Some photos of a concert I was watching at a street festival in Menilmontant.  An artist was inspired by the musicians and she began to paint them!

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A café au lait I enjoyed with a book at a café close to my apartment

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This street is close to where I live!  I had to take a pic because of Amélie the movie 🙂

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I love Erik Satie.  He is one of my favorite composers and this conservatory, named after him, is close to the American Church of Paris, where I go to church each week 🙂

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Sometimes I hear musicians on a Friday night on the Champs Elysées and sometimes I hear them on a Sunday afternoon in a free art exhibit 🙂

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Paris Disney 🙂

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Fall in Paris 🙂

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All kinds of things that I’ve eaten… crepes, beignets stuffed with nutella, chocolate eclair stuffed with nutella, macarons, plate of meat and cheese, coffee….

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Metro itinerary 🙂

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And this…. it will never get old.

From Paris, with love!

 

 

Worst blogger in history.

Well, well, well, if it isn’t ME the worst blogger in the history of the world!!  Seriously, I know I said I would try but, I haven’t been!  The last time I blogged was a little over a month ago and I suck, I know.

What have I been doing?????

Je m’habitue à ma nouvelle vie à Paris!  I’m getting used to my new life in Paris!

This fact still remains: I love Paris.  I love this city.  It’s so full of… interesting things!  I love seeing the Eiffel Tower at random moments; I love when it rains; I love that the grocery store stinks like cheese and fish.  I love that I live in one of the most culturally rich cities in the world.  I love that there is always art to see (free art, too) and music to hear (free concerts, too).  I love Paris!

What do I miss?  I actually miss America!  I miss my parents, I miss feeling 100% confidence and stability when I walk into a store, knowing that I’ll have no trouble communicating should anyone speak to me or ask me a question.  I miss my friends who know me and who I can be 100% myself around!  Sometimes I crave macaroni and cheese, too.  Don’t pretend like you don’t love a hot plate of mac n cheese!!

Those things being said, I’m having an amazing time.  I’m meeting new friends from different parts of the world- I have a friend from Brazil and a friend from Germany and in fact, we’re going shopping today! 🙂  I’ve made French friends who come from different parts of France, as well as true Parisians.  I may or may not have been meeting boys in the midst of all of this, too… 🙂

I’ve eaten more bread than we would consider healthy in America.  I’ve also walked more than I ever did in America.  I’ve eaten pastries, tarts, croissants, baguettes… drank coffee at a café, read a book at a café, had beers in cafés with friends, acted as a tour guide to an old high school friend who was in Paris for a few days, ordered food in French, bought clothes here, went to Paris Disney (!!with the girls I watch!!), taken a test in French…!

This new lifestyle is not getting old.  My dad asked me if I was ok the other day and I said, “yes and it’s only getting better and better.”  He was shocked and a bit sad that I said it’s getting better!  My poor dad! 🙂 But things are falling into place and I feel that I am, too.  My new friends have all asked me how long I plan to stay and I keep saying, “I don’t know… it depends on how I feel after a few more months here…” And it’s true.  Some days, I miss America and think about what I could be doing there.  Working on my doctorate in flute, teaching tons of flute students, earning money playing gigs since I know the system in America, I know musicians in America, I know how to hustle for myself in America.  I’d certainly be doing more flute and music related things which, I truly miss.  But many days, I love Paris and France and Europeans and the new exciting things I see and discover every day.  Riding the metro hasn’t gotten old yet; walking 5 minutes to the patisserie for a pastry or a baguette has not gotten old yet; the rain, the crisp, cold, air when the sun is out, the culture here, hasn’t gotten old yet.  Taking pictures of eating macaroons at La Durée (see my next photo post) with new friends, going to a garden just to take a walk with some other new friends, hearing my girls yell at each other across the house in French, and hearing French accents speaking English… none of it has gotten old yet!

 Ah, it’s true, I love Paris!  What can I say??  French people are actually really nice and plus they think my ridiculously huge glasses are “très chic” “très mignonne” et “elles vont très bien de toi” (very chic, very cute, and they go very well on you)!

🙂

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Bonne journée!

 

Bon Weekend !

Ohhh I had a wonderful weekend !

