Sunday, December 5, 2010


I'm a forgiving person,
I will eventually forgive
For once you'll have to earn it
My friend says the Bible says to forgive
because Jesus forgave;
I do not care what the Bible says,
I can't keep giving away forgiveness
like it's candy
And today is Halloween
Just to anybody
I am always willing to forgive
But I hate when
People turn around
And seem to throw it in my face
But doesn't everybody do that?
I would hope so,
The problem, though, is that
Sometimes, when you forgive
People throw it in your face
Like cups of boiling water
And I find myself crumbling
My spirits sinking
And I end up hurt
Foolish enough to think that
Everybody deserves
An unconditional chance
But sometimes,
In some cases,
Forgiving the same person
For similar things
And they keep breaking my trust
Is an impossibility if I am to stay sane
My friend points out
Wouldn't I like the same?
To be forgiven
And loved unconditionally?
In this case, no
Even though, for most people
I am willing to forgive
And forgive
And forgive
I will do it a hundred million times over
Until it reaches the point
Where they no longer make an effort
To apologize or to show me
That my forgiveness
Means something
I can't...
handle that
And maybe that makes me completely selfish.
Even then, my friend says,
If you did something stupid,
wouldn't you want to be forgiven?
and loved still?
Yes, I say,
But usually I make an effort
To apologize
if i screw up massively
And want to be forgiven
Then I own up to it
I never just expect people to forgive me
And when people DO forgive me,
I still make an effort
To show them that I AM sorry
and that I do deserve to be forgiven.
Time will only tell
If I can forgive this time
I'll try to be patient,
But I'm not one for waiting
I want decisive answers
And I want honesty,
Even if it's not what I want to hear.
I may be as stubborn as a mule
But I know what I want
And what is right
What should and is supposed to happen.
And so, I wait.
I'll forgive you, one day,
Though it may not be that soon.


The text of this poem was taken from a conversation between me and a good friend; I turned it into a poem to protect their identity.

And if you know what this is about, kudos for that & thanks.

Anyway, later!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Novel Number Two

Hello, everybody!

It's DECEMBER again, which means that I haven't blogged in a few months!

Ha, not really (though it's true). December means that National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is over. Another novel, DONE. [Last year's blogpost about NaNo]

Well "done", as in it has 50,000 words. But this one... it's not FINISHED. I want it to be, and I won't neglect it this time. So, I've written two novels. Even though neither of them are finished, and I dislike the first one quite a bit, I feel accomplished. This year, I wrote a story that's been bouncing around in my head for a while, rather than a story I forced myself to write. It's a different feeling, and the journey to 50k was much more pleasant this time around. Despite everything else going on this month (COLLEGE APPLICATIONS, yikes!), I managed to complete the challenge once again, and I'm proud of that.

I'm not as surprised at finishing this year, having already done it. Not to say that the feeling is less than it was, but I suppose nothing is quite the same each time you do it. Like running a race for the first time... the emotions at the end are much more overwhelming than every subsequent time. It's not a bad transition, but it's an interesting contrast. I wrote a novel this month, sure, but it's only halfway complete. The story I want to tell is still lurking around the edges, building slowly. Too slowly sometimes. Hitting 50k wasn't surprising, it was expected. It was something I realized I could do, and something I needed to do for myself.

