Yesterday I was able to celebrate Bastille Day here in Lyon with some amazing friends.
My time here in Lyon is coming to a close and I can’t believe it…but I’ll save that for another time.
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.
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.
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.
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.
TODAY IS A GREAT DAY. I FINALLY HAD MY MEXICAN. LIKE REALLY.
So.. basically I have the absolute best sister in the entire world.
I was out this afternoon with Auburn for drinks and a snack, just walking around our favorite part of Lyon, taking in life in Vieux Lyon. Around the time we were heading home I got a text from my host sister asking if I was coming home for dinner. I told her yes and asked what time it’d be ready so that I would be home on time and wouldn’t make them wait on me. I didn’t think anything of this text.
I get home tonight and my host mom tells me that Mathilde made dinner tonight and that SHE MADE MEXICAN FOR ME. Yeah, that’s right. She made dinner especially for me because she knows how badly I’ve been dying for Mexican. It literally made my whole week. She is the absolute best and I adore her. Like seriously, I couldn’t have asked for a better family to live with here in France. They are wonderful and I love each and every one of them.
Obviously, dinner was the highlight of my day and yes, I did have TWO fajitas. I got to eat the last one because dinner was made special for me. If you can’t tell, I’m beaming right now. We even had chips! I’m so ecstatic.
Ok, now that I got all of that out of my system, I shall proceed to tell you what else I did today because the entirety of the day was pretty great.
Well, for lunch I had a burger on a bagel. Yeah, I know. Weird, right? But nooooo. It was amazing. I don’t understand why I don’t eat all my burgers on a bagel. It was genius. So, yeah, that was pretty cool.
After that we took a class excursion to the Lumière Museum, a museum dedicated to the brothers who created the cinema. As you can imagine, this was pretty exciting for me seeing as how I shall one day be an actor on the big screen.
Yeah, so I’m going to go ahead and say that today was a pretty awesome day.
Yesterday was an awesome day. Miniatures museum, that’s all I got to say.
..okay, actually that’s not all I have to say, I have a lot more to say. That place was awesome. They had all originals of so many things and it was incredible. For starters, before you even walk into the museum, there is C-3PO from Star Wars and an ape costume from Planet of the Apes with Mark Wahlberg from 2001. After that, I met Ghostface from Scream 4! Like, legit the real costume that they used for the movie. If you don’t already know, Scream 4 is one of my favorite movies of all time. I looooove it.
Theeeeennnnnnnnn, I realized they have a REAL-LIFE SWORD FROM PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN! Yes, from a scene that Johnny was in. I was so close, yet so far from him..
Basically, that place was awesome and Austin and I were able to hard-core geek out. After the museum, we stayed in Vieux Lyon for the rest of the day and got drinks and food from a boulangerie.. I swear I’m obsessed with those places. So. Much. Quiche.
To end the day, Auburn, Kelsey 2 (There are three Kelseys on this trip so Auburn, Austin and I numbered them all according to the order that we met up with them on the trip) and I went back to Auburn’s to watch a scary movie. If you haven’t learned this already, you will learn that I’m obsessed with horror. Honestly, it’s my absolute favorite genre of anything in life. I’m incredibly “dark and twisty” as Auburn says. Well, we couldn’t get the wifi to load the entire movie, which was Orphan, so we only ended up watching half of it before I had to catch my last bus home. Needless to say, I was scared out of my mind walking the block home from the bus stop after midnight on my own after watching a scary movie. I was quite disappointed in myself. Although, I blame it on the fact that I’m not quite used to my new house yet.
That’s plausible, right?
I.. Need.. Mexican.. Food.. Soon..
Honestly, I’m not sure how much longer I can last without my chicken nachos from back home. It’s only been two weeks and I’m already dying from deprivation of the deliciousness. Not to mention chips and salsa. OMG. I’d kill for that right now. So, this undying hunger is what began my quest today and which I’m sure will continue either until I eat my weight in chips or fly my booty back home to the States for some good ole’ El Maguey’s.
