Thursday, August 6, 2009

The Party Bus Digital Story

My digital story is the tale of our bus ride to Oxford, involving a strange bus driver that loved his jams blasting nice and loud while we tried to hear the tour guide.

Along the Coast of Wales Digital Film

So, I am finally uploading my digital film. Yes, I know I need to work on my time management and anti-procrastination skills.
I decided to make the film out of a few clips I have from Wales; yes, I know, everything I'm doing has been on Wales... But I like it that way ;) It tells of my hike with Dan along the coast and the good times we had.

The Most Amazing Photobook Ever

Ok, so maybe not ever, but I dig it. Enjoy!

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Friday, July 17, 2009

Au revior Europe, Hello Florida!

Well, I've arrived home! Wednesday night the internet was being funky, so I just decided to sleep and post when I got some real internet. I'm glad to be back, but I definitely miss everything and everyone in the program. Wednesday, despite the ominous coming of Thursday and our farewells, was a pretty good day. The weather was nice, and whipped out the dress for our last day. Notre Dame was beautiful; being there reminded me of London. I was slightly disappointed at the lack of a hunchback. It really did look like it did in the Disney movie. The cruise was really great- I saw everything! Paris really is quite beautiful, with its buildings and parks and street life. And I definitely made a wish under that famous wish bridge thingy.

This little girl is sitting with her dad, begging for money. She reminded me of my youngest little brother; I think this is my best shot from the last day. There are so many homeless and street people, and I think they are just as much a part of the city as the historical surroundings.

I was really looking foward to dinner all day; I wanted to just sit, talk, relax, and have a good time with everyone. I realized while I was sitting there that I was going to miss everyone and everything. Paris. London. Wales. I've done more amazing things and seen more amazing things in the past 3 weeks than some ever do or see. First of all, I couldn't have been luckier. Secondly, I've learned so much. Not necessarily about blogs or podcasts or lame internet connections, but about people, relationships, attitudes, cultures... I feel a little bit older, a little bit smarter. Yes, I'm still "little bits" of the group, and I'm not trying to get all smoochy here, its just spewing out. I seriously feel like this trip has given me so much more than I could ever imagine it giving me. And I thank everyone who helped me to go to a seriously huge extent. And everyone I've met, talked to, hung out with, everyone.I think this was my other favorite shot. This little girl was trying just as hard as the rest of us to get that perfect shot. I hope she got it.
Well, I'll have a few more posts, but I'm going to move to a new one soon (I'll be sure and post my other blog). Ciao!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

"They're like playhouses for dead people."- Nate

Cemetery Kitty!
While trying to avoid the Sixth Sense cliche, I saw lots of dead people today. Pere Lachaise is the resting grounds of quite a few famous people, of which I saw Jim Morrison, Oscar Wilde, and Marcel Proust. No telling how many I walked by unknowingly. I think this may be my shot of the day. Creepy, but they put those spikes up so birds won't land and poop all over the walls.
Like Nate said, some of the graves had little houses (for prayer maybe?) with the family names on it, and it was a bit creepy. Oscar Wilde's grave is covered in kisses, so I got a pic kissing the grave (it says clearly not to leave a lipstick kiss on the grave) as well as one with Jim Morrison's grave,though it was surrounded by little fences to keep people off. Thankfully, these graves did not include little houses with them.
After a very nice lunch of crepe salee, which I am determined to bring back to the states because they're awesome, and gelato, we went to Moulin Rouge and then Montmartre, where we were bombarded with crowds and people trying to sell things. Heather practically got harrassed by one guy trying to sell her a bracelet and all the girls had to protect her! It was intense. The hill is very pretty though, I just wish they're weren't so many people so I could actually distinguish the scene from Amelie.
Afterwards, we headed back to the Hotel to recooperate before Bastille Day! I am excited though not quite ready to come back home. Throughout these posts I've tried to demonstrate some kind of personal growth, something new I've learned everyday or someone new I've connected with. In Paris, its much harder than it was in London to connect with locals. However, I'm feeling much more comfortable with the girls in my group. Yes, I'm much younger than them, and they are protective of me and call me "little bits" sometimes, and they do remind me I am still very young. I'm having a lot of fun with them though; going out the past few nights, we've all just had a great time eating, drinking, and last night there was even a bit of dancing to celebrate Bastille Day. I was glad I didn't go by myself, because at one point when this guy was trying to get me to dance with him, I would push his hands away and he'd just go right back for it, so the girls pulled me back and circled around me, creating a baracade! I've never been baracaded in before, but it was not a bad experience :) So, a big thanks to them for being awesome protectors!
Well, I'm going to run up and down the stairs and maybe burn off a few of those baguettes. How do these French women do it?
Au revoir!

