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!

Cross-Country Road Trip: By the Numbers

Turns out the US is pretty big and driving from one coast to the other is maybe more of an undertaking than I really understood from looking at a map. We could have had more adventures were it not for the many, many hours we inconveniently had to spend driving, but it was pretty great all the same. Here are the highlights:

Days traveled: 12

International borders crossed: 2 (that was fun with my whole life packed into the backseat)

States driven through: 11

Miles driven: 3500

Miles hiked: 35

Miles run: 34

Waterfalls admired: 8

National Parks/Forests/Etc enjoyed: 5

Bears observed: 1

Bison encountered: approximately a million (causing the requisite bison traffic jams)

Pictures of bison taken: definitely not enough

Motorcycles seen: literally thousands (accidentally encountered the edges of Sturgis)

Pictures taken: 458 (don’t worry, this is only a few of them)

  

It was an amazing trip! Thank you to my co-pilots and hosts along the way!