After spending five days in Strasbourg, I packed up and set off for Reims in the Champagne region of France! I am lucky enough to have a friend, Tiphaine, who lives in Reims and was able to spend time with her and her friends and family! The first night in town, Tiphaine introduced me to her many great friends. Everyone was so welcoming and patient with me when I spoke French and that was a relief. I was so happy that I could spend time with a group of French people, like I’ve always wanted. This especially means Tiphaine as she is leaving for China very soon for her semester abroad!
After learning that I was not doing anything for New Year’s Eve, she invited me to stay with her and her friends in Paris! I was so excited and immediately accepted the invite. The next day, Tiphaine and her family showed me around Reims, shared a hot chocolate with me, and invited me home for dinner. I got to enjoy the luxuries of a home: decorations, a Christmas tree, television, homemade food, and family! Tiphaine even taught me how to make a crêpe!
The next afternoon, we set out for Paris where we would meet Alice,another friend of ours from school, and Laurie with whom we would stay. When we arrived I found a Starbucks and took full advantage. After some walking and grocery shopping, we got to Laurie’s and talked for the night (I mostly listened). On New Year’s Eve Day, Tiphaine, Alice, and I discovered Pont de l'Archevêché where people lock locks together to symbolize their love. Bff’s Alice and Tiphaine locked a pink one! We also went to see La Louvre’s pyramid and we climbed L’ard de Triumph! What a lovely day in Paris.
That night, we prepared for the other guests and I experienced a very French holiday, like I have always wanted. The repas for the evening included fois gras, salmon, and magret de canard. I, of course, ate quinoa atop toast which isn't very French but a worthy vegetarian substitute for me. We shared champagne and I listened, or at least tried, to all of the wonderful French conversations going on. As midnight approached and we counted down in French, I realized just how special this experience was.
Before I left the next day, I got to see my beloved Eiffel Tower with my friends. Starting 2014 in Paris was incredible! I am so thankful to have friends like Tiphaine and Alice and I will be forever grateful for the wonderful experience these girls and our friends gave me! I hope to see them both again in the near future and hope that their time abroad gives them the time of their life like mine has. Have fun and enjoy your time in Norway, Alice and China, Tiphaine! Bisous!
|The crêpe I created|
|Alice and I at Pont de l'Archevêché|
|Tiphaine and I on top of L'Arc de Triumph|