Thursday, February 24, 2011


The time has come! After much trouble and 16 tickets later, I am on my way to Spain!!!!!
Sixteen Tickets for Limoges to Saint Sebastian, to Madrid, to Barcelona, to Toulose, and back to Limoges. Adventure? I think so!

This week was pretty laid back at school. We had a test in my Techniques d'expression class that was unexpected, but hopefully I did well. No other news in the world of school. It hasn't been too exciting lately.

I was very proud of myself because I went to the train station and bought all the tickets for when Kara comes to visit me. We are going to go to Lyon and hopefully see Mont Blanc, visit a friend in Strasbourg, Andre, who I went to school with since forever and we both went to high school with him, and then spend the weekend in Paris! I ordered all the tickets in French, with times, dates, location, everything. Numbers and time confuse me a lot (since time is military time) and I did it all! I felt on top of the world!

I am very excited for Spain, but a little scared. I'm only scared because I am afraid to get lost with just us 3 girls. However, I am sure Kelly could take anyone down if they tried to mess with us. We leave tomorrow and go to Saint Sebastian. It's on the northern coast of Spain and is supposed to be beautiful. We spend two nights there and then go to Madrid. We have to go see the soccer stadium because it is supposed to be the BIG thing. Two nights there and on to Barcelona! We have three nights there. My goal for this trip: Jump into the ocean in Saint Sebastian and Barcelona! Our hostels are not far from the beach, so why not? Who cares that it is maybe 50 degrees outside, and the water will be, oh, freaking cold! I just think it will be fun! How many times will I be able to say I swam in the ocean in Barcelona? For me, probably only once so I am doing it! After three nights there we will head back on Saturday to Limoges in the most round-about trip possible. We have a night in Toulouse and then come back late Sunday! It should be quite the adventure. Look for lots of pictures and fun stories!

Here are some pictures from when Kelli and I cooked Lelani some Mexican food. Okay, just quesadillas, but still! In France, that is Mexican enough for me!

Kelli was definitely the chef. I grated some cheese and tried to spice up the guacamole and that is about it. Actually, that is it!

Thank goodness for Old El Paso! However, the "queso" and salsa are not quite as good as home!

Finished meal!

Me and my Dr. Pepper! It was amazing, and probably because I hadn't had one in two months!
Here is also a picture from when all of us went ice skating in Limoges.
From left: Kelli, Klara, Ebony, Martina, Jacques, Lucas, Me.
One last thing before I head off to finish packing for Spain!

*HaPpY bIrThDaY tO mY SiStEr, DiEaDra!* Yes, it is on Sunday, but I will be in Spain having a tapas for her!


Sunday, February 20, 2011

Five Days Until Winter Break!

I am feeling much better! My throat is not near as sore. I don't have much of a voice, but I can breathe most of the time and my cough is much less annoying :) After a night of no sleep because I was coughing so much, I decided to fill my prescriptions for the cough medicine and nose spray. I even found some "Strepsils" which are basically coughdrops but they are menthol and that clears me right up!

Friday I had my first exam in  my translation class. We had to translate a piece of literature from English to French. For whatever reason that type of translation is much more difficult for me. I feel that I did okay but there were quite a few words I didn't know. I made a list of them and looked them up so now I know them! I also did a load of laundry and watched some episodes of "The OC". My oldest addiction is back now. I love that show! I only brought the first two seasons with me and I have a feeling someone is going to be mailing me the ones I left. 

Saturday I hung out with Kelli and Lelani. We were going to make "Mexican" food for Lelani, make cupcakes, watch movies, and just hang out. We went to another Carrefour that was EVEN BIGGER than the other ones! It's like every other week there is a bigger Carrefour I discover! In all seriousness, this one really was like the Wal-Mart back home. It was gorgeous and wonderful. I love Carrefour! They had an international aisle where they had (gasp!) DR. PEPPER!!!! Take a breath and wait for this one...PEANUT BUTTER!!!!! You don't even have to ask. Yes, I got both! The Dr. Pepper was the same and it was wonderful. The peanut butter is the same but it is Skippy brand and I prefer Jif. However, I am not going to complain because my breakfast of apples and peanut butter was the best thing this morning!

