Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Saint Emilion, France

Bonjour Everyone!!

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving! I sure did! My family sent over a little package with all of the ingredients to make a wonderful, and proper, Thanksgiving meal.  On Thursday, some of my relatives were at my house for a party, so I was also able to Skype with a group of them and see their lovely smiling faces. Words cannot describe how much I love and miss them! They are so loving, supportive, and well...awesome!  I am so thankful for them.  I also got to watch my Packers play, but after that game, I will not dive into details.

Last week, I finished my third sequence!!  I had to give a presentation with another student.  It was very nerve-racking, but I think it went well.  We had to look at a case study for a company, and then explain through a power point how the company used a sub brand to target new emerging customers and how they changed and adapted their industrial marketing segmentation techniques in a business-to-business environment.  Then we had to defend our case in a Q&A session.  Super exciting stuff right? haha No.  Then it was final time.  I think my final went well also, but I won't get my grades for a few months...so let's hope it was good! 

To celebrate the end of our sequence, some friends and I went out to eat and get a few drinks.  After, we went walking around town and ended up at a very cute Christmas Bazaar.  We shopped around for a while, got some desert, hot wine, and sat under the Christmas lights.  We then decided that the next day, Saturday, we should venture out of the city and into the country.  So we made plans to head to a very famous little village, Saint Emilion.  

On Saturday morning, we all met at Gare St. Jean, Bordeaux's train station.  It was about a 45 minute train ride into the country.  When we got off of the train, we were kind of surprised at first.  There was literally just a little shelter, and a sign that said "Saint Emilion."  My friend Alejandra said "Oh my God, we are literally in the middle of nowhere..."  There were a few other people that got off at that stop also, and they too looked confused.  The strangers started to walk down a road and we followed them.  We didn't know what else to do.  After a little bit, we could see the little village in the distance and we were at ease once again.  It was about a twenty minute walk from the train station. 

Saint Emilion is a small medieval town that produces a lot of wine and is a popular spot for tourists.  While we were there, we did a lot of exploring and sightseeing.  It is such a pretty town, exactly what I pictured an old French town to look like.  It is built in the hills, so all of the buildings are close but on different levels and the little stone streets wind and curve.  The architecture is captivating and you really feel like you are in the Middle Ages.  I loved it!  We decided to grab a late lunch while there, which was delicious, and looked at a few shops.

On our hike back to the train station, we ran into some exchange students that we go to school with.  Our group then grew from 6 to 8.  When we reached the train station, we realized that it is so remote, you can't even buy tickets.  We panicked a little at first, but others said it was normal to just get on the train at this station.  Alright, I guess.  There were about 20 other people waiting for the train, which happened to be a half hour late.  Another time of minor panic.  We just kept saying "Stranded in France." 

On the ride back, we decided to have a party at Alejandra's.  We all went grocery shopping together and headed to her flat for a fun filled night.  There were 6 nationalities, and conversations in 4 languages.  There was a lot of alcohol, laughter, and games.  We tried playing a card game where you have to count numbers out loud.  We thought it would be fun to give the game a twist and count in 3 mixed languages.  Let me tell you, trying to play a game and count "Uno, two, trois, quatre, five, six, siete, huit, neuf, diez" is a lot harder than you might think!  We also learned some phrases and words in Polish, and taught the little Dutch we learned from Amsterdam.  Once the alcohol got to the right level, there was dancing, so much dancing...but it was such a fun night! 

This week has been pretty good so far.  I started my 4th sequence yesterday!  I am now in "Decision Making for Supply Chain Management."  I have 3 really close friends in this class, so this class shouldn't be too bad.  Last night, Alejandra and I went out for some crepes, a French desert.  Very yummy, and a good way to start our last sequence together.  

Something else that has just been a bundle of fun is that my bank accounts decided to have a mysterious problem this week.  Conveniently right when I needed to pay my rent.  I sent a message to my mother that my newest adventure could be "Homeless in France."  She didn't seem to find the humor in that statement.  So I guess it is a good thing that everything was straightened out and I am still allowed to live here. ; )  Just another notch to put on my "What Else Could Possibly Go Wrong While Abroad" list.  That list seems to continuously grow...

Now that we are in December (already?? yikes!!) I have allowed myself to officially have a countdown until I come home for Christmas break!! Here it is: 19 Days Until I Leave...20 Days Until I am Home : )

This weekend I am off to Disneyland Paris and I am super excited!!!!! I should have some fun stories from that!!

Thank you all for reading!


"The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step."
-Lao Tzu

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