A Nebraskan in Paris moves to Dallas.

by Susan Freeman

From Paris to Dallas (with a few stops in between)

So after returning to America from Paris just about three weeks ago, I made a few pit stops in Philly, DC, and New York. Both sisters were graduating two weekends in a row, so we had many celebrations!! After driving back to Omaha with my mom and Ally, I had just one week to spend at home preparing for my next adventure. The week was definitely not long enough, but thankfully i managed to get ready while having enough time to see all my friends and family a bit!

Immediately following Ally’s adorable bridal shower, which I obviously couldn’t miss since I’m 1/2 the MOH, I hopped in my already-packed car and hit the road. The drive to Dallas from Omaha is 11 hours, but I did in two days, so stopped in Wichita for the night on Saturday. Thankfully I safely arrived in Dallas Sunday afternoon, and got settled in my new apartment and got ready for my first day of work!

Our first day was quite exhausting, but still very good! I feel like I have already learned so much about the company! The other interns and I got to get to know each other throughout the day which was really great. We also got to have lunch at the Zodiac restaurant in the store, which was delicious! We had basic training, and start in our departments tomorrow (designer jewelry for me)!

My roommates and I also toured our neighborhood a bit, and it is sups adorbs. There are a bunch of restaurants and bars all within walking distance, so we are all really excited about that! Also, the pool and fitness center at our apartment looks pretty nice! We also found a yoga studio just around the corner which we all are planning to try out!

Its only been one day, but it has definitely been a great start to my summer in Dallas! xoxo

So Ally actually came back to Paris with me after Nice for this past week! Her mom flew in over the weekend to meet her, and they were spending the week in Paris to celebrate Ally’s birthday!

We celebrated Ally’s birthday on Thursday with a trip to the Catacombes, which was quite bizarre to be honest. We had an amazingly delicious dinner at Le Souffle. They serve mostly different types of souffle. I had onion soup, soinach and goat cheese souffle, and banana chocolate souffle for dessert! We toasted with champagne, and it was a great birthday celebration!

I stayed at their amazing apartment on Thursday night, it had a great view of the Eiffel Tower. On Friday we took a lovely day trip to visit Giverny and Versailles. Giverny and Monet’s gardens and house were SO beautiful. It was so neat after learning about Monet all semester, and seeing so many pieces of his work, to then see where he painted and gained inspiration from. Giverny is definitely a place everyone should try to visit. Though I would suggest July/August when the lilies are supposedly in bloom!

Versailles was also great, it was my second trip, but this time we had better weather and the gardens were in bloom, so it was much more enjoyable! We rented a golf cart to tour the gardens and see Marie Antoinette’s house which was also very fun!

We went on a tour of the Eiffel Tower Saturday morning before our day full of shopping! Shopping in Paris is probably near the top of things I will miss the most….

We ended the celebration with a little party to also celebrate my friend Nathan’s 21st birthday, and it was a great end to a fantastic week!

I honestly cannot believe I have less than 14 days left now in Paris. Sadly my next two weeks are full of finals and studying and getting ready to go back to the USA. I am trying to make sure I get everything packed into these last few days so I don’t miss out on anything that Paris has to offer! XOXO

My last and final trip outside of Paris was possibly my favorite. It started on Thursday when I went to the Champagne region of France with my two marketing classes. We got to visit two different champagne houses, one larger more corporate one, and a smaller family owned one. We got to taste champagne at both houses and see the cellars and learn about the process of producing champagne. It was the best field trip I’ve ever taken with school! The smaller, family owned house was my favorite, and obviously it had the better champagne!

The next morning I left early on a train headed south to Nice, France. The train was 5 hours, but it was a beautiful ride. Once we got far enough south and hit the coast, I couldn’t pull my eyes from the window, the Mediterranean Sea is simply gorgeous. Upon arriving in Nice I met up with my bff from high school Ally who was coming from Spain! We checked into our hotel, wandered along the beach for a while, and ate a delicious classic French dinner that lasted for almost five hours.