We tried to make some cupcakes and icing from scratch. We needed powered sugar and it was nowhere to be found! For everyone's reference in France who needs it, it is called "sucre glace". It only took 2 Americans and 1 South African five minutes to find it. No big deal :) We got guacamole, chicken, cheese, tortillas, and salsa to make quesadillas, Kelli's favorite meal. They were very good! Not quite like my mom's but a good second place! The cupcakes turned out...interesting. I didn't think they were that bad, but Lelani thought they were awful. It wasn't very fluffy, more like "thick cake" cupcakes. It wasn't bad, but not like the delicious mastepieces I make either. We watched Gulliver's Travels and "Life as You Know It" which were both good movies. We then chitchatted and I attempted to learn how to French braid....

Sunday I went the the Limoges Ice Skating Rink with Jacques, Lucas, Kelli, Ebony, Martina, and Klara. It was the hopping place and I'm not surprised since 95% of things are closed on Sunday in Limoges. It was a fun afternoon. Sticking seven people into Jacques' small car was also a fun time. I don't think we could do that again if we tried. I also cleaned my room. It gets so freaking dusty and annoying so I "Swiffer" dusted the floors and "Swiffer" mopped the floors. It feels so much cleaner. I have homework I need to take care of and then that is it for my night!

Five days until Spain! Turns out, because we didn't book our night train from Barcelona to Limoges in time, that it was all booked! The way we are taking to get back is crazy! We are leaving Barcelona, going to Figueres, then to Narbonne, and then to Toulose. Since we have to stop in Toulose anyway we may as well sight see, right? We are staying a night and day there and will come back on Sunday with a direct train. I think the people at SNCF (train station) probably hate us because we were so complicated. Oh well! I need to Google Figueres and Narbonne because I have never even heard of those places! Hopefully the train station is exciting because that is obviously all I am going to see!

This week I am also going to see a film that UniLim is offering free to students. It's called "Pauline et Francois" and it's on Tuesday. I'm sure I might be a bit lost because it will be all in French, but I bet I can handle most of it! Have a good week everyone!


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Exciting News!!

Hello lovely blog followers! What's been new?! I've been quite disappointed that I missed "SnOklahoma" but I guess being in France is a fair trade :)

I hope everyone had a good Valentine's Day. Mine was spent in my bed, sleeping 80% of the day trying to get rid of what I think is strep throat. Each year around this time I get this wonderful sickness, and after a Z-Pack, I am as good as new. According to the French, I don't think they know what strep throat is! I went to the campus medical place on Tuesday just hoping to get medicine to help it go away. What an experience that was. Yes, I know enough French to communicate but when you start talking about medical problems it is a bit different! She checked out my throat and listened to my breathing, and decided I needed ibuprofen, nasal spray, and cough medicine. I decided to save my money and self-medicate with alka-seltzer, hot tea, tylenol, and allergy medicine. I feel much better today than I have the past two days, but I still don't feel wonderful. This is one of the times I wish I was at home with my mommy to bring me Sonic corndogs and a Sprite!

In other news, I found out that my best friend, Kara, is going to come visit me for her Spring Break! I am so very excited to see her! I am living with her next year and we Skype all the time, but it is so hard being without your best friend! I tell her all these things and now she will get to experience them! It's the same with my family, who is coming in April, but there are only so many things you can do with your mom and sister than you can do with your best friend, too! ;) It will be very fun!

