Houston, we have a problem!


So as many of you know, my life is generally one disaster after another, and I’m really unsure of how I manage to survive on a daily basis. When I say disaster, I mean like relative to my life, like how I managed to get all my credit cards cancelled my very first day in France…that was pretttttty awesome. Well I have a few addictions that are pretty serious, one being coffee, and another being my computer which provides me with pretty much all my entertainment (music, skype, american tv, the news, salacious celebrity gossip…) so not having it is like a death sentence. Sure I do spend a lot of time reading and knitting and cooking and coloring, but I can’t be a domestic goddess ALL the time. Even Betty Crocker needs her Perez Hilton fix. So in my wonderful Christmas travels I did so awesome at not losing ANYTHING. I managed to keep my gros-sacs in control and not lose a single item. I was so proud of myself because generally I lose everything (finding my keys in my 1 room apartment is generally a challenge). Flash forward to Tuesday night when I realize I left my computer charger in Paris and I only had 5% battery left. OH SHEESH YA’LL, twas not a dream. What’s a MAC girl to do in a PC world in France? Hop on the first  bus up to Montelimar (closest MAC retailer) and buy a new charger… The good news is, my new one isn’t held together by masking tape… YAY for progress!

Anyways, Holidaze update timez!! Paris was fun! The city is definitely growing on me but I’m still unsure if it is a city I could ever live in. I did a fair amount of shopping while there, which was great because now I have some fabulous pretty new things! I did go on a freaking wild goose chase all over the city after this one pair of shoes. Granted these shoes are totally bad ass and I’m so obsessed with them and I wish I could wear them every day but unfortunately sparkly 5in high heels are not acceptable every day wear except for if you are Lady Gaga which I am unfortunately not haha. Anyways I saw them in Strasbourg and I was like “dang those shoes are hot. I need them for New Years. Eh, I’ll get them in Paris I don’t need be more of a bag lady than I already am.” Well after going to SIX stores in Paris I finally found them. Apparently every girl in France wants to wear these same shoes in size 7. I mean who can blame them? They are so awesome!!!! That was probably the most exciting thing I did there haha. I wanted to spend a day in the cemetery Pere Lachaise (creepy! I know but really its cool, I promise) but it was kind of rainy and gross so I went on the Great Shoe Hunt of 2011 instead.

be jealous cuz these are FABULOUS, except mine are silver so they are cooler

I did get to go to Hotel Matignon which is the house of the Premiere Ministre of France to get some foie gras with my cousin’s husband. Not many people get to go inside the court of it so that was reallllllly cool! Yay for culture!

gettin my culture on with the premiere ministre yeahhhhhhh

keepin' it classy at hotel matignon

Germany was fun too! Hamilton lives about 1h30m from Frankfurt in a tiny lil baby town called Bruchmulbach. It is smaller than Nyons, BUT it had a train-station so it gets more street-cred pointz for that. When I got there Friday I was exhausted since I’d been up since 3am and so I slept all day then we went to the Christmas market in the next town over. The Christmas market there was basically one giant street party. People were drinking profusely in the streets, blasting German techno, and ordering Gleuhwhein (mulled wine/vin chaud) with like Jagermeister in it. I did not partake in drinking jager in my wine (that would not have ended well for anyone involved) but I did watch a lot of drunk German people do that! It was pretty funny, and I got a sweet Christmas 1997 mug.

jagermeister+Jesus carousel=Christmas in Germany

Magi rollin' up!

The next day we went back to Frankfurt to pick up my friend Mika, and then back to Bruchmulbach! Mika and I decided around 10pm that we were not being festive and needed a Christmas tree of some sort to be in the spirit fo realz. At 10pm we set off into the German wilderness on search of our Christmas tree, hoping we wouldn’t meet any bearz in the Black Forest. The good news is we didn’t meet any bearz and we did find a branch that became a tree…we are jolly!

army boot tree stand=classy

tree of dreamz

On Christmas we spent the day preparing a feast and then feasting. Although I did have to defrost our Christmas sausage in the bathtub since Hamilton burned up his sink plug (LOL). We had Christmas sausage (its Germany shutttt it), macaroni and cheese, green bean casserole, stuffing, roasted potatos, Christmas cookies, and pecan deliciousness. It was a baller feast, I think my mom would be proud of how domesticly inclined I have become.

10 points for sausage innovation!

time to feast ya'll!