The next day we hopped on a train to Monaco to see the second smallest country in the world. Monaco is a truly weird country, but it was amazing nonetheless. We managed to walk back and forth across the country several times throughout the afternoon as we were headed to the Monte Carlo Casino, the Palace, and the port - which was full of ridiculous yachts. We had a lovely dinner overlooking the port, and returned to Nice that evening.

On Sunday we went to visit the flower and food market in Nice to pick up some food for an ocean-side picnic. The wind was crazy that day so we ended up eating in a park, but the food was delicious, especially the fresh strawberries and olives! After our lunch we stumbled upon a lovely little beach where we rented a couple of beach chairs and lounged around for the rest of the day! It wasn’t hot enough for full-fledged tanning, but I managed to fry every inch of my body that was visible to the sun! We also learned while in Nice that one of their specialties is Rosé, so we ordered ourselves a pitcher of Rosé to enjoy while lounging! We ended the perfect day with a delicious burger from our favorite bar Ralph’s where we enjoyed some amazing live music!

Nice and the south of France is truly heaven, I absolutely loved it! We were super lucky with the weather and that made it much harder to head back to the rain and gloom in Paris on Monday. Nonetheless, it was an amazing last weekend trip for my semester! XOXO

SO, again, I have manged to fall behind by several weeks on my blog and since the semester is sadly almost over, I have to catch up!

After my weekend in Italy, I spent the following weekend (Easter) in Dublin, Ireland. Dublin was an amazing city and a really fun trip. I went with three of my friends from my Paris program. We spent the weekend exploring Dublin, we visited the Guiness Storehouse and went on a pub crawl one night - both were super fun! On Saturday we took a day trip down to Wicklow and Glendalough. The tour was my favorite part of the trip because the Ireland countryside is simply gorgeous. It was really an amazing opportunity to get to see Ireland and learn more about the history of Ireland from our hilarious tour guide! Plus, the best part of the trip was stopping at the bridge where they filmed a scene in P.S. I Love You! XOXO

This past weekend I took a quick trip to Italy! I didn’t think it was possible to see both Rome and Florence in less than three days, but I somehow made it happen! After landing in Rome, my Cornell friends Molly and Michelle, and I spent the day touring Rome. We grabbed pizza for lunch, saw the Colosseum, the Trevi Fountain, and the Spanish Steps before meeting up with Ali to catch out train to Florence that night. It was definitely a whirlwind view of the city, but I am glad I at least got to catch a glimpse of it! Our next day in Florence was much more relaxing with our fabulous “tour guide” Amy who is studying there. We saw the Duomo, met David (as in michelangelo’s) , toured the leather market, ate delish gelato, ate too much amazing pasta, and spent quality time together!! We also got to celebrate Amy’s 21st birthday that night which was so fun! It was also a pretty fast tour of the city, but again, totally worth it!

Italy was really wonderful to get to spend time with a few of my Cornell friends who I probably won’t see until we are back at school in August for senior year, so I am really glad I got the opportunity to see them and do it in a beautiful country like Italy!

Midterm week was also a surprisingly amazing week. Besides exams, I had the opportunity to attend a ballet at the Opera Bastille, which was stunning. the main ballerina actually got injured halfway through the show which I had never seen happen before, but overall it was a great performance. The following night I also got to attend a party at the American Embassy in Paris to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of my program IES in Paris. That was also pretty cool to get to see inside one of the buildings of the embassy, it was decorated Versailles-style and it overlooked the Place de Concorde and the Eiffel Tower, so the view was really breathtaking!

