Sunday, May 15, 2011

Speak English! I don't know the meaning of half those long words, and I don't believe you do either!

I’ve been here for a week now and it’s been chaotic and so amazing. I haven’t had any time to actually post something. So instead of really detailed recollections of my adventures thus far I thought a brief preview would suffice and while I continue the six more weeks here I will frequently post the good and bad of France!

So after a long 24 hours full of layovers, ten degree-reclining airplane seats and horrible food I have finally made it to the beautiful city of Nice. The wonderful family hosting me is so great and the apartment I am staying in is magnificent. It is on the corner of Avenue Notre Dame and Rue Lépante, right above a quaint pharmacy. The doors are old and heavy, the floors are made of tiny grey tiles and the ceilings are 12 feet tall. I share a room with a girl from my program named Julie. She is sweet and a lifesaver. Everyone speaks lightning fast and add in all sorts of slang, which renders my two semesters worth of studying French basically useless. With her help and lots I practice I have mastered a couple of phrases—and by phrases I mean words—that have helped me get through the past 7 days. Bonjour! Merci! Pardon! Je ne sais pas! So far they have been sufficient, although I have a feeling that I should probably learn at least, like, 3 more…

We have a tour guide that is from the school that I attend here in France, her name is Blandine, and she is fantastic. On Thursday she took us to a little city called Antibes. I was able to go to the Picasso museum and it was so great. The museum had a lot of his ceramic work on display and a bunch of his sketches. It was amazing to see the process of his work. After the museum we sat at the beach for an hour or so. In Nice the beaches are covered in rocks and pebbles, the one in Antibes was sandy and we went crazy. It was nice not

having to wear hiking boots to the beach. Around the corner from the beach was this statue that was made completely of letters. It reminded me of a huge word-search puzzle. I have a to give a quick shout out to the wonderful Mower family. I was able to find a couple of words hidden in the piece and among them, with the exception of the pest of a letter "z", I discovered MOWER. Check out the picture if you don't believe me.

Just yesterday we went to Monaco. It was so much fun. First we went to Prince Albert's palace.It was a long hike up to the top of the hill on which it sat and on the way up we were able to see the track that is used for the Grand Prix,
although, that doesn't take place for a few more weeks. We got to watch the changing of the guards and got to visit the cathedral where Grace
Kelly is buried. That was neat. We also went to the Casino de Monte-Carlo. We were surrounded by couture stores and every fancy car you can imagine. I had to laugh right out loud when there was a Chevrolet parked amongst them. After we were shook from our dreams of one day being the person pulling up in the Maserati dressed in Chanel, we headed down to the most beautiful, and only, Japanese gardens I have ever seen.

Today I was able to go to church, I didn't understand a single word that was said, but it didn't matter cause the spirit of the Lord spoke to me and I knew that it was where I was supposed to be. I am so thankful to be a member of the church and to be blessed with this amazing opportunity. It would not have been possible without my Heavenly Father.

I miss you. I love you.


  1. So very happy for you Al!! Live it up :)

  2. Alisen,

    Love your blog!!! I am watching it faithfully until your return. Loved the tour of your school. I am so jealous. What a wonderful opportunity for you. There is nothing better than french pastries!!! I loved that you walk everywhere and the little specialty shops, bread meat etc. No grocery stores there right? Enjoy, we are thinking of you!!