Monday, July 13, 2009

I'm talking to you Madame.

Today, I had my first winery tour. Uh, awesome just doesn't cut it. Epernay was beautiful, I had a great, inexpensive (for France) lunch, some awesome gelato, and then washed all down with some first class Moet & Chandon champagne. I was going to get my family some champagne and send it back, but it was quite expensive and its all stuff you can get in the states, so I didn't see the point. The stuff we were told on the tour was amazing! I mean, they store some of that wine for 7-50 years to allow full maturation. My favorite, however, was when the tour guide was attempting to answer Dr. E's question and she was kind of lost in her thoughts, and the guide said, "Excuse me, Madame, I am talking to you." I thought it was hilarious. Anyways, we just got back from celebrating Bastille Day! The music was fabulous, and I even got to dance! Though it was with an old grandpa type of guy that didn't speak English. About three or four guys came up to each of us and told us we were beautiful, so I'm guessing they do that with every girl they see? It was great though, just to see people all coming together to dance and get lost in the music. There were mothers with children, guys, girls, couples, everybody just danced. There was even French rap which basically blew my mind. I feel really happy knowing we were a part of the celebration! I'm very tired though!
Awesome. Well, a good ending to a fabulous day.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

The Internet Fails

Proof I was there :)
Pic of the Day!
So, I've been trying to get things posted up here, but where as most of my group has trouble uploading their pictures, I have trouble uploading anything or even getting to the website. Annoying, to say the least.
So, my post from yesterday was all typed up and the internet timed out. I'm not going to lie, I was so frustrated I just closed my computer and went to sleep. So, I was hoping I could post two days worth in one post. Yesterday was our free day, and I slept in quite a bit ;) Afterward, I headed out to see the Arc de Triomphe. I wanted to meet some of the girls to go eat so I didn't have enough time to climb to the top, but I did walk all around and meet some people from London. The view around the Arc is just about as impressive as the Arc itself. I found the way there, navigated the metro and figured out where I should be going, and I was quite proud of myself. One of the things I'm learning about myself is that I'm actually quite independent. I like going places and figuring things out. Its a big self confidence boost :) Later that evening Alexis and I went to a bar nearby and had a wonderful time meeting people, two of which were members of the foreign legion training for the parade on Bastille Day. They told us all about the fireworks and I'm really excited about it!
Today was also a really cool day. I was tired, didn't feel cute (I'm a young girl from the States surrounded by fancy French dames and their Gucci bags, its understandable), and did not want to wait in the god awful lines that lay before us. They were horrendous actually; we placed bets on how long it would take, and the line to get tickets was an hour and a half, then there was the line to actually get in the Castle, and that was about an hour I think, and then there was another line for the audio guides. And you can add a few more lines to the menu because if you had to go to the bathroom? 15 minute line at least. Hungry, thirsty? I wanted water and it took 45 minutes of waiting in line just for some god-forsaken liquid.
So basically, I was in a bad mood. I walked all through the Castle and saw all the rooms, but there were so many people I almost felt claustrophobic and I don't think I've ever held on to my purse with quite the death grip I had today. My favorite room was the Battle Room, or Room of the Battles or whatever. It was a large hall with huge paintings of Battles hanging on the walls, and they have added photographs and displays of more recent battles, like WWII, the Vietnam War, and even the Abu Ghraib photos. Then, I headed out to the Gardens...
I wasn't sure if I wanted to spend the 8 euros to tour the gardens, I didn't realize I'd have to pay extra for that. Basically, if you ever go to Versailles and you see long lines for the castle, screw it. Just go to the Gardens. They were absolutely breathtaking. I just wandered around to all of the fountains, saw the Grand Canal and watched people boat and ride their bikes around. The scenery completely changed my mood. I was no longer in a rush to get home, though I was a bit disappointed I didn't have time to go to Marie Antoinette's Estate. Though I saved 10 euros not going and it leaves me with a reason to come back! It was just such a beautiful place, somewhere you'd like to take a loved one and have a picnic, or take kids and let them run around. I loved the way the paths were arranged in the Orangerie, it was beautiful!
I'm actually starting to get the hang of the metro here, its not very different than in London, I just wish I could speak French!
Tomorrow will be very entertaining, I'm off to a winery with the ladies and Nate :)