Bread in your pocket is better than a pen in your hat


Oh the French, always talking about how much they love food. I saw that expression on a sign today in Grenoble, but what am I talking about? I LOVE FOOD too! More specifically French food and I would most definitely love to have bread in my pocket rather than a pen in my hat. Wouldn’t you? haha

Anyways Grenoble is amazing! You havn’t seen mountains until you’ve seen the ones here. Maybe the Rockies but eh I’ve never seen them so I can only compare them to the ole’ Appalachians. Speaking of which, so I’m currently couch surfing with a friend of mine in Grenoble and we are staying at this guys apartment (this is relevant I promise… also Sarah don’t be freaked out I am totally safe:) ) and he lives on the top floor and has this amazing view of the mountains. Like this is a picture from his deck:

Can you say "tres magnifique"

We climbed up on the roof to watch the sunset and it was so cool. He was saying that in winter it reflects off the snow and it looks like a rainbow. SOOO AWESOME. I want to see that. Anyways he made us this fabulous plum risotto for dinner and then sereneaded us to John Denver’s “Country Roads” where he mis pronounced like a lot of the places like Blue Ridge Mountains and Shenandoah river. But thats ok. It was quite hilarious. Anyways thats where I was going with the whole story involving Appalachia… but anyways… him and his roommate are so funny. The roommate told me the secret to his success as an event planner is to listen to reggae, smoke a joint, and just let the creative juices flow. I said, sounds like a nice way to live dude. Also one of them makes their own alcohol from the plants that he collects in the mountains like legit real liquor. Yeah. Awesome.

This is me enjoying Grenoble today,

Makes you wanna sing "The hills are alive with the sound of muuuusiiiic" doesnt it! Thats what I thought

Anyways the rest of Paris was fun, I saw the Guard Republicain do some cool sheesh in their Napoleon era dress uniforms. This is me with one of them… also it was like 85 and those outfits are wool so this dude was mad cool for taking a picture with me:

Hot Hot Hot

I also went to the Musee d’Orsay. That was mad sweet. I liked it like a million times more than the Louvre. Well now I know. Anyways I’ve got a life to go live so be jealous of it 🙂 I’ll leave you with a picture of some Barbapapas and a random statue of Thomas Jefferson in Paris!!

They are saying, "eat me"

Thomas Jefferson, why are you here?

Grand Bis,

Meaghan

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So silly…and probably not so good


So since the only preparation that I did for this adventure was throw some clothes in a suitcase and get a visa, there are plenty of things that could go wrong. Like today, when I realized that I never called my bank or credit card company to tell them that I was going to be abroad. The result (dum da da dum): my cards got canceled. What the sheesh is all I have to say. Also sometimes I question my intelligence since now here I am with 60 euros accessible to me for the next 2 weeks which is how long I feel a new card will take to get to me. Dear French postal system, please dont hold my card hostage longer than you need to!

I also questioned my level of intelligence this morning when I decided to wear shoes that do nothing but hurt my feet to the Louvre. Smart? Nope. I am so silly and it is definitely not good. Now my feet might fall off and I am like well you did this to yourself… GO ME! So smart… haha

Anyways yesterday I went to Versailles (you know Marie Antoinette’s castle) which was AWESOME!!!!!! Any idea of how big it is that you have please throw that out the window because it is MONSTROUS like the pictures will not even do it justice.

Like half the castle... see? MONSTER

Like 1/10 of the gardens

Basically Versailles is the queen of all castles in France, in my opinion. I spent 3 hours wandering around yesterday and it was awesome!!!! SOOOO totally gorge!

Everything was covered in gold and the gardens were immaculate. The reflecting pool (behind me in the pic above) was my favorite part. I’m kind of obsessed with how cute it is.

Last night I then joined my friend Lisa for wine by the Seine. It was super fun and I love wine sooooo…

It's always wine time!

