Sunday, May 8, 2011

Sunday Funday

First and foremost to my wonderful, amazing, beautiful, brilliant, magnificent and fantastic mama Debbie Epstein aka Marmie. she puts up with me, let alone her five other children and has made me into the woman that i am. i wouldn't be where i am today without her and i am counting down the days until we are back together as a family!! (13 days to be exact :))

Procrastination - While in Paris i can honestly say i have perfected this.. As of right now i have 3 ten to fifteen page papers, a 5 page french paper on french pride, a 15 minute presentation, an art history exam and memorize a scene from the play Rhinoceros to perform. and yet i am here at school. blogging.
these past two weeks have been more than amazing outside of school! i went to london and finally saw some of my best friends from camp who i had not seen in years! of course i always love spending time with camp friends and reminiscing the good old days and what better way than do it in london while watching the royal wedding??? after a 5:30 am wake up call and coffee with bailey's by 6 we were on our way to hyde park to watch the big event, along with 200,000 other crazed brits and tourists.
jessie and taylor at hyde park

with all of our 200,000 new friends

on millennium bridge

awkward...with the most expensive painting EVER

taylor wearing my newest purchase from camden market

these are some of the girls from my program in paris! we had a cinco de mayo celebration at my friends apartment - they have the craziest view of the eiffel tower!

camp foley reunion :)

this week has been the first time where i have really sat down to do work, other than my trip to the arc de triomphe which was great and had beautiful views of the city...and then a stop at pierre herme for macaroons! this trip and winding down and although i am SOOOO ready for summer, friends, family, tommy and tina's wedding and everything else i am really sad to be leaving paris :( i really have fallen in love with this city and am already planning my next visit back here 

Thursday, April 28, 2011

So behind!!!

Ayiyiyi so this is wayyy overdue, I totally forgot about my blog! ..oops well anyways i have had quite the past month! i'm not sure what to write about... hmm

the entire family went to get pedicures! hahah

ok well i dont really know where i left off but i will start with my unexpected trip back to the lovely US of A. sadly it was not under the best of circumstances, but I wasn't going to miss the celebration of a life that has had such an impact on my own. Bobbin was my best friend. partially because he loved me the most :) but also because of his great sense of humor, enormous smile, screaming cheers at field hockey games, hysterical quotes ("for WHATTTT?") optimism, generosity, and simple joy he brought everywhere he went. i was blessed to have him in life and couldn't thank him enough for his last gift to me, the ability to come back to connecticut and spend time with friends and family. i will be forever grateful for Bobbin, everything he gave me and the gifts that I continue to receive in his memory.

although it was hard to leave my oh so familiar life in the states and at la Trinité i enthusiastically went back to Paris knowing that just one week later I would be traveling to Croatia. Honestly, how could I complain, the US, Paris and Croatia all in one week? I seriously am living the life! Not knowing anything about Croatia, I, along with five new friends from Boston College, traveled to Cavtat, Croatia. (just a thirty minute drive outside of Dubrovnik) The minute we landed my roommate, Mia, and I knew we were in heaven. the taxi driver was so friendly, the hotel workers were all great and no one staying in the hotel was under the age of 65. heaven right?? 

The first day we spent relaxing by the was amazing - there really arent any other words to describe it! The views were gorgeous with crystal blue water and mountains surrounding us on every side. the town was the size of our neighborhood in st. louis and because it was early april, aka not tourist season, we stuck at like a sore thumb as the six american girls who are wearing shorts and t-shirts. the locals still considered the sixty degree weather winter and a man even told us that it was the weather for penguins...

obviously we didnt feel the same way, here are all of the girls from BC, Brianan, Mia, Jackie, Carolyn, and Emma!

 the second day we took a trip to Dubrovnik, which is the biggest tourist town in Croatia. It was such a beautiful old town with windy narrow roads and really friendly people. we spent the day climbing the wall around the town. every step had a more beautiful view than the last, i think i took a thousand pictures of buildings and ocean instead of people that day!

mia and i

After we finished our trip around the town and ate lunch at a cute pizza place we decided to tackle the mountain -SRD pronounced kind of like surge but..not? it was a long hike but the view was gorgeous the entire time. the picture above shows us on top of the mountain and the little circle of buildings behind us was the entire town of Dubronik! you can even see to the bottom of the water from this high up!

