Tag Archives: mass

HUGE-ASS POST! aka Liz’s Visit & An Easter Update!

7 Apr

I haven’t given you much to work with for a while so heres an official update <3

Last week my friend Liz came to visit.  She stayed at our friend Fiona’s place and we had a blast.  She studied abroad first semester in Rennes with all of us but went back to Ireland after Christmas.  Anyway it was really great seeing her!! It was like a continual party when she was visiting.  It was funny though because so much has changed since she left that I’m sure it was really weird for her, but I hope it was fun too.  We went to the Haricot Rouge everyday that she was in town :) We drank lots of hot chocolate, played lots of Uno (despite not really remembering the rules haha) and played lots of Clue which, strangely enough, appears to be called “Cluedo” in Europe.

We had a little party at Fiona’s on Tuesday night to celebrate :) For some reason my camera was hiding in my bag until the end of the night so the only photos I have are of a photoshoot of my French friend Maxime and my Belgian friend Delphine eating pasta haha.

The next night wasn’t much better on the photo front, but it was still oodles of fun.  It started at a gay bar and then finished at “le Museum.” After such a crazy week, I stayed in on Thursday and Friday nights and then bright and early Saturday morning I hopped a train to Caen to spend Easter with my friend Alyse!  It was an awesome weekend, I wouldn’t have wanted to spend my Easter here in any other way.  I was explaining to some friends that I’ve known Alyse since I was about 8 and she is the closest thing I have to family in France and so it just felt right to be together for Easter weekend.

Saturday we hung out, shopped a little bit and watched Vicky Cristina Barcelona. Then on Sunday we woke up bright and early and went to Easter Mass. Alyse and I laugh about how we’re a horrible combination because neither of us like waking up in the morning. On Easter we accidentally overslept by an hour because we were both waiting for the other one to get up, even though we each secretly knew we weren’t going to get up haha.  Luckily, Alyse’s neighbor Elizabeth/Bipsie  knocked on the door to ask a question and so we woke up in time to get to mass on time :)

Mass was nice, I guess. It was much more sombre than any other Easter service I’ve ever been to though and the drafty old cathedral was effing freezing! I was expecting to see lots of people wearing Easter hats because I’ve seen them on sale in a lot of stores lately but I didn’t even see one. That was a let down. What was even weirder was that there were lots of people in like their late 50s early 60s who were wearing jeans.  I kinda wanted to be like, “HELLOOOO?! It’s Easter, bitches! Get fancy!” haha But there were a lot of young families and it was cute seeing how whenever the babies started to fuss, the dads would take them to the side corner of the church until they had settled down.  After mass we went back to Alyse’s and made a massive breakfast :) It was so big that Sunday was one of those “one meal” days haha.  We found “American Pancake” mix at Carrefour and Bipsie found Bacon at Marché Plus so we had pancakes, bacon and eggs.  We attempted Mimosas as well, but since we didn’t have champagne, we substituted it for cider and it turned out ok.

Unfortunately, I didn’t take any photos of the chocolate eggs on sale, but it’s my understanding that in most of, if not all, of europe, the way families celebrate is by giving each other ENORMOUS chocolate eggs that are pretty much works of art.  I’m not for sure, but I don’t think they do the whole egg dying thing or easter egg hunts.  Because Easter without any chocolate is a sin, I bought an Easter bunny in Caen. It was hollow and to my surprise, it had little chocolates inside! I have no idea why, but they were fish… maybe the chocolatier was using up old stock? haha here is what my bunny looked like and here are a few pictures I snagged off the internet to show you what the chocolate eggs look like in France!

That night we treated ourselves to dinner out at a place called “La Fringale.”  We ordered the “le menu” (they’re very common in France.  It’s the special consisting of an appetizer, a main course, and a desert for a special price) and each of us chose different things for each course.  Everything tasted amazing and was served in a seriously gourmet fashion.  None of us really knew what we were ordering but it all turned out to be very tasty. “Émincé de la volaille au sauce Roblochon” with a side of mashed potatoes was my main course:

The whole weekend was really very adventurous because the next afternoon I tried steak tartare. If I don’t try it in France, when the hell will I try it?! I mean, it’s gotta be good in the country that created it :) Anyway it rocked my socks off.  It was hilarious because the waitress (of course, in French) was like, “you know that it isn’t cooked right?” haha anyway it was yum.


I was only going to stay until Monday (the Monday after Easter is a holiday in France) and take the train back around 7pm, but I didn’t have class until 12:30 on Tuesday and we were having lots of fun together so I decided to take the train back early the next morning and I’m glad I did :)

The train I took back on Tuesday morning was superrrrr old school though haha. There was an aisle and then compartments on the train! It was like being in a time warp.  And the compartment I sat in had an interesting message on the window: “Abîmer.”  Abîmer means “to be damaged” which is pretty funny considering that it was scratched into the window. I enjoyed it anyway, although it may be the kind of thing only French speakers can appreciate :)

Tuesday morning was pretty chilly in Caen, but in Rennes it was absolutely gorgeous! After class a ton of my friends decided to head to “la Parc Thabor” to lie in the sun and celebrate being alive. We lounged, listened to music, played a Belgian game called “Kubb” (les filles contre les gars: ALLEZ les filles!!! woohoo!) and watched the other crazies in the park (although they were watching us so that technically makes us the crazies lol).

It was an excellent end to the long weekend! Now back to work! haha

BISOUS.