For being 2 euros, that bottle of wine was pretty bangin’. France, I love you and your cheap yet tasty wine!

Today I chose to continue my adventure of culture and go to the Louvre. It was pretty cool and I had fun but I’m not sure I’d ever go back. Some of the stuff was really cool but a lot of it was kind of like “meh” which is terrible since it is all priceless works of art and like famous and old and stuff. However some of it was just downright weird, like this:

A dude checking himself out 4x

Like did the sculptor wake up one day and say, “I suppose I shall sculpt a man contemplating himself ::smirk::” and did he laugh at the pun? Anyways I think it is a little wee bit bizarre (haha).

But the Louvre did have some cool stuff, like the Mona Lisa or La Jaconde as it is really called. I feel like I got a pretty good picture of it considering there was a swarm of like 800 Asians on some tour taking up all the good picture taking space haha

Why hello there Leonardo Da Vinci

I took some other cool pictures of some things like this suit of armor

Suit of armor for a very short man

My one comment on the suit of armor was that the king that it was designed for (Charles the something…) must have been quite short because honestly it looked like it would fit someone my size and I am 5’2″. Innnnnnnnnteresting.

Anyways I’m having a great time, minus getting my credit cards canceled (whooops…) and can’t wait for whatever else is going to happen!!!

Grand Bis

Meaghan

Alright, I caved


I’ll be honest… I took a nap. It’s the cardinal rule of jet laggers, do not nap. But i did. But only for an hour so thats ok right? I reallllly hope I sleep tonight!

Anyways, here I am in Paris!!! AHHHHHHH I can’t even believe it! It is surreal. Yet awesome! I haven’t taken any pictures yet (sorry dear followers) because I have so many from my last trip here that I feel a little redundant taking pictures of things. Today I walked around the Latin Quarter, Notre Drame, the Rue de Rivoli, Les Halles, annnnnd I think thats it. Basically I was super touristy. I did have an AMAZING lunch in the Latin Quarter at some fixed price resto, where I had French Onion Soup, an Omlette with fries (weird I know), and Creme Caramel. Sooooo yummy!!!

Notre Dame, stolen from my visit in 2009

Currently I am watching adorable French children play. They are 3 and I’m not sure what they are saying but I just read them a book called “Barbapapa” which translates to “Cotton candy.” Its a weird childrens book about a cotton candy family. This is what they look like:

Barbapapas

Last time I checked, the cotton candy I was eating did NOT look like that. Thank goodness.

I’m still trying to process my trip which was quite eventful I must say. First I met the ambassador to the US from Panama. He talked to me about how much he loved the Redskins and that they won the other day. A plus in my book! I also met a cute old French couple who invited me to dinner at their house in Paris! And finally on my flight to Paris I sat next to a crazy old lady who tried to tell me my future and also that her  sons were very famous… I’m not sure but she talked the entire 7 hours so it all kind of blurs together…

Then once I arrived I felt the need to take the subway the entire way to my cousins failing to realize that HOLY COW I had 70lbs of luggage. I hauled those things up stairs like this maybe 5x at the minimum:

Lots and Lots and Lots of Stairs...

Then a walk straight uphill for 6 blocks. I’m not going to be able to move my arms tomorrow. Oh well, it makes up for all the delicious croissants I have consumed thus far!

I’m missing everyone stateside! Skype me people 🙂 meaghan7lax

Grand bis

Meaghan

Five Bowling Pins


So since I’ve got 7 days until my pretty little face gets on a Spanish flight from JFK to Paris I decided I should probably start packing my room up and cleaning out my clothes because there is no way all my clothes are fitting in one suitcase. Worst decision I’ve made all week. This is now what my room looks like: A bomb may have created this disaster. Or my inability to stay organized.

As you can see it looks like a bomb of clothing may have gone off. Either that or I’m incredibly disorganized. I’m going with the latter. I don’t even think this picture really gets the scope of what my room looks like but its the best that I can do haha.