So... this year in comparison to last year.
1. This year, I was a LOT more active on the forums! I connected with people on the Elsewhere forums and those of my Home Region.
2. I attended (most) write-ins. I even helped set up a few, and dragged people into them with me, rather than people dragging ME into them! :D
3. I joined a Skype group of Nerdfighters (from the Nerdfighting & NaNoWriMo group on the Ning). These strangers, that live all over the world, word-warred with me all the time, and were a great support group. I feel like some of them are becoming really good friends of mine. A small group of us are going to collaborate on the Project for Awesome. I also met another nerdfighter in real life, and got to know a few of my own friends better.
4. The novel I wrote was fantasy, rather than realistic fiction. Last year, I tried out a completely new genre and kind of story, but this year, I stuck with the kind of story that I love to write.
5. I knew what my weaknesses were and tried to work on them. I'm TERRIBLE at dialogue, so this year, I tried to focus on making the dialogue stronger than last year.
6. My characters are largely unnamed. Last year, I found names easily, but this year... the characters exist independently of names, until I have the time to dedicate to finding the perfect names.
7. I did not have to write 5,000 words on the last day! I knew how to pace myself better, and even though I fell behind (I didn't write for five days), I was able to recover from that much quicker. I knew how to get my word count up and how to keep it moving.
8. My characters were better-developed this year. They have flaws, voices, and complicated histories. They aren't just right yet, but they're a lot closer than the characters from last year. They're more intriguing, and more independent than my characters from last year.
9. I loved my story. It was fun to write, and I honestly ENJOYED it. It wasn't an emotional test for me, because I was inventing something, rather than drawing entirely from my own emotions. The story was one that... moved, rather than staying stationary. (That probably doesn't make sense unless you're a writer.)
10. (Because this has to be an even number!) There are scenes in my novel this year that I LOVE. Words that I am proud of. The story I've written (so far) is one that I want to continue. I want to edit it and make it better, but more than anything, I truly want to finish it this time.

I've been collecting writing links and advice for the past month (unintentionally!), so I may write up a blog post sharing those soon. I may also share an excerpt from my novel, because I'm excited about it!

Once again, for the people that have helped me along this ride-- on the internet or in real life (text message or anything), THANK YOU SO MUCH! I honestly couldn't have done it without you.


Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Imagining Stories


I didn't intend to blog today, but I felt weird *not* blogging, so here I am again.

I swear that it must be much later on in the week. Thursday at best. My eyelids are sliding down and so am I, already partially asleep on the awkward corner of my bed that serves as my "homework area". What utter nonsense; I'm not accomplishing much because I'm so tired. I won't move, either. My legs protest. My mind protests, too.

It's nearing that time of year when I want to sit down in the woods with a notebook and write. A small breeze encircling me in my solitude as I engross myself in whatever story I happen to be composing, a world of paper and imaginary lines.

As I run through workouts (of course we had another one today), I muse about the world around me. My running buddies and my teammates; I wonder what goes through their minds? As I drive down the road exactly at the speed limit, what do the people in the cars around me think? I like to compose their stories and their thoughts in my head. Maybe they're anxious to be home, or maybe they're fleeing a place where they find themselves drained of energy. Either way, I speed up. Imagining people complexly.

I've been storing up a file of inspirational quotes and pictures, tidbits of randomness. I guess I've been collecting such things for a while, pictures on my computer, words in my falling-apart Moleskine (I need a new one, I carried mine with me every day for seven months and it is rather sad now). My newest portfolio, if you will, exists in OneNote. I keep looking for more to add, but I suppose, as with everything, you cannot look for specific types of things. For it to be truly inspiring, it should just... come to you. Sneak up on you from the middle of nowhere, tackling you to the ground. Or just whispering, "hey, you!" before floating away as you grasp at clouds.

Is it November yet? I want to write a novel.

A demain!

Monday, September 20, 2010



Final day of my Blog Posting Month! I have a story to tell.

I generally don't think of myself as the type of person that actively seeks revenge. I confront problems, sure, but I am a very forgiving person. Unfortunately, I'm also a very determined person, and when I feel that an apology is necessary, I expect an apology. A week after the insult ("unintentional", but only in the sense that you can say something and make an opinion based on something that is offensive...), after the words of our teammate and the coach... an apology hadn't been given, and the plan was in motion.

The eggs sat, wrapped in bubble-wrap, inside a small cooler; this sat on the floor of my car since last Thursday, when the plan was supposed to happen but didn't. We left it there, waiting for the words that would signal our abandonment of the plan; they never came. The decision was made by practice today, and we continued to be patient, waiting until the end of practice to see if they would say anything. They didn't, of course, and we figured out how to ambush the select few (the order changed, since one of the guilty ones was not there).

While they were distracted by the requested babbling, we unpacked the eggs, clasping them in our hands, hidden behind our backs as we approached our respective targets. With a look, we brought justice down on their heads simultaneously, with the odor of stinky egg and the satisfying SPLAT of cracking eggs.

A demain!

P.S. Their reactions were great; only one understood our purpose, the others were quite upset. We'll see what they do. I don't care that much, because that sweet, sweet revenge was rather stinky. :)

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Pixie Sticks


Tomorrow is the final day of my daily blogging extravaganza. I'm excited. I now have written 70 posts on this blog, which is a nice total, though there will definitely be more.