haha the must-have jumping picture

after our fun-filled day we decided a bar on a cliff overlooking the adriatic was a much needed addition to our list of activities for the day. supposedly bill gates goes here when he visits dubrovnik..random? 

the next day we took a cruise at 930 in the morning from our small town of Cavtat to dubrovnik and to three other small islands off the coast. they were all super small fishing villages with more beautiful views of mountains, beaches and cute little ice cream shops so basically more heaven :)

i met this really cute dog and although he is most likely a stray he was so cute and we were best friends for the short time i spent on this island

this is the view from our hotel - so GORGGGG

So after the week in Croatia I spent an entire week in Paris without any class. to say the least it was spectacular. all of my friends had friends and family in town so my days consisted of sleeping in, running and then wandering the streets of Paris for hours on end. this city is literally amazing and even though there are so many museums to go into and restaurants to eat in, there is even more to see and do when you walk around. only 24 days left in paris and im already freaking out!! i have a ton of work coming up but for now i'm off to the ROYAL WEDDING! more pictures to come and i promise to update this sooner than my return to the US for the summer! ahh 
xoxo magpie

Monday, March 21, 2011

Half way over!

sooo i'm trying to update this more often after Annie, my little sister, told me i NEVER do it and then once i do they are too long for her to read! this past week has been crazy ...pretty much like all of the other weeks ive described! i had a ton of assignments due and this week really isnt going to be much different with all of my presentations and final paper proposals due! ayiyiy but this week has been a lot of fun too. i went to laduree, a famous pastry shop around Paris and had the most amazing macaroons and brunch which was so much fun! then i did a ton of work but my classes were all over the city which was great. at least one a week my art and architecture class has been meeting in the louvre. it seems tough at the time to be staring at paintings and sculpture for so long and then i leave and realize who else is getting such an oppurtunity? seriously, most people run in to the louvre see the mona lisa and run out but i really feel like i am getting the whole experience!

my entire program also went to the chateaus Chantilly and Ecouen. Chantilly is famous for their whipped cream but the castle itself was amazing! it had a moat the length of a football field surrounding it and was gorgeous! when i become a bagillionaire i will build a house just like this one :)
So many people have had visitors which has been so much fun. it is always interesting seeing people's friends from home in paris because we are such a mixed group! with my friend sarah and her best friend from home, zahra, we went to a restaurant called derriere. this is not a normal restaurant ..instead of sitting in a normal seating it is themed like a house and you eat in different areas of the house. we were fortunate to sit in the "den" and lounged on big comfy couches while others were seated in the bathroom, dining room, kitchen, play room and bed rooms. the food was...interesting but the atmosphere made the experience! 
of course this week was st. patricks day and being an american, i had to celebrate! i went out with my roommate Mia and her friends from BC to a couple of irish bars that were around Paris and met some very interesting people. it was so funny to see how many americans were out celebrating..and how few french there were! we even met some crazy welsh people who were in town for the 6 nations rugby match of wales vs france. they started talking to some of the girls from bc who play rugby at school and offered us 4 tickets to the game! we went the next night and although i have absolutely no idea what goes on the entire experience was insane and fun! mia and had seats on one of the goal ends surrounded by a million welsh people! between singing the Marseilles  or screaming "allez les bleus" the welsh werent very happy with us :) but we had a great time! now i am just trying to get through the next two weeks and then i will be off to croatia!!! i am so excited it is going to be absolutely amazing and i cant wait for a break from school! i will write again soon 
xox magpie

one of the rooms in derriere

Mia and I with really awesome hats!

our new welsh friends

allez les bleus!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

its spwing, its spwing, its spwing!

It has been far too long since my last post im sorry!! with classes starting to pick up, midterms already around the corner and planning breaks its been pretty crazy but i will finally spill out everything i've done in the last ...3 weeks! ayiyiyi

ok so first of all my first spring break!! it was so amazing being so in such different countries but definitely a challenge being so out of my element. i went with three people from the program, sarah, katie-lou and will they were all fun and ready to see all of the sights which was good but they were all such sleepers haha it definitely made me appreciate all of the family vacations ive been on and the early risers i usually surround myself with! we started off in Berlin which was really cool. the city is enormous which i wasn't expecting and our hostel was really nice. randomly there were a bunch of other kids from st. louis staying in the same hostel and even more random a good friend of mine from camp in minnesota who i had not seen in years! it was so much fun being together! we went to the jewish museum which is so intense but definitely a must-see and a bunch of other contemporary art museums because the other people i was with are art majors! we also went to the zoo which was definitely the highlight of our time in berlin for me! it does not compare to the st. louis zoo but you can get so close to all of the animals it was insane! here are some pictures...