Friday night, I went into Paris and simply enjoyed watching the sunset over the Seine !  It was such lovely weather and all sorts of people (tourists, Parisians) were out and about just enjoying the weather and the sun !  I had plans to go to a string quartet concert (Schubert & Bartok !!!) but I was just too sick ! So, when the sun went down and I started to get cold (I keep wearing sandals… because I’m the ultimate Floridian!!), I went home and got plenty of rest !

Saturday morning, I woke up feeling much better… I could finally breathe through my nose !  That was an amazing sensation; it also helped that I could taste things again.  Yum ! 🙂  So, I headed to an outdoor festival- Culture au Quai Festival.  It was on the Quai de la Loire and consisted of music and scenes from musicals and movies.  Honestly, it wasn’t too great (!) so I just sat and listened to a bit of music (didn’t like the artist too much…..) and then headed out to do something else.  

After this, I decided to go to Montmartre, the part of Paris that features all those colorful store fronts, flowers on windowsills, and the Sacré Coeur Basilica.  If you’ve seen the movie Amelie, she lives in this part of Paris !  Oh, it was so lovely to go on a Saturday !  There were sooooo many tourists but there were also many artists out, displaying their work, and creating their work right there for everyone to see.  I saw so many beautiful paintings and was offered several times to have myself painted. I said “non, merci” repeatedly and moved on to the next artist ! 🙂  

After seeing art, and taking a break with a bottle of water and a pain du chocolat (my new favorite snack…!!), I walked the rest of the way up to the Sacré Coeur.  I’d seen it last summer when I was here, but I wanted to take it in again, alone this time, and really enjoy the view from the top !  This church is famous because well, it’s a very old church in Paris, but it’s also famous for it’s view.  Once you’ve climbed to the top of the steps, you can get a beautiful view of the city of Paris !

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There’s also the wonderful view from the bottom of the steps where you can see the lovely church!

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And all the people milling about, enjoying the view and the sunshine !

Sunday was also a wonderful day as I went to church, the Tuileries, saw sunflowers, and then a free concert in the Square d’Anvers !

I went to the Tuileries because well, it’s just a beautiful garden in the middle of Paris and a lovely place to sit, enjoy the weather, and people watch !  While there, I saw these lovely sunflowers.

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(Sunflowers are my favorite in case anyone ever wants to know!!)

I sat in front of this big fountain:

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This awesome dude was feeding bread to little birdies; it was so cute !! They were sitting on his hand and taking the bread from his fingers.  Sorry- no pictures of that because I didn’t want to up my creeper status by taking a picture of a dude I don’t know ! 🙂

After this, I ate in a park, the Square d’Anvers, and heard some really great live music.  First, it was a duet of 2 guitarists, and then a trio- 2 guitarists and a string bassist.  I liked the second group more, as their music was quite bluesgrass-, folk-y, and latin-y all at the same time 🙂  I was so happy that I’d decided to go and hear them !  

One of my favorite thing about Parisians is that they seem to take any opportunity to go outside, talk, and enjoy the weather.  I sat in this park for 2 hours, just hearing the music and watching people; many others were doing the same.  Some were alone like me and some brought their families (aunts, sisters, brothers, etc.) just to talk, hear the music, and enjoy each other’s company 🙂

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Photo of the stage.

Great weekend in Paris- I truly love this city !!!

Bon journée, mes amis!

Je suis malaaddeee!

Bonjour !

I know that I have stunk at keeping up with my blog this week and that’s mostly due to the fact that je suis malade- I am sick!  Yes, as always, my body is going against the change in weather and I have fallen sick.  You see, my body is a Florida body.  It loves warm, wet, sticky weather not sunny, dry, cold weather.  My heart loves sunny, cold, fall weather, but my body does not!  

You’d be amazed at how odd it is to be sick in a foreign country.  No horror stories of bad drinking water or anything but… just think about this… where do you go to buy cough drops, or some Nyquil to help you sleep?  Walgreens, Wal-Mart, or a grocery store, right?  Well, where do you go in Paris…? I had no idea!