So on this trip, I tried something new called “covoitruage” which is ridesharing in English (sorry mom and Sarah). It was really cool, for 30 euros I rode with a guy, his girlfriend and another girl from Paris to Valence (2 hours from Nyons). It was great because I practiced my French the entire time and we got to talk about culture and all sorts of things. Although I will say there were times I thought I was going to die because French people just drive WAY faster than Americans (seriously the speed limit is like 80mph) so I spent a lot of the ride with my eyes closed haha.

Anyways I’ll leave you with some cool or wtf pix, happy new years ya’ll!

BARBAPAPA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! i'm obsessed with these guys

anyone need a 3 story tall necktie?????? it'd be a nice addition to any front lawn

SUPRISE! its my d*** in a box!

I do have to comment, WHAT ON EARTH IS GOING ON IN THIS PICTURE… I found it in a store in Montélimar, and I just don’t understand what is supposed to be going on in it. The only thing I can think of is that SNL skit d*** in a box bahahahaha

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My Little Knitters


So the keyboard is back and working wonderfully and looking all shiny and new J. I feel like I have a whole new computer! The dude told me now it should last me another 4-5 years. Macs are awesomeeee

So title story time. Recently I’ve started babysitting on Wednesday mornings for a family with two children, Cesar (7) and Paloma (5). They are super funny and they are actually teaching me a lot of things which is great! Since the weather here is marvelous we play outside a lot, like hide and seek, tag, or my personal favorite “mummy” where I am a mummy and they laugh at me running into things. Anyways Cesar is a little cheater. All the games we play he cheats at hardcore. In French the words for “to cheat” and “to knit” are pretty similar (tricher, tricoter) and every time he cheats at a game I always try to say “you little cheater!” but instead I always say, “you little knitter!” Sighhh… language barrier…

Anyways in other news since I havn’t updated ya’ll in forevs (and I’m sure you have been dying to know what fabulous things I have been up to lol), I’ll start with Thanksgiving. Stephanie and I did Thanksgiving dinner at one of her colleague’s house. I made, pumpkin pie from scratch…

This became a pie, SKILLZ

YUM PIEEEEEEEEE

Stuffing from scratch…

Kitchen Queen! Watch out Mario Batali!

AND I roasted a chicken (no turkey sadness )

Chicky chicky chick chick

All I’m saying is that I kicked some serious ass in the kitchen and it was SO delicious. I know it was a little sparse, but for one meal I was at home and it was wonderful. The next day we had lunch with another colleague of Stephanie, who made us a wonderful traditional Sunday lunch, meaning it lasted like 4 hours no exaggeration. We ate raclette which is basically where you melt a bunch of cheese and put it on random food. If you are thinking, “dang that sounds like the best meal ever” I’m going to go ahead and say, Yes you are right. I’m thinking I should throw a French Sunday lunch party one day when I am home in the States so everyone can experience this!

Later that afternoon we went on a walk up in the hills of Nyons and picked grapes off of the vines and ate them. It was pretty French, and a perfect way to end the afternoon!

Fairytale land!

Me being FRENCH holla! bonjourrrr

 

Saturday we decided to go to Montelimar and see Mika for the night. I’m not sure what was going on, but apparently there was this HUGE festival/party/THING going on in Nyons and Montelimar called Telethon. In Nyons there was karaoke and wine tasting (?????), in Montelimar they turned the city center into a tropical paradise. To each their own I suppose haha.

Whatup Montelimar Beach in December????

BEACH BUNGALOW!

Sun shines so bright, I wear my shades at night... Montelimar Stylez

We also went to a sweet art museum with an exhibit on Cathelin, which was the style of art that I love. I wanted to steal all of his paintings and hang them up in my apartment. Instead, I settled for some postcards I’m going to frame and hang up in my house in America some day.

so pretty! want to steal!

I also made it my goal to find all the awkward chairs in Montelimar and sit in them. Mission accomplished. And Hannah, I’d just like to say that the chairs themselves are awkward, I was not trying to be awkward in normal chairs. I know you are thinking that, haha.

maj awk

It looks normal but ZING its not. GOTCHA!

Also there was a random marching band wandering the streets…

Why are you here????

A random bike race…

Tour de Montelimar!

Basically Montelimar was a happenin’ place this weekend!

Also, if you want to send me some mail (which I would totally LOVE) send it to:

Meaghan Dill

FJT Constantin

36 Avenue Paul Laurens

26110 Nyons, France

 

WHEW SORRY THIS IS SO LONG I just love TYPING sldkfjsaklsd;fakdjakldkajlkaks

Sending Christmas love across the Atlantic!

