Sunday, June 29, 2008

oot goot aat hallo.

Thursday we took the train to Brussels. It only took about an hour. I definitely prefer the train over Ryanair. We got a nice table too.

Brussels was amazing. It is the cutest little city and the hostel we stayed in gave us a fabulous room with a fabulous view. It was awesome.

Our hostel with its huge ceiling windows and carpeted floors (!!!)

Everything was within like 10-15 minutes of walking distance. We started off going to the plaza and looking in all the little shops... Slowly knocking off the touristy things we wanted to do: buy chocolate, eat a belgian waffle, drink beer.

Brussels, Belgium

We went to Delirium Cafe which is famous for it's Delerium Tremens beer which has been voted the #1 beer in the world for taste. It was pretty good. But besides that, they have over 2000 kinds of beer there. Even Lone Star, probably... ha ha. I tried some others as well. After being here in Europe, I think I've tried a couple of good quality beers. Leffe is really really smooth and good. I have yet to try Hoeegaarden, sigh... Haha. Then we went to some dance club that I can't remember the name of. I do remember they decorated their walls with South Park characters, ha ha.

The next day we went to Amsterdam... a completely different city than Brussels. It's like an industrial Venice. Everything about it so modern and design-focused. But at the same time, they hold on to their old city feel with the buildings, canals, bridges, bikes, etc.

Amsterdam in a picture.

The first day we just wandered around ... paid an arm and a leg for our hostel. Sigh. We went to the Red Light district. It was interesting. Not as raunchy as I thought it would be. The most chilling part of it was seeing an old man come out of the door, knowing that he had just finished up... yeah. We ate dinner at this fabulous Indonesian restaurant called Bojo. Oooo it was so good! It was like a mix between Thai and Indian. So yummy. And then we went to Green House and then went home.

There was this cat I discovered who lives in the hostel we stayed in. He was the cutest, nicest cat ever. He followed me up to the third floor (and these were very tall and steep staircases... and the ground floor is floor zero) and then he climbed into my lap! I named him Bobert. And I love him.


Saturday, we saw the Anne Frank house and the Van Gogh Museum. We ate at this good pancake house too. They had valentine hearts in Dutch. We also took a canal tour that just put me to sleep. 8 Euro down the drain... but for a good nap. Joy and I were so set on getting tattoos. The two famous places are BodyCult and Hanky Panky. We spent this entire month figuring out what we wanted it to look like. I have been thinking about it for a long time... and I finally got it pretty much the way I wanted it. So we were determined. And we went. And my little drawing was going to cost 120-140 Euro. Holy shit? I guess I'll just get it done in Austin... if I do. Just being in Amsterdam was a nice push. Now the sweetness is gone. Later that night we went looking for a good club and ended up at some lame ones... so me and Joy ended up going to Escape, which was in the Rembrandtpleins. Apparently this is the hit club.... Haha. It was like techno-hiphop-wiggling... sweatiness. Europeans wiggle. There was another club, Paradiso, that was in an old church who was having an 80's party. I wish we had gone to that too! But Escape was fun, nonetheless. It really made me realize that I don't want anyone else but who I've got. No doubt.

Graffiti in Amsterdam

I really liked the fashion and graffiti in Amsterdam. The graffiti was so good. It was art. Unlike in Austin or I guess anywhere else I've really seen. It's definitely much more prevalent in Europe. But the Amsterdam graffiti was excellent. And I never thought I'd say graffiti is excellent, haha. The fashion was also nice. It's interesting how everywhere we go, the fashion is so different, despite how close these countries are to eachother. The cultures are completely different.


Anyway, all in all it was a fabulous trip. An extremely expensive, but good trip. It was an experience and I'm glad to say I've been.

I was ready to come home though. I think it's just because I'm so ready to go back to Texas, now. We're all kind of antsy and itchy to get on that plane... since we all would much rather just skip this hell week of exams and final projects. So lame.

Tonight was Spain v. Germany. I'm so glad Spain won! :) Who likes the Germans anyway? Jk.

How many people can say they've been to 4 countries in 1 week: Spain, France, Belgium, The Netherlands.

Sigh, I can't wait to see you. 5 more days.



I've kind of left out the happenings of Paris since I focus on my weekends so much. So there will probably be 2 updates.