Luckily, my sweet host family took good care of me and gave me medicated cough drops and offered to take me to the doctor, etc!  And I found out that here in France, for cough drops or any other medicine, one goes to la pharmacie.  You see, that’s different for us Americans because when we hear pharmacy we think $$$$$$$.  But no, here in France, pharmacy is equivalent to any and everything medical and there are tons of pharmacies all around the city; it’s as if they took the small section in Walgreens that is actually dedicated to pharmaceutical needs (sans the expensive puzzles, candy, and makeup, etc.), and created a store.  Ohh ok… I thought.  Well, I guess it’s moments like this that force you to open your mind and accept the changes that come when living in a new place!  

Which leads me to another particularly interesting experience I lived through in this new city of mine that I’d like to share…

On Monday, before I was completely sick, I took a trip into Paris to find the immigration office.  First of all, let me tell you how odd it feels to think of myself as an immigrant!  In America, we often (too often, in my opinion) have a negative association with the word “immigrant.”  Or, maybe it’s not “we” but I.  Don’t get me wrong- I have zero issues with people from other nations wanting to live in our country.  My parents were immigrants, after all, and I’ll never be one to say “keep them out.”  In fact, I was quite surprised when I realized my thinking was “immigrant…? Ugh…” And there, I knew I had to change my mind.  There’s nothing wrong with this word!  An immigrant, such as myself (!), is simply someone who wants to live in another place in order to better (hopefully/usually I’d say) their lives, careers, happiness, financial situation, or whatever.  Immigrants are not “lazy people who just want to benefit from the prosperity of our country” or whatever other ridiculous, close-minded things people say about immigrants/immigration.  Anyways….

All this to say that, as I was passing from one metro line to another (verrrrry big digression there- sorry about that), I accidentally committed a crime!  Wait… I’m an immigrant and I committed a crime… don’t mind what I just ranted about please….

But, this crime, was truly, literally, an accident!  I had my metro ticket in hand, and was searching for the RER line E, in order to reach my next stop.  Sometimes, on the metro, when one passes from one line to the next, one has to put their little ticket in the little slot (do you see what I did there…) in order to get through the spinning, metal wheel thingies (no idea what these are called…).  And so, I was gleefully walking up, ticket in hand, when a man stopped me and said something in garbled French.  

“Quoi??” I responded.  (“What??”  I know it’s rude to say “what” but it’s always my initial response because I’m so bewildered by the fact that they spoke actual words since it mostly sounds like mush to me)

He said more in French, something to the effect of, “I need to pass through here but the ticket machine is broken and the the office to buy tickets is closed.  Do you have a ticket?”

Well, what I thought he was saying was that the ticket slot wasn’t working so I said, “Non mais j’ai ça” (No, but I have this) and I showed him my ticket.

“Oui oui ça marche ici!”  Yes yes that works here!

“Oh ok.. alors…” Oh ok well…

And as I proceeded to walk through the spinning, metal thingy, this man, pressed his body up behind mine and passed right on through with me and my ticket! 

“OK! Wow that’s new!!” was literally all I could think to myself.  He offered a “kind” and interesting “Merci!” and it took all I could to slightly turn my head and said “ouais” (yeah) and walk away, quickly.

Ok one more metro story…

I was on the train back to my lovely apartment, sitting by myself, enjoying the sun and a book on my iPhone.  A lady sits across from me; I look up, smile slightly, then continue to read.  I can tell that she is staring at me but, I ignore her.  Finally, she tells me, in French, the my dress is too short.  Ok, look, it wasn’t that short, it’s just that no one was around before she came about, and I hadn’t bothered to pull it down when I sat.  I had on stockings and I’ve got long legs!  When she realized that I don’t speak too much French, she proceeded to tell me, in English, that my dress is too short and easy for men to peek through my legs, I have no faith, America has a terrible healthcare system, and that God is calling me, I better respond. THANKS lady… !

Ah, new country, new city, new experiences.  Honestly, my friends, if you ever have the opportunity to live in another country, please take it.  It may be hard some days but it’s experiences like these that make it so much fun and worth the while.  I’m still laughing!

Luckily for me, the weather is going to be beauutifulll this weekend so, I’m headed into Paris to enjoy some outdoor activities!

Bonne journée!