It began a couple of days ago when I happened to mention to Auburn my love of Mexican food. She then proceeded to send me a link to a critique of a supposedly amazing Mexican place here in Lyon, actually in the district that we were in today – Vieux Lyon. Naturally, I obsess and read everything there is to know about this place and even call and make a reservation. Phone conversation:
French guy: “Bonjour. Aweinvlsdkjofiewnvdviewniewrnv.”
Me: “Uh.. Parlez-vous anglais?” (usually I love to show off my French but on the phone it’s quite difficult to fluently communicate)
French guy: “Uuuuuh, non.”
Me: “Uh, je voudrais faire une reservation pour ce soir.”
French guy: “D’accord, quel est le nom?”
Me: “Megan.. *ahem* Meegaine.” (My name is difficult for some French to pronounce so I thought I’d help him out)
French guy: “D’accord, quand est-ce que vous voulez la reservation?”
Me: “A dix-neuf heures.”
French guy: “Quoi?”
..Ok, so I guess he got all the info he needed? Yeah.. nice little experience.
Anyway, I naturally spend the rest of the day daydreaming about this delicious Mexican food that I’m going to scarf down in a couple of hours and can’t wait to sit down to eat. Well, seven o’clock rolls around and Auburn, Austin, Hannah and I are searching through the streets of Vieux Lyon for this deliciousness. After stopping to ask about the restaurant about three times, we realize that the restaurant has been SHUT DOWN AND NO LONGER EXISTS. Like, are you kidding me?! I was a Miss Crankypants Megan for the rest of the night. No Mexican food for me. So, we all chose to go to this quaint little restaurant that’s like all the rest of the restaurants here and had the same French food that all of the restaurants have. Can you sense my irritation? Yeah, I love it here and I love the food but there comes a point when a girl just needs to stuff her face with chicken nachos!
Alas, the search failed today BUT I shall not give up. I WILL find those chicken nachos somewhere here in Lyon and I WILL stay there for two whole days and nights eating and eating and eating.
So, today I found Johnny Depp (sort of) but we’ll get to that later.
Four hours of classes in completely fluent French is starting to take its toll on me and it’s only the third day of classes. You might not think so, but it’s exhausting. Also, we apparently have a quiz every Thursday so that’s cool. Guess what I’m doing tonight. That’s right, watching Monty Python and the Holy Grail to prepare for my civilization quiz. The best part is.. I’m being totally serious. See, that clip featured French knights and centered around King Arthur, whom we mentioned in class today. My decision is totally justified.
On to the more interesting parts of my day now. Austin and I found a quite cute little boulangerie – which is my favorite French shop to get food from. I got some delicious quiche, while he chose a sandwich but I forget what kind. I do remember, though, that he said it tasted like the smell of the produce aisles at home.. so, you can take that as you want. We found a little park bench in the square and sat and ate in the baking sun and then after of course we (I) had to go to a patisserie to get some amazing chocolate snacks. We don’t eat much over here but when we do eat, man do we eat.
After lunch we met up with Auburn who had just finished classes and went to Vieux Lyon to walk and get a drink and just chill for a while before departing and going home to study for the entirety of the evening. This is when I saw Johnny.
I’d already found this cute little candy shop once before while walking through Vieux Lyon but it was closed the first time. This time, however, it was extremely open. The candy shop was called “The Pirate’s Candies” so you can imagine my excitement the first time I saw it, before I even noticed the Captain Jack Sparrow statue in the window. So, naturally we go in and buy lots of candy and I take a picture with the statue of the most gorgeous man on the planet. The highlight of my day, of course. And now I’ve been eating lots and lots of candy in my room while studying and I’m beginning to not feel so well.. but it was still TOTALLY worth it.
Wish me luck on my two quizzes tomorrow!