At last, I have something interesting and relevant to blog about!

Today, I went to see The Tempest with my Shakespeare 101 class, plus some random friends. It was SO AWESOME! I might not have said this before, but I really love Shakespeare. That's predictable, of course, but since I've never read or seen "true" Shakespeare before, this is quite an experience. I spent so much time laughing, and the story is even more enchanting when it's performed on stage. I realized as I watched it that I have some completely unwitting Shakespeare references in things I've written before, which is insane. Or rather, if you look for them, you can find them... but I didn't know they were there, because I knew nothing of Shakespeare. It's interesting how that works out, despite how confusing that statement is.

Seeing The Tempest with my friends was amazing; we (being Molly, Alex, and I) had lunch at my house before we left (we packed Colin a lunch since he was late), but got lost several times on the way there due to the lag of the GPS. Technology... :( All of this was fun, and the experience was great. We all got FREE T-SHIRTS by signing up for the mailing list, which is okay because the t-shirt is AWESOME and I LOVE FREE STUFF, so I guess mail from NCShakes isn't bad, either. I'm so grateful to Mrs. Coates for giving us this opportunity.

I'm starting to realize that my area offers a lot more "culture" than I had previously assumed. Between Rock the Block and various other cultural festivals (including the North Carolina Shakespeare Festival), and other such things, we actually have a lot going on in our area. Unfortunately, such things only go on for a little while before leaving. But they still exist, and we still have the opportunity, if even for a day, to take part in something interesting.

So I guess the moral of the story is that 1. I like Shakespeare, 2. Plays are always awesome, and 3. My town is more awesome then I tend to believe.

A demain for the final NaBloPoMo post :)

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Pretzel Roll


Today was long run, homeworkhomeworkhomework, Rock the Block, and some time to talk to Frenchies.

What do you think of the slightly-altered blog design? Hopefully it isn't as hard to read now... I'm hoping that at some point I'll be able to get a more customized design, but I'm still controlling how it looks, so this is as good as it's getting! I can alter it again or do something different, but I am LAZY and it may take a while for me to get around to that.

It feels like fall. Though I just got new shorts and tank tops from Margaret (stolen from her Goodwill pile). Good timing?

I don't dress transitionally. I wear the clothes for the weather that I want to have, which is currently shorts and flip-flops, despite the discomfort from the cross-country blisters. The blisters are a result of the snazzy new socks we got to race in, but wearing them for seven miles ended up torturing my poor feet. I was doing so well, too!

Every day at practice, I realize how naked I feel without my running watch. I'm generally so obsessive over time that not having a watch annoys me to no end. Especially on days like today when there's a bit of a workout going on. A new watch is on my list again, but then again, my list of stuff I want (*feels so greedy*) is too long and I'm too broke.

As the weather gets cooler, I keep thinking about indoor and outdoor track and whether or not I want to participate in either. I'm not really a track person but I love spending time with my team (especially my best friends that are runners, because I won't see them otherwise and their presence in my life is very important to me). I'll be so busy! D: Thus, I'm putting off decision-making until it is absolutely necessary. Help? :/

Tomorrow is going to be fun-- Lunch with Alex, Colin, and Molly, and then we'll be going to see the Tempest. I love Shakespeare class, and this week we'll be starting the Taming of the Shrew; I have a feeling that I'll adore it. Unfortunately I have lots of work to do other than that. On the bright side, I don't have Business Law on Monday morning! :D

Now, more homework. Sociology. Whoops.

A demain!

Friday, September 17, 2010



I didn't end up blogging earlier, as I had planned to. I ended up reading for APUSH and then printing my "short personal statement" for the other scholarship. I was NEARLY late to school, but not quite! Success.

My computer is broken. The "A" key doesn't actually work, but thanks to a program that Colin told me about, I was able to change the setup of my keyboard so that my "Caps Lock" key is the "A". Gandalf is so very sad. He's falling apart! (Gandalf is my laptop; I name inanimate objects. Generally after nerdy things.)

