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.

A beautiful day in Annecy

Yesterday was a great day. I spent the day in the most beautiful place I’ve ever seen in my life and I now know where I will live later on in life.

Auburn and I woke up early yesterday to take the train to a town about two hours (by train) away from Lyon. Once we got to Annecy, I fell in love. We ate lunch on the river that leads into the lake and I had a view of the mountains from my meal. It was breathtaking. The mountains, I might add, are a part of the Swiss Alps (.. I think) if that gives you an idea of how gorgeous this place was. But first, let’s start with what I tried at lunch.

I’ve had a list this whole summer of things I’ve wanted to try while over here in France and thus far I’ve almost conquered my list and even added more to it. Yesterday I was able to check one more thing off of said list. That one thing was frog legs. Yup, I did it. Auburn ordered a plate of them and I ate the entirety of the one that she gave me. Not my favorite and it was completely shaped like the back half of a frog with the body intact even, but it also wasn’t completely horrible like other experiences that I’ve had while on this trip.. Ahem, pig’s feet.. steak tartare..

Anyway, after conquering frog legs, we headed to the lake to check it out. The water was the prettiest shade of blue that I’ve ever seen in my life, and then entire lake was this color. I was so amazed that I had to text one of my professors who is on the trip with us, and whose parents also live in Annecy, to ask if it was a real lake. Of course she replied that it is. I can’t express to you how beautiful this lake was. But wait, there’s more!

Aubs and I find a boat tour to go on for an hour on the lake and I was so excited I couldn’t contain myself. She was getting annoyed. But she loves me so it’s okay. Finally, after waiting around for 45 minutes for the boat, we can get on. The tour starts and I’m in Heaven. I had a seat at the open window and I could feel the breeze on my face as we cut through the beautiful waves. The tour took us around the entire lake and during it we were able to see three castles. However, only one of them sticks out in my mind. This castle was Sleeping Beauty’s castle. Yeah, you heard me. Sleeping Beauty! Walt Disney modeled her castle after this one after seeing how magnificent it was. I believe it was built in the 11th Century, but don’t quote me on that. I do know, though, that the same family has lived in it for 27 generations, which is mindblowing. And awesome. The lake is surrounded by mountains and mountains and more mountains. So much room for hiking and boating and even paragliding. We saw like a million paragliders out yesterday. I kept begging Auburn to go there so that I could paraglide too, but that plan was a no go.971502_10151816465908465_1945242730_n

The water was gorgeous, the mountains were beautiful, the town was adorable. Basically, I’ve found the perfect spot for when I can afford a castle of my own, which should be here in about seven years or so. Not too long.

I have found the meaning of life…

And the meaning of life is macaroons. Yesterday I had a macaroon for the first time in my life and I knew the second I tried it that they were going to be a problem for me the rest of the time that I’m here in France. My mouth was in Heaven.

If you don’t know what a macaroon is, then you’re missing out on a vital part of life. No joke here. They are the most delicious thing in the world and it’s a crime that you can’t get them in the U.S. At least not “real” French macaroons. I had a chocolate macaroon for my first one and I swear I died and went to Heaven. I wish I could bring 87,000 of them home for all of my friends and family but they’ll be stale by the time I get back to the States. I guess I’ll have to eat all of them for everyone else.. Hmm, bummer for me.macaroons

Have you ever eaten a pig’s foot?

Tonight I quite possibly made the worst decision of my life. I ate a pig’s foot, tail and ear. Go ahead and read that again.. pig’s foot, tail and ear. I ate them. Worst decision ever.

Auburn and I were out to eat in Vieux Lyon tonight and decided to be adventurous. Or at least I did. Mistake. I ordered the pig’s feet knowing exactly what I was getting and I was excited to try it. Well, the meal comes out and you can totally tell that they’re pig’s feet. It looks exactly like a pig’s foot. Imagine that. Anyway, I start to dig in. Problem one: It was almost all bone. Problem two: I didn’t know what was meat and what was fat. Problem three: I was about to eat pig’s feet.

I took my first bite and thought it was a joke. The thing tasted like the smell of an entire farm. No joke. I now know what dirt, mud and animal crap tastes like. But the story doesn’t end there.

I decided to try more and this time use the dipping sauce, which I believe was the staple French version of mayo, but I’m not sure. It gets better but I still taste farm. Finally, I give up and can’t take anymore. But throughout my whole ordeal, Auburn was having her own.

Auburn had ordered “hot pork served with potatoes,” which turned out to be the ears and tail of a pig in a stew pot with half a potato. She couldn’t eat more than two bites before almost throwing up. We STUPIDLY decided to try each other’s dish to say that we did, and by this point we were about to throw up. BUT WE DID IT. We ate pig’s feet, tail and ear. And survived. We are survivors.

Needless to say, I’m now sick.

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Of Monsters and Men concert? Yes, please

Yesterday I went to my first concert in France. Gotta say, it was quite amazing. We went and saw Of Monsters and Men and they were absolutely magnificent live. I couldn’t have been more happy with their performance and I’d recommend them to anyone. Seriously, if you ever have the chance, go see them.

We didn’t know going into it if anyone would know who they were in France but we got to the venue and it was packed.. packed with Americans. Yeah.. lots of Americans. But it was nice to hear lots of English. Even if it was coming from frat boys.

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Tomatoes and mozzarella

images-12I’m developing a strange food obsession over here in France. Like I said, I’m eating things I normally wouldn’t try at home and I’m loving them. Things like avocados and tomatoes. But there’s something that I love the most over here that I don’t think I’ll be able to get enough of when I get back to the States. And that’s tomatoes and hunks of mozzarella. Together. I love them.

I had this combo for the first time last week and didn’t even know what I was eating. I knew it was tomatoes but couldn’t tell what it was paired with. I could tell it was something weird by the texture and eventually just had to end up asking my family what it was so that I could stop driving myself crazy wondering. Tomatoes and mozzarella. Man, oh man, is that a magnificent combination. I started to crave them about two days after trying them while I was in Cannes. I couldn’t stop thinking about tomatoes and mozzarella! Of all things, tomatoes and mozzarella. I quickly got over my craving for food back home as you can tell and moved onto something even better.. because even though I’m obsessed, it’s a healthy food to crave. Wellllll, when you compare it to Doritos, yeah, tomatoes and mozzarella are pretty healthy.

Craving, craving, craving, I started to talk about tomatoes and mozzarella the second day of our trip in Cannes. I was wanting some so badly and then all of a sudden, voila! There was a tomato and mozzarella salad on the menu of the restaurant we were eating at. It was a glorious moment when the server brought out the tomatoes and mozzarella for me to eat once again. In addition to being healthy, I eat my tomatoes and mozzarella with a fork and knife all proper-like so I feel like a pretty classy lady when I eat tomatoes and mozzarella.

This country is changing my eating habits in some pretty spectacular ways and I couldn’t be happier. I love all kinds of veggies now and I crave so many healthy things. In addition to tomatoes and mozzarella, I crave salad. I love the salad dressing over here and it’s so simple. To be honest, I have no idea what kind of dressing it is, I just know that it’s a combination of oil and vinegar and possibly dijon mustard? Not quite sure.. But I know that I need the recipe before I go home.

So, there you have it. I never thought my eating habits would become healthier here in France but God worked a miracle and this girl finally loves her veggies. Do you think I said “tomatoes and mozzarella” enough today?

GUYS IT’S SO INCREDIBLY HARD TO MAKE BUT DON’T WORRY, I’LL MAKE IT FOR YOU.