So yes, I am aware that I have been the worst blogger ever. No need to tell me, I already know.
As of today I have been living in Vannes for over one month, and I have not posted once since I got here! Don't fret! I will fill you in on everything that has happened. I'll do it gradually so you don't have to read one giant post! I'll split up what has been happening week by week until I get caught up!
I'm here. I'm here. I'm here.
I'm in France. I'm in Paris. I made it!
I said goodbye to my mom, dad, and sister. I said goodbye to my friends and my town. I said goodbye to my life as I know it, because I will never be the same.
I'm here, and I'm ready to learn, experience, and grow.
I'm here, and I'm ready for my adventure to begin.
We got off the plane at around 7am France time. I flew with 14 other people that are also going to become exchange students in France. I was surprisingly not that exhausted if you can believe it, even though we had been flying all night. But I guarantee you that I was running completely off of nerves, caffeine, and excitement. We left the plane, got our passports stamped, and walked over to baggage claim, where all 14 of us were praying that our luggage had not been lost. Finally, after what seemed like forever, we all gathered our luggage and left the airport.
We had cars to pick us up and take us to the FIAP, the hostel we would be staying in for the three days we were in Paris. They sent two cars to pick up all of us. Now, these cars supposedly were to fit all of us, but our luggage was not taken into account (and as I recall someone made the joke, "of course we have more than one suitcase each, were American!") So, after about 15 minutes of shoving and squeezing, all of us managed to fit into the vans and we were off to the FIAP.
Now it was at this moment, wedged in the front seat with the driver, my soon to be roommate, and various bags that didn't fit into the trunk, that I discovered the purely terrifying art of French driving. After about an hour of unorganized merging, speedy drivers, and quick turns we arrived. Check-in was not for another couple of hours so we stuffed our luggage in the luggage room, valuables in a locker, had a quick meeting, and ventured off to Eiffel Tower. By now, may I remind you, our adrenaline has worn off and we were walking around in a sleepy haze. We finally make it to the Eiffel Tower, grabbed some ice cream, and ventured to the top of the amazing landmark. After spending time looking around and taking way too many pictures we descended and slept off some of our exhaustion on some grass right under the tower.
After leaving the Eiffel Tower, we walked/metroed to a nice shopping area where we went to have dinner. The restaurant that I ended up going to was not that amazing, but I still had a great time!
We then walked to Notre Dame so tired we could barley stand. After taking a couple pictures, we went back to the hostel, and got our rooms, and went to sleep!
Day two in Paris, our group woke up fairly early, ate breakfast, then had some time to get ready before going to a park, beautiful church, and nice shopping area for lunch. My friends and I had some interesting adventures there including almost getting run over by a car and my friend almost getting robbed. Needless to say, we were ready to go to the Louvre! At the Louvre, we saw the famous Mona Lisa and many other beautiful works of art!
After the Louvre, we took the metro to the Champs-Élysées, where we obviously did some shopping. I bought a beautiful belt and purse!
We then had a lovely meal at a café and took an amazing boat cruz on the Seine before returning to the FIAP for a good nights sleep.
Everyone woke up nervous Thursday morning as it was the day we were leaving Paris and taking the train to our host families! We ate breakfast, grabbed a packed lunch, and then journeyed to our train stations. I was on the same train as two other girls also going to Vannes, so after waiting several hours, we finally boarded for our 3 1/2 hour train ride.
After what seemed to be the longest 3 1/2 hours of my life, we finally arrived at the Vannes train station, got off the train, and I went to go start the next four months of my life.