I'm so glad it's Friday. I just want to take a nap and then NOT have any homework to do. This weekend will be me dying slowly as I am swallowed by piles of paper. No time for naps tonight! Football game to sell raffle tickets (fundraiser for cross-country) then senior girls sleepover. It will be awesome, though I'm sure we'll be completely out of it by 10.

I want to bake something this weekend. French toast, maybe, or gateau basque or macarons. Not sure. I just want a nap and food. That makes me sound like I have no ambition for this weekend. Mental health weekends don't exist, nor do mental health days. It'll be worth it, I suppose, but it is SO VERY tiring. All the time. I might just go take a nap now. That would be good.

A demain!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Banana Bread


Nothing really interesting to say; I'm quite a bit more well-rested now than the other day, since I got to sleep in a bit. That APUSH test wasn't as bad as I thought though some of it I had forgotten. *crosses fingers*

I need to go do another scholarship thing now. Not much homework today, relatively. It's sad when I think that nine pages of reading is a light homework night.

I had breakfast as Molly's today, just like last year. Banana bread. It made me miss Amdi, those October days when we would go to breakfast EVERY DAY last year. How ridiculous... besides, where did we find the money for that?! Good memories, though. Amdi will be back in December, which I haven't mentioned before.

Tomorrow I'll be hanging out with the senior ladies, selling raffle tickets and then hopefully a sleepover. Soexcited. I guess I'll have to write a post during my travel period in order to get that done.

Anyway, time to go now. I would really like to be in bed by 10:30, which sounds extraordinarily early.

A demain!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010



I tried to post via text message, but that failed epically. :(

Today was kind of bleh. Nothing extraordinary, as always. I didn't get my school's nomination for that scholarship-- it went to exactly who I thought it would. That's okay, though, I'll self-nominate which is lame... and I'm very proud of my friends who DID get the nominations.

The race today was better than I expected. I ran it like I would a tempo run (as did most of the team) but still managed to run faster than the previous race at this course. It was nice and relaxed, and for once I wasn't stressed out over the race. If I were to actually race and be that relaxed, I could probably do much better. Strange how that works.

I'm going to take a break from studying for my first AP US History test by writing this post. This seems counter-intuitive, but whatever. I'll be waking up early to study more for APUSH anyway, so I might as well write what I want to.

Something I've been thinking about lately is body image and the way that we each see ourselves. Beyond that, the way in which people we don't know that well perceive us based on our bodies or even the pieces of our personalities exposed during certain moments. We have a tendency to judge others; we don't do a very good job of "imagining them complexly" (as John Green would say).

My question is this: have you ever experienced body liberty? One moment in time where no one could judge you, where you are completely content with your body in both form and function. I would say that very few people actually have that moment, and even fewer can make that feeling last for an extended period of time.

Lately I've been struggling with my perception of what my body should be and what it is. For me, this is a result of my body insecurity following my time in France (oh, that food, again...), and the demands that cross-country places on my body. It's getting to the point again, or perhaps for the first time, where I've had that moment of body liberty and I am happy with my body. It's very comforting to me to reflect on that moment and pull that feeling into my daily life. Impossible, of course, but still a reminder.

The thing is that other people do not seem to realize how important this is to me. The throwaway comments of others, degrading their own bodies or insulting others bodies, frustrate me. I want to ask them about why they think so poorly of their own bodies (or others). And then, beyond that, when they make comments about people that they don't know very well, comments that hurt unintentionally... do you not realize that you aren't imaging them complexly?

The way you view somebody is related to their appearance and their personality. If you only see or understand facets of either part of a person, then do not judge. Think of your own body and your own flaws, the small bits of yourself that you reveal at certain points. Think of your own insecurity about your body and your soul; pause a minute and think of body liberty and the personality that is greater than what you initially see.

...That wasn't a very well put-together thought. Uhm. I hope you got my point; I was kind of pulling in two things that have been bothering me lately. One of those issues will be taken care of soon, which will be fun.

The person I appreciate today is Sean, for the non-nominee hug in the parking lot, despite his initial reluctance. xD

A demain!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Failed Crepes


I don't know what it is about cooking French cuisine that always has me stumped. It's crepes more than anything, but the inability to make crepes seems to only occur in the States. I am determined though, and one of these days I'll be successful. >.<

Today was less mind-numbing as yesterday, though once again I have too much to do. I'm working on various tasks at once, if that counts for anything. I'm surrounded by a field of paper, if textbooks, notebooks, binders, books, and my French pencil case all count as paper, the field being the dining room table or my bedroom floor. (Two very different places, however both seem to be disaster zones of Important Things.)

