Monday, May 26, 2014

Done like Dinner :)

I'M DONE!! This morning was my last exam, so that means my semester here is officially over! As much as I am super excited to come home, I will also miss our class and the friends we made here in Paris. Saying goodbye at church yesterday was harder than I expected. Overall it's been such a great experience and I am so glad to have met so many wonderful people and to get to know the other Redeemer students better.

Our last day in class we took some photos with our class and our prof. This was such a great group! We also all received a poem our prof wrote for us thanking us for the semester together.

Almost all of our class :)
And a photo with the Canadians and the prof. He was so touched we wanted a photo with him, but how could we not after such a great semester?

The poem he wrote for the class :)

And a thank you card for the maple syrup we gave him :)

So that's it for school! I should get my certificate in the mail by the end of June (as long as I passed all my classes of course).

But I'm not coming home until Saturday, so what on earth could I possibly do to distract myself from all the waiting to go home? Go to Marseilles!! Tomorrow evening Tiff, Mindy and I are headed south for a few days of relaxation after exams. We'll be back Friday night and then leaving for the airport bright and early Saturday morning!

See you all soon!

Friday, May 9, 2014

Mitchell's Visit

It may be slightly old news to you now, but Mitchell was here visiting for a whole week! (Not gunna lie, I'm feeling a bit spoiled from that, but I'm totally ok with it). We both had a fantastic time!

The week basically consisted of lots of walking along the Seine, visiting a fair number of Paris' museums and monuments, and doing some day trips out of the city. Here are some highlights of the week (we did a lot, so prepare yourself for a lot of photos!).

 Hanging out in Paris:

The first time we went to Notre Dame the line to go up the tower was massive, so we toured the outside instead. And worked on our selfie-taking skills.

But then later on in the week we climbed the tower :)

Mitchell saw this really cool tower so we went to investigate. Turns out it's Tour Saint Jacques and there's a pretty little park around it.

We went to check out l'Arc de Triophe too, also on a bright sunny day.
We also went to the Louvre and saw the apartments of Napoleon III. They were pretty extravagant! I think this was just a sitting room.

For trips outside of Paris, we spent a day doing a chateaux tour, which was really really cool. I would highly recommend this kind of trip!

The first stop was Chateau de Blois.

There was a great view of the town from the grounds!

Then our favorite, Chateau de Chambord (which looked like a castle, so obviously it was the coolest!)

Obviously the only appropriate pose for a man standing outside a castle :P
This is the view from the open walkway on one of the upper levels. So much grass to mow!
And the Chateau from the other side. Too bad part of it is covered up for restoration work, but it's something you just have to get used to around here.

And then the third stop was Chateau de Cheverny. Which was a less impressive house after seeing Chambord, but the gardens were amazing! We had a nice picnic lunch by the river :)

The Chateau

We found a waterfall and cool bridge that looked like wood but was made of metal.
And lots and lots of flowers!
Which made us both happy, but mostly me haha.
Then there was the trip to the Palace of Versailles. It's hard to get photos there because there are just so many people pushing you through from room to room, and then when we were out exploring the gardens it was raining. Quite a lot. We were pretty thoroughly wet by the time we got back to the train station, but it was still actually a lot of fun. I guess that's the difference good company makes :)

The main gates. You get to see a lot of these because you stand in line here for a super long time waiting to get in.

The Hallway of Mirrors. Definitely my favorite room in the palace!

The gardens. They're for sure big enough to spend a whole day walking through them, but we more just wandered through some parts on our way to visit Marie Antoinette's residence.

Best looking mirror I've ever seen!

The chapel at Versailles

More of the outside of the palace.

Checking out the fountains!

We also went to Chateau de Fontainebleau, which has a long history of housing royal families and was used by a ton of nobility and royalty as a hunting chateau. Although the website didn't list it, the chateau was closed on the day we went, so we hung out in the gardens instead (which is the main attraction anyways, so it all worked out great).
The chateau from across the canal. In case you're wondering, yes, there are fish in there and they are huge!

This handsome guy standing by the pond :)

And I was there too!
So that's basically how our week went. There are a ton of pictures on Facebook that you can check out if you'd like to see more :)

On a sort-of side note, since today is May 9, I'll be home in 22 more days! Exams are coming up fast and furious and I'll be on my way back to Canada before I know it!

See you all soon!

Saturday, April 26, 2014

The Netherlands!

I went to Amsterdam! Exciting, right? I also went to Utrecht, so that added more excitement, and then to top it off I was traveling with Sam and Nicole. So I was really happy to go and I had a great time. The people were all really friendly and easygoing, and the country was so beautiful!

We walked around most of the city center in Amsterdam, went to the market, tried some great food, and enjoyed the waterways. In Utrecht we visited the Dom Tower and Kasteel de Haar, both of which are the biggest in the country. All in all it was a fantastic few days, and I'm sorry I couldn't visit more places and stay longer. But here are some of the awesome things we did see (and eat)...

I don't know how I missed the memo, but there are a ton of beautiful canals to see!

I was expecting the tulips though.

We visited the Anne Frank house and museum. No photos inside, so this is it!

The Rijksmuseum.

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There's more than one of these signs! It makes so much sense for them to do that, but again I didn't realize it. Sam has some pictures of us standing next to it, so I might have to add that later.

Fresh stroopwafel from the market. It's kind of like a soft waffle cookie with a caramel syrup center. Very yummy. (For those of you who don't know her, this is Sam.)

And then we had some fries, which were also fantastic.

The Heineken Experience. It was really well done and if you were actually a big fan and did all the stuff they had you could spend the whole afternoon there.

Pretty sure the menu said this was a classic favorite. Now we know why.

And then a chocolate/nut covered banana to top off the day. Turns out I have pictures of pretty much everything we ate haha.

Not the best windmill photo you could take, but at least I got one!

The tower we climbed. 465 steps to the top and well worth the effort for the amazing view!

In the belfry. I can't believe how big and heavy these bells are!

The tower was supposed to be attached to this church, but there was a huge storm that destroyed the center part (which they cheaped out on during the building process because they were low on funds).

More from inside the tower.

And from the top.

Me and Nicole

Then we went to Kasteel de Haar, but this is the road we had to walk on to get there. 

I thoroughly enjoyed the time in the countryside.

Here's the castle! It's the biggest one in the Netherlands.

Complete with a moat, of course.

And me :)
So that was my little trip! I would love to go back and see more. Who knows, maybe someday I will. For now though, I have other things to look forward to. Mitch gets here tomorrow and he's staying for a whole week! I'm definitely really excited about that, in case you couldn't already guess.

That's all for now. Take care everyone!