At the end of February UniLim has the winter vacation! It is a 9 day break from everything, and I am going to SPAIN!!! Never in my life would I think I would get to go to Spain! I am going with Kelli, the girl from OSU, and Klara, the girl from the Czech Republic. We bought our train tickets today and booked our hostels. Our train leaves Limoges at 6:11 am and the buses don't start running until 6, so we conned Samy into taking us and we said we would buy him dinner! We are going from Limoges to San Sebastian, there to Madrid, and then to Barcelona! I feel like I am spending a lot of money on this trip, but in reality, it is so cheap compared to if I were coming from the US. We found all of our hostels for under 20 euro (who knows yet if that is a good or bad thing!) and even bought a little Spanish phrase book! We already decided we need maps, metro/bus/tram schedules printed out, and a trip to Carrefour to get snacks! If I learn one thing while studying abroad, it is going to be how to pack light! My family will not know what to do with me when they see how I pack somethings! I have a feeling this trip is going to be so very fun and very, very interesting. Three girls in Spain, yes, scary, but we can do it! I'm also exciting about our train from Barcelona to Limoges. It is a night train and will be perfect for 7.5 hours of sleep after a week of fun in Spain!

I think that is all for now! Spain in 8 days and counting.....


Saturday, February 12, 2011

Oh, Bordeaux..

Bordeaux was the weekend of my life. I cannot believe how beautiful it was and it wasn’t even springtime. One major difference I have noticed between France and the US is that France has beautiful architecture. There is absolutely no reason to have a train station that is ornate and pretty, or steel decoration on windows and doors but they do! It makes a simple building ten times better. The US cares about quickness, height, and space, while France has no problem building out instead of up, and building pretty instead of ugly! Granted, a lot of things were built hundreds of years ago, but still. Even the modern stuff keeps to tradition. It is simply beautiful.
The group that went was quite “the” group! We had 2 South Africans, 4 Americans, 2 English, 1 Chinese, and 1 Taiwanese. Everywhere we went I am SURE the people hated us. We left Friday morning with only our backpacks and purses (yes, believe it or not, I did pack light J) to catch the train. We all sat together and the 2.5 hour ride began. Remember this for future reference: I had a list of things to see in Bordeaux because Jacques told us to make a list of what we wanted to do, and I was the only person who did.  Nothing too exciting happened on the train, but once we arrived in Bordeaux, the fun began.
We first began by exploring the city and seeing some churches and some of the main monuments. Count on my camera battery to not even last the whole day. Of course, who would have thought I would have needed my charger, but naturally I did! We went to St. Michel where we saw the second largest spire in France, behind Strasbourg. We ate lunch at a café and Jacques gave us a (bad) lesson in professional wine tasting. We found “La Grosse Cloche” which is a beautiful arch clock tower. I even saw a wig shop for my Nana and found the name of what my wine shop will be named: “Wine More Time”. How cute is that!  We continued on and found St. Andre which was beautiful on the outside and had a tower on the outside that you could climb. It is called “La Tour Pey-Berland” and had a curving 231 steps up. Cardio for the weekend: Check. It was terrible to get up and down it, but SO worth the view of Bordeaux from the top! Absolutely beautiful. We weren’t in quite the direct center of the city but you could see for miles in every direction. Fabulous. I even sat on one of the things to try to be a gargoyle like the cement, but I don’t think I succeeded at that very well. Afterwards we sat at “Le Café Francais” (tres chic!) and had coffee and later some wine. Hours later, after grabbing some more wine and dinner, we headed to our hotel…A whopping forever and five days away!
L’Etoile Bleu turned out to be a scene out of a horror movie. Right off the highway, dark, and like three cars in the parking lot. It really wasn’t that scary and it was perfect for sleeping but I definitely wouldn’t hike my way back there again just because it was so far away from everything! We made a picnic in the lawn and had French cheese and baguette and played many fun games! Turns out, we were too loud and needed to move, so we started some dancing lessons and more games on the patio of our hotel. It was quite the successful night, but after too many hours, it was time to sleep.
 Saturday morning came bright and early, and Jacques was a little too happy waking everyone up for grumpy Miss Teryn. We were supposed to go to a wine tour (that hadn’t been booked yet) and get lunch and see more of Bordeaux. Of course, with 12 people, “Be ready in 15 minutes” really means be ready in 45. Finally we made it back out and couldn’t find the Tourism office to get to our wine tour, and the ones they offered were beyond expensive. We decided to see more sights and just go to a “Cave du vin” and try different wines. It’s basically a wine restaurant where one can do tastings of the wine from all over. After sitting for more than a few hours, we ventured out to find a place for dinner and go to an Irish pub. The number one thing I am going to miss about France: the bread! The baguettes are extremely fresh, and it turns a simple ham and cheese sandwich into a masterpiece! We went to this Irish pub and played some games and watched an English soccer match. After we went into the center of town again and found another small bar where I met a bartender who dated a girl from Oklahoma and he knew Boomer Sooner! Small world, huh? Of course, I took a picture! We decided to leave before the last bus so that we could make it back to our hotel; five hundred miles away ;)

