vendredi 29 juillet 2011

Shout out to Amy Cole! (Wait what'd you just say?) 

The past few days have been relatively uneventful but sunshine has made up for it. On Wednesday we traveled for the last time (thank the lord) on our little red bus to the city of Bayeux. In Bayeux we saw a tapestry depicting the only time England was ever conquered. Most of us only lasted through the first half of the audio tour, but at least we stuck it out longer than Dr. Davis who got bored and quit after 5 minutes.

We also saw another old cathedral in Bayeux, which was intricate and amazing, but we are slowly learning that a french cathedral, is a french cathedral, is a french cathedral. Highlights of this excursion included making ugly faces with our fellow travelers, speaking in British accents, and catching up on celeb. gossip with Dr. Davis. 
(Dr. Davis' impression of an English solider)

The Sunshine has finally arrived so have spent our nights watching the sunset on the beach over the English Channel and have discovered the roof top of our villa. Our nights have also included some painful and unnecessarily long games of Mofia, and pretending to study for the midterms we took today. You've never taken a midterm until you've taken one in a living room with 20 other people while Davis tries to explain the questions to you as he makes them up on the spot. 

Now we are packing up our villa and getting ready to celebrate the end of midterms and our last night in Honfleur. We are excited for our next two weeks by the pool and on the Mediterranean beach in the South  of France but we are sad to leave our little fishing town and can't believe our trip is almost half way over!

mardi 26 juillet 2011

America the Beautiful

I sat down to blog, turned my itunes onto shuffle and the first two songs were Pretty Boy Swag and Kiss Me through the Phone, so obviously I'm having a hard time thinking clearly in between dance moves. But if Soulja Boy is teaching me one thing, it's that I miss you, I miss you, I really wanna kiss you but I can't. (and that is directed towards all of our avid blog readers,...and more of like a European kiss on the cheek than like, a kiss kiss.) But seriously, we all miss you and wish you were all here gallivanting around the colonial countryside courtin' trouble with us.

Anyways, onward Christian soldier to what has happened these last few days. On Sunday, the weather was relatively nice. aka it wasn't raining profusely, and the sky was a muted shade of gray instead of black. In celebration, and because we were all sick of wearing the same pair of pants, all of us girls decided to wear our sun dresses and go down to the Honfleur beaches. By the time we got down to the beach it was actually pretty warm and we played around on the beach for a couple hours. The sand was beautiful, the water blue, the dogs were cute, and fun was had by all. 

We then ventured on home for an optional required movie for our Darwinism class. Fitting 15 people into our small living room all huddled around a computer screen makes for the best kind of movie watching scenario. Throw in Davis' technology skillz and hearing abilities and it makes for a great night. We then watched Saving Private Ryan in preparation for Monday's excursion to the D-day beaches. 

The trip to Normandy has been, by far, our favorite place we have been to. We first went to Omaha beach, which was the largest of the D-Day assault areas. The Americans suffered 2,400 casualties on Omaha on June 6, 1944. Overcoming many mistakes and problems, the Americans managed to defeat the Germans and secure the beach. If the D-Day attack hadn't worked, the Allied Forces would have been forced to make a deal with Germany, and would be unable to regain Europe. Being able to stand on the same beach that so many heroes of our country fought for and lost their lives, was an unreal experience. Not to mention that Omaha beach is an absolutely beautiful beach. It was hard to picture it as once a bloody battlefield. We then walked through the cemetery of fallen soldiers. The cemetery stretched for, what seemed like, forever. Standing amongst these fallen heroes really made us all proud to be Americans. 

View of Omaha Beach from above

Omaha Beach

The cemetery 

We then travelled to Pointe du Hoc, which was the perfect cliff top position for the Germans to set up heavy artillery to attack against the incoming Allied Forces. Having several bomb attacks fail, the US rangers decided to climb up the cliffs from below on D-Day in order to take them out. The rangers literally used rope ladders to climb up the cliff. And they miraculously succeeded. Here, and at Omaha beach, we were all surprised at how wide open these places were. American soldiers were sitting ducks for the German soldiers waiting for them up on higher ground. And yet, somehow they managed to be successful. It truly is incredible. This excursion was inspiring, encouraging, and gave us plenty of reason to burst out in the Star Spangled Banner loud and proud. 

Cliffs at Pointe du Hoc

We finished up the night hitting up downtown Honfleur for some gelato and crepes, and came back to the villa for a successful showing of Paranormal Activity 2. Why is it 10 times scarier in a foreign country? Today has consisted of falling asleep in class, fulfilling our craving of Diet Coke with lime, and blogging. Au Revoir from France!

you know you love me,

French Wench. 

samedi 23 juillet 2011

Watchin you watchin me I go all out!

Good evening avid blog followers (Emily)! The reason we haven't blogged in so long is because Nick was spending several days coming up with this gem of a haiku:

French clubs rainy sweat
Rides flowin like hot bubbles
Asleep in mid-seat

Since we last blogged, we have spent several days sitting in class. The harsh reality of actually having to study is softened by the fact that we hide out in the in the back of the class on the comfy couches. The highlight of our class days are the amazing meals that are made for us. We eat like French kings (before they were all beheaded).

The sunny weather we were promised this week never actually showed up so what time we don't spend eating and sitting in class, we have spent playing cards and visiting with our fellow travelers to avoid torrential downpours. However, we have spent days exploring the town and even a pro-status game of four on four basketball despite Noah-esque rain showers.

