Monday, February 20, 2012

it's ok...je suis en vacances.

So I never went to Barcelona...oops...the trip kind of fell through, but it's ok...I'm having a good vacation anyway...why?

First, the English stage with the Lycee kids went really well. Of course it didn't run as smoothly as planned, but nothing does when it involves me. Day one, was rookie day for me, I think I did pretty well, and the kids agreed when I took a survey at the end of the day...I taught them some good old-fashioned American English using a cool ass song...some games...and other useful activities. Day two was film day...I kept the film a big secret which increased the anticipation level and made the kids eager to come back for a second day of fun...despite the evil snow storm that terrorized the land the night before. We watched Penelope, which is a movie about a girl who's born with a pig snout. I just love it!

oh honey...

Day three was the best I think...we did another cool song and some more killer activities to get them to speak English with no fear! They killed at some tongue twisters too...I was really good at them too actually (hidden talent). The only one I can't really do is the one about Susie because I ALWAYS want to say "shits" at the end. hehe...

  I saw Susie sitting in a shoe shine shop.
                                       Where she sits she shines, and where she shines she sits.

Tea...tea is so good. Having a cup (well...former pickle jar) of Ceylan right now actually because it helps me write...also I think I might have a tea addiction these days. Anyway, Mafer and I spent the last four exciting days in the south of France in a beautiful city called Montpellier! It was my first real experience in the south of France, (drove through when we went to Spain, but we didn't stop so it doesn't count) and it was pretty killer! It was a little warmer there which was really nice and just what I needed...the sun was always out! I love sun...I need sun...and I've got a little bit of color back in my cheeks which were rendered ghost-like by Auvergne's winter climate.

Here's your soundtrack to my vacay while you read...try not to fall asleep it's super chill music.



I took the train down to Montpellier on Thursday morning...at 7:45! Was hard to wake up so early and walk in the rain to Brioude's train station, but I was pretty excited and motivated by the Montpellier weather report which I checked the evening prior. The train ride itself made a huge impression on me...yes it was five hours long (oh my god), but I had no idea the mountains were so insane just a few miles past Brioude because I never go in that direction, and I've never seen anything like them before. As a result, for the first two hours of the train ride I was gawking out the window...after that I began reading The Hunger Games because hey...that's what everyone else is doing right now...plus the entire trilogy was only $16 on my Kindle, and I had some gift cards.

On arrival in Montpellier St. Roch train station, I found Mafer and we headed out to explore the city! Montpellier is not overwhelmingly huge so we were able to see just about everything in the city center all in one evening. Also I began emptying my bank account due to all of the amazing shopping there was to be done on the street right next to the hostel I booked (figures)...plus I love the style in the south of France...stripes and all that...lots of navy...what was I supposed to do? Anyway after a few purchases I was almost as happy as the pig girl (see photo above). Eventually we found the office du tourisme and with it a lot of pamphlets featuring loads of things to do in Montpellier because we really had no idea what we were going to do. After this, we checked out some abstract art in the Musee Fabre...felt very cultured as a result...but then I had to get out of there and find a drink...which I did. Had a banana bread beer (dunno who thought of that...but thank you...sincerely, Coco) and roamed around the Place du Peyrou...made only more enjoyable by the side-effects of the banana bread beer.


Place du Peyrou...



breath-taking at sunset...don't you think?

After such an exciting day, Mafer and I retired quite early to our private suite like a couple of abuelas...I say suite because we freaking had a TV and our own bathroom! Also I don't know if it was the change in altitude or dehydration because I kept forgetting to buy a water bottle, but I had a migraine that lasted four days...let's just say I was popping aspirin like they were tic tacs because I was damned and determined to have a good vacation! ahem...

The second day, Mafer and I decided to go to Montpellier Zoo...because animals are cool and I wanted to see a monkey...and zebras. Mafer had never seen many of the quintessential Zoo animals before in her life...like giraffes, rhinos, exotic birds...basically all of the characters from Madagascar...so we just had to go for her sake...and I'm a child so I loved it. We spent a long ass time in the zoo getting lost and paying .50 euros for a damn map because I was fed up with being lost in a damn zoo. Anyway, after the zoo we worked our way over to the complete other side of town to the planetarium where we explored space and the night sky...it was great...well worth the 6.50 euros. Weirdly enough, standing in line for the show at the planetarium, I met a guy who was on vacation in Montpellier who lives in Columbia, SC...was super weird...small world...he wasn't very nice though because he seemed to have no use for me after I didn't know where he could get the perfect French meal in Montpellier...look around you dope...you're in France! There's French food everywhere! I mean come on!

The third day, Mafer woke up and said..."you want to go to the beach?" and I said "si!" So went to Sete. Sete is a stunning town on the Mediterranean which is just the right size and not too crowded. It was incredibly nice there...very sunny which I loved. We had a gorgeous lunch...raw oysters, grilled fish with aioli  mayo and some yummy potatoes, creme caramel for dessert, two glasses of wine...I was in heaven for two hours. After stuffing our faces, we took a nice walk to the sea-side, basked in the sun (fully clothed mind you), and relished in our final full day of vacay. When we got back to Montpellier, we were both exhausted from walking and had had too much sun I think. So we ate some junk food and went to sleep in our clothes (not our pyjamas)...oh the shame.

Here are a few photos from Sete...






Now that I'm back in Brioude things are pretty low-key...I've reverted back to my old habits...drinking loads of tea and watching the arte channel all day...so I guess I'll get back to the special on the mating rituals of deep sea creatures, and my Ceylan which has grown a tad cold.

bisous!