Sunday was pretty low key. We got up and went to lunch. Jacques was determined to have KFC because he loves it and there isn’t one in Limoges. Surprisingly, it was the best meal I ate that weekend! Actually, it wasn’t but I guess it was just good to have something greasy and like home! We didn’t have too much time on Sunday because to go anywhere really big because our train was leaving at 6. We went back to the Fontaine des Girondins and took more pictures and then back along the river. It was a perfect day without a cloud in the sky and it was so nice to just walk along the river. We even saw some otter-looking things swimming and making their way up the mud to eat. We sat outside a café and had crepes and coffee when I got the brilliant idea to spell out Bordeaux with our bodies! I am quite the creative genius and I am pretty sure the other customers loved to watch the crazy tourists!
After two fun-filled days, it was time to say goodbye to Bordeaux. It was such a nice place and I am definitely going back because I want to visit a winery and see it all when it is blooming and the fountains are on. Plus, with it only being 2.5 hours away, why not?!
In other news, classes are going well. I have my first exam in the Translation course this coming Friday. I will translate something from English to French with one a one language dictionary. Wish me luck! I feel that my French is progressing. It is easier for me to make conversation, and I feel that my comprehension is getting a lot better as well. I still don’t understand everything, but I am understanding more and that makes me happy J On Thursday night, I went to this restaurant called “Raconte-moi une histoire” where I learned how to make crepes and the traditional French meal, blanquette de veau. It took a long time but it was SO worth the wait. Rice, vegetables, veal, carrots, caramelized onions, sautéed mushrooms, fabulous sauce, and just all together amazing! It was fun! Friday I went with Klara and Martina (the 2 Czech girls) and Kristen to this fresh, local market called “Saveurs Fermieres” that had wine, fruit, nuts, fresh meat, jams, honey, coffee, breads, cheese, a ton of things that were all local. We bought some cheese with dried tomatoes, onions, and basil with a baguette and sat in a park and ate it and spoke French. C’est la vie! It was perfect and very fun. It was a nice afternoon and a great way to start off the weekend!
Tonight is Martina’s birthday so I am going to go help her celebrate and then tomorrow and I am resting up, doing homework, finishing a scholarship, and cleaning my room. For some reason, my room gets so dusty and it is highly annoying. In two weeks I have my first week long break and I am thinking Spain. I want to go somewhere that I cannot go on a weekend and I would also like to go outside of France. I guess I’ll research that as well for tomorrow.
Everyone have a happy Valentine’s Day! My mom sent me the best care package with a Cosmo, jean skirt, homemade cookies (yuuuuummm!) and some “flowers” to decorate my desk. It was so nice and made my day. She’s the best!


Thursday, February 3, 2011


Bordeaux, Bordeaux, it's off to drink wine I go!

Happy early birthday to my mommy on Sunday! I think this is the first birthday that I won't be with her! Sad day! I'll celebrate with some wine for her!

Today was good overall. I've been sick to my stomach all day today and so I did not want to go to class. It was an ugly day: rainy, not too cold, but like a weird rain mist-drizzle thing. It was annoying.

Yesterday I spent the day with Lelani. We vented about life and then cleaned her car! I have never in my life seen a girl wash a car in high heels. Enter Lelani! We did quite a good job I must say. She then took me to a "Salon du The" which has TONS of teas to choose from and you just sit there and talk and drink your tea. It was so nice and relaxing. I had a tea called "jardin des poetes" that had strawberry, peach, and something else. It was very nice. Lelani's reminded me a bit of Robitussin, so I wouldn't ever order it, but it was good; just a different flavor than what I prefer.