Thankfully I still passed my midterms all with flying colors and all without spending millions of hours in Mann Lib…its times like these that I really don’t miss Cornell at all! However, I am going to really miss all of Choklay’s (the AEPhi cook) amazing Passover dishes this week! The matzah brie and matzah balls are just so delicious - but I’m in Paris so I can’t complain. Apres midterms the weather in Paris also took an amazing turn! The sun came out and brought out all the Parisian people with it! It was really like the city came alive again and the parks and gardens everywhere were just full of people! My friends and I spent a lot of nice, relaxing time at a few parks around the city soaking up the sun and getting in some fabulous people watching! I also went to the Rodin museum for the first time, and went to see the Louis Vuitton + Marc Jacobs exhibit. The exhibit was super fascinating and really well executed. I don’t think it quite met the level of the McQueen exhibition at the Met last summer, but it is definitely up there (it was also curated by the same people I believe?). Either way, I am so glad I was in Paris and able to witness such an amazing fashion exhibition that I normally would have had to read a review about online instead!

The week-end after the fam left, IES took us on a cool trip up in Northern France to Normandy! It was very WWII based, and took me back to all my wonderful memories of AP US with Mr. Wilson. We visited several museums that told the stories of WWII and of the battles in Normandy and on the Normandy beaches. We stayed at a hostel that was amazing because it was right on Gold Beach, but it was a bit terrible because the food was quite sub-par. Since you can apparently only eat fish on Fridays during lent, our dinner consisted of fish soup followed by a fish main course…from what I understand I believe a vegetable soup would have been just as appropriate? (but i’m not complaining - it was free)!
We also got to visit Omaha beach and the American Cemetery which was an amazing experience. The cemetery is situated right on the cliffs above the beach and it is really neat. The beaches are also gorgeous, which makes it quite hard to imagine that thousands of people fought and died right there during the war. Omaha Beach really has no connection to Omaha, Nebraska, besides the name, but it was pretty cool. My friends and I did get caught by the fast tide coming in and got a little soaked, but it was totally worth it!
Our trip only lasted one night because sadly we all had to get back to Paris to “study” for all our midterm exams that week!

The week-end after the fam left, IES took us on a cool trip up in Northern France to Normandy! It was very WWII based, and took me back to all my wonderful memories of AP US with Mr. Wilson. We visited several museums that told the stories of WWII and of the battles in Normandy and on the Normandy beaches. We stayed at a hostel that was amazing because it was right on Gold Beach, but it was a bit terrible because the food was quite sub-par. Since you can apparently only eat fish on Fridays during lent, our dinner consisted of fish soup followed by a fish main course…from what I understand I believe a vegetable soup would have been just as appropriate? (but i’m not complaining - it was free)!

We also got to visit Omaha beach and the American Cemetery which was an amazing experience. The cemetery is situated right on the cliffs above the beach and it is really neat. The beaches are also gorgeous, which makes it quite hard to imagine that thousands of people fought and died right there during the war. Omaha Beach really has no connection to Omaha, Nebraska, besides the name, but it was pretty cool. My friends and I did get caught by the fast tide coming in and got a little soaked, but it was totally worth it!

Our trip only lasted one night because sadly we all had to get back to Paris to “study” for all our midterm exams that week!

MIA

So I know I have been super MIA on my blog over the past few weeks, but my life has just been super crazy and non-stop since my mom and sisters left Paris! I am going to try to get all caught up before I forget everything that I have done! Happy almost Passover! How is a girl supposed to keep Passover in Paris when the streets are literally throwing bread at you 24/7?

this past week was probably my favorite week in Paris so far because my mom and two sisters were here visiting me! they arrived early monday morning where i met them at the Charles de Gaulle Aeroport and helped them take the train/metro back into the city to their hotel where we got lunch at the famous Cafe Flore. sadly, i did still have to attend my classes all week as midterms are starting, so they had some time monday afternoon and every other morning to spend on their own. monday night we had a great “classic” french dinner at a small brasserie near their hotel.

on tuesday i met up with them at the Musee d’Orsay after class, where we saw the famous impressionist art and ate lunch before heading to Le Bon Marché to do some shopping! after spending several hours wandering the department store, we had dinner at a cute restaurant called Les Cocottes, with lauren’s favorite cesear salad and where all the dishes are served in Staub cocotte dishes.

