Monday, December 3, 2012

my last day in france

today was my last day in paris.

my heart is breaking into a million little pieces.

we took our last two finals today, and i was so very pleased with how easy they both were! seriously, i was done with both of them in like a half hour, each. tops.

on my way home from school, i looked up at the hotel de ville. it's one of my very favorite buildings in all of paris. it's just one of those buildings that you look at and you can't look away. it kind of makes you stop breathing for a second. and my eyes teared up. natey and maddie gave me a big sydney-sandwich hug, and they sent me on my way home.

i got to my stop and went into the monoprix by my house. (monoprix is like a slightly fancier version of target and i love the place) where i was supposed to only buy a few little things for my family. but what do you know? i was still feeling pretty sad and ended up accidentally purchasing a dress? i have no idea how it got into my shopping basket.

i swear. retail therapy works wonders, people. and i don't even regret it.

after lugging our GIGANTIC suitcases through the metro, olivia and i got to dr erickson's, where we all met up for a dinner cruise on the seine. it was perfect. we sailed around paris and saw it shimmer.

i know that paris originally got the name "city of lights" from all the gas lamps…but it has done a really fantastic job of living up to that title. everything was just so beautifully illuminated tonight. (and the dinner and company weren't half bad, either!)

after our boat ride, we all walked over to the eiffel tower to see it sparkle one last time. as we were walking to the tower, annie and i remembered our first night in paris. we weren't tired yet, so we decided to go on a walk to the eiffel tower, not knowing that it sparkles on the hour. we were walking through the park when suddenly through the trees, it just started sparkling. it was the most amazing surprise ever. tonight, as we were walking to the tower, it once again started sparkling. we had come full circle. and we unashamedly cried and cried as we walked through the streets of paris. because this place is just amazing.

once we were all under the eiffel tower, we stood in a circle with our arms around each other and spent a good hour sharing all of our favorite memories of our time together. we might be the most precious study abroad group that has ever existed.

i have come to love each and every once of my classmates so much. i can honestly say that each of them has influenced my life in a major way. sound cheesy? well it's true. i honestly don't know what i am going to do without seeing them for five weeks. after spending every day together for three months…you become each other's family. no doubt. i'm going to miss them. more than i even care to think about.

and i'm going to miss paris. i'll be able to see everyone when we're all back in utah. but paris, on the other hand, i won't be able to see again quite as soon. i'll miss everything about it (except for the smell of pee in the metro stations and all of the smoke from the cigarettes). but other than that, i will miss absolutely everything. when i am home and have some time to myself, i am going to write an epic love letter to paris, just so i can remember how much i love this place.

so tomorrow morning i leave paris. it's been the best three months of my life.

i'm so grateful for all that i learned about myself. about france. about french. about culture. about art. about history. about people. about making friends and being a friend. about knowing what's important in life. about the gospel. i wish i could put into words the things i have learned and come to understand. perhaps another night when i don't have to get up in...oh, 3 hours...would be a better night for writing that.

but for now, here's to byu study abroad, fall 2012. here's to the hurlbuts and dr erickson. here's to all of my classmates. here is to my paris family. here is to my real family, who i get to see in just a few hours!! i love you all.

and here's to paris. 

à bientôt. tu me manques déjà. || see you soon. i miss you already.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

on coming home

i can't believe i leave paris in 3 days. THREE DAYS. where did this semester go? i really don't get it.

i don't know how you can leave a place like paris. it's kind of terrifying.

but at the same time, it's so exciting. i get to see my family. i get to see america. it's christmas. i can't wait.

at the beginning of the semester, dr h had us read this poem by joachim du bellay. i'm going to post it because it captures exactly what i'm feeling right now.

Heureux qui, comme Ulysse, a fait un beau voyage,
Ou comme cestuy-là qui conquit la toison,
Et puis est retourné, plein d'usage et raison,
Vivre entre ses parents le reste de son âge !

Quand reverrai-je, hélas, de mon petit village
Fumer la cheminée, et en quelle saison
Reverrai-je le clos de ma pauvre maison,
Qui m'est une province, et beaucoup davantage ?

Plus me plaît le séjour qu'ont bâti mes aïeux,
Que des palais Romains le front audacieux,
Plus que le marbre dur me plaît l'ardoise fine :

Plus mon Loir gaulois, que le Tibre latin,
Plus mon petit Liré, que le mont Palatin,
Et plus que l'air marin la doulceur angevine.