We then went back to her "flat" and Tros showed me their wedding pictures and videos. I now feel like I was there! Lelani and I (mostly Lelani) made dinner and Jacques joined us. We had steaks, green beans, sweet carrots, and potatoes. For dessert we had hot chocolate and some kinder candy things. It was a very good meal and I enjoyed doing it.

That's all that's been happening. I cannot wait to tell you all about Bordeaux. Jacques swears it will be the "best trip ever", but I'm not quite setting my hopes that high. We shall see!


Wednesday, February 2, 2011

I ate snails...

Whoo hoo! I am up to four followers on my blog! Thank you, followers, for now I feel so special! Somehow I became of follower of my blog and I don't know how to not become one. It is weird. Oh well!

The rugby match on Sunday was great! Limoges won, and there was a lot of tension and fights (some more intense than others) that made for a good game! It was SO very cold outside though, and by the end of the game, no one could feel their feet!

This week has gone by so fast! Yes, it is only Wednesday, but still! Monday's classes were good. In my "pratique de l'oral" class we do these things called "Coup de coeur" and "Coup de guele". It's basically like a good thing and a bad thing. My good thing: I have been speaking lots of French with some new friends in my dorms. The bad thing: I think it would be cool to babysit while I am here, but I haven't found much info on it yet. So tell me, what are your "Coup de coeur" and "coup de guele"? We also did a "piece de theatre" that had to deal with situations with neighbors. It was my 30th birthday and I was having a party, my neighbor was upset, but eventually we got her to join the party. It was fun. In my societe francaise class we kept talking about the education system. It is different from the US and it confuses me, but I guess it works for the French. In the French system there are so many levels of "degrees" and tests for certain ages and it is just odd compared to the US. There are also two movies out, "La journee de la jupe" and "entre les murs" that are about different teaching styles. I want to watch them both. They look interesting.

Tuesday's classes were good and afterwards Kristen, Ebony, Jacques and I went to eat at this wonderful French place! Beforehand, Kristen and I were sitting in class and discussing how much we did not want to have soup, a sandwich, or cook something, and how we don't like finishing with class at 6:30 and just going to our rooms. We wanted to do something, anything! Jacques was the lucky taker on his willingness to drive us. The restaurant was called "Le Bistrot Gourmand" and it was the best food I have eaten since I have been here. Save for the crème brûlée  at La Bibliotheque. Everyone hold your breath and let this blow your mind:

I ate escargot. Snails. And I liked it. :)

It was surprisingly good. Jacques told us the ones we had weren't that good, but they were good to me. There wasn't much flavor in them, but they came out in a little dish with oils and herbs that was great with bread. I still can't believe I actually ate it. For my meal I had something that had egg, ham, cheese and some other vegetable stuff with pasta. It was SO good. This is where I am taking my family when they come for their first meal. The wine wasn't bad either. :)

Naturally, this little outing took us four hours. I am beginning to learn that is just how it works over here. No one is rushed and meals are used as a socialization method and it is nice. I like it. We talk about the most random things, but the conversation never stops. Kristen told about this house that is haunted in her hometown, so I made a plan to go visit her in Louisiana and go see it. It sounded creepy and we all know how much I hate haunted houses.

Today I got my first eyebrow waxing done by the French. Don't get too excited; it was no different than the American way. I have lots of homework I need to do today and I might go to the big Carrefour with the other girls.

Tell me this, Oklahomans: I was talking with Lelani a couple weekends back about what South Africa is "marked" by and known for, and she asked me about Oklahoma. She said, "I know you deep fry everything, but really, what is Oklahoma known for?" Good question, and I've been thinking about it ever since. Of course, if you are a collegiate, you say "Oklahoma football", if you are stereotypical, you say "Cowboys, teepees, and Indians" and if you are clueless, I'm not sure what you would say. Really though, what is Oklahoma known for?! Wheat? The invention of the parking meter?! It has to be something better than that!

Ponder that thought and get back to me :)