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