Meaghan

It’s OK, we do this in America


If you’ve never been to France, well one in my opinion that needs to change, and two you are seriously missing out on the comic relief that is French people dancing. When I studied abroad I went to the disco once and I ended up with some great photos of the French people in the background, like this:

He's got moves illegal in most countries

Just to illustrate what I’m talking about further, watch this video I found on youtube…

Alright so moral of the story is here is that French people dancing is one of my most favorite things. On Friday, Stephanie and I decided to go out after going to a game night with some weird old people (I’m talking Dungeons and Dragons) who all smelled like b.o. and/or alcohol. When we arrive at our favorite place, La Ruelle, we run into the son of one of the English teachers at the high school who is super nice. Anyways everyone is having a good time talking and dancing bla bla bla being social butterflies when around 2am I decide that it is time for me to start dancing. I inform the DJ that he needs to start playing some good music so I can get my groove on. The logic that I was deluding myself with was that French people are funny dancers so therefore I will look awesome doing whatever I want to do.

Generally when I start thinking along those lines, I embarass myself. A lot. Beer in hand I’m on the dancefloor grooving (I’m talking about busting out the snaps, some crazy arm movements, basically things that are generally embarassing and socially unacceptable) having a blast, yelling ” AUX ÉTATS-UNIS, ON FAIT ÇA!” translated to, “don’t worry, in the US we do this.” Awesome logic, except that its simply not true. My belief in that I was super embarassing was confirmed when I walked in last night and the bartender said, “you are a really good dancer” and then walked away laughing.

Ever heard the song, “I Can’t Dance” by LMFAO? Well listen to it because thats basically what went down on Friday night…Although this song is LMFAO so if you have sensitve ears I will tell you to maybe skip out on this one. 

Other than embarassing myself with my awesome dance moves, or lack there of, not a whole lot has been going on here soooooo FOOD UPDATE!!!!! yayyyyyy food!!!

I’m calling my 8 months here my cultivation of cooking gourmand on a stove. That doesn’t really  make sense but you know what I mean. Anyways I don’t have an oven so basically everything I make is made on the stove. I was pretty scared at first but now I’m pretty sure I’m about to Iron Chef level of awesomeness on stove cooking. My favorite meal that I’ve been making is Coq au Vin and it is super awesome. I have also eaten some other awesome things while here. In Marseille I had bouillabaisse which is a regional specialty: seafood soup. Basically they take a bunch of fish and shellfish and throw it in a pot and are like here it is ya’ll! It was heavenly. I love seafood so it was probably one of the best meals I’ve ever had in my life.

Another regional specialty, in Nyons, is the olives. I eat so many olives all the time. I can’t not buy them! If you can, look for Nyons Black Olives back in the states. They are like 80000x better than any other olives eva so get on it. In fact, I’m going to snack on some I bought today while I finish this post.

YUMMMMMMMMMMM

Our olive oil is also famous and pretty good, I went olive oil/olive tasting the other day at our town’s co-op. By that I mean I suspiciously loitered around the olive bowls at the co-op eating as many as possible before the workers got mad at me. Anyways we are SUPER famous for our wine here. Not Nyons specifically but this area. Cotes du Rhône is the type of wine made here and it is awesome. Before I came to this part of the country I did not like red wine. Merlot, and Burgundies were just too heavy for me. However, I am a total red wine convert and am madly in love with Cotes du Rhône wine. This is my favorite:

Wine makes everything better. Except a hangover.

This one was made here in town or like somewhere near here. Also I have been eating quite a bit of pastries and bread here. The bread is divine and I don’t know how I’m going to survive without it when I get back to America. The pastries are also baller. France has the best pastries eva hands down. This was a rose macarron with raspberry filling and cream filling and raspberries. Describing it in werdz does not do it justice:

Jealous?

I felt guilty eating it. THAT GOOD.

Well that sounds about it! This coming weekend I’m going to visit Mika in Montelimar, where she lives about an hour away by car. Its signifigantly bigger than Nyons so hopefully it will fulfill all of my hopez and dreamz. Actually, I’m just excited because it has an Irish pub and a movie theatre that is playing Contaigon. The weekend after that I am going to Grenoble to hang out with some girls that I know so yayyy for travel and friends!!!!

Have a wonderful week!!!

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