Saturday, June 9, 2012

home sweet homa

Made it back to Oklahoma safe and sound.

What a truly amazing experience I had in France. I am glad to be back but already anxious for my next trip abroad.


Monday, June 4, 2012

Au revoir, Clermont-Ferrand

Today is my last day in Clermont. I leave tomorrow around 3 for Paris where I'll stay the night at an airport hotel and leave for Tulsa on Wednesday morning.

I've spent the day cleaning and packing up my room. My suitcase, hand luggage and backpack are all very full. I dont know how I've accumulated so much stuff. I've even thrown away a full bag of clothes and shoes that were not in suitable condition to take back home and I'm still pushing the limits of my luggage.

Today Larissa, Loviisa, Whitney and I are spending one last day together. We're seeing a French movie and having dinner and going out for drinks with the remaining Irish friends who are here. It is surely a bittersweet day. I am so excited to get back home but will miss the friends I've made here. I have even grown rather attached to the Ikea box room in which I have lived.

I again want to thank my parents for this semester abroad. All the traveling I've done wouldnt have been possible without you. I also want to thank the amazing group of people I've met here who really made this semester unforgettable. Vous etes mes amis pour toujours. Bon courage et à bientôt! Bisous.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Je vais manquer...

As the end of my study abroad approaches and my days and dwindling in France, I've been reflecting on my time here. I am very much looking forward to going home and seeing my family and friends but I am also anxious to return to Europe.

Things I will miss about France:
1-Baguettes for under 1 euro. Delicious, warm baguettes.
2- Banana Nutella Crepes.
3- 2 hour long lunches
4- Walking everywhere
5- having Sundays off. For real off.
6- Knowing that you will see everyone in the park on a nice day.
7- speaking French
8- these delicious chocolate banana granola bars that cost .48¢
9- Paris
10- The wonderful people I have met.

Even if I end up failing all of my classes, which let's be honest is a possibility, I have made the most of my time here. I saw things, I traveled, I learned, I spoke French, I made new lasting friendships. Parts of this trip were difficult and times I wanted to leave, but I have grown so much here and feel that I have truly become a new, stronger person since being here.

I truly believe that every single college student needs to study abroad at one point in his or her studies. For a summer, a semester or a year, get out there and just do it.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Mon amie!

Wednesday I went back to Paris to get my friend Audra. We used to work together and Norman and became quite close. She arrived in Paris around 2. After she got her bags we headed to our hostel and got all checked in.

We first went out to the Champs Elysees and saw the Arc de Triomphe. She got some money exchanged and she got to practice her French. We also grabbed a little dinner there. Then we went out to the Eiffel Tower because there was no need to wait for her to see that. She had never been to Paris so it was a must. She also took a ride on the Carrousel across the street. We walked around a bit then headed back to the Eiffel Tower at 10 for the night show. It was pretty fabulous, I wont lie.

We went back to the hostel and there was a bar at the bottom level. We ended up getting a drink and talking to some people. We got to speak in French a bit and we met some Australians and British people too. It was a pretty fun night. I dont know how she wasn't passing out from jet lag though.

The next day we went to the Moulin Rouge and Sacre Coeur. I loved Sacre Coeur. Unfortunately, it was super foggy so the view wasnt spectacular which sucked. But c'est France. We took the Open Top tour around Paris and saw some sights, until Audra started falling asleep so we went on back to the hostel for a rest. We hung out at the hostel and met a Norwegian girl and they ended up going out again that night.
It was a really great time in Paris! ..again

Now we're back in Clermont. She's going to study here for the summer. She got moved into her dorm today and is meeting up with the rest of her group. It is so nice to have another friend here. I missed her!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Nearing the end

This is my last free weekend in France. Unfortunately, I'm spending it studying not doing something super fun, but I guess this experience is called "Study Abroad." A week from today my exams start. I dont know what kind of school has exams on Saturday's but it doesn't sound like fun.

Tuesday is our last official day of school. Wednesday I'm going to Paris to pick up my friend Audra who will be studying in Clermont this summer. We're going to spend a few nights in Paris before going back to Clermont. That will truly be the end of the 5 month holiday that I've taken. I'm looking forward to seeing her and seeing her excitement because her experience will just be starting.

Yesterday we bought our train tickets from Clermont to Paris CDG for our last night in France. Larissa, Loviisa and I are staying at an airport hotel that last night before we all depart on June 6th. It was sort of bittersweet buying our one way tickets to Paris. It seems like ages ago that I first arrived in France not knowing anything, but it also seems like I have spent no time here at all. 5 months is not a long time in reality. Not enough time to do and see everything you want. Not enough time to learn everything there is to be learnt. But, when given the choice between 5 short months abroad or no time, I'd take 5 months.

Don't get me wrong, I am very excited to go home. I miss my family and my friends. I miss being able to get french fries at 11pm. I miss being able to do things on Sundays. But I will miss baguettes for .33¢ and the pace of life, and speaking in French and not having to do anything on Sundays.

I'm preparing myself for the reverse culture shock. My parents have been rearranging and painting our  house, so it won't be the same. My brother and sister-in-law just graduated college so they wont be back at OU with me in the fall, my little brother will be at OU in the fall, I wont be back at Hallmark with all my friends, I'm moving into my own apartment not just the dorm, I'm getting married. Nothing will be the same as I left it in January. But, it's exciting. I dont think I could come back from this experience and step back into the way my life was. I'm excited to be making steps forward to a new phase in my life.

Thursday, May 10, 2012


Loviisa and my final day in Paris was spent at churches: St. Chapelle and Notre Dame. Both were so beautiful. It was another wonderful time in Paris. I dont think I will ever have enough of that city. There are a few more things that I have to see in that city before I leave. 1- Eiffel Tower at night. 2- Top of Sacre Coeur and Notre Dame. 3- St. Michel. I'm open to more suggestions!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Comme vous voulez.

Saturday, Loviisa's birthday, we went to Montmartre where our hotel was and saw Sacre Coeur. It's so beautiful. We didnt go inside this time, but I will when I go back in a few weeks. Then we did some shopping around the basilica. The best souvenirs are in Montmartre. 

Then we climbed up the Eiffel Tower. It was a great experience. I recommend climbing the stairs to the second level then taking the elevator all the way up. The line is shorter that way. It was a great view of Paris. We got lucky too because there was no wind at all on ground level and it was fairly warm, 65 or so and not raining. 

After that we went and saw the Arc de Triomphe again and did some shopping then headed to the hotel. it always rains when I go to the Champs Elysees. hm. 

Happy 24th Birthday Loviisa! Jeez, you are such a granny. :)