wednesday, after i went to the Petit Palais with my art history class, and mom & sisters did it at the same time, we went to l’Orangerie to see all of Monet’s water lily paintings, which are amazing in real life. then we went to lunch at Fauchon, a famous bakery near Le Madeline, which just happens to be right near the other major department stores Printemps and Galleries Lafayette, which thankfully saved us from the rain for a few hours! wednesday night we had dinner at Willi’s Wine Bar, mom was not happy about the long walk in the rain, but the food and wine was “almost worth it!”

thursday morning the girls all went to the Rodin museum and Eiffel Tower while i was in class. i met up with them at the Eiffel Tower and we went to lunch at Angelina followed by their famous, delicious hot chocolate and mont blanc dessert! we then wandered up and down rue Saint Honoré admiring all the pretty designer stores. for dinner we went to the famous Relais de L’entrecote, where they only serve steak frites, ally was a great sport and went so mom & lauren could try it!

friday morning i went to see the movie “Intouchables” with my french class. it is a french film that came out in November, and quickly became the second largest film in France. it got questionable reviews in America, many critics saw it as racist, but the film (from what i understood (in France they do happen to show french movies in french without english subtitles)) it was really good and funny! after the movie i met up with the girls as they had just gone to Notre Dame and gotten ice cream at Berthillon on Ile Saint Louis. we met in one of my favorite areas, Le Marais, and got my favorite falafel for lunch! we wandered around the neighborhood for a bit after lunch, then went up to Montmarte to see Sacre Coeur. we ended the day with dinner at a creperie near the hotel with my friends jackie and nathan!

saturday was their last day in paris! we made the trek up to the famous market Les Puces at Porte de Clingancourt, which was neat to see and wander around for a bit. We then went back into the city and got lunch on the roof of Printemps before doing a bit of last minute shopping. we got pre-dinner drinks at Les Deux Magots, the competitor to Cafe Fleur, had a delicious dinner at a cute restaurant called l’Ardoise, and had amazing after-dinner drinks at Bar Hemingway @ the Ritz! It was the perfect end to the day, especially as we saw the Eiffel Tower sparkle when the clock struck 12, aka the quintessential midnight in paris!

it was a truly amazing and fun-filled week with my family, though we wish dad could have been here with us to enjoy it! we walke a lot, ate a lot, and shopped a lot, but now it is back to reality (school) for me, with midterms starting this week! but thankfully i have a quick trip to normandy this weekend to look forward! until next time…xoxo

so it has been a while since my last post! i just got home from my week-long spring break, which i spent in London! since i have never been, i really wanted to maximize my time there!

spring break officially started for me last thursday when 4 of my best friends from Cornell arrived in Paris for the weekend!! we had two jam packed days of all the hot tourist spots in Paris. we had deadly hot chocolate @ Angelina’s, and delish steak frites at Le Relais de L’etnrecote! then on sunday, i took the train (chunnel) back to London with Rebecca and Miranda who are studying there for the semester! the train was a wonderful experience, and really is so much easier and better than flying!

i spent my first day in London with my bff from home Ally, who is also studying in there! it was so nice to see her while we are both abroad, and she was a wonderful tour guide! we had a lovely breakfast in Hyde Park (the future home to Will & Kate), went to see the Victoria & Albert Museum and the National Gallery. She also took me to my first british pub for a classic fish & chips!

the rest of the week i spent seeing the major sites around London. i went to the tower of London, and saw Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, and Buckingham Palace with two of my friends from Paris. Miranda also took me to a speakeasy one night, which was a very cool experience! Rebecca took me to see the camden and borough markets, which had amazing food and shopping! we also went to greenwich to visit the prime meridian, took a ride on the london eye, and had tea one afternoon!

it was definitely a packed week! i really loved London, the british accents make everything better, and riding the double-decker buses was my favorite! it was also a nice break from Paris, especially being able to speak the same language as everyone. nonetheless, it is wonderful to be back “home” in Paris, just in time for the end of fashion week! i also cannot wait for my mom and sisters who arrive tomorrow morning for the week!xoxo