-Les Regrets, sonnet XXXI, 1558

now, i realize most of you won't understand what it's saying. but it is so beautiful. it's talking about (in very basic terms) how like ulysses, who has traveled the world, how is he supposed to return home after all that he has seen?

but at the same time, he has never seen anything more beautiful than his little hometown, with the black slate roof tops and smoke coming from the chimneys. it is such a comfort to him, and there is nothing like coming home.

i can't wait to go home. to see the vineyards and the green palisades and my family, all waiting for me with open arms.

t-minus 3 days, guys :)

Thursday, November 29, 2012

for dr erickson's grading purposes

dr erickson, here are the links to each of my entries for french 345! enjoy!

to anyone following my blog...this is not going to be helpful for you, unless you find it helpful, in which

walk 1
walk 2
walk 3
walk 4
walk 5
walk 6
walk 7
walk 8
walk 9
walk 10
walk 11
walk 12
walk 13
walk 14
walk 15
walk 16

activity 1
activity 2
activity 3
activity 4
activity 5

pilgrimage with dr hurlbut
fontainbleau and vaux-le-vicomte
the alsace 

list of weeks 1-11 comprehensive

my conversation journals are hand written. 

parisian necropolis : cimetière du père-lachaise

23 novembre 2012

did this walk with cori, olivia, mallory, carine, and caitie.

i think this was both the coolest and most confusing walk that i have been on. for sure père-lachaise is a place that people should visit. it's beautiful and gray and kind of sad. but it's also so confusing. i can't even begin to tell you how turned around we got on those little streets (yes, this cemetery has streets). they're not very well labeled.

we saw soooo many graves of famous people. i can't even begin to remember all of them (thank goodness i have a list). i'm only going to talk about the ones that were the most impressionable for me!

georges seurat
ok so who doesn't love seurat? mr pointilism himself is buried in paris. his grave was awesome - it was the chapel kind, with a small stained glass window and name plates for all of his deceased family members. it was super cool because just the night before we were in the orsay looking at his pieces! crazy. i love how everything i do in paris is so connected.

georges-eugène haussmann
remember my grand bouelvards walk? and i talked about haussman who basically leveled paris and rebuilt it all for napoleon iii? yep. saw his grave. that was pretty fun.

so for this next grave to be fully appreciated, i have to back up. when we first entered père-lachaise, two guys walked up to us. they had kinda ratted hair, some grungy clothes. they looked like the nomad type, if you know what i mean. one of the two said to me, "hey, do you know where jimbo's grave is?" so i showed him on my map. he said they were from new jersey. i said i was from san francisco. he said, "oh yeah? what part of frisco? i've done the bumming around cali thing." it didn't surprise me. he then proceeded to ask, "isn't there someone else here who is pretty wild?" so i responded, "you mean oscar wilde?" (i found that ironic because i honestly don't think he meant to do that. at all.) anyway. back to jimbo.

jim morrison
jim morrison was a member of the doors, as we all know. for some reason, i was expecting his grave to be a whole lot more exciting than it was. the best part of it all, though, was the lovely harmonica version of light my fire. i was trying to figure out who it was, and surprise! it was my friends who had asked for directions. they had jumped the little fence around jimbo's grave and were playing the song in his memory. a small rock pilgrimage. honestly, it was the best thing i've ever seen.

a few days later, i saw harmonica boy in the marais. now you tell me, what are the chances of that actually happening? because i honestly have no idea what they would be. next to impossible, i'm assuming.

frederic chopin
this man was polish - born in warsaw - and lived in paris. he is one of the world's most well known composers. it was cool for me because i have now seen his two resting places - here at père-lachaise, and the church where his heart is buried in warsaw.

thédore géricault
this was kind of an epic grave. géricault is depicted as lounging across his grave, full sized, with his palette in his hand. there is also a low-relief of his piece raft of the medusa on his grave.

oscar wilde
one of my all time favorite quotes is by this guy. how can you not love a man who once said, "with freedom, books, flowers, and the moon, who could not be happy?" he also wrote pieces like the picture of dorian gray and the importance of being earnest (a personal fave). anyway. the tradition of this grave is to kiss it with freshly applied lipstick. but now there is a plexiglass guard around the whole thing so people can't actually kiss the grave itself. 

holocaust memorials
these mean so much more to me, now that i have been to places like auschwitz and birkenau. i feel like i can more fully appreciate these memorials, now that i have a greater understanding of the pain and suffering that those who were murdered felt.

so anyone visiting paris...go to père-lachaise. it's like a fantasy land for ghosts. if i could put photos up on my blog, it would blow you all away (all 4 of you who read this, that is! :) ).