Tomorrow we're supposed to find out about that one scholarship. And then there's a cross-country race that afternoon, at a course that I'm not overly fond of. I'll survive, though I make no promises about my mental health after that point.

There are some topics I have yet to blog about that I want to tackle, but they don't really fit into the details of my life. I don't have time right now to sit down and organize my thoughts on the matter. Some of those are France-related, and others aren't.

I've got to go now; the field of paper is pushing back into my mind.

The person I appreciate the most today is Caroline. She's one of my freshman buddies, and is completely awesome. She had this great quote today as we were running after the French Club meeting (she and Molly are joining all the language clubs, and since today was a French Club meeting that lasted quite a while and involved food, we were quite stuffed when we got to practice 30 minutes late...), she said "I'm feelin' the craps! ... Crepes!". I died laughing :)

A demain!

Monday, September 13, 2010



So, I'm back from my awesome weekend in Wilmington!
I have a TON to do this week, which seems insane; I'm afraid that it might be worse than last week. I hope this gets better, though.

I'm rather mad about some of the things I've found out from people. I'm trying not to dwell on it, though there are definitely some issues that will need to be confronted in the (near) future. Grrr.

I'm sitting here in my room on the floor, surrounded by dirty clothes, homework, and the unfinished unpacking from this weekend. Not quite sure what to do with myself, though I know exactly what needs to be done. I've even got the textbooks open to where I need to be working, bookmarked by a reminder of other work that must be done. I'll take a break from all this, though, and share some snippets of what my weekend was like.

The car ride (rather than bus) on the way down was great fun; senior privileges created time with three of my best friends and Coach. So much laughter, but there was homework and napping tossed in the mix, too. The best part was Crom's dancing, and his subsequent surprise over the lyrics of a song from my iPod turning from cute to... suggestive... but in a cute way? I warned him that my music was weird, but I guess he gets the point now.

The run when we got there was hot and miserable. I barely made it through, and chugged Gatorade. Soon after the beach (still in running clothes) meant frolicking in the waves. Then came dinner, when traditions usually abound but we couldn't quite make it work. Several reasons involved, but most of it was sad. We (the girls) saved the tradition on the way back, so that ended alright, but still, a rather pathetic attempt on the guy's part. The food was quite good, and having a chance to talk to a couple guys whom I don't usually associate with was enlightening, if anything.

Saturday was waking up early, too early and too tired to want to move, but eating peanut butter bagels and trying not to be too sad while watching the news in the coaches' room, because I didn't want to wake up the other five girls in my room. Bus ride over to the school while it was still chilly, wishing that I could just take a nap, and talking probably too-loudly to Colin was an okay start to the day. The boys raced in the rain while we did drills and warmed up, the three of us girls in that race shifting anxiously and not quite sure how to do the cheer with three voices. We cheered anyway, but ended up chatting with our rival school. The sun came out with the heat, the race was tough but I improved (not quite as good as I want, yet), and then the rest of the team raced. We did well and I was proud of them, and continued to cheer on the last races of the day with Eva and Margaret. We were silly, but it paid off as our teammates smiled at us as they continued racing. Subway was brought by my mother for lunch, and then there were awards. We joked around, slightly making fun of the 6th-best-team-in-the-country while savoring the delicious water fountain water instead of the desalinated tap water from our hotel.

Then it was back to the hotel, homework keeping us from the beach for a while, before frolicking resumed and less deep but still quite interesting conversations happened. We dug holes, watching them fill with water before slinging the wet sand all over each others' feet. Exhausted, we headed back up to the hotel and took over the hot tub until the pizzas arrived. We were silly, empowered by the breaking of the rules of the hot tub (we're oh-so-rebellious), and then failed at keeping secrets.

Back to the room, then running around the hotel... back to the beach for dancing and socializing with the other teams there. We chatted some with a Homeland Security translator in the hotel lobby, so I finally got to practice some of my French. Finally, a treat from Cromwell with a good story to go with it, then once again, back to the hotel for our display of senior insanity. Sleep came late as we stayed up late but didn't regret why.