 The whole group with the elephants!
for some reason all of the monkeys were sleeping. they were so adorable!

i love this picture and it isn't even zoomed in, we were actually that close!
An Andy Warhol piece in the biggest contemporary art museum in Germany!
So after Germany we got on a train to Prague - my favorite of the three cities! Prague is like Paris minus all of the French people and the really good food! the city is so small and medieval and the people were so friendly. Although it was absolutely freezing we walked around the entire city, the castle town, old town, the jewish quarter and the new town. even though we didnt speak a word of the language everyone was so nice and we somehow managed to communicate. of course all of the sights were amazing, i didn't know anything about Prague before i got, but the best part was our hostel was across the street from a restaurant called bohemian bagel. yes they served american bagels!! i haven't had a real breakfast in 2 months so could not resist being american and eating there every morning. the night scene is prague is really cool too, with a club that is 5 stories with each floor being a different theme and tons of cool bars. one of the bars we went to was a competitive drinking bar where you had a tap at each table and it calculated how much each individual person at your table drank and then how much your table as a whole had drank and then compared you with the entire bar, but then you were also competing with other pubs around the city and around the czech republic. it was so much fun and my competitive nature kicked in say the least it was a lot of fun. anndddd i even met another kid from st. louis one night while we were there! - funny story about prague i got there with a black long down north face coat. i went to the bar was talking to this random st. louis boy and his group from BC and went home. the next day while we were at the castle i realize my coat is brown, naturally i start yelling "THIS ISN'T MY COAT! WHO'S COAT IS THIS?" all around teh castle while my friends laugh hysterically at me realizing that one of the BC girls had the exact same coat in brown and we had swapped...everyone likes the brown better anyways but it was pretty embarrassing at the time!
the fashion in prague was questionable....

taking absinthe shots...from a straw...never again.

Playing dress up in the castle...

The astronomical clock! it measures time as well as 12 other things..which i dont remember

Our friend Caroline, who is also studying in Paris, was in Prague and met us one night for drinks

Finally we got to Vienna! This picture was at the opera house. We decided to be intellectual and sophisticated and go to the opera to see Figaro which was amazing, but we were in teh standing section and after the first act, which was an hour and a half, we left and walked around Vienna which was so much fun. Vienna was a lot like paris as well and our hostel was great again. We were all so exhausted by the time we got there that we didn't do much sight seeing but we walked around and definitely got a good feel for the city and hopefully will be going back again eventually!
So now i've been back to paris for almost 2 weeks...i've been really bad at blogging haha but this past couple weeks has been amazing! the weather has been so nice and i have been going to different gardens around the city everyday. i even started running again which has been so nice! School has been getting super intense, this week is midterms but naturally i find this blog and the people back at home muchhhhh more important! so back in paris...i have done a bunch of stuff including visiting the Musee Cluny, the Tuileries (its Paris Fashion Week for Ready to Wear), gone to the Gobelins Tapestry Manufactory where the kings tapestries are made and now they furnish all national buildings in France and around the world,  the Madeleine Church, i even went to the American hospital! the hospital wasn't for me friend rolled into the wall in her sleep and broke her nose hahahah

This past two weeks have been busy but some pretty crazy and entertaining things have happened that have lightened the mood. First of all while i was having lunch with a friend outside a sort of marching band called the Plaies Mobiles came through the square. this is not a school marching band but one of those street bands who starts at one point around teh city and dresses in crazy outfits. they walk around the entire city and people just join them and sing and dance around in the streets its hysterical and so much fun to watch! then the next day i went to hang out at the tuileries gardens outside of teh louvre with sarah and realized it was fashion week. literally hundreds of beautiful people surrounding us with the coolest clothes i've ever seen we got so jealous and stayed for awhile hoping to see someone famous haha! then as we were leaving i see this woman blowing up an enormous balloon. i figured it was just a street act where she has massive lungs or something but that wasn't the end of it! she continued to put her head inside and then the rest of her body! it was so bizarre and you couldn't help but stop and laugh out loud...only in France 

 Some of the cool people waiting to go into a fashion show

ooook so i think i wrote an excessive amount but its been a long time! i hope you dont get bored reading all of this! i will hopefully write sooner next time! xoxo Magpie