On Friday we went on our second excursion to Monet's house. We walked through his amazingly huge garden that inspired a lot of his works and through his house. The most important thing we learned was that Monet was a total B.A. with an awesome beard! After Monet's garden we travelled to the city of Rouen. Not only is Rouen home to the trial and burning place of Joan of Arc (another historical B.A.), it also houses the Rouen Cathedral that Monet painted. The place was HUGE and amazing. The stonework was so detailed we could hardly believe that it was built so long ago. We took pictures with stone saints and accidently joined a tour group adventuring into the offlimits basement of the building until the tour guide unceremoniously kicked us out...oops, American is as American does I suppose...

                                                  Monet's house

                                Clarin posing a la Joan of Arc (notice the middle part)

                                           Rouen Cathedral

On the bus (we American sized students highly dislike the French sized bus, but we are getting used to it) ride home we discovered that Flo Rida was playing a show in the next town over. Conveniently it also happened to be the night that we had planned on celebrating Megan's 21st Birthday, which had been on Thursday. So that night, Dr. Davis graciously caravanned 11 of us out to a mansion club in the middle of nowhere. It was half an hour away so we, being in the second wave of the caravan, didn't arrive until after 1am. The place however was, comment dites-vous "poppin!" It was apparently the "rich kids club" in Northern France. As we waited in line to enter a mansion barely muffling a heavy base beat we were surrounded by Mustangs and Ferraris. Nick was wearing a tank top and wasn't allowed to enter until he put on a sweatshirt. We were waaaay under dressed, but in a place with this much swank it is hard not to be. The inside of the club was even more out of control. There were several large rooms, dance floors, chandeliers, raised areas, hot tubs (which we wouldn't dare enter), strobe lights, and champagne bottles that quite literarily had flaming flares strapped to the top. We, and about 8 thousand French youths (an exageration yes, but the place was packed) danced to a few techno beats before Flo Rida came on. He played all of his hits and it was OUT OF CONTROL. He finished with "Club Can't Even Handle Me Right Now" coincidently the theme song of Megan's year and a great Birthday finale!

We left the club in the wee hours of the morning. Dr. Davis, being the amazing man that he is, had slept in the car to wait to bring us home. The four of us ended up in the second wave once again so we were waiting in the parking lot. A friendly French security guard came to practice his english with us and likely to keep us safe. He is a twenty year old soccer playing architecture student. He speaks French, German, Persian, and English. He became our new friend and totally made the hour long wait worth it. We finally got home at 5:30am, it was a crazy night.

Since then we have eaten more baguettes, continued hanging out with our fellow travelers, spent time teaching the French how to Dougie, and witnessed a French attempt at a Fiesta. Our adventures continue with the hopes that we will find the motivation to pick up our text books again soon =)

PS. we finally have pictures!!! yay. here's some we think you may find enjoyable.
                            Downtown Honfleur. It's like Disneyland...only real

                                               Our villa in Honfleur

mardi 19 juillet 2011

p(hon) de (fluer)

Saturday Morning Clarin, Abby, Megan, and Nick (blogger enthusiast) arrived in Honfluer. Although Dr. Davis told us to bring only shorts and tank-tops, there has been nothing but torrential rains.

Our adventures have included personality gardens, (apparently it only takes 2 statues to constitute a personality garden) wandering around town looking at the cute french-speaking dogs and watching the USA women's soccer team choke in the final shoot out of the World Cup.

We started classes on Monday, and struggle to stay awake on the coaches in the back of the room in-between Dr. Davis's insightful comments on life such as "they're smoking marijuana? Good! Now we're getting somewhere!"

Today we went to Mont St. Michele, a castle masquerading as a church surrounded by water. We couldn't find any sunday school classrooms but Clarin did get in some epic planking and we survived the tides that move "faster than a galloping horse."

P.S. sorry we can't upload any pictures. We made a compact to not upload pictures since it slows down the internet, and since Clarin has already caused one power-outage since we've been here, we figure we will stick to this one.

samedi 16 juillet 2011

Date Night in Paris

Obviously, Abby and Clarin purposely chose to arrive a day early so that they could spend what would be their first date in the most romantic place on Earth, the Holiday Inn nearest the Charles de Gualle Airport. Abby arrived first in Paris and proceeded to wait for Clarin to get here. Clarin arrived an hour later than originally planned and was anxious to see Abby's face (considering we neglecting to really set up a place to meet, so we were relying on luck and intuition) on the other side of baggage claim. The thing about baggage claim, is that in order to claim your luggage, the luggage needs to be there in the first place. Turns out Clarin's luggage was lost somewhere in the airport and they didn't know where it was. So Clarin decided to hopefully pick up the luggage the next day at the airport. Thankfully she was given a free shirt from Air France so now her trendiness was upped a level. Abby's beautiful face was indeed in the right place at the right time, so her and Clarin were at last reunited. We spent our first night together eating caesar salad and watching 7th Heaven dubbed over in French (can you think of anything more romantic?) 

We are currently sitting in our hotel room with the one and only Megan Hogue laying at the foot of our bed and we are waiting to head back to the airport to (hopefully) pick up Clarin's luggage, meet up with the rest of the group, and head up north to Honfleur.