Montmartre – Fête des Vendanges

Did you know that there’s a small vineyard in Paris? It’s in the most charming quartier of Paris (in my opinion), Montmartre.

Every October, the grapes are harvested, and while they’re at it, they throw a big party for an entire weekend. I decided to check it out on a whim, and found it to be so worth the crowds and the hike up the hill! Tons of food stands are set up around Sacré Coeur selling artesianal cheese, dozens of types of sausage, all varieties of regional wines, and even some ethnic food. My friends and I bought a HUGE bottle of homemade Sangria for 5 euro, which we split among ourselves, and I enjoyed a sausage in a baguette topped with grilled onions and peppers. We found a nice little spot on the steps in front of the basilica, ate our delicious meal, and then watched the firework show! I think it’s so great that drinking a few glasses of wine “in the streets” is perfectly acceptable here, it makes having a great time with friends that much easier.

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Transitioning – Late Nights and Soirées

As I’m debating whether or not I want to spend 50 Euros on a one-day pass to Pitchfork music festival, I decided to compose a blog post on last weekend. It was a weekend full of much social-butterlying (I just made up that word), which is quite a refreshing change from all the sight-seeing I’ve been doing for the past month and a half. It’s like I’m actually living here now, not just visiting. About time! Since I am, in fact, living here.

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Cathedral Light

Since I simply can’t keep my blog posts caught up with my crazy schedule, I’ve decided to organize my posts by place or theme!

Today I want to share with you the beauty of light in Gothic cathedrals. The majority of these pictures are from Sainte Chapelle, but a few are from Notre Dame. If you happen to visit a Gothic cathedral at the correct time of day, when the sun is low enough in the sky to create golden light with long shadows, you’re in for a treat. I tried my best to capture the glow of it, but nothing substitutes actually being there.

The past two weeks I was lucky enough to have two visitors: My mom and my grandma! I showed them around the city, and pretty much checked everything off their Paris To-See lists. I felt like a pretty adept mock-tour-guide!

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First Few Days in Paris

I’ve been here in Paris for one week! That feels a little surreal to say. My first few days were… how can I put this… actually quite horrible. I had multiple anxiety attacks, cried everyday, and seriously thought that coming to Paris was a SERIOUS mistake. Anybody who says that studying abroad is amazing and wonderful has left out a big part: culture shock, missing home, and feeling seriously overwhelmed. Apparently, though, feeling all of this is completely normal. Anybody who is considering studying abroad, listen up! Organize as many things as possible before your departure! Any decrease in stress is well worth the effort!! Even after a week I still find myself wondering if I should have just stayed home and instead saved up money and gone on a long vacation to Paris. Seriously consider if you want to take the enormous time and effort it requires to live in a foreign country, it is not for the faint of heart.

I’m happy to say, however, that within 3 more days, the anxiety has almost disappeared, and I am happy to be here!

I’ve been so busy the past week I haven’t had time to come to Starbucks (Free Wifi), and upload photos. I have a feeling that blogging from now on will consist of 3 posts in one day covering my previous week, because of wifi (it’s a loooong, boring story).

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How to Pack Part DEUX: pre-packing and planning

This is part {DEUX} of my How to Pack series! Part {UN} can be found here, and is all about having a consistent color palette. This time, I’ll be sharing some tips that will prevent some of the stress you’ll be feeling on the departure day.

Since my departure is exactly one week away, I thought I’d get a head start on packing. Here are some important things to pack for very long trips! I suggest packing these a week to three days before your departure.

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Pondering Paris

The last week and a half I can’t stop thinking, pondering, and obsessing about Paris in the Fall. I lay awake at night, as I’m supposed to be getting much-needed sleep, coming up with scenarios in my head, such as – searching for an apartment, ordering a crepe, finding my favorite boulangerie, taking art history classes in French, and the list goes on. I’ve even spent a significant amount of time exploring the streets of Paris via Google Maps street view. I’ve been researching like crazy for advice on studying abroad, and brainstorming ways to save up money. If you’re wondering where in the world I’ve been the last two weeks – this is what I’ve been doing.

This Fall, I will have the chance to live in a new country. I’ll be there for five months, I’ll rent a tiny closet-sized apartment (shared toilet down the hall), I’ll be an English tutor part time, and I’ll study art history in the company of the best museums in the world. I almost can’t believe it’s going to happen – It still feels surreal.

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