Sunday, November 25, 2012

saint ouen's labyrinth : navigating the world's largest flea market

24 novembre 2012

took this walk with alicia, carine, and olivia.

this walk was super exciting. i didn't really have my book out to follow all of the instructions - we didn't want to seem like complete tourists. some of the markets were a little more sketch than we were expecting, but they were so fun!

we explored through multiple different marchés, the marché malassis, marché dauphine, marché des rosiers, marché serpette, and marché paul bert. my favorite one was the marché des rosiers. there were so many fun antique things - and some were even reasonably priced! it was a great place to find some souvenirs and presents :)

i loved this walk, mostly because we got to explore and see things that we wouldn't normally find in central paris. so many handmade and antique goods. it was also really great people watching. i loved being able to search through things at my own pace, and enjoy myself.

very fun walk!

Friday, November 23, 2012

time travel, tricks, and treats around saint-sulpice

23 novembre 2012

did this walk with alicia. surprised? you should be.

we started by walking past the first art deco hôtel built in paris called the lutetia. don't worry, if you want to spend a night there, it's only 2500 euros.

then we walked to the place alphonse deville. the buildings just kept getting older and older the farther we walked down the street. it was crazy! we started in 1720 and moved backwards from there. a little mindblowing to realize that these buildings are so old.

then we walked past the théâtre du vieux colombier. it was built in 1913 and then was renovated in 1993. from the théâtre, we could see saint-sulpice, which was cool! i guess its the church in the da vinci code...but i wouldn't know cause i've never read it. i know, i'm lame. ha.

we then took a little detour to pierre hermé, which was easily my favorite part of the whole walk. i know - i am a foodie. don't judge me. i just love my pastries, okay? you would, too, if you could taste these things. leash and i both got two pastries. and i may or may not have gotten some stuff to bring home for my family. i had an ispahan - raspberry macaron with whole raspberries in the center - and their signature macaron - passion fruit chocolate. SO HAPPY.

after our pastry stop, we made our way into saint-sulpice. it's the second largest church in paris, second to notre dame. the interieur is beautiful, and i could have happily stayed there for a while, just soaking it all in.

then we did some more walking through little side streets, discovering even older buildings! our last stop was l'abbaye saint-germain. it was built in the 6th century. THE SIXTH CENTURY. paris is so old, sometimes it's hard to comprehend. our book told us to go into the gardens and look around, but it was raining, so we were lame and skipped that part. plus, it really only looked like there were two trees and some mud, so it was alright.

this was a fun walk, especially the pierre hermé part. but i highly recommend that anyone visiting paris see saint-sulpice! it's pretty cool.

follow the money : palais royal, bourse, covered passages

23 novembre 2012

took this walk with alicia, as usual.

definitely my favorite part of this walk was the beginning at the louvre des antiquaires. it houses the finest and most expensive antique shops in paris. and i loved it. leash and i window shopped for quite a while. there is an amazing antique jewelry collection in there. i think that everyone should stop in, just for a look. it's incredible.

from there we made our way to the palais royal. these apartments used to house members of the royal family back under louis xiii. then the comédie-française was built there in the late 18th century. the comédie-française is the most important of france's national theaters. the apartments of the palais royal are now super ritzy apartments. there is a beautiful garden in the center of the building, and it was fun to walk through all the fallen leaves.

then it started raining.

we were supposed to go in the bibliothèque national || national library, but it's currently under construction, so that was sad.

we then found the la bourse, the french stock market. it's basically the equivalent of the new york stock exchange on wall street. outside was a fun little flea market. i didn't get anything, but i think alicia bought a ring. i can't remember haha.

after walking past the bourse, we found our ways into some covered passages that are awesome. they are all filled with shops of various sorts. annie, sage, alicia and i wandered through them for a good 45 minutes, browsing and enjoying ourselves. the passages we went through were called passage des panoramas and passage jouffrey. super fun!