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31 Epic Hours

5 Oct

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Friday through Saturday was La Nuit Blanche in Paris.  I went with 5 friends from Rennes; Martin, Maire, Barbara, Rob & Nick and met up with two of my Tri-Delt friends in Paris; Jackie & Rachel.

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There were enough ppl in our group that had never been to the Eiffel Tower so when we first arrived in Paris, we went directly there.  It was only my second time going up (and my first time at the very top) but I hope I don’t go up again for a good long while.

I advocated for the elevator but my friends thought it would be more fun to take the stairs.  So 1,665-ish stairs and too many hours later we had all “done” the Eiffel Tower.  We also really wanted to go to Les Galeries Lafayette and Le Cimetiere du Pere Lachaise but there wasn’t enough time.  Unfortunately we only had enough time for dinner at the Galeries Lafayette.  Père Lachaise will be for our next trip to Paris- I can already feel that there will be several such trips, if not many :)  Going to Galeries Lafayette was definitely worth it, though.  The one in Rennes, although nice, truly does not compare with the flagship store in Paris. There are no words to describe it.  Here is my meager attempt to capture the building’s beauty:

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Afterwards, we went in search of programs for that evening because we thought it would be a good idea to plan out our course a teeny bit.  This caused us to go on the most epic wandering of Paris. Ever.  I think it was about two or three hours later that we collapsed at a café, ordered glasses of champagne and toasted to our comic defeat.

Next up, we met Rachel and Jackie at Notre Dame.  It was so great to see them!  We chatted a bit & I introduced them to the group and then we got in line to enter.  Rachel_Jackie_MeThere was an organ concert going on inside and an artist’s exhibit in the alcoves around the cathedral.  I found it absolutely amazing, although the organ music was a little too reminiscent of Frankenstein for my liking lol.  Can you even imagine being able to say that you had an exhibit in one of the most famous religious buildings in the world?!  Check out these awesome colored light crystal thingies that were part of the artist’s exhibit.  There were crystals of different sizes and shapes, although I just now realized that I only took pictures of the pinkish ones lol.

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We did so much, its hard for me to put it in chronological order…Instead of doing the rest in paragraph form, here are a few highlights of the evening:

1.  Waiting in a line for over an hour to see an enormous disco ball hanging from a crane.

2. Meeting a semi-drunk French guy outside Subway and watching him try to get a bite of Jackie’s crêpe & then talking to him and his friend for a good 30 minutes afterwards.

2.5 The excursion into the Louvre parking lot. LOL

3. The time warp at the Irish cultural center (really, I have no idea how long we were there) and the nervous breakdown that followed.

4. The creepy gas mask things at the Irish cultural center that appeared to be mice or horses from afar, but it turned out that they were meant to be wolves.

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5. Witnessing what appeared to be a fire from near the Pont Notre-Dame.

6. Also witnessing a beat-down taking place and quickly turning the corner.

7. Finally finding programs (Note how happy we look lol):

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8. Overpacking my Longchamp bag to the extreme.

9. Continually losing each other in the crowds- Thank God for cell phones!

10. Bloody Mary around 4am.

11. Almost getting screwed over by a waiter and witnessing one of his teapots being stolen ;)

12. Walking through Pigalle aka Paris’s Red Light District at 6am. Let’s just say that was an experience!

13. Witnessing the steps of Montmartre being power-washed of their filth.

14. Struggling to keep our eyes open during the 7am Mass in Sacre Coeur.

15. Sunrise in Montmartre.

16. Big omelette breakfast at an awkward restaurant near the gare (train station), that was decorated to make us feel like we were eating on an actual old school style train.

17. Swapping out our 2pm train tickets for 10:05am tickets.

18. Falling asleep on the train and then waking up in a panic because I thought I’d missed the Rennes stop.

19. Getting back to Rennes, dragging my body through the station, on the metro, off the metro, through three parking lots, into my dorm, up two flights of stairs and into my room.  Dropping my bag, shedding my clothing, wearily updating my facebook status to “Ann-Charlotte has not slept in 31 hours” and then literally falling into my bed only to finally wake up 21 hours later.

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There are so many little things that I don’t have the energy to incorporate into this post that made the trip really great.  I doubt I’ll ever “do Paris” again without getting a hotel or a hostel, though.  It was definitely a one time thing.

xxo

Weekend Update

21 Sep

Sorry it’s been a while since my last post.  The last post was from Thursday, and I’m proud to say I accomplished everything on that list, except getting to the CROUS office because its closed on the weekends.  I still have yet to get a good blanket, but I did accomplish buying a mirror (its a white provencal style).  I am slowly making my room home-y.

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We went to St. Malo, the famous french walled city, on Saturday.  With the under 25 card, our little day trip was only about 7 euro.  Woot!  And yesterday, Sunday, I went to Catholic Mass with a few friends.  Afterwards we had tea (how adorable!) and watched the classic Marilyn Monroe film (which I had yet to see at that point) Some Like It Hot. Later in the afternoon, we went to the Musée de Beaux-Arts of Rennes, and we got in free because it was the “semaine de mobilité.”  To be completely honest, I don’t know exactly what la semaine de mobilité is, but I think it is to encourage the French to travel (less expensive train fares) and see cultural things (free admission).  The Rennes parliament building was also giving free tours, but the line was so long that it stretched into the park and so we decided against it.

All in all, it was a pretty good weekend.  I’d post photos but many of them were shot on film and I’m still waiting for them to be developed.  Have a good week!

xxo

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