Sunday, February 25, 2007

Winter Break!

Hello All! Thought I would FINALLY post a fun photo entry with a quick reprise of this past week which I spent on VACATION. I was very pleased to have been visited by my parents and Jesse. They managed to find me in Rennes, and we started out by visiting the marche les lices, where we bought some fresh food and generally enjoyed walking around and looking at and listening to French people and culture.

(Le Marche les lices: fishmonger)

This was followed by an afternoon trip to Le Mont St Michel, famous French village and cathedral that sits atop a rock surrounded by quicksand and water - if you're there too late the tide comes in and you're stranded! (We were advised not to leave our car in the parking lot past 6pm as it would be 'covered by the sea' at that point!)Jesse made the most of it by imitating Monty Python.

"Your mother was a hamster and your mother smelt of elderberries!"

The next morning, after church, we headed off for the Loire Valley, home of numerous famous French chateaux (aka castles or palaces). Our first stop was the city of Blois, where we stayed the night in the "Tour Hotel" (decorated in purple and pink) and visited the Chateau Blois. Interesting thing about the chateau here: 4 distinctly different kinds of architecture. This is the entrance. Check out the king on the horse!

Tour Hotel

Chateau de Blois


Fam atop the chateau:

And the number one biggest attraction: The Blois Buffalo Grill, where we met special characters Bill and Plume.

And on to gay Paris...

I'm going admit, I just like this picture because it is so French and I took it. We walked around the base of the Eiffel Tower, but it was a clear day and the lines were just TOO long to try! So instead we walked the Champs Elysees and found a lovely pizzaria in which to eat..yum.

We also visited the lovely Musee d'Orsay to see our impressionist buddies. Below you can see two Monet paintings, one of the cathedral we visited in Rouen and one of his garden and water lilies, also a place we visited in 2005. The stained glass is the inside of Ste Chapelle, probably the most famous stained glass chapel in the world. It was amazing..and cold.

The next day we were up and took the train outside of the city to the palace of Versailles, which could be called a city in itself really. The grounds, as we found out first hand, are very very extensive. Below is a picture of the chapel decorated as it would be during the reign of Louis XIV the famous "Sun King". Gold leafing was everywhere, not to mention pictures of Roman gods. It's one of those things that simultaneously causes your jaw to drop and wonder how people could possibly live in those conditions when those around them had nothing to eat.

(On the left are some of Marie Antoinette's gardens)

That night we rushed back to the Sacre Coeur, the church atop Montmartre, where the service for Ash Wednesday was happening. I was lucky enough to be able to meet up with some students from North Park who are currently studying in Paris as well. We had a terriffic time after the service eating at what my family affectionatley call's "Muhammed's Cafe". You will want to reference my post from Africa 'the Journey Home' to best understand the significance of Muhammed and his cafe.

The next morning, my family left for the United States and I, well I flew to Britain! A friend of mine who lives across the hall from me, Becky, invited me to stay with her at her house in Staffordshire, where besides being made fun of for my American accent and eating Yorkshire puddings, I got the opportunity to visit Warwick (pronounced 'Warick') Castle and historic Stafford. Here is a picture of Becky and I roaming about the English countryside Elizabeth Bennett style. Sometimes I think Becky could pass for Elizabeth Bennet.

And that's, summarily, it. I have loads and loads more pictures to show you and stories to tell you when I get home, but as for right now, I need to go to bed, classes start again in the morning and I have homework!!

Love to you all, Amanda


Mom said...

Your St. Malo pics came through to me, but not the winter break ones! ;(
Can you try a different posting? Maybe it's just my computer-- I'll have Jess check it out. Thanks for trying. I don't know the problem here. We're jinxed.
love you,

Mom said...

Yea!It's all there now! Whooppee!

Christine Lee said...

Nice pics! Indeed, Becky could pass for Elisabeth Bennett. Good call.

P.S. Just so you know, I have a Trucker Gang ringtone now... so whenever you, Matt, or Al call my cell phone, it's going to ring with a clip from "Mood Rings". :) I had a hard time selecting just ONE Relient K song.

Keep having FUN IN FRANCE! Without me! :) P.S. Pick me up my own Etienne, okay? :D

Christine Lee said...

By the way, I forgot to mention... I got your postcard and it made my day! :) Thanks, buddy! I love maaiiiilllll.... <3 miss you

Adrienne and Brooks said...

This looked like a wonderful time. Reminds us of the fun we had abroad and our fun trip with you, Jesse, Bo and DeeDee in the Swiss Alps. Take Care! Love, the fam

Marie-Florence, age 3 said...

That's Amanda's photo. I like her.