New favorites

This week felt like the real back to school–we went from having some things to do to being buried in endless papers to read and presentations to write. But I’m actually excited about all of it (you guys, I could read about egg white foams for a really long time. I mean, I did. This week.), so it’s overwhelming but still good.

I did manage to sneak away for a few fun things this week, including making a new friend! Look at this champion! His name is Helios and he’s the mascot for a board game cafe I visited this week, where we were conveniently sitting next to a group that ordered a meat platter. But he was there to hang out with us, I’m sure of it. (Also at this board game night, I met a girl from Portland! Talk about small world.)

Maybe the best thing I got to do this week was a visit to the museum of fairground art, which had a bunch of old fairway games and an incredible collection of carousels. I rode on the bike carousel, a hilarious creation from 1897 with a bunch of bikes in place of the horses so that you’re powering the ride. We got going so fast! I’d never seen anything like it. They also had the people working on restoration open up their workshop, and it was amazing to hear them talk about the different pieces they’ve worked on and how they go about bringing these horses (and cows, and all sorts of other creatures) back to their former glory. So cool!

And we closed out the week with the most French activity I know–sitting on the banks of the Seine, drinking wine and eating kugelhopf and watching the sun set behind the Eiffel Tower. Sometimes it really is magical here 🙂

Equipe de France and hiking to a castle!

I’m doing my utmost to take advantage of our (relatively) slow start to the year and doing lots of fun things before more classes start and I can’t go gallivanting every night of the week. This week started with pub trivia run by an English guy in a Scottish bar in France with a team of Americans during which we had to identify flags of South America. (We weren’t very good at the flags, but honestly, do you know what the flag of the South Sandwich Islands looks like?)

Tuesday I headed out to the Stade de France to see Les Bleus play! I’ve heard rumors that men do, in fact, play soccer sometimes, and apparently it’s all true. France took on Andorra and won 3-0 (with more than 80% of possession, crazy), and it was awesome to be part of the crowd even though I couldn’t make out any of the words to the cheers. I was into the jumping though!

And because I have friends who are much fancier than I am, I got to attend a theater premier! A friend here just established a new theater and they just opened their first show, which was also the world premier of the play–so many firsts, and what a cool thing to see. The play was SO good, and it was so fun to see a friend making big things happen!

I finished off the week with a big hike today about an hour south of the city at Les Chevreuses, and I even convinced a bunch of other students in my program to come! They trusted me to navigate, though, and we may have done a little more than we intended… But we did find the castle (the most important part of French hikes) and it was a great day.

Just to remind you that my life isn’t all adventures and croissants, we enjoyed a lovely strike day Friday that completely shut down public transportation for the whole city, and I’m currently trying to access four different articles in Poultry Science, which is weird for me. Although to be honest I do eat a lot of croissants 🙂

Paris week one

I’m back in Paris! It’s been a great first week, full of old and new friends, great pastry (duh), and a running start back into the school year.

The week was a mix of class (molecular gastronomy with the legendary Hervé This), introductory activities (convincing the first years to sing, dance, and generally be ridiculous in a public park), and finishing activities (thesis presentations and graduation for the cohort above me). It made me really excited for everything to come this semester, and also made me remember that this class-all-day-every-day thing gets really busy…

I did manage to get out for some fun this weekend, and because it’s me I decided to run to Versailles with my running group on Saturday (11 miles) and go for a 14-mile hike (well, nature walk) on Sunday. Both were very excellent ideas, although I’m definitely heading for an early bedtime tonight. As a bonus, the hike passed through a pick-your-own farm near the end, where I got to pick apples, green beans, and lettuce straight from the fields! It was a great start to a great year!

Catching up

Hi friends! So, it’s been a while. The end of the semester got crazy and then summer happened, and long story short it’s been eventful and pretty amazing. We had two weeks of spring break and a few of us went to Greece, Bulgaria, and northern Italy, which was lots of fun and stunningly beautiful. I got to do some traveling at the beginning of the summer break too, including a trip to Slovenia and meeting my family in Lyon for the Women’s World Cup (cannot even describe how excited I was for that). I spent most of the summer in Portland, doing an internship in product development at the Food Innovation Center at Oregon State University, which was both a great job and an incredible chance to be back home remembering why I keep saying I want to move back there. I just made it back to Paris (like, today) for the start of the third semester of school (tomorrow), and I’m very excited for more France adventures!

And now, my favorite pictures from the last few months! First up, spring break:

Summer travels to Slovenia, Nice, Lyon, and Portland: