Monday, November 30, 2009

twinkle lights

At long last I have finally seen the Champs-Elysées lit for Christmas!!!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

the third edition

At long last I give you the final edition of our Tourist Coupons from Toussaint...

Tourist Coupons: Lyon from Sally Anderson on Vimeo.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

"C'est interdit à danser!"

We had to fight off the 4 year-olds to get to him, but...

Merci Mickey! Sarah, Brita, and I were definitely the oldest people taking pictures with him, but I think we turned into 4 year-olds in the process! I couldn't get over the fact that we were the same height... It would seem that I suffer from a Peter Pan complex. So it should come as no surprise to anyone that we rode It's a Small World. Due to the aforementioned complexity, I continue to be awed by this ride. Particularly in this case because they combined "It's a Small World" with "Jingle Bells." It was on this ride that a little boy sitting behind us pointed out this sign to his parents and exclaimed, "C'est interdit à danser!" In plain English, "It's forbidden to dance!" I nearly died laughing! Really it's warning you to stay seated, but dancing is a much more imaginative way to put it. Needless to say, we were quoting him the rest of the day. We rode Space Mountain, belted Euro Disney's theme song "Just Like We Dreamed It," skipped everywhere, went to the parade on Main Street, tried yanking out the sword in the stone, considered taking the enchanted rose out from under its glass case, and assumed the role of every Disney prince and princess's personal paparazzi. After all, growing up does not mean growing old! Which brings me to la pièce de résistance... Peter Pan!!! Sarah and I missed this storybook ride the last time we were here, so we broke out our fast passes. Hopping onto a pirate ship, we sailed into the Darling's nursery, and flew out the other side with Peter's shadow to glide over the streets of London! "You Can Fly! You Can Fly! You Can Fly!" was playing and we had our arms out, singing along. I can't do justice to the pure elation, giddiness, and joy I felt! It's my favorite story!! And I can't wait to see it on the stage in Paris this coming Sunday with Sarah and none other than Mme Chauchat! I'm over the moon! And no, we don't know what language it's in! Nevertheless, Neverland is the same place and Peter Pan is the same boy who never grows up!

Brita and I also braved the still-rabid crowds at the movie theater to see New Moon/Tentation ("Temptation"). I was really impressed! If you know of my near meltdown after the first film, this is big news! It was in English, but with French subtitles. But if you've seen, I'm sure you know that you'll be distracted by something other than subtitles ;) A very entertaining weekend!

And remember... a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down, kiss the girl, forget about your worries and your strife, someone's waiting for you, perfect isn't easy, if you walk the footsteps of a stranger you'll learn things you never knew you never knew, Hakuna Matata, and above all... you can fly!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

from Brussels to Beaujolais

So Brussels. I got there Saturday night and Dad had all sorts of goodies from Mom waiting for me in the hotel. Including, but by no means limited to, the next three books in the Anne of Green Gables series! The next morning we were off to find coffee. I swear this stuff runs through Anderson blood. Coffee, coffee, coffee. My weekends are spent making up for my lack of it weekdays. Overdosing was never so delicious. Then it was chocolate, chocolate, chocolate. Dad took me to Chocopolis, the chocolaterie he is loyal to. And with good reason! The staff is as sweet as the chocolate. Picking out the pieces I wanted was nearly impossible. But it was worth it in the end with a 10% discount (loyalty rewarded!) and a free postcard. Really most of the day was spent wandering the streets and sampling all kinds of Belgian specialties. That is, with an exception to the escargot cart across from the Manneken Pis... gross! For dinner dad took me to Amadeo, "The Place for Ribs." I kid you not! This is apparently Belgium's answer to Damon's, but with a strange absence in BBQ sauce. I washed it down with an Irish coffee that was so strong it even made Dad flinch. If that doesn't tell you something about its potency, I don't know what does! All in all, great weekend with some of my favorite people.

And now... I must admit something to you. Last Wednesday I was planning on something since it was a holiday and I had the day off (side note: not that anyone at the school actually told me... yeah). But... the truth is that after an outing to the Armistice Day market in Trévoux I was so traumatized that I could not take fingers to keyboard. I had been thrilled beyond measure to see a vendor at said market selling vin chaud or hot wine. It seemed that my wait was over, so I pulled out my euro coin and stood smiling in line with great anticipation. And then I saw it. A box... of wine. Boxed wine. Boxed wine in France. Well that wiped the smile off my face! I quickly avoided eye contact and set of running down the street (no literally, the street) of Trévoux before saying something I would regret/fainting/whichever came first.

But today. Today that haunting memory is behind me. Today is the third Thursday of November. Today is the release of Beaujolais Nouveau! This "little wine" is meant to be drunk as quickly as possible. In fact, one of the teachers at the school told me that you wouldn't catch a French person drinking it after Christmas. Speaking of school... I have to say it was a great day! We got to drink Beaujolais Nouveau in the teacher's lounge! Only in France! They put out a spread of bread, cheese, and sausage and then popped open several dozen bottles. I limited myself to one glass of a wine from the next city over since I still had three classes to go. But it was divine! And despite it being an insufficient amount, I must say I was really happy the rest of the day! I asked around and it seems that the release of this wine is a big deal this one day and that's it. Everyone said it is a bigger deal in America than in France. But I took what they said with a grain of salt. After all, this is Trévoux and I can tell you... people here don't get out much!

Now that I've talked about this worldwide phenomenon, I must reveal to you my next cultural activity... EURO DISNEY!!! With Sarah and Brita this weekend! Sarah and I went for the Halloween decorations when we studied in Versailles and now we're going for the Christmas decorations! I am so excited! My goal is to get a picture with Mickey. If you remember the Captain Jack Sparrow incident from last time you will also recall that hunting down Disney characters- aka French Disney characters- is nearly impossible. I have my work cut out for me! In other news I am breaking out the Christmas music tomorrow! I don't have Thanksgiving, so I say it's allowed to start beforehand. Ah! Can't wait to listen to Hanson's Snowed In album! Comme la vie est belle!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

peace, love, & waffles

So the saying goes on Ali's blog! My best friend is pretty much the coolest person I know and the smartest. Which is what brought me to meet her in Bruges as she's doing this wild thing called getting your masters in a year. Phew! This meant she had a ridiculous amount of work to do, so we had about 24 hours to pack in as much as possible. Oh gosh, I don't even know where to begin except to say it was fantastic!

Sally and Ali. Yes, we have rhyming names and we are aware of the fact! Two peas in a pod. Reunited at last after six months of separation and nine hours of traveling on buses and trains. And, boy, when I saw her waiting for me at the end of the line I could not stop beaming for the life of me. Immediately falling back into the forms of communication that only best friends can begin to understand, we set off to take Bruges by the horns (or rather its postcard-perfect Disney Epcot-esque streets). This entailed food. Lots of food. French fries, waffles, cappuccinos, beer. Who needs another picture of a canal when you could be cozied up in the spitting image of Hog's Head making ESPN contacts (granted, they were a bit... gone) instead?! It was only 24 hours and yet I feel like I can't even convey their magnificence here because it was just pow, pow, pow in the memory making department.

Saturday started off with a "lie in" since we had stayed up doing all manner of girly nonsense until 3 AM. Finally rolling out of bed, I convinced Ali to cut my hair. Chop's more like it. Ah! So fun! We always pick out mood appropriate, make-you-brave-before-there's-no-turning-back-first-cut music to set the scene. And then I always pay her back in the form of Star Trek tickets or whatever she needs besides money; in this case hot chocolate. She took me to a tea room above this little chocolate shop where they bring out a ginormous (yes, ginormous) cup of hot milk with milk or dark chocolate morsels for you to whisk in. No words necessary, but... wow! I helped Ali embrace her tourist side, snapping photos of absolutely everything and squealing over our pictures as we snapped them. Then, back in her dorm, we squealed over our bands as only we can. I have lost track of how many concerts Ali and I have gone to together. Blasting their music on the drive there, holding our own in mosh pit after sweaty and ill behaved mosh pit, talking to the band after the show, and blasting their music again on the drive back. This is what we love to do! And we will do it again in Arizona! We have big plans. Never-ending, non-stop fun planning was a big part of the weekend! But until it's time to take a look at the long and exciting list we've made, we'll just have to take some more pictures to decorate our future apartment's walls.

And what's a trip to Belgium without running into your dad? Yep, that's right! This is the fourth time I've gotten to see my dad over here! Before taking me back to Brussels, Dad met us for dinner in Bruges. It was probably the most perfect 24 hours I have ever spent. I would go back in a heartbeat and I will most certainly do it before my program is over. Yes, I know there's all manner of technology to communicate, she and I literally use it all. But sometimes there's nothing better than seeing someone in person. And those sometimes are often when you're braving Europe alone. Ali, thanks again for the being the perfect hostess and best of "ele-friends!" This weekend couldn't have been better spent or appreciated. More to come on Brussels with Dad...

Monday, November 16, 2009

back to my... Flemish?

Everyone, I'm alive! I just spent the greatest weekend ever with my best friend Ali in Bruges and my dad in Brussels! So I was a bit distracted! I promise to post tomorrow and to be better about posting in the future... Sorry... my... Belgian... chocolate... is... calling... me...

To tide you over, here are some links in case you're...
-wondering if I'm alive: (it has also proven to be the best way to get in touch with me)
-wondering yet again if I'm alive and if so what I find noteworthy:
-wanting to see pictures of my travels (I am loading them, slowly but surely):
-into stalking my friends (Ali's blog):

Monday, November 9, 2009

can anybody find me...

Somebody to love? Just kidding! Now that I have internet, I got caught up on the show Glee and have had their rendition of "Somebody to Love" stuck in my head all day. I'll be buying this soundtrack once an iTunes crowd sprouts a pair of wings and finds its way to me, hint hint nudge nudge ;) Anyway, I've decided to integrate the show into my classes this week! We're going to talk about American high school stereotypes... and then we're going to watch a performance from Glee! After, of course, they fill in the blanks to the lyrics of the original version of the song, which they'll get to listen to twice. I did this with Michael Jackson's "Thriller" for Halloween and it was a big hit. So now we're going to do a new song every class!

But what I really need you to find for me are recipes. I took myself to Trévoux's market this past Saturday and finally loaded up on fruits and veggies. Much as I love a good omelette or stir fry, I know I'll need to change things up in the future. My oven is a strange and mysterious thing i.e. I need a manual. So while I'm working up the courage to experiment with that monster, let's just keep the meals to ones that can be done on a stovetop or served cold. I don't have a microwave either. I should also admit that I have not yet tackled meat in the Bomb Shelter. If you could see how I can buy meat at the market, perhaps you'd understand why I'm wary of it. Not to dump all French meat into one buy-the-rabbit-5-minutes-after-its-death category. They do have cold cuts here. I even stooped to eat at Subway over Toussaint... twice. All recipe e-mails would be greatly appreciated and perhaps later documented here! In college I remember hearing about bakeless cookies... hit me up if they aren't a figment of my imagination.

And finally, I give you more tourist coupons...

Tourist Coupons: Nice from Sally Anderson on Vimeo.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

tourist coupons

I couldn't be more excited about what I'm about to share with you. I had long since hit the point of believing that I would never have internet out here in the Beaujolais and that this day would never come. The second night I was in Aix-en-Provence with my friends, we had to wait an hour and a half for a tapas restaurant, which we were dead set on, to open for dinner. We were starving, bored, and too cheap to sit down for a drink in a café beforehand. Slap happiness ensued and we found ourselves joking about catching a "pre-dinner show" i.e. watching color changing fountains. And by joking I mean we actually did fountain watch for an hour and a half! The following project was born out of both a love for travel and insanity:

Tourist Coupons: Aix-en-Provence from Sally Anderson on Vimeo.

I hope you enjoyed watching it as much as we enjoyed filming it! Two more episodes along the way! Samantha Brown, eat your heart out!

Friday, November 6, 2009


After over a month of waiting, the blessed letter from Orange came in the mail and I have wireless here in Trévoux! I am so thrilled! I must be dreaming! I think I must have just talked to Ali on Skype for 2 hours! If you have Skype, please give me a call: sarahbysally. Things are looking up! I'm so excited!!!! This changes everything! AHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

P.S. I told you it looked like a bomb shelter!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

sorry and not sorry

For the lack of updates! Finally I have been participating in f-u-n that lasted longer than a weekend! I got a bit swept up in exhausting myself physically, mentally, and financially. Having planned out this Toussaint on our own, it proved to be a stark contrast to the one we had two years ago where our itineraries were specific to the minute. While we firmly rooted ourselves in Nice for the majority of the time, we still came out of it dead tired! But despite a steady decline in our energy, Nice captured our hearts. We had the most spectacular time there! When I first got into the South of France, I have to admit, I was kicking myself for not asking to be placed there for the assistantship. But I quickly heard a little voice that said I could have just as easily been placed in the middle of nowhere down there. And then I would have hated it and what good what that have done?! The South will always hold a warm and, most importantly, untarnished place in my heart.

Since my last post was quite a while ago, I’ll just give you some highlights so as not to strike you over the head with a novel about my vacation:
1. Wednesday: The Chagall museum. I’m so grateful to have finally gotten to see his work in person. He is one of my all time favorites! And then we watched Anne of Avonlea, which was also awesome! You never know what's truly comforting to you until you're without it abroad. This series was one of those things for me in Versailles. But watching the second one was especially comforting this time around. Anne goes off to start teaching in this horrible school and how she rises above it... Can't imagine why I like it so much1 And then there's Gilbert Blythe!
2. Thursday: Dancing on tables at Wayne’s! This blog is all about new experiences and I might as well admit it here! After a trying day-trip out to Monaco, we decided a night on the town was in order. We had an absolute riot! And since I’ve told my dad this story, I feel I can go ahead and share this one too… In the middle of said dancing-on-the-tables this guy turns to me and says that he’s French and wants to give me a French kiss. He insisted that he wanted me to have a good vacation and this would really seal the deal. After saying no several times over, he finally left and we were thrown into the most uproarious of giggle fits as we continued dancing away to the beats of pretty much the coolest DJ ever.
3. Friday: Dinner on Dad in Nice! We all met up with Dad and his co-pilots at their hotel where he surprised us with some of Mom’s pumpkin-shaped sugar cookies. We nearly died of excitement! We had an aperitif at a café before dinner where Margaret and I tried pastis, the staple licorice-tasting liquor of the South. It has to be watered down it’s so strong, but I liked it a lot! At dinner Sarah and I got daring and had mussels (I am notoriously against seafood, so this was a big step), which were surprisingly delicious! Although, I must say, it’s a lot easier to be more adventurous when someone else is footing the bill. Thanks Dad for showing us all a great time!
4. Saturday: Sleeping on the train on our way to Lyon… that’s pretty much all we did besides the general eating marathon and watching The Big Bang Theory.
5. Sunday: Starbucks!
6. Monday: Dinner on “Papa Furman!” We got to meet up with the Furman group studying abroad in Versailles. This, of course, meant we also got to see my favorite professor, Dr. Allen i.e. the reason I became a French major! It was so good to see them all!

Now I’m back to life at the Bomb Shelter. But it’s not so bad. Hell must have frozen over because after staying at that hostel in Lyon (a beyond major step down from Europe's top rated hostel in Nice), I was actually happy to come back here. I don’t have to worry about random sick roommates, a lack of soap in the bathroom, or running into creepy old men on the way to the dirty bathroom in the middle of the night(quick rant: can someone please explain why families and people who are obviously not "youth" stay in youth hostels?). Yesterday I spent the entire day drinking Earl Grey and reading Anne of Green Gables. I’ve always loved the movies, but I’ve never read the books. I was just starting it, but I got so engrossed that I’m over halfway through. Whatever will I do when I’m done?! By all means send me something to read i.e. letters! I’ve gotten letters from Ali, Libby, and Aunt Maureen already! Each one was like the physical form of a silver lining to my day!

This weekend will be my first weekend in Trévoux. Beyond visiting the cheese man at Saturday’s market I’m not sure what I will do. I’m afraid I will exhaust my scanty book collection if that wretched letter from the internet company doesn’t get here beforehand. And continue my very academic pain au chocolat research… bien sûr!