Every time I see a post on Facebook about Thanksgiving break, I sort of get a little sad. Here in France, we (clearly) have no Thanksgiving and thus no Thanksgiving break. On the bright side, our little BEF group is having our own Thanksgiving and despite having no Thanksgiving break, we did have a 10-day vacation at the end of October. As I mentioned before, I spent mes vacances in Paris and then in Nice.
Sarah and I left Thursday afternoon for Paris where we stayed with our friend and Bucknell alumni, Caroline, who got a job in Paris after graduating. The first day there, Sarah and I decided to sleep in (it was vacation after all, even if we were in Paris). We woke up, and since it was exactly the halfway point in our semester here, we decided to find an American-style diner in Paris to reward ourselves for making it this far. We seriously chowed down.
That night, we visited the Eiffel Tower. If you’re ever in Paris and you don’t have much time, opt to see it at night instead of during the day. There’s just something magical about it, and I’m not normally the type to get caught up in that sort of touristy cheesy stuff. Anyway, as Sarah and I took literally 500 pictures doing stupid things (pretending to hold up the Eiffel Tower, jumping in front of it, etc.), all of a sudden the tower literally lit up with thousands and thousands of lights. It was by far the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen, and Sarah and I both actually screamed when it happened.
The next day, Sarah and I spent the day on the Champs Élysées, one of the most famous shopping streets in the world. We spent probably two hours (and a bunch of money) in H&M, which is sort of hilarious considering we have an H&M down the road from our houses in Tours and within driving distance at home. We also visited a few stores we’d never buy anything from (Mercedes Benz, Swarovski, etc.) just because the storefronts were so cool.
We stopped at my absolute favorite bakery, Paul. There’s one in Washington, DC, and many of them all over France. I got a super delicious pastry made of croissant-type pastry, baker’s cream and chocolate chips.
The next day, we left after lunch for Nice. A seven-hour train ride later, we finally arrived in Nice. The next four days in Nice were totally awesome; Nice is the most picturesque and beautiful place.
Of course we also took silly pictures.
Thursday morning, we left bright and early (7 a.m. early) to spend all day on a train back to Tours. And by “a train” I mean three, because we had two connections, and by “spend all day” I mean all day, because our first train was late and we missed the first connection and it was a big mess. While the train system in France, and Europe in general, is far superior to anything we have in the US, there are still some hiccups.
In any case, once we got home, it was back to real life. Final exams here are really weird (there’s no set schedule, it’s up to the professor basically) so we’re all starting to have to take tests and write final papers and whatnot. That being said, how crazy is it that we’re already at finals?! This semester has flown by faster than anything I’ve ever experienced.
And on that note, I have to get going to work with the French students in an English class. À bientôt !