It's really hard to believe that Paris is almost over. I've developed a love/hate relationship with it, for sure. It definitely isn't one of my favorite cities in Europe, but it's undeniably beautiful and cultural.

I found a nice park that I like to read in. It's the Parc Floral by the Chateau de Vincennes. Unfortunately, it's only free on certain days of the week. Lame!

Lovers @ the Parc Floral

We also went to Versailles which was extravagant. No duh. There were some cool photographs by Karl Lagerfeld. But at the same time, I thought... I could have taken those. It's just my name isn't Karl Lagerfeld. Sigh. I mean, how many angles of Versailles could you possibly take? It's like everyone's Notre Dame pictures. They all look the same.

Kristin, Me, and Meagan @ Versailles

The Marketing group went to one of the L'Oreal plants around Paris. It was pretty fascinating. It made me think of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. If you don't know, L'Oreal is much bigger than just the L'Oreal brand. They own Maybelline, Redken, Garnier, Lancome, The Body Shop, and tons of other famous brands. I also found out McDonalds owns Chipotle... there's some food for thought!

Rachel and me in our L'Oreal gear.

Then after that, we hurried home to get dressed up and go to the ballet. It was so beautiful I wanted to cry. The chandelier inside the old opera inspired the Phantom of the Opera. Fun fact! They also played the song I played senior year ... Chopin's Ballade No. 1 ... also made famous by The Pianist ... sigh, such a good song. I decided I want a keyboard for my birthday.


Joy, Larissa, and I also trekked back to Montmartre to find the "I Love You" wall. It's written in hundreds of different languages. Very cute.

The "I Love You" Wall

Sigh, then Wednesday was dedicated to SHOPPING! The French government only allows stores to have discounts at certain times. The first day is June 25th. All I can say is... it was madness. It was worse than tax-free/black friday/christmas put together, haha. But, at the same time, literally almost everything was 50-70% off... EVERYWHERE!

Then after that, I went with Rachel and Kristin to the Annie Leibovitz exhibit. It was amazing. It also made me want to cry as well. Her selection of photos were definitely very personal. Very inspirational.

Thursday was also Rachel's 20th birthday. Except I had to stay home to edit a paper. :( Poop.

Ok, I'll update again later for Brussels/Amsterdam.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Hola Barcelona!

Barcelona was great for so many reasons.

The weather was amazing. It was definitely much nicer than the grayness of Paris and the dark clothes that people wear. You could tell how much it really affected their culture. The people were just more colorful and loud.

The city was gorgeous. Obviously. City, Beach, and Mountains all in one? Yes.

The food was amazing. I recommend the nachos at Princesa 23!!! I think it tasted so damn good because we were all dying for Mexican food... and this was the closest we found. Guacamole, I missed you. Plus, sangria sangria sangria sangria everywhere. I love sangria. I want to make sangria. I want to make love to sangria.

Sangria @ Princesa 23

Oh, and shopping? 5-story Zara? Yes.

The hostel was clean and cheap too. Which was a plus. And the walls were a nice blue. And we got to share the room with almost everyone in the group which was fun fun fun. :)

Oh and the beach? GORGEOUS. And get this... we all went topless for about 30 minutes. AHH!! And to tell the truth, it felt so much better. Girls here have huge nipples though, not going to lie. Pepperoni pizza.

Girls on la playa.

And partying? Get this. As if I don't point out what's AA enough of the time... we're looking for some other club... and give up because we can't find it. So we find this one... and they say that it's invitation only so we walk off and then they're like wait how may of you are there... so they let us in. And what do I see being projected onto the walls... but VICE magazine video montages... Haha. And I'm like... well well... wait til' I tell the people back home. And then we are like ... hm how much are the drinks... so we go look... and hello.. OPEN BAR!! yes!!! And I see a flyer... and it's for the party that we're at... and apparently it's for the opening of the American Apparel in Barcelona. LOL.

Party scene in Barcelona.

It was a great time had by all.

Le sigh.

And I went on a bike tour. Yeah I rode a bike for about 4 hours. Yes I did run into 2 people. But otherwise, it was so much fun! I want one now. Besides the fact that my crotch is majorly bruised.

Fat Tire Bike Tour.

Until next time.

<3 Frances

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

NICE nice.

I saw a topless pregnant lady in Nice who could've been a really fat man with manboobs rinsing herself off and pulling open her bottoms so she could wash her coochie and her crack. Yep!