The next morning, we woke up just before Cromwell pounded on the door to let us know that we had to go run again. Dragging ourselves along the flat road going straight ahead, we realized just how tired and sore we were. Words were scarce and flat. A delicious breakfast from the hotel on strange plates, showers, cleaning, and then we were packed and leaving. My mother came and got me; we drove home, stopping for gas, pizza, and driving through Raleigh before getting confused on the highways and making it home.

And now it's the week again, and the Wilmington trip is over. Back to mundane life with too much to do and so little sleep.

A demain!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Still Not Food-Named


I hope you survived that beast of a post yesterday. It took me three or so months to write it, so I sure hope you managed to make it through. It wasn't very heavy on writing, though, so hopefully it was faster for you to look through it than for me to write it and add in all those pictures!

I will be back tomorrow with your regularly-scheduled food-titled blogs.

For today, I'll share a list with you. (Lists seem to be my default post.)

1. My friends. Gah, so much love, so much awesome. Vous me manquez toujours, mes amis français. La bande surtout! <3
2. The food. Especially the pastries. I've also been craving some crepes for a few weeks now, ever since I got my crepe spatula. I haven't yet gotten a chance to use it, but I want crepes. And brioche.
3. The language. This one is obvious. I miss hearing French every day, surrounding me in this bubble of confusingly different accents and those few words that I don't fully understand. I miss walking down the street and only catching snatches of conversation that mix and entwine that I can't fully understand the meaning of.
4. Bordeaux. My favorite city. Hanging out with Jeveta and Any, having adventures and getting lost in the countryside. Eating McDonalds far too often, and laughing uproariously at the opera music in that one McDo. The cows and the Garonne and the blackened buildings from the pollution of the city.
5. The Mediterranean. The clear, azure blue water and the striking shoreline that changes so quickly. The lack of animals, the water the just-right temperature, and that cloudless sky.
6. La glace. Oh man. Frambroise, menthe chocolat... Comme je veux.
7. L'ecole?! I miss my English teacher, mostly. She was awesome. And all my random classes, where I would sit quietly or joke with my friends, soaking up the things I already knew in a different language. That moment of finally understanding something, or learning a new word. Scribbling notes in my fake agenda and singing songs with Jean-Paul under my breath. Lunchtime, sitting in the sun and hearing the sound of the sea echoing up into the sky.
8. The part of my soul that will always be in France. It is my home, and my dream; my biggest accomplishment. France is part of me, and has defined me for so long. It is greater than just a place for me, and I wish that I could go back every couple of weeks just to be there again, to become Aly en France for another period of time; rather than just Aly en France aux Etats-Unis. I will always be "en France", if only in my heart and thoughts.

There :)
Not to say that I don't love home, and love being here with all my friends. But sometimes, I just want to be back there for a moment, with the people I came to love in half a year; the ones that sometimes forgot that I spoke English at all. xD

A demain!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

June Vacation: Tours, Bordeaux, Pays Basque


Okay, so the LAST time I updated this blog, it was the end of May, and I was rambling about five months. I haven’t updated then because I have been INSANELY busy.

Since I last updated, I settled into living with Charlotte’s family in Fayence, which is a MUCH smaller town than Fréjus… so, basically, she lives in the country. I finished with school on the 28th, and then I took a train to Bordeaux on the 31st. I got back Tuesday night from Bordeaux, during a rather big storm in the Var.

**EDIT: it is now SEPTEMBER and this is long overdue. I am out of town this weekend and lack internet access, so I finally finished up this post with LOADS of pictures, so please enjoy. Sorry for the delay!**

Anyway, I have lots of things to talk about, and lots of pictures to share.


All the Frenchies! IN ONE PHOTO! (On my last day of school.)

Okay, so, my last week of school was boring and only 2 days long. I didn’t truly say goodbye to most of my teachers, because some of them had nothing to say to me or anything to do with my stay here, and others (namely, the english teacher!) are certain that we’ll see each other again before I leave! Saying goodbye to teachers I’ve only had for a few months was decidedly awkward, especially taking into account the unexpected bisous. I came out of school the second-to-last-day thanks to probably my most awkward experience ever… (no, really, despite my repertoire of awkward and or embarrassing experiences, that one was very awkward.)


