Edith Piaf, Long Lost Professors and Living the French Life

It has occurred to me that I should probably update all of you on what I’ve been up to the past few days – and it’s been a lot. First, let’s start off with the most recent French film I went to (alone again, because that’s my new favorite thing) – “La Tête Haute/Standing Tall.” Centering around a troubled young boy just trying to find his way in the world. He’s abusive and temperamental and a disaster to be around but by the end he’s grown into himself. Full of anger, hatred, compassion, love and a happy ending, it was as uplifting as it was upsetting. Oh, how I love these French cinema experiences that I keep all to myself. Next, I spent my Saturday afternoon exploring the Edith Piaf exhibition. I’ve loved her for years; that dark, smoky voice and soothing lyrics – I’m a sucker for French classics. Immediately upon entrance I was handed an audio guide full of about 50 Edith songs to listen to while walking through the exhibit. With movie clips, vintage mementos and even a live karaoke box inside, I became lost within history. The exhibit even had one of her little black dresses (her signature look) hanging from above in one of the sections. I learned so much about her and her tragic life and I have a newfound respect for the glorious French singer. For those of you not familiar, here is one of her most famous songs, La Vie En Rose:

         Then, I spent all day Sunday running around in a real princess dress at another castle – Vaux-le-Vicomte – but that’s going into a separate post because it was so special to me and deserves more attention than a mention. Then, yesterday two things happened. One, I received my new custom made leather journal cover for my personal journal I’ve been keeping throughout my time here in Paris! I was so delighted when I saw the package sitting in my family’s flat that I literally squealed! It’s so beautiful and personal and everything I wanted. Thank you so much, Megan’s Mark for this wonderful work of art!     And then two, I met up with one of my French professors from university! She and her hilarious other half are in Paris for the week for the beginning of her last study abroad that she’s leading. This wonderful lady is one of the three main reasons I was able to go to France the first time two (!!) years ago and then decided to come back long term. She led my study abroad group back then and it’s only fitting that we met back up at a cafe for drinks while I’m living here.    Finally, last night I spent the evening with some of my favorite people in Paris just lounging along the Canal Saint-Martin having a picnic.       Honestly I couldn’t ask for a more perfect life to live, I thank God every day for my abundant blessings. I’m in awe at every moment of every day of this beautiful life I get to live because of Him.

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Chez Martial

Last night was the last dinner I’ll share with Auburn and Austin at our favorite restaurant here in France. We discovered Chez Martial at the beginning of our trip and it’s been our favorite place to dine ever since. Even though this was the place that I had my first and only interaction with boudin noir, I still love it.IMG_1485

It was bittersweet being there last night because we knew that we don’t get to go back again, but we made a pact to come back in five years no matter what we’re doing and make some more memories. Well.. I made the pact and I don’t really remember if they agreed to it or not. We drink a lot of wine when we go there..

We didn’t have our usual server last night but it turned out to be pretty awesome because we had the owner as our server instead. The guy was awesome. He knew us when we walked in and then gave us free drinks of “his” specialty, just because. He was pretty hilarious. And flirty. By the end of the dinner (after free shots) he had pulled me behind the bar to get my name and number and give me his. Oh, and he said that he was going to move to the States to open a restaurant in Missouri and name it “Chez Megan,” which is pretty cool, so, I’d say it was a successful night for me. Having restaurants named after me? Yes, please.

I think I like Frenchmen.

We wined. We dined. We stuffed our faces. We took shots…Of something. And we made our last memories of Chez Martial.

America Day in France

This year was the first year that I didn’t spend the Fourth of July with my family. At first, I was pretty upset that I wouldn’t be seeing any fireworks and wouldn’t be able to eat hot dogs and chips and a variety of other incredibly nutritious American foods but then realized that the Fourth in France could be just as fun. And man, oh man, was it.

First of all, I’d like to start out by saying that we were forced to attend classes. On the Fourth of July. And on top of that, I also had two quizzes. It was stupid. But oh well, classes got out and I began to prepare for the evening. Originally, Auburn, Austin and I had decided to go out early evening and then get back early-ish because we had a flight early in the morning to catch and didn’t want to be tired for it. But the whole going home early thing didn’t quite work out well. That was entirely my fault. You can ask Auburn or Austin. They were not happy campers with me. But can you blame me for wanting to make the most of America’s birthday in a foreign country?

We spent the evening at one of the Irish pubs in Vieux Lyon and I couldn’t have had a better time if I tried. Drinks all night and adventures in my favorite part of Lyon. New friends were met, pool games were played, parks were visited, drinks were drunk, memories were made. You know you’re doing something right when the bartender gives you free shots all night.

Needless to say, this will most definitely be one of my favorite Fourth of July’s.