I don't really much feel like typing a lot today.

Just know that I tried looking for bubble tea today with Meagan, and we were unsuccessful. It was very sad. But they said they'd have it Monday, so Monday I shall be in boba heaven.

Joy and I are going to get tattoos if we're not broke by the end of this trip. :)

I love nutella, gyros, and daliryan apples.

My favorite part of today was talking to you even if it was just for a couple minutes. <3

Kristin, Joy, and Me in Nice.

People hanging out by the water.


View of the Cote d'Azur (French Riviera) from Eze Village

Me in front of the Grand Casino in Monaco

Is that an Aston Martin? I think so.

Time to take a nap and then ... France v. Italy!!! Although Holland is apparently better than the both of them now.

<3 Frances

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


Picking up from last time, I went to The Go! Team concert with Rachel and Meagan at the Sonique Villette festival last Thursday. It would have been awesome to see Devo. Haha, sigh. There were a lot of free shows as well, such as El Guincho, Chromatics, and Sage Francis. Anyhow, it was amazing. Despite the wait through Zombie Zombie (headache techno nyquil music) and making jowl-faces with R&M to pass the time, it was fun! They all dance so well and the Japanese girls sing awesome. Haha. Afterwards, we missed the metro by like 3 minutes, but we didn't want to take a taxi. So we tried to get the city bikes that are stationed all around Paris, but the machine wasn't working... nor did we have a map to get back home. We tried the bus but that miserable failed. We ended up taking a taxi and walking 20 minutes home. Whatevs! Haha. It was worth the effort. It made for a memorable night... Haha. Do it! Do it! Alright! :)

The Go! Team @ The Grande Halle de la Villette

This weekend we stayed in Paris. Friday night we went to the Eiffel tower and popped some wine. Joy and I brought glasses from our apartment, haha. We got this awesome fruity ... thing at Monoprix for like 3 Euro, but the alcohol content was less than minimal haha. We did run into the gypsy with the umbrella hat... and sneaked a pic!

The next day we went to this AMAZING flea market at Porte de Clignancourt. It was still not as good as the ones in Asia, but still amazing. I got some cheap shoes. Well... cheaper. And a pair of spatulas with giraffes on the ends.... don't ask me why. I'm going to give them to my mom. Just know I bargained them down more than 50%. Haha, god. Then we went to eat some gyros at some restaurant nearby and was approached by a big black man named Mylove. Mylove seemed to have the impression that "sudamericans... (or americans living in the south)" were racist. His focus was mainly on Rachel because she's white, HAHA. Um, it got pretty intense. But once we mentioned our support for Obama, he cooled down... and then proceeded to ask Rachel if he could stay in her place if he visited. Haha... ok.

Then we went to Montmartre to see the Sacre-Coeur... which was amazing. Some dude was playing Radiohead on the steps leading up to it which was neat.

We got some good ice cream and then went to go see the Moulin Rouge and the Musee de' Erotique... Haha. I went into my first sex shop too!! Ahh... Yes.

If only I could get my hands on one of these... Hahaha

Later we went to some cafe and got some sangria for pretty cheeaaapp. The cups said hoeegarden. Pretty sweet.

Sunday, we went to Chinatown in search of bubble tea, but they had none! It originated in Taiwan, and this Chinatown was more Chinese oriented... so they didn't have it. :( Sigh. But we did get some excellent Chinese food.

Mao Maos.

Rachel and I also went to the Chateau de Vincennes. Cool.

And theeeennn yesterday we went to Notre Dame and climbed up 400 or so steps to see some gargoyles which were pretty neat.
Gargoyle on Notre Dame.

The view from Notre Dame.

Then we got some excellent raspberry gelato/sorbet/icecream afterwards... And then we went to some bar near Bastille afterward to watch the soccer game between France and Romania... Yeah. They had this huge 3 liter beer thing.

And then we went to the Long Hop which is supposed to be opened by a Texas alumni, but there was no sign of longhorns... so idk.

Now I'm going to go take a walk to walk off the spaghetti Rachie madeeee hehe.

I miss all of you.
One in particular. :)

<3 Frances

Friday, June 6, 2008


What up.

This lady outside is walking past our dorm with an abnormally large baguette. Like, the size of her body. Is that even still called a baguette?