Second to last day of school, after awkward goodbye, hanging out with Charlotte and Jean-Paul :)28205_114617815247616_100000981955268_83770_6447311_n 28205_114617758580955_100000981955268_83758_6759748_n

Typical. We can’t actually take a picture without JP poking somebody.

Monday afternoon (Charlotte skipped SES in the morning to hang out with me), Charlotte’s dad, Xavier drove us to school. With frantic texts to the others that were already at school to convince them to come outside (they didn’t get the texts) to come see me, we dropped Charlotte off at school and I said goodbye. Shortly after, I was at the train station in Saint Raphael again, the one that always brings back bad memories, and waited for the train.

I’m still not that great with the trains—I looked at the wrong ticket and ended up walking all the way to the end of the platform, before double-checking and realizing that my seat was actually back by the entrance. Thus began the two-week-long vacation.

(Okay, I now realize how much time that will take to write up ALL THE GORY DETAILS, so I’m going to do this in MORE CONCISE and list-y form.)


Arrived late Monday. Didn’t do anything of interest for a few days, just caught up with Any and Jeveta from the LAST time I was in Bordeaux. My camera was broken, so took it to “The Photo Clinic” to be repaired, where I was informed that it would be good to go the next Monday.

Left Thursday afternoon shortly after eating a delicious “composed salad” (recipe: corn, mungo bean sprouts, tuna-from-a-can, tomatoes, add in a bit of lettuce and there you go. Serve with Balsamic Vinagarette and fresh herbs. Dessert of FRESH STRAWBERRIES, nutella crepes, and homemade whipped cream. Yummm.) to go to Tours.


he train was late, of course (Train to go to Paris, have to get off AFTER passing Tours as it’s not exactly on the way… and then take a commuter train BACK to Tours. Complicated), because every train I’ve ever taken in France has been late, it seems.

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Met my hosts in Tours, Dad’s friend Xavier’s parents. Francoise picked me up at the Gare and we walked back to their house. It was hot, and the small rolling suitcase Any lent me wasn’t very great for crossing a park.

Friday, wandered around Tours while Xavier’s parents worked. Took pictures with disposable camera, bought antique postcards, had a (second) run-in with a creeper. Fled and then spent time writing and reading. That evening, went to Amboise and wandered a bit. Saw naked statue of Leonardo Da Vinci. Took more photos.

F1010001 The cathedrale


Medieval houses


The Grand Theatre/Opera (uhh.)

F1010003 The Pont Napoleon (I think, I never actually figured it out on the map.)F1010004 The Loire River (I ate lunch right here.)

F1010008 Old street




The statue of Leonardo Da Vinci sans clothes.

Saturday, went to Chenonceaux and LOADS of other Chateaux of the Loire. Very pretty. Followed tour guides speaking in English. Lots of schoolkids arrived. Fled through bigger garden, and talked to Francoise about how great of a place to run the grounds would be—final decision being that it would be unlikey for the women of Chenonceaux to run cross country. Failed at the maze, took pictures in middle, ate lunch, continued driving around and seeing the outside of other chateaux. Wished it would rain because it was hot and I was sore from walking around Tours.


Chenonceau! Of course, it was being restored. F1010025 P1010079 P1010092P1010093 P1010094P1010104 P1010097


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This is actually Emmanuel Lansyer’s house turned free museum of his collection and works. It was pretty cool, the garden was pretty, and YAY AIR CONDITIONING!

P1010103 …Same town? Chateau? Actually, I have NO IDEA what this is. I should have taken notes.

Sunday, it rained. Saw more chateaux. Toured Ussé, the inspiration for Sleeping Beauty. Took pictures with the Briend’s rather old camera.


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Chateau de Langeais

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Inside Ussé, there was an exposition of old clothing. I took pictures of it all :)


This desk was inset with gold and ivory, and had 49 secret drawers. :O

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And then, further on, there was a set-up of rooms themed around Sleeping Beauty.




Chinon, which was also being restored. Not much to see there.


Street in Chinon

Monday, returned to Bordeaux and picked up camera. Apparently he had it fixed on Wednesday. Fail. Saw an interesting cow at Bordeaux Lac. Turned in my disposable camera after taking two silly photos with Any in the parking lot.