Unfortunately attempting to sort through this has turned me into a five bowling pins crazy  lady. I think I’ve cried three times today. I keep alternating from needing to be active and flying around doing seventeen things at once to sitting on the edge of my bed crying. See? Five bowling pins.

I think I’m going to cry the whole way to Paris. But I know once I step off the plane onto that French terre I’ll be ok. I’m struggling with moving and being the first one of my friends to truly leave, complicated by the fact that there will now be a 6 hour time difference between us. Moving to France has been my dream since I was 18 and realized how much I loved the language. I’m happy I’m going… scratch that… completely stoked that I’m going, the leaving is the hard part.

I just keep looking at pictures of Nyons, and repeating “adventure of a lifetime” and I feel better. And besides, who wouldn’t want to live in a Mediterranean climate surrounded by olive orchards and vineyards in a place that looks like this:

Quaint. French. Perfect.

Also this:

Are you jealous yet?

For now, you will have to be contented with pictures taken from google images until I myself can grace you with fabulous photos. But first, 6 days in Paris with my wonderful cousin Lylan and her sweet family!

Now, this crazy lady needs to start a new knitting project so I don’t go crazy.

Grand Bis

Meaghan

Passports are hilarious


Is it possible to take a passport photo that actually looks good? I think the whole world can agree that it is quite the impossible task, except for those who have the super power of always being beyond perfectly photogenic (I hate you btw). The best anyone can hope for is something that is halfway decent, right? Unfortunately all three photos in my passport (actual photo and 2 visas) make me look like a deranged serial killer/someone in a psychiatric hospital in a straight jacket. I can’t win.

In my actual photo, I’m 17 and clearly I woke up that morning and said “screw you world, I’m a pissed off teenager! ANGST” because my hair is unwashed, and my expression is basically giving the middle finger to the world… awesome. Also I was like 15 lbs heavier than now so thats awesome… naht.

Here I am in 2007 wearing the classic teenage look of "Angst"

So 2009 rolls around and I’m like sweet, time for redemption with my first visa. My goal was to look awesome, or as awesome as you can for one of these things. However I failed to take a photo that qualified for a visa because I apparently couldn’t read a form (I’m super smart if you didn’t notice…). So, long story short I had to walk from the French consulate 1 mile to a CVS to get new pictures taken, at noon, in 98 degree heat and walk back. Also I had blisters from the new pair of shoes that I was wearing. To say that I was not a happy camper is an understatement. This is the picture that belongs to my first visa…

Deranged

The peace signs are a nice touch I think. Groovy doods. So when I get to CDG and I’m like freaking out about them NOT letting me into the country (why? I’m not sure) the guy at customs looks at my passport photo and snorts. THEN turns to my visa and bursts out laughing. He says in broken english, “Ha. Is this you? So funny!” Thanks dude, you just made me feel awesome… and by awesome I mean like an idiot. I said, “Thanks I know it is bad” and he goes, “No, not bad. Great!” I definitely made his day.

So now its like August of this year and I’m like swearing up and down that I’m going to take a GREAT pic. I go to CVS, with hair/makeup/etc. done and I’m like passport photo hit me with your best shot (fire away…) and I take one that is GREAT as far as passport photos go, I’m pumped, I’m so excited, I’m like the customs people can’t laugh at this, I WIN. So I turn it in with my visa app and I’m pumped, forgetting that they took a picture of me at the consulate. My visa comes a few weeks later in the mail and I immediately flip to the back to see my new visa and BAM I’m hit with this:

I look like I just got arrested. Also kind of like a murderous doll.

Thank you France for taking this picture of me and putting it in my visa. Now, all I can do is wait until I get to customs to update you on the reaction of the officer. Hilarity will ensue I’m sure. For the sake of comparison, I’m including a recent, slightly more photogenic photo…

This is as photogenic as its gonna get...