Ah, the National is playing on my iTunes. They are definitely my favorite discovery this year, I think.

Hmm, a bunch of us went down near Napoleon's Pantheon and went to this bar called Bombardier. It was more like an English pub if anything. The one thing I've learned here is that alcohol is fucking expensive, shit!

Rachel, Meagan, and me at Bombardier

And seeing how I'm not the biggest fan of wine, well. Yeah. But we did get a couple bottles of wine for our room (though we're still lacking a corkscrew) and they're pretty cheap. Just a couple euro a piece. And then the metro stops running during the week at around 1:00 a.m. so you have to either walk quite a bit home or pay another couple euro for a taxi. Sucks baguettes. And then we hung out with some Frenchies.

We also went on a Paris by Night tour... and saw the major landmarks in central Paris... like The Eiffel Tower, all the major museums, and a million other things I can't remember, hahaha.

Rachel and I went searching for Notre Dame, but instead got sidetracked at Hotel de Ville where they were watching a huge tennis match (the French Open???) and stopped there for a bit.
French couple by the Hotel de Ville

Then we ended up at H&M... which actually was a bit disappointing!! I think I was a little hesitant because all my money is seriously being spent so much faster than I intended. And I feel like I'm doing better than a lot of people. Which is not a good thing.

Like we went to Gare de Lyon to book our train to Brussels/Amsterdam and it was like 115 Euro per person! And our hostel in Amsterdam is around $75 a night. Jesus. Our hostel in Barcelona is only around 68 Euro total... if we get there and don't miss our plane, eep.

But anyhow, we also went on a boat cruise down the River Seine and then hung out with our professor at this club in the Latin Quarter... called Georges Cafe.

Couple looking over the River Seine

Caramel Condoms @ Georges Cafe

All I can say is... wild. Hahaha. And then walked an hour home back to our dorms. Oh. And SPOTTED... ROGER FEDERER at a hotel by the Champs Elysees!!!!!!! Ahhh!!!

Rachel and I went to the Cemetiere de Pere Lachaise by our school yesterday. It is HUGE and gorgeous as well. We saw the tombs of Frederic Chopin, Gericault, Marcel Proust, Jim Morrison, Victor Noir (his was the best)... I don't even really know who he is or why he is famous... and a lot of other famous people. I also saw the fattest cat ever. It was like a miniature lion.

strange grave.

Fat Cat.

Last night was the Go! Team concert. AMAZING. I'll post pictures later.

This place is so interesting!! The high school kids all wear tight black jeans with bright tennis shoes and have American Apparel gym bags, no kidding. All of them. They're all yelling outside of my window right now. All the young people read on the metro. And when I mean read, I mean they read classic literature for fun. I love croissants with chocolate inside of them. :) I'm really poor. Fuck, I'm poor. French food is really bland. I'm sorry. Their wine is good, yes, but their food just really is far from spectacular. I do like cheese though. And all their desserts and breads. But there is just a lack of meat! I think that is the Texan coming out of me. Every now and then we'll have pasta, but ... that's Italian. Haha, but you never know. Perhaps I will change my mind. Dude but I did find these amazing cookies at the supermarche... like omg.

Ok, I should go nap now. The Louvre is free again tonight. And then I intend to go pop a bottle of champagne in front of the Eiffel Tower, no kidding. The Hills anyone?

<3 Frances

Monday, June 2, 2008

Bonjour Paris!

Rachel and I got into Paris yesterday around 9:30 in the morning.

And then trekked through many a metro station and up many stairs to finally get to our final destination.... Residence Vivaldi!

Pictured above is the front entrance to our grand living quarters.

Kidding. It's the Louvre.

The Louvre

It's free on the first Sunday of every month... so we had to go. I saw Mona. If you need to work out, I'd go to the Louvre. Haha. We walked like 5 miles to go see the Code of Hammurabi only to find out that it was "on vacation." Assholes.

River Seine

Then we went out to dinner later with some people to an Italian restaurant. Made me realize how frickin' broke I'm gonna be after this trip!

Although our toilet is broken and our room light doesn't work, our room is pretty awesome. Rachel and I went grocery shopping after our absurdly long day at school and we just made our first dinner! We spend our time looking out our window at Rue de Reuilly and spy on people.

Ummm, ok that's all for now!
Parisians don't use trash cans or drink water.

More to come later... :)

Au revoir,