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Any and her friend Monsieur le Vache.

Visited the Chateau de Cazeneuve, the chateau that I didn’t get to visit last time because it was closed. Saw a bat, but then the other tourists scared him away. Learned how to make Tiramisu, and then made a Cherry cake. Took a “Balneo” class at a spa, where I ran around in the water for an hour (Thursday). Friday, left for Pays Basque after Jeveta finished exams.

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Left around 2 Friday, dropped off Jeveta’s friend that is Basque at her house. She gave us chocolate and nougat, yum. Stopped in Biarritz and took pictures. Stopped elsewhere in Biarritz, took more pictures. Waved at the ocean and yelled HELLO to the USA (on the other side) and then screamed when the waves came. Mused that it wouldn’t be a good idea to fall on the rocks. It started raining. Got lost on the way to St Pée sur Nivelle, where Any knew a hostel owner.


Screaming about the waves, and then fleeing calmly. (Photos from Jeveta.)




The hotel/hostel, dunno what it was because the bathrooms were communal?

Next day, found “little pigs” and gateau basque (which is REALLY good, and I have the recipe so :D) saw the Musée de Chocolat, Edmund Rostand’s house, and the Chateau d’Abbadia.

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Musée de Chocolat – Chocolate art and various chocolate-making utensils. At the end of the tour, we got to taste some delicious hot chocolate, but honestly, it wasn’t that great as the chocolate-making demonstrations are only during the week and we went on a Saturday.


Edmund Rostand’s house- Typical Basque style. The woodwork on Basque houses is typically red or green, the colors of the flag, red being more traditional.


Since Edmund Rostand was a playwright and actor, his house features an exposition of costumes from one of his works.

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The gardens were really great, however, we couldn’t see the full view from the front thanks to the tents. In front was the French garden, and the backyard was the English garden.

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This cat didn’t have a tail, but he was sweet—and then he followed Jeveta and I everywhere until we went back to the car.

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Typical Basque-style house.

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Chateau d’Abbadia—it was really just a castle-but-not-really where a scientist lived. Or something like that. The library was AWESOME, but photos weren’t allowed inside (not to say that I didn’t sneak a few, until the employees became suspicious).

Sunday, saw St Jean de Luz, where we saw an orchestra and a quartet play. Then we went to St Sebastian in Spain.Saw lots of soccer supporters, partying before a game. Ate ice cream that wasn’t good, and then a drunk guy talked to us. Returned to France. stopped by Bayonne. Got a bit lost, but sang old songs very loudly with Jeveta in the car, as Any doesn’t have a radio. And then slept.


Port at St Jean de Luz

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*Note: I may be confusing what day we did what here, but at the moment, I’m not recalling very well as I ONCE AGAIN, wrote nothing down. If I’m mistaken, then I guess it really doesn’t matter.


When we got back, we went to over to Any’s friends (the Gauntiers) house (they live across the street) and ate gambas al ajillo, and then the gateaux that we brought with us from the Pays Basque.

Next day, went to Planete Bordeaux. Tasted wine the proper way (it still wasn’t good, and when asked what it smells/tastes like, my only answer is “Uhhhhm, wine???”). That night, ate lots of ice cream with Jeveta and Any and then toured Bordeaux. Found more cows. Took pictures and ran around vaguely idiotically with Jeveta.

And then, went back to St Raphael by train but the train was cancelled in Toulon, where I was stranded until Charlotte and her dad braved the flooding roads (yayyyy, huge storms! and floods! D: ) to come get me. Went back to Fayence, slept for a very long time.

Any gave me two little recipe books—one of cookies & cakes, and another of I-don’t-exactly-know, so now I have recipes for French food, which I will be converting into American measurements (and English) soon. I’d be happy to share with you, once I figure it out! And for my friends, except some French cooking!

Since then, I’ve been here in Fayence at the Belliard’s. Charlotte and I have been busy, going to Frejus for multiple parties and seeing various people nearly every day of the week. It’s been INCREDIBLY hot and since the floods, the beaches in Frejus have been closed (they’re still closed until July 15th).

My mom is coming to France soon with my brother, and I’ll be back home in 10 days!

See you then, and I will try to update you guys on all my adventures in France and in Italy then.


Trips to McDonald’s/Quick: 16